So, the A Levels are coming soon, and no matter whatever subjects you’re taking for the exams, it is definitely a stressful time. If you’re taking A Level Chemistry this year in November (and the Chemistry practical in late October), you’re probably busy worrying over how to get good grades. So, here are our top tips for studying for the chemistry A levels from us at Bright Culture! If you’re looking for a more generalized bunch of tips on how to do well for the A Levels, you can check out “How I became a Straight-A Student By Following These 7 Rules” by Daniel Wong here.
1. Do as well as you can for the two exams before the actual Chemistry A Levels
If you do well for both exams, it will definitely give you a confidence boost and provide a “check” that you know the content tested for the Mid Year exam and will tell you what you need to work on and what you don’t. However, if you still don’t happen to do well for those two exams, it’s still worth it to try as hard as you can, as those are full exam papers and will help you get in the exam mood for the actual Chemistry A Level exam. For an added bonus, your Mid Year and Prelim papers can be done again as practice papers before the actual exam, as a harder version of what you will likely experience during the real thing.
2. Get help if you need it
If you haven’t done well for the Mid Year Chemistry Exam, it may be time to seek help from your teachers. If you’re shy about consulting your teachers, some of them are happy to be more discreet about it and allow for after school consultation hours. Even better, they’re often one-to-one, or at the very least, a much smaller group than your big class group. That means you get personalized suggestions and attention from your Chemistry teacher, which often translates into better Chemistry grades overall.
3. Get tuition, even if just for a short while
If your teacher is the sort that mysteriously disappears immediately after class or is otherwise engaged in other non-helpful activities, it might be time to consult a tuition center or tuition teacher. If you’re not currently going to Chemistry tuition, it might be worth it to go to an intensive Chemistry A Level Crash Course. They’re extremely helpful, and the experienced A Level Chemistry tuition centers often know exactly which areas of weakness you have and how to target and turn them into strengths.
4. Write short notes on a cue card
Have a formula that just won’t stick in your head no matter how hard you try to memorize it? Maybe it’s too long. Maybe it’s too complex. Either way, it’ll go great on a cue card. Cue cards are small cards, similar to “flash cards”, that you can take a glance at. Some people write a whole slew of information on them, but I don’t recommend doing that as it can possibly lead to information overload. Instead, you should fill cue cards with short bits of “hints” to help you remember information that is better than just remembering it straight from the textbook. Eg: For the definition of a keyword, just write the key points of the keyword.
5. Don’t cram the night just before ( or the week before) the Chemistry A Level Exam
Almost everyone (including the writer of this article) has pulled a guilty all-nighter at some point or another. As great as that excitement of living on the edge is, all-nighters really don’t help, according to this study. In fact, what you should actually be doing is periodic revision. (Briefly mentioned using past exam papers as practice papers for the real exam in point 1 of this article).
Here’s how to do periodic revision
Every time you think in class “Wow, I really need to revise at home, I feel really overwhelmed!”, do exactly that, and some more.
Simple as that. Clarifying your doubts, in any way, is the singular most effective way to keep up in class and not fall behind. After all, it is basically impossible to fall behind your classmates if you’re immediately revising, while the topic is still hot and fresh in your head.
6. Don’t compare your progress to your classmate’s
Everyone knows that one guy. That one guy, who will somehow have studied for Topic 9 when the teacher has just started on Topic 5. (OK, well, maybe not that extreme.) That guy, who’s super prepared and who could take the exam right this very second.
Let’s face it, we can’t all be that one guy who is crazy good. We’ve all been guilty of comparing our progress to him/her at some point, and feeling inferior or lazy. Well, that makes you want to study even less. Well, you’re not inferior or lazy – that guy/girl is just really out there. If anything, everyone goes at their own pace of revision. So, find a group of friends who you know study at the same – or around the same pace as you, which leads me to my point 7.
7. Form a homework group
Regardless of your actual Chemistry study progress, you WILL run into difficulties along the way, that you just can’t solve by yourself. That’s where the homework group comes in. It helps a good bit to face frustration with friends, not alone. If they’re better than you in Chemistry, they can even help you out by possibly offering valuable insight to the problem.
Also, if you do your homework alone, you’ll become more discouraged easily and give up more easily, hence creating a vicious loop of not studying. So, get out there, and start studying!
How to ace a level chemistry
Top 5 tips to ace a level chemistry easily:
1. Understand the material before you try to learn it
Chemistry needs various concepts, which are essential for every student to understand before applying the information to exam questions.
If you have any confusing topics, discuss that topic with your teacher and ask as many questions as possible.
2. Get happy with your maths
There is a big maths involved in chemistry, and it is a real step up from GCSE. Maths can put many people off, but math’s beauty is once you understand it, you can then apply it to various scenarios.
3. Don’t forget the revision of A-Level Chemistry!
Students spend a significant part of their time and can get time for proper revision for simple and straightforward topics where students can get a handful of marks. So, make sure to revise all easy topics at least once in two days.
4. Work together (before, not during, the exam)
Make sure to have a friend with whom you can set and revise all your topics and concepts.
It can get very dull revising on your own all the time, so why not try going to the library together? Just try actually to do some work, so work with your friends is a good option.
5. Past papers, past papers, and only past papers
I strongly recommend you to find out past papers and solve each question. Once you get the central concept in practice, you can then apply it to your exam in a better way.
To do well in level chemistry and get ace in it you need to follow these 5-tips.
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