If you ever watched Bill Nye the science guy while growing up, chances are you were fascinated by his tricks! I remember watching Bill Nye blow up a bathtub filled with water by adding Francium and thinking it was one of the coolest things I had watched on TV in a while. No matter whether your interest in the subject was sparked by your intentions to replicate every one of those cool experiments you watched as a child or because you have to pass it, here are some ways you can start killing the game in IGCSE Chemistry!
1. Make flashcards
IGCSE Chemistry means learning a whole lot of equations, reaction conditions and oxidation states. Making flashcards with all these details can be really helpful to reinforce everything you need to know. Moreover, flash cards are a great tool to review your chemistry as you are on the bus or waiting at your dentist’s office. Looking at flashcards repeatedly will help you remember things better. You can consider making decks for different parts of the course. Having a deck for organic chemistry, reactions with metals, acid base reactions, organic nomenclature, tests for gases and ions and common polyatomic ions with their oxidation states can be beneficial. If you prefer having your card decks online, Quizlet is a great tool to use!
2. Use that highlighter!
You may have heard the term active listening. Active listening means listening to assimilate information and this can be done by nodding, asking follow up questions or repeating what the other person is saying back. Similarly, there exists the concept of active reading which is done with the intention of reading something to remember. Sometimes while reading a textbook the crux of the material can get lost in the words. Using a highlighter to highlight important words and phrases as you read makes sure you engage with the material without zoning out. It also helps you pick out the most important stuff so the second time you read your textbook you can focus on the important stuff you highlighted before. This will also help you study quicker. Happy active reading!
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3. Find a study buddy
Often while studying you may find you have a lot more questions than you initially anticipated. If it’s the Saturday before your Monday exam and you aren’t able to get in touch with your teacher to answer your questions, it can be useful to have a study buddy who you can clarify your doubts. Likewise explaining concepts to your study buddy helps you solidify your understanding. Studying with someone is always nice and makes your study sessions fun! However, make sure to study with someone who you know you will be able to focus with.
4. Google it!
As you read your chemistry book you may come across reactions that can be a bit confusing. Feel free to use online resources to help you. For example, if you are confused about stoichiometry, there are a lot of videos on YouTube that can refresh the material for you. These videos are made very student friendly and you can find videos made for your age level. They often include practice questions and problems that professional instructors walk you through to boost your confidence!
5. Practice, practice, practice!
The best way to remember reactions in chemistry is by practicing! Practice writing down all the reactions from a particular topic after you have finished revising. It can also be beneficial to practice with past papers to get an idea for the type of questions to expect. Replicate exam conditions by timing yourself and not looking at your books while you practice a past paper to get the most genuine practice in. As cliché as it sounds, practice really does make perfect!
So there we have it, 5 top tips to keep rocking IGCSE Chemistry! Why not try some of them today and see how much they can help you!