Chemistry is undoubtedly the easiest of the three subjects. The questions aren’t very challenging. Most of them are fact based. Of the three sections viz. Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry requires the least amount of effort from your side. And that is why it is important to master it. Because you can’t afford to lose marks where everyone else is doing good. Physical Chemistry is more about understanding the concept and knowing the key results than about memorizing. If you are conceptually sound, then this part of chemistry should be comfortable for you. It is also handy to know a few tips and tricks which can considerably reduce your effort. Here are some tips to excel in physical chemistry.
Tips To Excel In Physical Chemistry:
Remember the Constants:
This is something that comes in really handy in physical chemistry. Many questions involve calculations. Most of these questions involve the use of certain constants over and over again. So if you have performed numerous calculations with those numbers then you will certainly be able to do the math very quickly in the examination. You should have an idea of how to make approximations in calculations involving these numbers. For example, value of the universal gas constant R in SI units is 8.314. The value 25/3(8.333…) is pretty close to this value. It would be much easier to work with the latter than the former in questions. So you can try to think of other such approximations for familiar constants. They are very useful in questions involving tiresome calculations.
Practice makes you perfect. And physical chemistry is no exception to this adage. Physical chemistry involves a fair bit of calculations. So it is extremely essential to practice problems. As you practice more, you become familiar with the numbers and the constants that are involved in the problems. That helps you do lightning quick calculations in the papers. Needless to say it will also help you comprehend the problem faster in the paper. You will also become familiar with the common traps that are set in the questions for students to fall in, thereby increasing your chances of avoiding making that mistake in the actual paper. So practicing a lot is one of the key ingredients of success in Physical Chemistry.
Give importance to Theoretical Understanding:
While you should definitely give a lot of emphasis to practice, one must not neglect the importance of studying the theoretical part. Very often students, despite knowing each and every formula, struggle in physical chemistry because they neglect the theoretical understanding. You have to be very thorough with the theory or more often than not you may find yourself stuck on a question with no idea how to proceed. You must have a detailed understanding of every formula you study. You should know when it is valid and when it is not. There are a lot of good reference books for theory. The NCERT textbook is quite good as far as JEE Mains is concerned and should be sufficient. You can also refer other books however there is a chance that they might dwell into something beyond the scope of JEE Mains.
Be thorough with Concepts of Equilibrium:
The concepts in Chemical and Ionic Equilibrium are an inseparable part of Physical Chemistry. They will occur time and again in different topics. So you should understand them thoroughly. Be very clear about the concept of the equilibrium constant. In Ionic Equilibrium know what approximations are usually made. The calculation part is the trickiest in ionic equilibrium. Make sure you understand each and every step.
Do not neglect the chapters like surface chemistry and solid state chemistry:
Students often neglect these chapters because they are taught toward the end of the JEE preparation. A student is saturated by then and doesn’t get the motivation to study these chapters well. But it is important to not neglect these as they are frequently targeted by the examiners, especially surface chemistry. The questions asked from these chapters are often easy but as students haven’t prepared well they miss out on easy marks. So prepare well for these as it will give you an edge over the majority of students.
Revision is very important in Physical Chemistry or any subject for that matter, for retaining the concepts learned. You should do cumulative revisions at regular periods. It might seem to take up a lot of time initially but later it will happen quickly. A good way to revise is to solve a few papers. This will help you recollect the little details in any topic and simultaneously give you practice which is essential to master physical chemistry.
Solving past papers is another essential component of exam preparation. You get an idea of the kind of questions that are asked in the examination. This helps you adjust your preparation according to the style of the examination. Sometimes you might also learn some new concepts from them. JEE Advanced is known for testing conceptual understanding of the students so solving JEE Advanced papers will definitely help you in that regard.
It is certainly not difficult to master physical chemistry. Just stick to the basics and you’ll certainly do well.
You can also check out some tips to crack organic chemistry.