Do you often mix up terms like sulfide and sulfite? Symbols like Mn and Mg? Is it hard for you to remember how many milligrams are in a gram? Can you keep straight the charges on a proton, neutron and electron?
If you have trouble with any of these, relax. It is quite normal to get paranoid while understanding chemistry. And when it comes to Physical Chemistry, you might start getting a bit dizzy too. I will be bold and say it. Physical Chemistry is the most scoring area of JEE examination. Why? The reasons are simple.
- In the Physical Chemistry section, JEE asks mainly straightforward questions, and the difficulty level is low. That makes it one of the highly scoring subjects each year.
- On an average, of the three subjects, you can finish the questions from Chemistry in the shortest amount of time. Every second you save will help you in Physics and Maths.
If you are looking for some ideas and strategies to help you to do your best in physical chemistry, you’ve come to the right place. There are no universal answers to understand the subject better– each person finds his or her own path to success. But you don’t have to do everything alone. A different approach is required for the preparation of Physical Chemistry.
Following are some of the quick master tips to win over Physical Chemistry for JEE:
Get Your Basics Right First
Students tend to rush towards the seemingly tough chapters like Ionic Equilibrium and Electrochemistry to satiate their pangs of exploration of newer topics first. There cannot be a bigger cardinal sin than this.
Make sure that you spend sufficient time on chapters like Mole Concept, Atomic Structure and Gaseous State. The concepts of these chapters form the basis for the later ones and make your journey with Physical Chemistry far more peaceful. Spend as much time of your eleventh grade on these chapters and make sure that you are capable of solving each and every problem type.
Maintain a Doubt Book
As you solve more problems, you are sure to encounter more difficulties along the way or come across a problem from which you have learned a lot. Mention all such problems in a book and keep revising it from time-to-time especially before your mock tests. This will be a pivotal point in your preparation and help you get an edge over the others.
Tell me, what is 22.9 x 10.3 = ?
Before you find out the exact answer, we can say that it is going to be nearly equal to 23 x 10. Can’t we? Well, JEE is not checking your math skills in the chemistry paper.
Remember that this is a race against time. Unless the options are really close to each other, it is better to get an approximate answer and pick the closest option. This will help you increase your speed and let you save those extra crucial minutes.
At later stages, you would want to spend significant time for revision, which can easily be done once you have good notes to refer to for all the chapters. Physical chemistry is such that you will want it to be a quick breeze towards the end.
Make sure you have concise and brief notes covering the important concepts thoroughly. Develop this habit from day 1, and you will be at ease in the run-up to JEE. When notes are compiled and stored in an organised fashion, it is easier to determine what you do and don’t understand.
The Magic Trick: Flashcards
Interpreting all concepts correctly is the key to your success in Physical Chemistry. Although this may seem like an obvious point, large numbers of students fail chemistry each year because they underestimate the importance of understanding this complex subject.
With this in mind, study sheets or flashcards are ideal for organising and storing chemical symbols and formulas on. Once you have created a good set of flashcards containing the periodic table of the elements and formulas, memorisation will become much easier. Anytime you learn a new word or concept, make a flashcard for it. Go through the flashcards several times a week to keep the information fresh in your mind.
Read the Material Before Going to Class
Ever heard of the ‘Flipped Classroom’ or ‘Class Reversed’ trend? Its effect in learning Physical Chemistry can be seen twofold. The technique encourages students to study the lesson before going to class. This concept will familiarise you with the subject content, making the class much easier to follow. You can then consolidate that knowledge and use class time to raise important questions.
Lastly, forget cramming all night. Forget staying up all night to finish a laboratory experiment. Rather, plan ahead. Organize your time so that your work gets done early.
Also, find that one particular topic you enjoy. It may be that “ah ha!” of smiling moment. It could be Mole Concept. Or it may be the chemical reaction demonstrated in a lecture that caught you by surprise. It may be the friendships that you formed working with others in the laboratory. It may be the sense of accomplishment you feel. If all else fails, it may even be the fact that you are one day closer to the end of the semester.
Find that one reason to keep going and trying hard. Find it! You are likely to do your best and understand things better when there is something enjoyable involved.
We at Toppr believe that by following this path to the tee, you will surely be able to gain the desired proficiency over Physical Chemistry. Remember to practice at all stages because ultimately:
“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war”.
You can also check out how to approach organic chemistry in this article.
Cheers and Good Luck.