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Chemistry is undoubtedly the easiest part in the JEE Mains paper. The questions are neither challenging, nor do they involve tedious calculations. 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. Its more about understanding the concept and knowing the key results and less about memorizing. Also it has been observed that some chapters are categorically targeted more than others. In this article I have tried to pen down some methods to prepare for Physical Chemistry for JEE Mains.


Physical Chemistry consists broadly of the following – Atomic Structure, States of Matter, Thermodynamics, Equilibrium, Electrochemistry, Chemical Kinetics, Solutions and Colligative Properties and Surface Chemistry. Of these Thermodynamics, Equilibrium, Chemical Kinetics and Electrochemistry are the more important ones as the concepts involved in them are used not just in the rest of physical chemistry but some parts of organic and inorganic chemistry as well. Surface Chemistry is especially important as this is the one chapter that many students tend to neglect. Being a very theoretical part of physical chemistry not a lot of emphasis is given to it while it is taught. So naturally the students too don’t put in a lot of effort into it. Check the following links for specific tips for Surface Chemistry and Thermodynamics. The weightage of various chapters in the last two years has been shown below:

Topic Weightage in 2014(No. of Questions) Weightage in 2015 (No. of questions)
Atomic Structure 1 1
States of Matter 2 1
Thermodynamics 1 1
Equilibrium 1 1
Electrochemistry 4 1
Chemical Kinetics 1 1
Solutions and Colligative Properties 1 1
Surface Chemistry 2
Basic Concepts 2 1
Equivalent Concept and Titrations 1

Check out: Chemistry Jee Main Preparation Tips

Practice a lot!

Practice makes you perfect they say. 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.

Don’t neglect the Theory!

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.

Dividing your time between the three sections:

Physical Chemistry is not the only part of chemistry. There is also organic and inorganic chemistry. So how does one divide their time between these three? First and foremost, remember that none of the three sections are more important than the others. So don’t give excessive time to any single one. As far as Physical Chemistry is concerned you should try to finish it early. Once you complete it, you can devote your time to solving problems. That will help you in revision and also give you more practice. However, in a bid to finish it early, don’t neglect the other two sections and leave them for too late. They too are equally important.

So to summarize it all, the right combination of theoretical understanding and problem solving will help you master physical chemistry.  If you put in the right effort in this section, the problems won’t be very challenging and it will be easy to score marks. So give it your best shot! Good Luck!

Source: JEE Main 2016 Bulletin

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