You may love chemistry or you may hate it, but you can’t ignore this important subject. It is the study of matter and energy and how they interact with each other. It is everywhere around you, it’s in the food and the water that you consume, the clothes you wear, your daily soap and detergents, the medicines, etc. It is often called the ‘Central Science’ as it connects other sciences such as physics, biology, geology, and environmental science. Other than being important in our day-to-day life, having a good grip on chemistry is very important for competitive exams, because it is the most scoring subject and can greatly give you an edge over others.
Chemistry, as a subject, is infinitely intriguing and fascinating. It’s understandable that chemistry is not a very popular subject among most students because of the so to speak ‘Exceptions’. That is why we have put together a list of things you must incorporate in your studying habits as well as in your attitude so that you can start enjoying chemistry. So, read on.
How to start enjoying Chemistry?
- Stop hating Chemistry: The tricky part about learning chemistry is to overcome the mental block and the initial resistance towards it. Remember, when you wanted to learn swimming and were scared of the water. But once you treated the water as your friend, you start floating effortlessly. That’s exactly the case with chemistry too. You must treat it as your friend. So, stop hating/fearing it!
- Take small Steps: Chemistry is a subject which needs an avid learner. Start with baby steps. Fix your daily quota for Chemistry reading in the beginning. Maybe start with merely 30 minutes every day, and then work your way up. Remember, reading every day is important, the crucial words being ‘reading’ and ‘every day’. It doesn’t matter if your portions are small. Just keep reading. If you dislike a subject, ignoring it is never the solution.
- Understand the fundamentals: Remember, Chemistry doesn’t require mugging up. Science is based on the understanding of the underlying principles and then applying that knowledge. If you don’t understand the basic underlying concepts, do not resort to cramming up. Try and connect things – like how topics in organic chemistry are connected to each other via a few principles of general organic chemistry and reaction mechanism. Read the generalized principles. Go slow. But keep moving forward. Read a topic, and try to connect it with everything you’ve read so far, wherever such connections can be made.
- Visualize: To strengthen your memory and recalling power, try visualizing reactions and find logic in how things react. This exercise will help you with other similar reactions. There are bound to be exceptions and you must pay special attention to them. Always read the general principles first, and then reach out to the exceptions.
- Use Color-Coding: All of us have a hard time with remembering reaction conditions. A good way to recall temperatures is to highlight the reactions with appropriate colours. E.g. Red for high temperatures, blue for cold, and so on and so forth.
- Use the internet: If you come across some compound names and find them hard to remember, search for that compound on the internet and read up on its uses. You will find it much easier to remember and it will also make chemistry fun and interesting for you.
- Use Mnemonics: There is no denying that chemistry requires a lot of memorising. To make it easier to remember, you can make your own mnemonics. For e.g. you can use ‘Beta ManGe Car Scooter Baap Rone se Raaazi’ to memorise Group 2 of periodic table.
- Don’t take short-cuts: Do not ever skip any explanations. They might be long and not exactly relevant to your examinations, but to truly gain an insight into chemistry and crack that one twisted question, you need to be thorough and not leave any stone unturned.
- Don’t jump topics: Study in an organized manner. Skipping to reaction mechanism after barely having completed covalent bonds is no way to learn chemistry and a sure-shot recipe for disaster.
- Form or Join a Study Group: Lastly, try studying in groups, the members who find some areas easier than others can share their methods of learning with other members of the group. The exercise is mutually rewarding for all group members.
To sum up, read every day. Chemistry concepts are interrelated. Learn the first one’s basics and then move on to the other one. Link every concept which can possibly be linked. Read explanations, and make sure you clarify your doubts with your teachers.
It is actually a very interesting subject and in some ways, easier than Physics and Biology. It is probably that unique branch of science that gives you an opportunity to try out the making of new substances and discovering their properties.
We hope you enjoy chemistry a bit more after reading this. Here‘s how to cope if you have a similar problem in physics!
All the best!