My Tips for Success in VCE Chemistry
Chemistry is one of those subjects that many people find difficult to grasp and there are a variety of reasons for this. However, the purpose of this article is not to dwell on those issues, but rather this article is aimed to show you how you can be more successful in Chemistry in 2017.
- Go over Year 11 Chemistry: If you did Chemistry in Year 11 and found it hard, you might want to go over your work and review over key concepts that will be encountered in Year 12 again. Even if you did not find Year 11 Chemistry hard still go over your work, as it is good to get your foundations set now.
- Get a tutor! If you find certain concepts in Chemistry hard to understand then get a tutor to help you out. Tutors are another way to getting a different perspective on things in addition to your teacher at school. Sometimes all it takes is another person to explain the same concept in a different way, that will ‘click’ for you.
- Ask questions: I cannot stress the importance of asking questions whether that be during class times or outside of class time. Your teachers are there to help you so make good use of them. I remember when I was in Year 12 I used to constantly ask my teachers questions, it got until the point that each time I came to their staff room they knew who I was looking for. Don’t be embarrassed that you might have a silly question, because there is no such thing!
- Read the textbook: Your Chemistry textbook is filled with heaps of information and it’s the starting point for you if you don’t understand a particular concept. Your teacher/tutor cannot cover everything in a session so it will be up to you to do your readings.
- Do questions: Chemistry is a subject were rote-learning does not help you to get the high marks. It is only by applying what you have learnt in class to problems will you understand that concept better. Questions may be from your textbook, other textbook publishers or past exam questions. (NOTE that there is a new Study Design this year so some past exam questions may no longer be relevant – ask your teacher if unsure.)
- Make notes: Make notes as you are studying throughout the year. This will ensure that when it comes to exam time you won’t have to flick through hundreds of pages in your textbook. You will have your summaries right next to you, to help you with your revision.
- Study in groups: If your one of those people who likes to study in groups, then get a study group going. The only thing to be wary is to ensure that your groups are productive. There is nothing worse than meeting up with some mates, and spending the entire time chatting about the next episode of ‘Suits’.
- Look for YouTube videos: If you find the textbook ‘dry’ or you are one of those visual learners, then search on YouTube for some videos on the concept you are having trouble getting a grasp on. There are millions of videos out there on Chemistry and all you need to do is find them. Be careful on what you are watching as some videos will be irrelevant to you for the VCE. Khan Academy has some great video.. Also, try not to get distracted and start looking for Cat Videos.
- Don’t panic: If you don’t understand a certain concept don’t fret. There will be others across the State who will be in your exact position. If you recognise that you need help, then go get it from your teacher/tutor and you should be fine. The fact that you recognise you need help is a step in the right direction.
- Have fun: Sure Chemistry may be a prerequisite for a course you want to do in university, but take some time to appreciate the role that Chemistry has to play in our daily lives. I know that some textbooks have some topics dedicated as to how Chemistry plays a role in our lives, have a read of those topics. Some are very interesting and might get you thinking on the career you might want to embark on.
Hopefully, these tips will help you in your Chemistry Journey in 2017.
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