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is there any key to better understanding chemistry?

I just struggle with the topic
#chemistry #learning #learning-and-development

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Alice’s Answer

Do you know which areas in Chemistry are you struggling to grasp?

One approach would be to leverage the Feynman Technique. With this technique, you learn by teaching someone else a topic in simple terms so you can quickly pinpoint the holes in your knowledge. After four steps, you're able to understand concepts more deeply and better retain the information.

Step 1. Pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it (obviously Chemistry)
Step 2. Pretend to teach your topic to a classroom (picking a friend of family member works great)
Step 3. Go back to the books when you get stuck (this pinpoints exactly where you have issues versus wasting time redoing/reviewing everything)
Step 4. Simplify and use analogies (see if you can explain a concept in terms a middle school kid would understand)

This is a great article to help you understand more about the technique if you're intested. https://curiosity.com/topics/learn-anything-in-four-steps-with-the-feynman-technique-curiosity/

ALSO - when you know the areas you need to focus, say the periodic table, polyatomic ions, naming acids, etc. I find that leverageing the app Tinycards (and searching for chemistry as the topic) can help. It will quiz you daily to help solidify the new information in your brain.

Good luck!
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Adam’s Answer

A key mental component that is vital to grasping the concepts of chemistry is visualization. It's hard to understand the fundamentals of molecular interactions without visualizing or watching the activity happen through simulation or experimentation. During my formative development in high school and university, utilizing the lab exercises and performing the assigned experiments helped better grasp what was being taught in the classroom. Not every teacher/professor is the best at relaying information in a classroom setting sometimes. Another key component is to utilize office hours or stay after school so teachers can show you different approaches and strategies on understanding areas you're struggling with. In college, teaching assistants (TA: usually graduate students) are paired with professors that are more accessible and able to help with understanding concepts, assigned homework exercises, exam preparation, or any other struggles.

The biggest challenge with chemistry that most struggle with is understanding the physical rules and when to apply them to solve a problem. General chemistry is a very broad introductory type course where you can find yourself trying to memorize to get through it versus truly understanding. It can be overwhelming to learn all the different concepts of stoichiometry, kinetics, reactions, thermo, physical, electro, etc., but as with everything, repetitive practice and application is key. When reading through the assignments, do the the benchmark exercises and make note on what doesn't make sense. This helps better pinpoint concepts that aren't clear so you can be more direct in asking for help with tutors, TA's, or teachers.

Tips:
1) Find study buddies that are in your class to help quiz and learn from one another. I found that some study partners understand concepts and could explain them better after class. Also, more flexible to link up with vs being restricted to office hour times.
2) Make flash cards concepts, rules, reactions, etc. Helps with inundating through repetition
3) Answer practice questions, old exam questions, lab exercises to help with application
4) Watch youtube videos on concepts you're stuck on or don't fully grasp. Plenty of tutors have channels on an array of concepts to watch.
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