There is one persistent complaint that is heard from every student – regardless of their passion for the subject – about the difficulty of learning, understanding and memorizing equations. Initially, studying the basics makes chemistry seem like a simple and uncomplicated subject.
Once the assignments start rolling in and classes start progressing, you will find yourself mostly focusing on equations. There will be very few chapters, experiments, or assignments that will not require the use of equations. If you manage to get the hang of this section of chemistry, they can be used to score marks quite easily. Read more to see how you can study equations and use them to better your assignments!
What is a Chemical Equation?
When doing experiments, elements that are added, used, or infused are taken in certain quantities and ratios based on their properties. Taken these factors into consideration, equations act as representations of these reactions. Different symbols and formulae are used to represent different qualities, quantities and measures. Equations constitute numbers and can, therefore, be quantified.
How to Learn Equations?
Individual students will have their own ways and methods for studying chemistry formulas and equations. Techniques employed may simply be variations of each other.
Start with the Basics
- When studying any subject that is difficult or complicated, it is very important to start at the beginning with basics.
- Having a good understanding of some need to know theories and definitions is crucial.
- In chemistry, the most basic line of study would be the periodic table. Most students choose to bypass this and only refer to it when necessary without realizing that part of the periodic table will come in use eventually.
- Everything you need to know about the elements and their properties is present in this table, which will be the backbone of your equations.
- There is no easy to way to memorize the table, and it must be done by heart. Whenever you feel like you forget portions of it, revise it. This is something that will come in handy throughout your study of chemistry.
- A big part of chemistry is mathematics. So, knowing some basic mathematics and calculus is extremely useful.
- As stated above, chemistry involves mathematics and much like math it needs to be practiced
- After all, practice makes permanent.
- Practice a few equations a day, some new and some old. This way you can keep up with what is happening in class without forgetting what you have already learned.
- If you’re someone who has trouble with equations, set aside at least an hour a day solely to deal with this subject. Solve problems, equations and learn something new every day.
- This will help you develop a style or method of learning that makes remembering them easier and much less complicated to study in the future.
- Doing this will also keep you prepared for any surprise or planned tests.
- Students who decide to study equations the night before an exam or simply for a particular assignment do not understand it very well and lose some very precious grades.
Do Not Skip
- Equations whether in chemistry or math, have a step by step formula to solve them.
- Some are simple, while others are far more difficult and long winded.
- Regardless of the inconvenience or the strenuousness of these steps, they must be followed.
- This stands true even for simple equations that you may know the answer to.
- If you skip step, you will slowly forget how to do the equation and will have to start from the basics all over again.
- For more complicated equations, by following each step, it will be easy to revise and identify any areas of mistakes or error.
- If you’re having trouble remembering elements and their properties, try out a few memory techniques, in case simple mugging up isn’t working for you.
- Test yourself with flashcards, quizzes or games and see how much information you’ve retained.
- As many studies have proven, the more you write, the more you are likely to remember. So, take pen to paper and write down as much as you can.
- Use a notebook at home that is set aside only for chemistry or organic equations.
How to Use Equations?
- Explanation Purposes
If there is a particular theory or definition that you cannot remember clearly or are unable to explain simplistically, equations can be used as examples to portray an idea. This is also a good way to show the teacher how much you know and understands of what is being taught in class.
- Incorporate where Relevant
Equations should be fit in wherever relevant. Don’t just use them randomly. Try and fit them in within a particular context. This is ideal when speaking in terms of practical work that you’ve undertaken. The best way to explain or showcase what work you’ve done is to use equations to explain how you got a particular outcome; what worked best and what did not.
- As Examples
An excellent way to incorporate more equations into your assignment is to use them as examples. The numbers of possible equations are boundless; depending on the topic and what you’re trying to explain you may use one or multiple equations as examples. This will usually fetch you more marks.
What to Keep in Mind:
- Do not try to work too fast. Do your work at a steady pace so that there are no careless mistakes.
- Check and recheck assignments before submitting them to ensure that there are no glaring errors that could cost you a significant amount of marks.
Equations can be a lot of fun if you understand them, even more so when you start to notice how many points can be easily won by working them out correctly. It is the mental block that students need to rid themselves of; this is what is holding them back from achieving their full potential.
Once you get the hang of it, equations will be the least of your problems, and working through the rest of the chemistry syllabus will be a breeze.