The idea of studying chemistry can bring out mixed reactions from person to person. It is a vital part of our lives that we pay very little attention to. When we cook, bake, clean, and create, we are using our knowledge of chemistry. We know that what we inhale is not what we exhale. H2O? CO2? O? All parts of chemistry equations we have learned from our friends and family, school, advertising, even Disney. This complete guide can add new ideas and tips to your revision skillset. The tricky bit can be where do you start?
NCEA Chemistry Study Guide
Whether it be physics, biology, art history, or chemistry, you need to study. How exactly does one accomplish a great study session? With a plan of course. Everyone's brains work differently and so study sessions should reflect the needs of the student. As with most things, too much or too little is not good for you. When you create a plan, be realistic. Minimum 30 minutes and max two hours.
Rote-learning is when we memorise information by repeating something over and over again so the information stays in our brain. There are some things that we need to learn that are static, such as the alphabet. Why is it ABC and not ACB? There is a range of theories from a mnemonic device (where a letter stands for a word like O = oxygen) to having number equivalents, but one thing's for sure, it does some to flow better in the ABC order when you sing it. You need to create ways to memorise chemistry-related information and catchy songs are one way you can go about it.
Re-writing your notes repeatedly or even better, creating flashcards can help you to memorise vocabulary, concepts, equation symbols and more. If you are not sure what information to start with, have a look at the assessments. Level 1 has one, while level 2 and level 3 have three. Level 1 focuses on acids and bases. For level 2, you will need to revise elements, organic compounds and chemical reactivity. For level 3, you will be asked questions on the topics of organic compounds, aqueous systems and particles and substances. Our NCEA chemistry study guide helps you to navigate through revision and create a plan that works for you and your needs.
How to Tackle Chemistry Problems
Each person has their own way in which to study and revise. Just to add something new to your stock of tricks and tips, our guide on chemistry problems will help you work your way through two of the most common formats for questions. Starting with the most detailed, wordy questions will definitely be high on the order list for what you will come across in all levels of chemistry. These questions are asking you a range of things, and step one in tackling these types of questions is trying to figure out what they want.
Easier said than done. These questions are testing your reading comprehension abilities in the sphere of chemistry. In order to demonstrate your comprehension abilities, you need to know the terminology so take the time to learn the vocabulary you need in relation to each topic. It is also important to identify and use the keywords within your answer as they can help guide the reader. Keep it orderly as your answer needs to be coherent and follow a logical progression.
Another style of question you will meet upon your journey deeper into the realm of chemistry are symbol questions. Students can be asked to write an equation and/or balance them. Chemistry workbooks can come in handy here as a way to progressively increase your ability in solving equations. These equations are not the same as the ones you will encounter in physics.
Physics uses letters to replace a number that has yet to be determined. Chemistry uses letters that are attached to a fixed substance. C can only be carbon. So you in order to be able to balance or write the simplest of equations. You need to know your periodic table. With a lot of information to learn, it can be difficult not to bundle things together and get a bit confused between covalent and ionic compounds. Our guide to tackling questions helps to provide a bit of order and clarity.
NCEA Chemistry Scholarship
A great way to challenge yourself is by sitting the NCEA Chemistry Scholarship exam. There are many advantages to sitting the exam such as broadening your knowledge, preparing yourself for university, and gaining scholarships towards your future education. You can choose to sit the exam during level 2 or level 3. Do consider the amount of knowledge you need to possess in regards to organic chemistry, structural bonding, chemical reactivity, and so forth. It is advised you study level 3 chemistry before attempting the chemistry scholarship exam.
The way in which the exam is structured is different from the NCEA level 3 exam. For example, the topics are clearly divided into three papers, whilst the scholarship exam has only four questions. The time limit does stay the same but the complexity of the questions means you will need those 3 hours for the four questions.
Due to the complexity of these questions, it does require students to take on extra. This extra includes revision, scholarship classes, reading, and of course time. The amount of time will be dependent on how well you understand the concepts, can work through equations, and understand different reactions and limitations. Speaking to your teacher is a good idea to get a gauge on the workload. Another great resource is our chemistry scholarship guide. It breaks down the information about how to enrol, what to expect and explains some of the differences between level 3 and scholarship in more detail.
Past Chemistry Exam Papers
Once you have your revision schedule sorted, have been revising the information that you know you are not so confident in, and are now wanting to test your skills out, past exam papers can help you fill the gaps. Past chemistry exam papers are easy to find but can be a little tricky to choose the correct one. The NCEA site where the papers are stored is geared towards teachers and people who work in the education sector. Our guide on past papers will help shift through the different standards to find the one that best suits your needs.
Past exam papers can also give you time to understand the marking schedule. The marking schedule rarely changes, it is the questions and topics that do. So use your revision time to understand those keywords; an understanding, an in-depth understanding, and a comprehensive understanding. Attached to past papers are exemplars. Exemplars are previous students' exam papers. Four are selected out of each level group across New Zealand to represent what not achieved, achieved, merit, and excellence look like. They can be useful tools to help identify areas of strength and further development as they include notes from the markers on why that particular student received that mark and what they can do to improve.
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