Study Skills for Chemistry Students

Before Class

  • Look at the learning objectives on the syllabus.
  • Preview the text. Try to predict what’s important.
  • Read the text. Highlight or take notes.
  • Review your notes from the previous class period.
  • Do the problems in the textbook.

During Class

  • Use a notetaking system, such as the Cornell method.
  • Use a three-ring binder.
  • Write down your instructor’s explanations along with the problems you copy from the board or PowerPoint presentation.
  • Organize your notes by topic according to your syllabus.
  • Place handouts with the appropriate class notes.
  • Ask questions about the problems in the textbook.

After Class

  • Review lecture notes within 24 hours or you will forget 60-70% of the material.
  • Fill in the gaps in your notes.
  • Rework board or PowerPoint problems; practice solving for a different variable.
  • Analyze your equations and diagrams by comparing them to the text. Make corrections or editions. Rewrite.
  • Read your notes aloud.

During the Week

  • Do all the problems from the textbook.
  • Note questions to ask in class.
  • Review text material you have already read.
  • Take a concept, such as “equilibrium.”  Think about everything involved with equilibrium conditions.  Generate questions about all the relationships involved.
  • Use memory techniques for formulas.
  • Meet and study in groups.
  • Use the tutoring services in the Center for Academic Success.

End of the Week

  • Continually rework problems.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Test yourself.  Use questions from:
    • Problems you missed and examples from class
    • The end of the chapter
    • The concept questions you created
    • The formulas
    • Your class notes

Group Study

  • Agree upon a procedure.
  • Possible activities:
    • Compare notes
    • Work and explain assignments and additional problems
    • Predict test questions
    • Review text to highlight areas covered in lecture or lab

After the Test and Quizzes:

  • Always correct your errors.
  • Work with the instructor, Center for Academic Success tutor or other students.
  • Keep a file of problems missed to study for the midterm and final.

If you need help incorporating any of these study ideas, call the LLCC Center for Academic Success at 217-786-2396. All CAS services are free.


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