Like any STEM subject, studying Chemistry at University can be incredibly demanding and challenging at times. Being a Chemistry student means covering a wide range of topics, from organic chemistry to physical chemistry and equations to calculations. So we’ve put together a list of tips to help make your life as a Chemistry student as stress-free as possible! Here are our Top 5 Tips for a Chemistry Student.

  1. Different Revision Methods

Some modules and areas in Chemistry require different skills and knowledge, so revising for them should be different too. Organic chemistry requires knowing lots about your synthetic mechanisms and so you may benefit from visual learning- try drawing out your notes using mind-maps or posters. Whereas Physical chemistry has many formulas and is a case of knowing which ones to use and applying them correctly, so more traditional methods of note-taking and revision (e.g. flashcards and past papers) will be more beneficial. Ask your course mates what they find helps them and try something new out. Remember, Chemistry at undergraduate level is very different to A Level!

Girl note taking at university

2. Prioritise Challenging Areas

You will never see big changes in your results if you keep doing practice papers on subject areas you enjoy and are already confident in. It’s easy to do but avoid going over what you’re already good at, and challenge yourself on weaker areas. Highlight those weak topics and focus on them to ensure optimal increase on those Chemistry exam results. Why not try the traffic light system: green-confident; amber-need working on; red-HELP! to track your progress.

Traffic light

3. Tutor Others

Try teaching others what you have just taught yourself! The best way to lock in that knowledge is by sharing it with others. Acting as your course mates personal organic chemistry tutor will help with your learning as much as theirs! Try booking a space in your library, study space or even at home and teach your course mates (or better yet friends and family) the topic you have just studied. If they understand you and can follow it means you have understood it yourself, congrats!

Group of students studying

4. Enjoy The Diversity

Chemistry is a wonderful area in STEM, it incorporates maths, physics, biology, pharmacy, medicine (and of course chemistry.) Don’t be thrown off by the range of different topic areas-you will find what you enjoy most and can apply it to your next steps in your science career path.

Molecule diagram

Lastly but also most importantly…

5. Make the Most of the Degree

The next 3 or 4 years are meant to be enjoyable and help you decide if you are best suited to a career in industry, a technician role, or even an office-based role looking into the laws and regulations behind Chemistry. As a Chemistry graduate your opportunities are much broader than you would expect. Ask students in older years and your professors & tutors to better understand what options you have with a Chemistry degree!

And there you have our Top 5 tips for Chemistry Students. Remember, like any university course Chemistry can have its challenges. It’s important to stay calm and try out new approaches to learning and revision. Eventually you will find the best methods that suit your learning style. For more academic tips and hacks see our other blogs on studying at University.

This blog was written by Isabella Impavido, at the University of Nottingham.

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