It's no coincidence that the mere thought of taking a college chemistry class often produces a lot of anxiety amongst students and even parents as well.
So how can you seek Chemistry help when lectures get overwhelming?
In this guide, I go over five ways students can get help with their chemistry, in class or online, and come out on top.
Table of Contents
- Intro: How to get Chemistry Help
1.1. Purchasing Chemistry Notes
1.2. Watching YouTube Content
- How to Get Help Through Your School Community
2.1 Making Friends With Smart Classmates
2.2 Maximizing Teacher Hours With Your Professor
- How to Get the Best From Your Pre-Made Notes
How to Get Chemistry Help
As Chemistry students, we are told to take notes during class and often end up completely lost because it's difficult to focus on two things at once. Chemistry is a challenging subject, to begin with, and often Chemistry lectures are tough to follow.
You might assume that if you just keep listening, then maybe one-day things will click and become clear - sometimes they will, but often they don't. The confusion only grows, and if you don't address the issue early, you will never pass a Chemistry class.
I personally struggled with the demands of both listening and writing. Still, through experience, I figured out a few methods that most students often overlook, which drastically increased my grades.
Purchasing Chemistry NotesTaking Chemistry notes in class can often be a frustrating experience. College is hard, and I was often totally confused during my first year in Chemistry. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's definitely a part of the learning process. The problem is when you don't bother to figure out how to solve the problem quickly.
One way I was able to get help quickly was purchasing and downloading pre-made Chemistry notes. Having notes with me allowed me to focus on the lectures more and only take down critical messages from the professor. It also allowed me to read ahead of my class and helped me understand the courses even better.
An excellent place to start would be Chemistry Notes. The platform allows students to choose the notes they need according to the topic, subject area, and semester intervals. That way, you purchase only what you actually need, if, for example, you are halfway through your Chemistry course.
It's incredible how many people walk out of class without understanding a thing. One thing I quickly learned and moved away from was procrastination. "I'll figure this out later" won't work in high school, or college or in life even. If you don't understand something, clear it up right then and there.
Watching YouTube ContentIf you're struggling in a Chemistry class, it's also helpful to get different perspectives. Reading notes is good, but it can quickly get boring. Another great way to enhance your learning experience is through visual learning.
It's a proven fact that humans learn better when watching content. Thanks to the internet, there's now so much video content available you can watch on sites like YouTube, Khan Academy, and Vimeo.
YouTube likely has hundreds, if not thousands of videos on whatever problems you're having. Khan Academy is another great website with thousands of videos on every topic at every level. There are obviously many other websites, but these two sources offer the most reliable resources and materials available.
Struggling with stoichiometry? Don't know what colors to expect from chemical reactions? No problem - YouTube or Khan Academy likely has answers to both, and more!
How to Get Help Through Your School CommunityOne of the easiest methods to a guaranteed A is building a strong community of friends and tutors. This is a big area that many students often shy away from. Still, in my opinion, the best way you can get help with Chemistry and pass with flying colors.
Making Friends with Smart ClassmatesWhen you have a group of friends, tutors, advisors at your disposal, you're tapping into a wealth of information and resources. They might know something that you haven't learned in class or even come across. Still, if you are continually building relationships and asking questions, you're one step ahead.
Every school also has some kind of academic support center. Go there and find out which resources are available for your Chemistry course. There are likely Teaching Assistants or Peer Instructors available to help. Do it before you need help so you'll be ready if you need it, not just for Chemistry but all the classes you're taking. They'll give you the names and contact info for teaching assistants or tutors for each subject.
The key takeaways from this are to build a community of friends and tutors that will guide you through your high school and college years.
Maximizing Teaching Hours with Your ProfessorI'll let you in on a little secret but promise not to tell anybody - nobody knows what you need to pass your Chemistry course with an A better than your professor! It's incredible how many students never bother to visit their professors. Yet, they want to pass the course.
The first thing you'll want to do is to know your professor's office hours by heart and then introduce yourself as early as you can. This will make you stand out from your peers and show that you're genuinely interested in their course.
Ask them about anything that's not clear in your syllabus or course outline. If you're struggling with a concept in class, pay a visit; the sooner, the better. Professors love answering questions, and talking to the professor will give you hints on what's essential and what isn't. That way, you'll study smarter and not harder.
If you don't know what to ask your professor, here are a few guidelines:
- Ask about assignment deadlines, test formats, papers, and projects.
- Ask about anything that you don't understand in the course
- Ask about any additional resources available on campus or online
- Ask for important concepts needed for the course
Remember that the more your professors know you and see you in class and in their office, the more they will like you as a good student, and the more they will go out of their way to help you.
Also, professors are like mentors in your career. They are well-informed and can give you practical advice about your career. So it's in your best interest to develop a strong personal and academic relationship with all your professors and not just for Chemistry. It will be more comfortable to ask for recommendations for job interviews or internships later on.
How to Get the Best From Your Pre-Made NotesI've been stressing the importance of having a consistent system. Taking notes should be part of it, but paying attention in class and actually understanding the material you're being taught is way more important.
The problem with trying to take notes consistently is that it can be challenging to keep up with the lecture; every professor is different in terms of the material given and presentation style.
Some may use concise slides, some just talk, some offer overly detailed presentations, and sometimes too fast to keep up with.
Just don't make a habit of writing down notes in class because it will distract you from the actual lesson itself. Instead, bring with you a copy of the notes for the course and focus on taking down critical points from the lecture. This will help you relax and concentrate on grasping those key concepts - a recipe for success!
ConclusionThe best part about bringing notes with you is that you will have a fresh mind throughout your lectures and allow you to concentrate on the course more.
Also, having a community of friends and tutors will help you solve problems quicker and more efficiently. Friends will help you get through high-school and college when things get hard, so make sure you're networking every day!
Lastly, get to know your professors because they will be a crucial point throughout your entire career. Ensure they know you because it will be easier to ask them for recommendations for internships, jobs, and grad school when you need them. Those recommendations are invaluable, and you'll only get them if they know you personally.
If this works for many other students and me, it will definitely work for you!