Is Chemistry Hard? Yes, Here’s How to Make it Easier


Do you struggle with chemistry? Are you afraid of failing? Or maybe you just don’t understand how chemistry works?

Is chemistry hard? Chemistry had always been a mystery to me. It seems like such a simple concept, yet it’s so complicated.

Having trouble initially with chemistry doesn’t mean you can’t do it though. In fact, most people who try to learn chemistry end up frustrated and confused. This is because chemistry is very difficult to learn. But once you get past the initial confusion, you’ll find that chemistry is actually pretty easy.

This article will cover how hard chemistry is and what you can do to make it easier to learn.

Chemistry Test Tubes
Chemistry Test Tubes

Is Chemistry Hard?

General chemistry is a very challenging course. Many students think that it is just like algebra because it requires memorization of formulas and equations. But it is different in that it is also about solving problems using knowledge from the past as well. Students need to be able to solve problems using chemical principles and concepts from previous courses.

General chemistry is an important subject because it teaches us about the chemical elements and compounds that exist in our environment. We also study reactions and processes that occur in nature. These concepts help us understand the world around us.

7 Reasons Why Chemistry is Hard? 

Chemistry is so hard because it is unlike any other class. Chemistry is progressive like learning a new language and first learning its alphabet. You need to understand several topics before you get to the next level. Memorizing is not the key here. There is a lot of memorization. But mostly there is problem solving, logic reasoning, and math. 

Like learning a language, you have to start at the beginning and work your way through each lesson. The first few lessons are usually easy, but then things become more complex. As you progress, you will begin to see patterns. For example, if you know the formula for H2O, you can use this information to figure out the formula for NH3.

With chemistry, you learn all the basic concepts, and then you apply them over and over again. If you never learned what atoms were, or how to write an equation, you will not understand chemistry well enough to pass your exams.

1. Chemistry is Logical and Abstract

Because it necessitates an in-depth understanding of numerous diverse concepts, chemistry is an abstract discipline. You will need to become familiar with atoms, molecules, chemical bonding, and other basic science concepts.

Additionally, you must comprehend the behavior and interactions of electrons. Finally, you must comprehend how atoms combine to form molecules.

Chemical notation is the language specific to chemistry. Even though you might not be familiar with all of the symbols, once you start utilizing them, you’ll wonder why you didn’t know them before. However, you won’t be able to completely understand the complex topics if you don’t understand the fundamentals of chemistry.

2. Chemistry Requires Lots of Math

Math is a big part of the fascinating subject of chemistry. Before you begin studying chemistry, you must be confident in math up to algebra. Mathematics is useful but not necessary.

Because they are studying both chemistry and math at the same time, most students perceive chemistry to be difficult. Keeping track of everything that occurs in your thoughts can be challenging. Additionally, you must keep in mind which symbol corresponds to whatever concept.

If arithmetic isn’t your strong suit, chemistry can be difficult for you. This is particularly true when trying to do laboratory experiments. Some even claim that chemistry is too challenging for those who struggle with math.

But instead of abandoning up, concentrate on honing your mathematical abilities. To start raising your math grades, enroll in several online classes.

3. Chemistry Requires Lots of Studying Time

Because chemistry requires so much extra time to study, chemistry students frequently complain that the courses are too challenging.

You must complete lectures, practical exercises, study sessions, and labs. This means that students must pay close attention in chemistry classes. Just a few weeks of chemistry lessons and labs can leave a lot of students feeling exhausted.

Learning chemistry is a long process. Regardless matter how much time you spend studying, you still need to make sure that you are ready for every exam.

Chemistry Equations and Problems
Chemistry Equations and Problems

4. Chemistry Has Its Own Language

The most crucial aspect of chemistry to keep in mind is that it has its own language. You must be knowledgeable with chemistry vocabulary, the 118 elements, and creating chemical equations in order to communicate with people successfully.

Chemistry is more than merely knowing the components of chemicals and how they interact. Making sense of the data you gather from your experiments and observations is the goal of chemistry.

The language of chemistry must be learned by chemists. Although understanding the terminology is vital, applying it to solve problems is much more crucial.

Although chemistry is a fascinating science, it is a challenging subject that calls for extensive knowledge. But understanding the nature of the elements and how they interact is just the beginning of chemistry.

Chemistry is a difficult subject to study, but once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you’ll be able to explain anything to others.

5. Chemistry is a Vast Subject

Not all of chemistry is about remembering formulas and facts. Knowing the components of atoms is not even relevant. The interactions between those elements are what chemistry is all about.

Chemistry comes in a wide variety of forms, each with distinctive characteristics. For instance, organic chemistry concentrates on carbon-based substances, whereas physical chemistry is more concerned with matter and energy.

6. You Already Think Chemistry is Hard 

Because chemistry is difficult, you may already be expecting it to be difficult before you ever enroll in your first course. You may be familiar with the “chemistry effect,” in which individuals make statements like “I’m not particularly good at chemistry.” You set yourself up to fail by stating this.

You’re more likely to give up before you even get started when you feel horrible about something. Tell yourself you can study chemistry and keep an open mind to prevent this.

When studying, it will be beneficial to have a pleasant attitude. During classes, labs, and when reading, take notes. Keep continuing even when things are difficult and resist the urge to give up.

7. Chemistry Can Be a Different Way of Thinking

To succeed in chemistry, you need to think differently. Instead of thinking linearly, you need to think non-linearly. This means that you need to break down big concepts into smaller ones.

Chemistry is an amazing subject because it teaches us about everything we see every day. We use chemistry every single day when we cook, clean, grow our own food, and even drive cars! Chemistry helps explain why we’re alive today.

There are many different types of chemistries, including organic, inorganic, physical, biological, and chemical. Understanding chemistry helps us understand life itself.

Chemistry Lab Projects and Tests
Chemistry Lab Projects and Tests

12 Easiest Ways to Learn Chemistry

There are some things that you can do to make learning chemistry much easier.  

1. Attend Every Class

Going to every class will increase your chances of understanding the material better. If you miss one lecture or lab session, you won’t know what was covered in the previous lesson. 

If you miss a class, be certain to learn the material you miss that day. Due to chemistry being a progressive topic, skipping one class can affect your grade and understanding for the rest of the semester. Possibly even other classes.

2. Get into a Study Group

It might be enjoyable to study alongside your friends and fellow students because you can discuss the material you’re learning. You are also permitted to ask questions when you require clarification.

You can talk to someone about a concept you’re having trouble understanding, and they’ll probably be able to express it more clearly than your professor did.

If you have a thorough understanding of a subject, you ought to impart that knowledge as well. You might begin by instructing a friend. Sharing your knowledge and passing it on to others will help you to remember what you have learnt.

3. Don’t Slack Off in the Beginning

This means you should start out strong and not let yourself fall behind. Chemistry is a progressive subject, which means there’s always more to learn. It doesn’t matter if you started early on or late, you still need to put forth effort.

Getting behind even a class or two will hurt you later on. When you’re taking chemistry, you want to stay ahead of the game.

4. Review Old Tests and Relearn the Material

When you take tests, you might find that you didn’t remember all of the material. That’s okay! There’s no shame in having forgotten something. The best way to fix this problem is to review old test papers. By reviewing these materials, you’ll be able to strengthen your memory.

For example, if you missed dimensional analysis questions on a previous test, you’ll want to make sure you review them and make sure you understand them.

If not, you won’t be able to do well in future courses because dimensional analysis is needed to solve problems in both Gen Chem 1 and 2. You will also need to use dimensional analysis when you are solving problems in other Chemistry courses.

5. Brush Up on Electron Behavior

You need to understand what electrons are and how they behave before you can truly master chemistry. They are the building blocks of atoms and molecules. Without knowing how they work, you don’t have a chance at understanding anything else.

Electrons are negatively charged particles that orbit around an atom’s nucleus. They move through space and interact with each other. This interaction causes chemical reactions.

If you understand the way electrons work, you will be able to understand how everything else, like reactions, atoms, ionic bonds, velectron affinity, stoichiometry, alence, orbit, acids, valence shells, and bases.

6. Take Good Notes in Class

Taking good lecture notes is an important skill for students. Good lecture notes allow you to review the material later and also help you to understand the material better. Organizing your notes will help you to review them effectively.

If you organize your notes well, you will be able to participate in study groups and prepare for tests. The better your notes are, the better you will be able to contribute to your study group and pass exams.

As you study chemistry, it is important to attend class regularly and pay attention. However, it isn’t enough. You need to take copious notes that further your understanding during review.

Notes are especially important when studying chemistry because they force you to write things down and write them down well. Writing things down helps you to memorize them.

Also, writing things down forces you to think about what you’re writing. Thinking about what you’re writing helps you to understand it better. Finally, writing things down forces us to put our ideas into words. Putting our ideas into words helps us to organize them and understand them better.

Chemistry Lab Group Project
Chemistry Lab Group Project

7. Practice Daily

Consistent effort is needed to learn chemistry. Daily practice is necessary if you want to study chemistry. It takes time to learn chemistry. It takes time to manifest.

Daily practice enables you to develop and improve new skills as you go. You’ll get more comfortable with the theories and methods used in learning chemistry as you put them to practice.

You’ll become better at recalling knowledge as you practice. Additionally, you’ll become more self-assured. Your level of self-assurance will aid in your ability to concentrate on your academics and do well.

Calculate calculations, resolve equations, perform practice problems, and more. Try to devote an hour to chemistry every day. Your major in chemistry will help lay a strong basis for all of your subsequent chemistry coursework.

With a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Kyle Chin left the University of Texas at Austin. According to him, the majority of students who fail or leave the chemistry program do so because their foundation was poor due to a lack of regular practice.

Kyle says “students need to have a deeper understanding of the fundamentals, which includes visualizing atoms, molecules, reactions, structures, and processes. You won’t perform well in chemistry without that because there are few opportunities to solve problems by memorization. Solving equations and problems requires deep thinking.” 

8. Review and Study Material Before Going to Class

Prior to class, you should always strive to review and study the new subject. In this manner, you can start the job that has to be done early. You’ll be somewhat familiar with the subject of the professor’s talk. The instructor won’t have mentioned it to you the first time.

The “Flipped Classroom” or “Class Reversed” is the name of this teaching strategy. In this method, students read books or view videos online before class. This enables the instructor to dive deeper into the content from the beginning for greater understanding and aids students in better grasping the concepts being taught.

You will recall the information better if you review and study the content before class. Additionally, rather than waiting until after class, when you’ve reviewed the textbook and your notes, you’ll be able to ask questions if you don’t understand something.

9. Get in the Lab Time

All around us, chemistry is present. We encounter it every day in the form of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touches, and even feelings. What supposing, however, you could definitely comprehend chemistry?

A laboratory environment is the only place where you can truly grasp chemistry.

You will learn more about the chemical components and processes at work by carrying out chemistry experiments and addressing chemistry-related questions. Additionally, you will discover the various kinds of reactions that can take place in actual life.

Chemistry Lab Late at Night
Chemistry Lab Late at Night

10. Create and Use Flashcards

Although they are not new, flashcards are still useful. They are particularly useful when learning chemistry because the subject is rife with scientific symbols and formulas that must be remembered and correctly interpreted.

To organize and study chemical formulas, symbols, and language, use flashcards. You’ll discover that memorizing is simpler once you’ve made your own set of flashcards.

11. Master Concepts One at a Time

The study of matter is called chemistry. When learning chemistry, dissect the subject matter into manageable concepts. Although it may seem slow and repetitive, doing this actually aids in learning the material you are studying. Move on to the next concept after you have mastered the first.

You’ll be astonished to learn that learning and understanding larger ideas become lot simpler if you actually grasp a handful of the smaller notions.

12. Just Do It!

Taking a page from the famous shoe company, Nike’s, slogan, “Just Do It!” 

Jump right in and start doing something! Yes, you should study chemistry if you’re interested in the subject. Do not put off taking any kind of action until you have done everything perfectly. You should jump straight in and start learning.

It takes a wide variety of apparatuses to do research in the field of chemistry. Identifying the purpose of each instrument and learning to effectively employ them is essential. A chemical education can take numerous forms.

First and foremost, keep in mind that you can’t take any quick routes. If you really want to succeed in chemistry, you’ll have to put in the time and work to get good at it.

Is Chemistry Hard? Final thoughts

While not particularly challenging, chemistry requires a lot of work. But anyone may become a skilled chemist with enough time and effort.

Regrettably, there isn’t an easy way to study chemistry if that is what you’re searching for. But if you follow these recommendations, you ought to be well on your way to learning chemistry.

As they say, practice makes perfect. Spend the time and effort necessary to succeed in chemistry.

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Written by:

Chris Wood
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. I’ve been working as a Software Engineer for the past 5 years. While working in this field I’ve had the pleasure of developing software in a wide variety of industries. I look forward to using my experience in order to find a role where I can utilize my creativity and passion for solving complex software engineering problems.

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