Ahhh! You probably have two weeks to go (or maybe if you’re lucky three) until your dreaded cumulative chemistry final. And no doubt, many of you are probably freaking out, hoping and praying that you will get a good enough grade to pass your chemistry class. Here are a few tips to help you survive finals week and your chemistry final.
How to Pass Your Chemistry Final Exam
(First of all let’s be honest…there a probably a select few of you for which there is not much hope. If you fall into the category of student who has yet to pass a chemistry test and are somehow hoping to miraculously pull off an “A” to get your final grade to a C-, your chances are probably pretty slim. Does this mean you should give up on chemistry this semester? Of course not. Maybe with 24-hour-a-day studying you WILL be able to salvage your chemistry grade. But even if you know it’s a lost cause, unless you are planning a major career change, you will be obligated to re-take this class, in which case it is extremely beneficial for you to get as much out of these last few weeks as possible, even if you will just end up hearing it all again anyway.)
1. Start studying for the final NOW! (Really you should have been studying this entire semester…) Even if you can only manage 20-30 minutes a day, don’t wait another day to start preparing.
2. Keep up on the current material. Yes, you need to revisit those concepts from earlier in the semester that you are not completely comfortable with. But chances are even your cumulative test will contain relatively more new material than any other one concept covered.
3. Put forth your “million-dollar effort”. What is a million-dollar effort you might ask? When I was young I remember some sort of chore that I complained to my dad about not being able to do. “If I gave you a million dollars could you do it?” he asked. Umm yeah, I probably could do it then. His point obviously was that there aren’t many things that I was actually incapable of doing, just things that I didn’t consider to be worth my time enough to put a serious effort in. So gather your notes, your book, the internet, and a buddy, sit down and study your butt off. You would be surprised at how much “incomprehensible” chemistry you are actually capable of figuring out on your own.
4. Use available resources. Most professors provide access to their old exams, lecture notes and sometimes even lecture recordings. Try taking practice exams without using your notes to identify problem areas. Then focus on the areas that you struggle with the most instead of trying to re-learn everything. Use your notes, books, and friends. And be sure to check out free problem solving tutorials on The Chemistry Solution!