Everyone wants good marks in Chemistry. Not only does it affect your ATAR, it’s also a general requirement for entry into a range of university courses.
Here are 10 tips to help you maximise your HSC Chemistry mark.
- Know the syllabus. Many questions in HSC papers require you to draw on knowledge from separate parts of the syllabus. If you know the syllabus well, you’ll be able to quickly identify what topics or areas the question falls under.
- Practice makes perfect. You should be completing your homework regularly, and doing as many relevant questions from past papers as possible in the lead-up to the exam. Comparing your answer to the sample answer and studying the marking criteria will highlight the things you are missing. Completing questions from past papers will also familiarise you with common exam questions (similar questions often come up with only slight alterations).
- Memorise key equations. There are various balanced chemical equations that you will have to memorise. If you have trouble remembering them, write them down on a sheet of paper and put it up in your bedroom.
- Memorise key phrases. Throughout the term, your teacher will give you concise terms that will quickly demonstrate to examiners that you have a thorough knowledge of the material. Memorise these phrases and use them in your exam.
- Identify your own personal learning difficulties and bad habits. Do you procrastinate a lot? Are you bad at calculations? These are the things you should be focusing on!
In the Exam
- Read the question carefully twice before writing an answer plan. Underline key words in the question. For example, if a question asks for “equations” (plural), make sure you include at least two equations in your answer.
- Pay attention to the details. In calculations, make sure you include the right units and significant figures in your final answer, and make sure your working is easy for the examiner to follow. For chemical equations, make sure you include state symbols.
- Plan your answer before you start writing for any question worth more than 3 marks. Ensure you are addressing the question directly and not simply regurgitating a planned answer. See Also: Glossary of Key Words
- Check your answers. This is especially important in long response questions. Make sure you have answered all aspects of the question.
- Make your graphs and diagrams neat and tidy. Draw graphs and diagrams in pencil and label them exhaustively. Ensure you plot points on graphs neatly and accurately, and take care to draw a neat line of best fit.