Hey everyone! I hope you have all had a great week! Everything seems to be slowly returning back to normal, which is great, but I hope you have been able to maintain your routines and study habits as the weeks have gone on. For anyone that missed last week’s post, I discussed how it was a great time to start Unit 3 revision and planning ahead for your exams. I also went through Spectroscopy and the best ways the tackle questions which can sometimes be a little tricky. Definitely check it out if you haven’t done so yet! I think a really important part of revision is to be aware of what you have been doing and identifying lapses in your revision process, so looking back at the last few posts and reflecting on what you have implemented may be a great way to start of the week! Speaking of this week, let’s dive into what’s to come!
What are we up to this week?
Questions. In the past, I have asked students what they think revision is and the most common answer I get is: “revision is just going through questions”. To be frank, completing questions is in my opinion the most effective form of revision. Don’t get me wrong, planning and working through content specifically is absolutely essential; however, the process of trying to apply your knowledge, recall information and being able determine what you know and don’t know is what makes questions a fantastic form of revision. In saying this, from my experience, there are a couple of things to keep in mind to improve the quality of the revision you are doing in terms of completing questions. After all, quality always beats out quantity! Here are some things to keep in mind while working through some questions:
- Start with your weaknesses!
I mentioned this in one of my earlier posts but completing questions in your areas of weakness first is really important. Especially at this time in the year, early on in revision, targeting weaker areas of your knowledge will allow you to become much more well-rounded in terms of the questions you can and can’t do, come exam time.
If you organised your strengths and weaknesses similarly to how I discussed last week, knowing what questions to do will be a breeze!
- Time yourself!
I think now is a great time to put time restraints on any questions you do. When I was doing Chemistry, I found that putting a time limit for myself was beneficial in multiple ways.
- Firstly, it allowed me to become aware of how fast I needed to eventually be
going. At the start of revision, I definitely was not completing all the questions I
was doing in the time I set myself, but I was not concerned about that at all! All I
wanted to know what how fast or slow I was going because I knew I had multiple
weeks of revision coming ahead, thus time to improve. In the long run, this meant
that time pressure was a minor problem come to the exam.
- Secondly, putting time restraints meant that I was more efficient with my revision.
For example, giving myself 5 minutes to do a question meant that I was both
completely focused for those 5 minutes and had the question done in a short
frame of time (whether that was within 5 minutes or not). This led to decreases in
my procrastination, as I simply had to get the question done and made the whole
process a lot more efficient!
- Do a range of questions!
Mixing up the types of questions you attempt is an effective way of ensuring that you are prepared for any question on the exam. When I was doing revision myself, I initially turned to the textbook for questions; however, I quickly found out that the style of questions in the VCAA past exams were quite different. After realising this, I mixed up the types of questions I did (using sources such as my textbook, VCAA past exams and external sources) and I found that I became aware of a lot of different styles of questions. This definitely led to me being more confident going into the exam as I felt that no question was going to surprise me! As such, I definitely recommend trying questions from numerous sources in your revision!
In general, I think this week is a great week to start doing questions specifically for exam revision. Hopefully most of you are slowly getting to the end of the course work and thus it is a great time to start trying some questions. I would personally recommend completing some questions from Unit 3 topics, simply because you would have completed those topics many months ago! It would be great to start refreshing your memory and getting up to speed with any early concepts that you do not understand. I would highly recommend tracking what questions you are doing, as this will later give you the ability to know which topics you have or have not targeted and hopefully it allows you to ensure that you have gone through questions from all of the topics by the time of the exam!
How can we tackle Volumetry?
Volumetry is quite a brief topic in Unit 4 Chemistry. You would have gone through some volumetric analysis in Year 11, with the only main addition being titration curves. I would recommend using methods similar to what has been discussed throughout the last two weeks for this topic. One thing that I found was really helpful for me when studying volumetry was to draw out a complete set up of the process. When I finished going through the content, I drew a big schematic of a volumetric analysis set up, labelling all of the equipment (burette, pipette, etc.) as well as the volumes that are measured from each instrument (aliquot, titre, etc.). For me, this was a great way to link all of the ideas presented in volumetry and ended up being a great tool for revision! Other than that, I think volumetry is a great topic to practice the methods we have developed over the last few weeks and figure out what works best for you!
What mindset should I have for Chemistry this week?
I think a proactive mindset applies the most for chemistry this week. In tackling problems to identify your weaknesses this early on in the revision process, you should feel that you are being proactive and taking your revision into your own hands. Moreover, being proactive in applying principles from the last couple of weeks into your work, will keep you in great stead this week and hopefully it allows you to smash through some chemistry work with ease!
Weekly Tips and Tricks
That is all from me this week! I hope that chemistry questions treat you well and that you are proactive in your work this week. As always, here are three tips for you to take into the week:
1. Continue to make sure you take plenty of breaks, get outside and talk to your friends!
2020 has been crazy, so its pivotal you keep flourishing in terms of your health and wellbeing
2. Write down one thing you can do better this week (in comparison to last week)
Fixing our faults as we go along is essential when it comes to revision!!
3. Ask a friend what they are using as a source of questions for chemistry
It is important to work together with your peers when it comes to preparing for exams. Things are more difficult this year so make sure to be proactive and ask your friends about the questions they are doing. You might learn something new and get an idea you can apply to your own revision!