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Exam Preparation Week 4

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Hey everyone! Welcome back to another blog! I hope that everyone is keeping well and healthy and enjoying a bit of time off from school. I am sure that all of you have been working really hard during the term, so it is very important to take some time off, relax and reset before what I am sure will be a hectic end to your life at school! If you missed last week, we talked about approaching exam questions and looked at how to tackle volumetry effectively.

This week we will move onto the last area of study, food chemistry and also talk about how to take corrective action whilst working through questions!

What are we up to this week?

Last week we talked about completing exam style questions and some ways in which you can ensure you get the most out of doing this type of revision. With this, I believe this week is a good time to discuss how you can correct any areas in which you are struggling in the most effective way.

As crazy as it can sound, mistakes are the most essential part of revision. I used to get very frustrated when I got questions wrong and saw it as a sign of failure more than anything else. In saying this, I can confidently say that after the many years of revising for tests and exams I have come to terms with the fact that making mistakes is the best way to learn. A massive issue when it comes to revising effectively is knowing what to actually revise and the solution to this is getting questions wrong. Making mistakes gives you an idea of what areas of content you are not quite prepared for, and that in itself is completely fine! Identification of problem areas is key to ensuring that you are revising content that needs revision and more importantly, the quicker you identify your problem areas the quicker you can address these areas of weakness. Speaking of which, how can you ensure that you won’t make the same mistakes again?

When I was completing questions in revision for the Chemistry exam, I ended up accumulating pages and pages of “revision notes”. These notes were basically summaries of content I made as I was completing questions. If I got a question wrong and I deemed that it was a lack of knowledge that led to the mistake (as supposed to a silly mistake), I would take the time to open up my notes and textbook and make some summary notes on that area of content. For example, if I got a question wrong on galvanic cells, I would make a quick summary of the particular information that I didn’t understand in completing the question that I got wrong! Many of my friends questioned my methods, suggesting that it was a waste of time rewriting out notes that I had already made; however, what they didn’t understand was that I was rewriting and revisiting information that I had not understood the first time around. Preparing the information and digesting it in a different way is what ultimately allowed me to correct my mistakes and get a better understanding of the content! Hopefully the same effects eventuate for you as well!

How can we tackle Food Chemistry?

Food chemistry is the last area of study and one that is quite different when compared to others. The content block is fairly theoretical, with limited calculations and more discussion questions. With this, I believe that creating summaries is the best way forward for food chemistry. The information is quite black and white in the sense that there are specific pieces of information that you must understand and relay back in the way of worded answers. Summaries are a great way to create a base for the answering of these questions. Detailing all of the information in a condensed form is harder than noting all of the information, as you are forced to determine what information is most crucial through understanding of the content. Hopefully summaries help better your understanding of food chemistry!

Like with other areas of study, questions are also super important for your revision of food chemistry. Adding to your summaries through completing questions will ensure that you end up with a comprehensive but concise summary that can help you revise for every single food chemistry question. Diagrams, especially for the structure of the different food molecules is really helpful as a visual aid for your understanding and I highly recommend utilising these in your summaries as well!

What mindset should I have for Chemistry this week?

For this week I think a great mindset to adopt is one of focus. Progressing through questions and going to the effort of correcting areas of weakness requires attention and a strong mindset. Actively being focused will help you through such tasks and it will also hopefully help you work through your summaries for food chemistry!

Weekly Tips and Tricks

That is all from me this week! I hope that you are able to address areas of weakness and smash through some food chemistry. 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!

  • 2021 has been crazy, so its pivotal you keep flourishing in terms of your health and wellbeing

2. Set five goals for the week

  • This is a step up from the last goal setting we have done!

3. Work through an hour of timed chemistry questions

  • Ideally you start building some habits in doing questions and this would be a great habit to develop.

Have a question?

In the final weeks before exams Ashane will be hosting 2 Live Q&A sessions to help everyone get fully prepared for exams. If you have a question on how to best get prepared, have been stuck on an exam question or want to clarify an area of content send it through here, and Ashane might answer it live!

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