Even after reading the chapters, the big question in your mind may be, “Can I really learn chemistry?” The answer: With patience and time, anybody can learn chemistry. In my years of teaching chemistry I’ve never found anybody who, with a little bit of hard work and study, wasn’t able to understand the basics. Of course, there are some things you can do to make this task easier on yourself:
◆ Learn the vocabulary! As mentioned earlier, chemistry is full of confusing, specialized terms. It doesn’t matter how well you’ve memorized the material—if you don’t understand what the words mean, you won’t understand chemistry.
◆ Learn processes, not facts! A lot of people attempt to learn chemistry by memorizing the periodic table, the names and formulas of every chemical compound, and all the equations from the chemistry book. Some of these people learn chemistry, some of them don’t, and some of them have heart attacks from all of that memorization. Chemistry becomes much easier if you learn how to solve problems, rather than memorizing the answers to every potential problem.
◆ Slow and steady wins the race! Like most subjects, chemistry is much easier to understand if you take it in small, easily digested chunks. Remember, it took over 2,000 years to develop modern chemistry—you probably won’t become a pro after hours of study session.
◆ Use common sense! When you solve problems in chemistry, look at the answers to make sure they’re right. For example, if you’ve found that you’re 45 meters tall after doing a unit conversion, it’s fairly certain you’ve made a mistake (unless you’re the Jolly Green Giant).
◆ Enjoy the scenery! Though there are some really boring aspects to chemistry, there are also a lot of really neat things to learn. Think of chemistry as being like a long car trip—sometimes you have to endure the traffic jam before you can enjoy shopping in The Spring OR Boulevard. ^-^
The Least You Need to Know
◆ Chemistry is important because most of the other sciences use it as a tool for solving problems.
◆ A good knowledge of chemistry will allow you to understand how many common things work.
◆ Chemistry was developed over a very long period of time, but has only in the past two centuries been made into a real science.
◆ With patience and time, anybody can learn chemistry.
From Cikgu Wong