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Topic: How to prepare for USAChO?  (Read 8655 times)

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Offline biomiracle

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How to prepare for USAChO?
« on: January 10, 2013, 01:21:01 AM »

I just got invitation from my teacher to take the Chemistry Olympiad Regional Exam on March. I took AP Chem last year, and that is the only chemistry background. I borrowed Zumdahl Chemistry textbook (7th e/d) from my AP Chem teacher.

Now I have like two and half months to prepare for this exam (I heard that USAChO is even more difficult than USABO). I can recover the most materials since I read Zumdahl Chemistry (but that was last year). What kind of books should I buy? Is "Chemical Principles: A Quest for Insight" a textbook that can be read within two months? Do AP Chem prep books like Barrons or Princeton Review effective?

Offline ramboacid

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Re: How to prepare for USAChO?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 07:49:03 AM »
Atkins is BY FAR the best book for USNCO. However, you might be in a time crunch to read all of it in the next two months, and it should mostly be review if you already know all of the AP Chemistry curriculum so you might feel like you're wasting your time. If you're going to read anything though, read Atkins instead of Zumdahl.

Also, it would probably be more beneficial to just take practice tests. There's a lot on there that you'll learn only by doing problems and isn't addressed well in textbooks, such as qualitative reasoning and a few other points. Also, in my opinion USNCO is not nearly as hard as USABO - I'm reading for it now and there is much more content that you have to be responsible for to do well. If you understand your concepts and can solve calculation problems with a scientific calulator, then at least making the National Exam (and possibly even earning High Honors) should more or less be a breeze. :)
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Offline Olympiad_Tutor

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Re: How to prepare for USAChO?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 10:29:35 AM »

solve a couple of the recent local exams. if you can score >=55 than you have a chance at Top 150 at the National exam. Examine the problems you have missed. Re-read the relevant Zhumdahl chapters. Would you have solved them with a better knowledge base?
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