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Topic: What should I memorize?  (Read 26176 times)

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Offline wakka

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What should I memorize?
« on: May 01, 2006, 09:15:27 PM »
Hey i'm having a lot of trouble learning chemistry, i'm really just getting into it. can someone tell me what types of stuff i should have memorized and know fairly well to be able to understand the concepts? much appreciated.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2006, 01:35:32 AM by Mitch »

Offline mike

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2006, 09:23:31 PM »
Memorise the first twenty elements of the periodic table :)
There is no science without fancy, and no art without facts.

Offline wakka

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2006, 10:12:06 PM »
done!

Offline mike

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2006, 10:23:09 PM »
Memorise the formulae:

n = m/M

n = c x v

PV = nRT

C1V1 = C2V2
There is no science without fancy, and no art without facts.

Offline wakka

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2006, 06:30:28 PM »
that's the kind of s#*$ i'm talking about.. what do those formulas relate too though?

Offline Hunt

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2006, 07:01:50 PM »
Start by studying concepts concernings atoms, molecules, atomic mass units, moles, etc. Then ofcourse you ought to be familiar with certain definitions which are all provided in any general chemistry book.  There are too many pigeon holes to cover in Chemistry, and memorizing the entire periodic table or about a hundred equations won't do. The best way to learn Chemistry is to understand , not memorize.

Offline mike

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2006, 08:43:00 PM »
Refering to the equations I wrote before:

n = number of moles
m = mass
M = molecular weight
c = concentration
v = volume
P = pressure
R = gas constant
T = temperature

High school and early undergrad students will use these equations all the time so they are worth memorising.

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The best way to learn Chemistry is to understand , not memorize.

I always thought the best way to learn was, to do.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2006, 08:46:08 PM by mike »
There is no science without fancy, and no art without facts.

Offline xiankai

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2006, 05:11:24 AM »
i never used those mole/mass, concentration/volume and mole/concentration formulas; IMHO those involve simple logical reasoning like how many apples per person will A and B have if A shares all his apples with B, who has none (dilution)
one learns best by teaching

Offline Hunt

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2006, 04:52:29 PM »
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I always thought the best way to learn was, to do.

do what? applications? sure your right, but understanding the concept comes 1st.

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i never used those mole/mass, concentration/volume and mole/concentration formulas; IMHO those involve simple logical reasoning like how many apples per person will A and B have if A shares all his apples with B, who has none (dilution)

That's what I'm talking about! understanding the meaning of molar masses + a bit of proportionality is the key here. Instead of memorizing formulas like

n = m/M = N/No or u = m / No , students should understand them, know how to get such relations.


                         

Offline constant thinker

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2006, 06:09:13 PM »
Understand valence electrons and electron configuration notation. Stoichiometry is helpful. Make sure you understand chemical formulas and the basic mechanics of a reaction. Knowing that kind of stuff and being able to right out a balanced molecular equation can help you understand what your doing with experiments and what's going on.

Lewis Dot structures may be helpful to understand. Start from the ground up. What you learn in a class look up outside of school, and if you have the means try it. Be smart and safe though. Don't try to synthesise something nitroglycerin when you've never done an experiment before.
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Offline mike

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2006, 08:22:11 PM »
Vant_hoff and xiankai thanks for those useful educational tips ::)

The post specifically asks for what they should memorise and that is what I responded with.

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i never used those mole/mass, concentration/volume and mole/concentration formulas;

I don't believe you! How did you ever work out concentrations, number of moles etc etc, or are you just bragging?

You two must have memorised somethings in your life, why can't you just post that? And it is all well and good to say that "the best way to learn is to understand" that sounds all very new age and hand wavish but doesn't always work like that for all students. It is frustrating when scientists are so vague about what students should learn, for example saying that students should leave a laboratory course "understing the scientific method" what does that mean to a student?

Memorising things has its place!
There is no science without fancy, and no art without facts.

Offline xiankai

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2006, 08:25:09 AM »
well in place of those formulas, i tried to recall definitions; i guess that could be counted as memorising :P

i remembered my first year taking chemistry in grade 9, it was so hardddd all those stuff about moles, i nearly failed my tests

but as time progressed, i got more familar with it, and it became second nature to me :D
one learns best by teaching

Offline Hunt

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2006, 06:08:01 PM »
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The post specifically asks for what they should memorise and that is what I responded with.

You're right , but my point was that whenever students encounter difficulties in Chemistry, memorizing won't help. It's the concept which they fail to understand or perhaps misunderstand.

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You two must have memorised somethings in your life, why can't you just post that?

Are you kidding me? Ofcourse I have ( I hope you're happy now :P ) . I think we all memorize equations that are difficult/time consuming to derive, add to that the definitions and chemical names, etc. There's nothing wrong with doing a bit of memorization when needed ...

Offline constant thinker

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2006, 07:22:20 PM »
I owned in chemistry in 9th grade. I got all A's on my tests and taught people who were utterly lost. My teacher was a wicked good teacher, but he had heart problems and we would have subs/other chemistry teachers for like 3 or 4 days sometimes and this really messed some kids up.

Sometimes people don't understand something when taught one way. Different analogies can help different people understand. Memorizing has it's place also, but for some people it's hard to memorize things that they can't relate to or use periodically. It is for me. I hate english classes because they are just utterly pointless and bore me to sleep (I've slept through so many english classes).

A terrible teacher = confused kids, decent teachers = kids who understand for the test but then forget it, good teachers = kids who understand things fully and can remember the concept. Atleast that's my generalization of my observations with people.

Best of luck in your education of chemistry. Some parts of chemistry are boring, but are needed and become easier and less annoying with time and practical uses. This site has many people who are respectable and competant.
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Offline jdurg

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Re: What should I memorize?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2006, 09:51:34 PM »
The most important thing you can do for learning chemistry, and for life itself, is to be able to think analytically.  When you're looking at an equation, try and figure out why certain things are happening.  Why does sodium form Na+ and Mg forms Mg2+?  Always try and look a bit deeper into your problems.  When you start getting confused, stop and ask yourself why you are getting confused.  Learning a subject is a lot like building a creation out of legos.  When you first start out you just see a giant pile of stuff and can't fathom how to turn it into anything else.  If you start out simple, you can slowly build more and more complex items.  Soon you can put all these complex items together into a masterpiece.

Being able to think analytically and logically comes in handy EVERYWHERE.  While I have a degree in forensic chemistry, I work in the field of clinical data management.  Being able to think analytically is crucial in my line of work and makes my job MUCH easier.  When learning chemistry, just keep things simple and learn to build on the concepts that you've already mastered.
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