How to Survive Your Chemistry Class

For all my students in my class.

After a year of teaching, I have discovered that success in chemistry class has nothing to do with special abilities and superior intelligence. Success in chemistry is directly related to your attitude, your willingness to prepare and your persistence.

It doesn’t matter what your skills are if you have a lousy attitude, refuse to do your assignments and won’t make time to practice, you will not succeed. You must have a positive outlook towards chemistry, be willing to do the work, and practice, practice, practice. But, if you can do the three things mentioned above then you will be successful in chemistry.


Your attitude toward chemistry is completely under your control. No one can make you think anything you don’t want to think. So, the first thing you need to do is get control of your thoughts.

If you say, “chemistry is hard”, it will be hard. If you say, “I will never pass chemistry” then you won’t pass chemistry.
The mind is very powerful and will function according to how you feed it. If you feed it negative thoughts you will get negative results. You must be aware of your thoughts and if they are negative, change them. No one else can do it for you. Finally, you must not let what other people think about you, determine your reality. Just because someone says you can’t do something doesn’t mean you have to accept his or her opinion. All that truly matters is what you believe. Don’t let other people set your limits or your goals.


In order to be successful you must learn to set priorities and do what’s important now. If you choose to do something else which is not so important, then you chose to fail. So you have to jot down on your agenda what you are going to do tomorrow, which homework or assignment must be submitted tomorrow and what I have to prepare for tomorrow’s topic.

What’s important now? Whatever you need to do to further your goals is what’s important now. If you need to learn a particular skill, learn it. If you need to spend more time on a certain project, do it. If you need help, get it. It’s up to you to consider your goals and do what’s important now.


If you are serious about doing well in chemistry, you must be willing to practice. Chemistry is a discipline dependent on other disciplines and skills. So, it is important that you practice these skills in order to master chemistry.

These skills are:

– Understand the scientific method
– Learn scientific notation
– Master the secrets of the periodic table
– Develop simple algebra skills

So, maintain a positive attitude, properly prepare for class and consistently practice the skills listed above and you will be a success in chemistry class.

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