1. There is no running away from memorising.
Memorising is something you’ll have no choice but to do. You can make it easier for yourself by splitting the topic into smaller sections, and give yourself a time limit to memorise something. After you’re done, test yourself on the topic and see if you can do it.
Another way to help yourself is to write down all the things you need to know into a notebook or into flashcards so it’s easy to bring around and find.
2. Every topic is different, and has a certain focus and way to study it.
Some topics like Acid and Base Equilibria require more application techniques of the formula to the question, and some topics need intense memorising like Transition Metals and Enthalpy Change. Make sure you know what each topic entails and know what are the types of questions that will appear for that topic, and get familiar with them.
3. Conquer Application Questions.
In order to test your thinking skills, application questions are no stranger to A-Level students. Here’s how to conquer them:
Know which topic the question is testing and think about the equations, ideas and concepts related to that topic.
Use important keywords related to that topic.
Relate the foreign situation in your paper to something you learnt in your lecture notes and take note on how they are similar and how they are different, tweaking your answer to the new information provided.
4. Take note of the questions you made mistakes on.
It will be good to compile everything into one place like a notebook, so you can revise them regularly and won’t make the same mistake again.
For example, for MCQ Questions that you answer wrongly, copy the MCQ Question onto the notebook so you have a list of questions to take note of and can revise before the MCQ exam.
Also, ask your tutor to explain anything you don’t understand as soon as possible in order to clear your misunderstand quickly. If not, you’ll probably forget that you had that confusion very soon after.
5. Know what the examiners want to see on your script.
Take note of the learning objectives of each topic, and memorise certain keywords and phrases that is part of their marking scheme (eg. decolourises brown aqueous bromine, higher frequency of effective collisions, in a sealed tube under high pressure)
6. Condense the information for your easier revision.
Use short forms such as ex. conc. (excess, concentrated) and ox, red (oxidation, reduction) and write in point form for your own notes. Some topics such as Organic Chemistry can be written into mind maps (especially since each family is related to each other) for easy reference!
7. Practical help
Here are some tips:
Know the common topics that might come out and what they can test you.
Study past year JC papers and read through how other people answer.
Read through the answer given for planning questions so you know the basic format of what the examiner’s marking scheme is like.