T’is that time of year again, when students start buckling down and really focusing on their upcoming exams… even though they will sit them months from now.
As you well know, these exams, whether A-Levels or GCSEs, are life-changing.
At the very least, they represent your chance at higher education. At most, they make the difference between satisfying career opportunities and forever being stuck at the low end of the pay scale.
Your Superprof is well aware of the significance of your upcoming ordeal and wants to do everything to help you succeed. In that spirit, we present the best review materials for a subject some say is their most difficult: Chemistry.
From apps and podcasts to websites and reference materials you can find at your local library, we’ve searched far and wide to bring you the best chemistry revision materials so that you don’t have to scurry from site to site, hoping you’ve found the Holy Grail of exam review.
Off we pop now, on a virtual tour of everything you might need to ace your exams.
Your chemistry review materials may be notes taken in class and materials found on the web. Source: Pixabay Credit: Ernesto Slava
There is a substantial difference between the General Certificate chemistry exam and the one for Advanced levels but many of these utilities and sites are suitable for both exam candidates.
At the top of everyone’s list must surely be the Royal Society of Chemistry’s web page, where you will find just about any tool, utility or reading material you could hope for to diversify your study experience.
Their interactive periodic table of elements will tell you whether an element is solid, liquid or gaseous at any given temperature, whether it is considered a metal or non-metallic, and outlines the elements in blocks, groups or periods, depending on the filters you set.
And that’s just at a glance!
You may roll your mouse over any element to get fundamental information about it, including what its key isotopes are and its density.
Click on any element and you will uncover everything you could ever want to know about it, from how it got its name to its melting and boiling points.
This utility is available for download in Android and iOS.
What other resources are available for chemistry exam review?
Each element has a podcast dedicated to it, as well as one or more videos you can watch. These videos cover a wide range of topics, from that element’s scarcity to its usage in the lab.
If that were all to be had from this site, it would be quite a lot – but there is so much more!
From their educational resources link, you will arrive at a collection of curriculum guides and study tools for various Key Stages; there is even a page dedicated entirely to GCSE science review.
And their collection of literature is unrivaled!
RSC maintains a database of chemistry books, abstracts and journals that are free to all.
You may read about catalysts and chemical reaction or simply peruse their blog, which consists of a variety of topics published by members of the Society themselves.
We’d be tempted to say that the Royal Society of Chemistry should be your one-stop shop but there is so much more out there!
One more feature offered on this site: a link to ChemSpider, a professional chemists’ database that details everything you could ever want to know about any chemical, including its different names and isotope count.
Granted, the American school science curriculum is vastly different from ours.
Still, chemistry remains the same no matter which side of the Atlantic you are and, just because the accent is different, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t explore what resources are available to you that originate over there.
The Khan Academy has compiled a generous video library, broken down into Organic Chemistry, Nuclear Chemistry, General Chemistry and AP Chemistry – those topics being most similar to our A-Levels subject matter.
Through these videos that explain chemistry concepts step by step, you may brush up on:
The electronic structure of atoms
Chemical bonding, including covalent bonding
Acids, bases and chemical equilibrium
Stoichiometry and molecular composition
Redox reactions and electrochemistry
After watching the video, you may complete the included exercises related to that subject and, afterward, take a quiz to assess your degree of mastery of the topic.
This entire collection is free for anyone to partake of, as are the videos on Crash Course Chemistry.
Some of them are elementary, such as the ones about lab safety and the basic explanation of the electron but others are more on target with your studies, such as enthalpy, entropy and calorimetry.
Just remember that only the accent is different on these resources; the science is solid… and helpful!
Your local library may have science books you could study from Source: Pixabay Credit: Workingham Libraries
Now we get to the meat of the matter: what are the best apps, games, websites, and books that will give you the greatest chance at acing your exam?
While most of the ones mentioned so far require you to sift through tons of information for that specific nugget you are looking for, these address topics you can count on seeing, come test time.
Here are our favourite Chemistry revision books.
After the Royal Society of Chemistry’s super-functional periodic table app, your next-best pick would be Complete Chemistry for Android (it is not yet available for iOS).
The basic chemistry topics can help reinforce your knowledge of chemistry fundamentals while the advanced dictionary will give you a handy reference for chemistry nomenclature.
The periodic table is built-in, as is a notepad and a quiz bank.
You should note that there is a book by the same name, meant for the IGCSE candidate, that might prove helpful to you, as well.
The international version of your exam is not so different than the one you anticipate sitting and, in any case, the science stays the same from one exam to the next!
You may want to download your free copy of this best-regarded revision manual…
Find more chemistry revision apps to hel you study.
While we would never accuse anyone of putting off their studies in favour of fun in the digital realm, we agree with all of the science that says taking a multi-pronged approach to your studies is beneficial.
To that end, let Superprof steer you to a couple of award-winning, chemistry-related games.
SpaceChem: your mission as a Reactor Engineer is to build molecules and place them within a quadrant, building a circuit through which atoms and electrons may flow.
Touted as the best Indie game the year of its release, today it is also used as a teaching tool at the college level, in the chemistry department as well as the computer programming department.
ChemCaper is the world’s first chemistry role-play game in which you, as the character Roub, must save your world by collecting elements, brewing potions and overseeing bonding processes.
Targeted to teenagers, the chemistry principles are woven into the story in such a way that students internalise them and remember them, even if they’ve not played for a while.
The adventure is available for download for both iOS and Android systems.
Most likely, your beaker runneth over with review materials and, should that be the case, we’re very happy for your bounty… but is it enough?
More specifically: is there enough variety in your study materials that you don’t feel that chemistry revision is the most dreadful facet of your life so far?
Let Superprof help you mix things up a little by suggesting a few chemistry websites you might check out if only to assert you have a firm grasp on your subject material.
ThoughtCo is a thought-provoking website that comprises of bite-sized information on any given topic, including chemistry.
What we love about it is that it is not targeted to any particular group – students or professionals. Every concept is presented in terms that are easy to grasp and easy to build on.
Their series of chemistry articles cover everything from chemical laws to chemistry in everyday life.
I find this website sometimes hard to turn away from for its sheer wealth of fascinating, well-presented topics!
By contrast, ChemSpider is all business.
A chemical structures database used by industry and endorsed by the Royal Society of Chemistry, you may tap into this page’s vast information stores to refresh your memory on any chemical’s properties.
If you are looking for resources more in line with the focus of your studies, Study Wise is the page for you.
Whether you will sit AQA, OCR or Edexcel, their review materials are organised in such a way that you may concern yourself with only the specifics of the exam you will sit.
Past papers and marking schemes, revision notes for inorganic, organic and physical chemistry; videos, mindmaps, quizzes and more…
Were it not for the firm belief that students should avail themselves to a wide spectrum of study materials, we might proclaim this site to be the only one you need!
That would mean you would miss out on these great blogs, though.
Today’s educational philosophy advocates for exposure to multiple sources of information so that students may draw their own conclusions based on their individual learning styles.
By reading articles that are more closely aligned with the function of chemistry in everyday applications, you may get a clearer picture of chemistry fundamentals and how they apply outside of the lab.
Compound Interest is a blog that reflects on the history of chemistry and how chemistry impacts our lives today.
The Chronicle Flask’s mission is to dispel junk science by presenting factual research pertinent to our daily life.
Scholarly Kitchen features guest posts by scientists active in academic research. Their site also hosts a podcast for you to partake of while you’re on the go!
Between these review materials and the resources your school or tutor may have presented you with, chances are your diligence in studying chemistry will yield desired results!