How to study for general chemistry

General Chemistry is easily the most basic, most conceptual of all chemistry fields. Most other fields of chemistry like organic, inorganic chemistry use applications of general chemistry to explain themselves. For example, chemical bonding, a study of how bonds are formed and what type of interactions are possible between two particles, is easily THE most important topic or concept, if you will, in all of chemistry. Proper understanding of chemical bonding ensures or makes the study of Organic and Inorganic chemistry easy. Most organic concepts revolve around how carbon is bonded to various other atoms.

Studying for general chemistry shouldn’t be taken as a task that must be done. It should be considered basic and something that is fun to do. Not enjoying general chemistry will cause problems in remembering concepts taught, and this can have far reaching consequences. General chemistry cannot be learnt from a book. It has to be ‘felt’. Whatever you learn, be it in school or during research in a library or on the internet, make a note of it somewhere. Referring to these notes in future will help you imprint the concepts that you think you should know.

A good book or decent resources, say for example sites like ours, is a very handy tool in remembering general chemistry concepts. Animations that explain a concept and simple language are very effective in driving home a complex idea. Sometimes, concepts taught might not be accurate or might even be ambiguous. There is hence a need that whatever source you study from is genuine, or vouched for by experts.

Most concepts in general chemistry do not involve mugging up or learning from a lot of books. The key is understanding a concept. When you learn a new concept, try and illustrate it with some examples, apply what you’ve learnt to scenarios that may arise, only then is mastery of general chemistry possible.

Some books on General Chemistry:

  1. General Chemistry by Linus Pauling
  2. General Chemistry: The Essential Concepts
    by Raymond Chang
  3. General Chemistry by John W Hill
  4. General Chemistry: Principles & Modern Applications
    by Ralph H Petrucci
  5. General Chemistry, Enhanced Edition with OWL
    by Darrell Ebbing
  6. General Chemistry: Media Enhanced Edition
    by Ebbing and Gammon
  7. General Chemistry I: Mastering the Fundamental Skills
    by David R Klein
  8. General Chemistry: Atoms First
    by John McMurry
  9. Chemistry by Kenneth W Whitten
  10. Chemistry: The Central Science
    by Theodore E Brown



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2 Responses to “How to study for general chemistry”

  1. Teravivo says:

    What I believe is that Chemistry is a boring subject. Though it has numerous applications in the real world but IT IS. A different branch of chemistry should be evolved which should be of the use of general people wherein there’s no place for the funky formulae.

  2. Jitesh says:

    Chemistry is a wonderful subject for the people who are willing to learn it by their heart. People should not get scared of the tough formulas and should focus on learning the principles. This way you will get the formula yourself. The role of a tutor is significant here as many students find this subject tough.

We encourage all the tutors of chemistry to register with us and impart and/or share their knowledge of chemistry online.