How to Properly Excel in Chemistry


Chemistry is a daunting field, and up until quite recently, the only source of information a student might have was the oblique textbook, and an overworked teacher. But no more! With the advent of the Internet, literally millions of Terabytes of information exist for free out on the ether, free for the perusal of the motivated learner. Here are a few places to start:

Wikipedia

Yes, older generations may tell you not to trust the ubiquitous crowd-sourcing information platform, but there literally exists such a wealth of information here, you'd be insane not to take advantage of it. There are simply some things to keep in mind.

  • Today's wiki editing standards, especially on science pages, are extremely high, but should always be checked against a second source. Once you have an answer, just check another site to make sure it agrees.
  • The principal value of Wikipedia is not the articles themselves, but the sources. With the citation system, you have access to a wealth of pre-sorted webpages directly related to whatever topic you're looking at.
  • Wikipedia is a starting point to understand concepts (stoichiometry, equilibrium, molecular mass, etc.), its not the best place to go for specific problems.

YouTube

YouTube is a more direct crowd-sourced asset. Students can find access to chemistry professionals of all grade levels (up to the University level) teaching, either directly to YouTube, or simply copies of their classes. They can find supporting video material for nearly any modern textbook (in many cases, support for assigned problems from the textbook), and examples of individuals solving the material.

Beyond that, there are a number of individuals engaged in direct chemistry tutoring, both free of charge, and remote session. Questions can be asked directly and solved that way.

Chemistry Forums

For students with a bit more time, there are quite a few chemistry forums available. About.com has several chemistry forums separated by subject matter, and a simple good search reveals numerous other websites full of chemistry teachers, grad students, and professionals eager to help.

Paid Help

Students also have the option of paying directly for a subject matter expert to work with them to solve a particularly difficult problem; essentially a tutor. There are a number of sites that provide this service, assignment expert is a notable example.

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and to a lesser extent, LinkedIn, are all full of individuals in a potentially similar situation, a student might request help through a public post with a hash tag or in a chemistry professional group.



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