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How do you find HL Chem.?

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hi everyone, im going to be new to IB in about a month and i have taken HL Chemistry. Im worried on how I will cope, can more experienced users tell me how they find this subject, in terms of work, assessments, tests, etc? thanks

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if you have studied chemistry before (and are good at it), you should be familiar with some of the chapters here.

the first few chapters are difficult to understand (for me) but the rest are actually manageable. if you like to memorise then you're good. but if you are the type who has to understand everything that you're learning (like me) then you might have some problems, because the concepts in chemistry are pretty abstract and not easy to understand.

the IAs are generally complicated (in my school), I reckon. like to get the answer (the DCP part) it requires a lot of calculations and a lot of steps. you can't just get the answer straightaway. the CE is not easy either, there are a lot of factors to consider and you have to be careful of what you write.

the exams, for paper 2 and 3 you gotta master all the keywords and use scientific terminologies in your paper.

I used to be in chem HL but I dropped it to SL because it was really difficult for me. not meant to scare you or anything though. if you're good at chem then a 6 or 7 could be in hand.

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I do Chem HL and Bio HL.

I prefer biology.

However, I LOVE chemistry. It is soooo fascinating and the concepts are brilliant, it's just that there's SO MUCH (same with bio) to learn and understand. Even though the person above me said that it's okay if you can memorise and not 'learn' or 'understand', I think it's absolutely imperative that you can understand the basics of what's going on with whatever you're being taught. We remember things we understand.

I took Chem HL over English HL just because I felt that with with Chem I'd at least have all the theory I need in notes in front of me, and a syllabus that tells me exactly what I need to learn. That, for me, makes me feel like it's *easier* to study and come out at the end with a 6 or a 7. English A1 scares me.

The IAs are annoying though...I've always been more successful in Bio IAs. They're not TOO bad, but I'm hoping that my results in my papers will balance out any mediocre IA scores!

Chem HL is not a death sentence but it is NOT for the faint-hearted. I took it because I couldn't bear to learn chemistry concepts and only learn them 'partially' or be told that 'if you do HL, you'll learn that there's actually more to it than just what we're teaching you...' That's also why I took Bio at HL. That, and I'm planning to study science at university next year, so it'll be an immense help!

Edited by Ilkana

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the exams, for paper 2 and 3 you gotta master all the keywords and use scientific terminologies in your paper.

Just to stress the point. :)

HL Chemistry wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The highest score from the year before me at my school was a 4 which was slightly intimidating but after a while you begin to find those concepts that explain everything (collision theory explains a lot, so does Le Chatlier's). If you understand these simpler concepts the more complex ones seem to make more sense. If you don't like/understand electrons and how they would interact under certain conditions then this chem won't be easy either. In the HL level there are questions that assume you are thinking through some of the structures in your head and know what's more reactive/more electronegative (determining polarity is an example of this from a paper1, but the atom has no lone pairs).

the exams, for paper 2 and 3 you gotta master all the keywords and use scientific terminologies in your paper.

As far as assignments go it will be up to your teacher on that. Some questions are just going to enter your mind and being to melt your brain but those aren't all that common (personally I think acids and bases did that the most). If you feel your teacher isn't assigning you enough practice you can always do it on your own. Use a book by Gamji or Jamji or something, Desy has it...I keep forgetting the authors...it's green and yellow looking.

The actual exams are...interesting. Paper1 took my whole class about 25-30min and the rest of the time was spent going over it several times. There are very little "trick questions" but some of them can be worded wrong and in chemistry, with those specific terms Desy is talking about, weird wording can lead to weird conclusions on what the question is asking (I confused conjugate acid-base pairs in my p1 because of this >.<). Paper2 felt massive, it just kept going and going and going and going. Took up about 1h45min-2h to complete it with little time to check over. If you want more information on the exams I think there is a thread/information somewhere on the group4 exams because they are very similar across the sciences.

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Use a book by Gamji or Jamji or something, Desy has it...I keep forgetting the authors...it's green and yellow looking.

he's talking about this book: :)

Chemistry%203rd%20ed.gif

by John Green and Sadru Damji.

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thanks :) i took HL chem, HL bio, and HL english (language and literature) i took both sciences higher not because im good at it, rather because i want to pursue my future career in medicine, and taking HL Chem is a must. Im not particularly good at chemistry, however i have bought all the necessary textbooks to study in the summer time before school starts, do you think thats ok? will it be easier? thanks :blush:

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have you studied chemistry before like in middle school?

study chapter 1. it's quite difficult for me. the rest you should be familiar with if you've studied chemistry before.

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we had 'science' as a subject in middle school, and 9th and 10th grade (junior highschool) its a mix of chem bio and physics, so we never really focused on one deeply if you knw what i mean. And im going to year 11 in august so i took it as a subject.

The first chapter is Quantitative Chem yes? like mole concept and avogadro's constant? :blum: thanks

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I see. eh, sorry I meant chapter 2 lol Atomic Structure. I thought it was the first chapter because my class skipped Quantitative Chemistry lol. study chapters 2.3 and 12.1 :D

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HL Chemistry isn't as hard as it is tricky. Alot of the concepts are rather... confusing, to say the least.

However, it is a fun course. Where else do you get to play with assorted chemicals? 8D

... oh and if you're going to be using the 3rd edition 'Chemistry', you'll have boundless fun looking for typos, grammatical mistakes and just bad formatting. AwA

Edited by Hexi

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Aightt thanks (: i use 'Chemistry for the IB Diploma' by Christopher Talbot etc.. thanks for your help (: hopefully I'll be able to survive in HL Chem.. aswell as HL Bio :P

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Well I'm really late, but that is the result of stalking forums after becoming active :P Welll, if you're in it now, GL!

First year of HL Chem was ... between moderate to bad for me.

The coursework was alright, but as previous posters have , well posted, there is a lot of material to cover and you HAVE to be familiar with all the basic concepts. I found stoichiometry (chem with math) and atomic theory among the easier topics.

The evaluations are, in my opinion, incredibly difficult. It is like you really have to know EVERYTHING that the teacher has put up the board to do, to read and etc. I once worked on a high level paper 2 (I think) with my textbook, and one of the questions corresponded to a 6 line paragraph in the book, which is about 500, 600 pages..

The IB-style examination averages (be4 converted were in the sixties or fifties...)

I felt that the evaluations were all almost a compilation of thinking questions. Don't expect core material; doing simple sample calculations you see in textbooks, or doing any naming... it is probably assumed that you know that by heart, since I saw none of these on the IB papers or even the Academic paper I did.

Get ready to be completely pissed because 60% of the course you study isn't on the exam D:

And on labs, REMEMBER SIGNIFICANT DIGITS!--(10 mins later...)

OH OH AND WRITE IN THIRD PERSON FOR LABS (I wasted like 30 pages printing it over and over again)

Not trying to scare you buddy, that's just how I ridiculous I found it.

Edited by Antony Cai

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IA - read the criteria, then re-read the criteria. Ask your teacher for the official IBO documents outlining and explaining the criteria and then read the subject reports about IA for the past few years (again you IB supervisor can get you them and if he/she won't then get back to me and I will)

Then set yourself up a template for IA experiments in your computer with all of the required parts headings and ready to go.

For the design experiments isolate and focus on one variable which may affect the outcome (your teacher may or may not give you the output/dependent variable)

For data recording be rigorous - record absolutely everything, with units and degrees of inaccuracy. Be consistent with significant figures -it's not hard, just use the significant figures of your measuring instruments and remember that your final answer can only be to that precision.

Understand the concepts of accuracy, precision and reliability.

For your conclusions look for scientifically based theory that explains your data. Compare answers with literature values if possible.

For your evaluation be critical about the DESIGN of the experiment. Compare literature data with yours. Once again look at your spread of results and try to explain why they are inaccurate, unreliable or imprecise. Look for systematic and random errors. If you don't understand the difference find out!

And don't worry if your grades are poor to begin with - it's a learning curve, they'll get better and the good news is that your best two grades in each criteria are those that have to be registered and sent to the IBO. So, if you bomb out at first you can compensate later on.

Go for it!

Edited by charco

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Hey all! So, I'm making my way from Pre-IB into IB1 and tomorrow I have to pick the subjects I do at SL/HL. Here's what I'm thinking:

HL English A1

HL Psychology

HL Biology

SL Chemistry

SL French Ab Initio

SL Maths (anticipated)

Basically, this is my ideal, and I've been doing IB1 (Yr. 11) Maths SL this year, and it was going to be anticipated. However, my school is thinking of just making us repeat the year's work again next year instead, meaning I wouldn't get any free periods in IB2 unless I anticipate Psych. I love Psych and would like to take it at HL...but I also definitely want free time in IB2. So, I'm considering SL Anticipated Psych and HL Chem as a second option. What I'm wondering is, how IS HL Chem? For someone who's not a huge fan of Chem, is it a decent option? I've heard all sorts of opinions, ranging from it being a death sentence to even easier than Bio. An interesting one I heard is that HL Chem is easier than SL because there are more lessons in the week and not much extra coursework. What do you guys think?

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So, I'm considering SL Anticipated Psych and HL Chem as a second option. What I'm wondering is, how IS HL Chem? For someone who's not a huge fan of Chem, is it a decent option?

I was a huge fan of chem before I entered IB, took it at HL, realised it was too difficult, and dropped to SL. for someone who isn't a huge fan of chem? definitely a no no.

I've heard all sorts of opinions, ranging from it being a death sentence to even easier than Bio. An interesting one I heard is that HL Chem is easier than SL because there are more lessons in the week and not much extra coursework.

WTF haha it's true that there are more lessons, but it doesn't make anything easier! the AHL contents are a lot more difficult and complicated, so don't take it at HL if you don't even like it...

What do you guys think?

stay with psych HL and just take chem SL.

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hi you guys, i've just started IB for a month or so, and my HL chem teacher absolutely cannot teach. any tips/advice on how to deal with that? and if you guys use any chem websites, can i have the links please? thank you so much !

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Get yourself a copy of the Pearson Baccalaureate HL Chemistry textbook, alongside that another useful book is the Oxford Chem study guide by Neuss. Both are very good in terms of understanding but you are going to need to do many past-paper questions to blitz chemistry, particularly the mathematical topics.

Also if you look hard enough on the net you can find some IB question banks which contain many past exam questions for you to attempt in order to consolidate your knowledge.

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