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I'm struggling (BAD) with SL CHEMISTRY

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I don't understand anything my teacher is saying, I get 5s in all my exams. Its 5 months into the course and I reaallllyyy don't know what to do :( everyone in my class is extremely smart and I can't understand what they explain. All I do is cram the night before exams and watch videos on the topic. I can't wrap my head around the trends and calculations. What do I do? 

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I don't understand anything my teacher is saying, I get 5s in all my exams. Its 5 months into the course and I reaallllyyy don't know what to do :( everyone in my class is extremely smart and I can't understand what they explain. All I do is cram the night before exams and watch videos on the topic. I can't wrap my head around the trends and calculations. What do I do? 

 

hi. At first, I felt like that with my physics course-- I spent more time studying for physics SL than for any other subject, and even then my grades weren't so great. BUT as time went by, I started to feel more comfortable with the subject. I'm not saying this will happen for you, but it might! 

 

Another thing: a 5 is a good grade! specially if you feel you aren't understanding a lot. I don't know what you want to study in uni, so I realize a 5 might not be enough to get where you want to go, but it's a good start. 

 

Have you tried talking to your teacher? He might have extra review material, or a spare textbook, that he could lend you. He might also be willing to answer your questions (I know that not all teachers are the same, but some teachers in my school do stay after school hours once or twice a week to answer student questions).

 

Watching videos is a good study technique! Don't do it just before the exams, do it earlier too. It can help you understand more of the topic, and also pin point the particular steps/concepts you don't understand. There are plenty of lectures, presentations, etc. scattered through the internet.  Do you take notes during class? If you do, it might help to look at them when you get home, and see whether you understand what they mean or not. If you think your notes aren't helping you, then you might want to ask one of your classmates for his/her notes for one day, and see whether those notes make sense, and if so, how can you make yours better?

 

 You might also consider getting a textbook if you already don't have one. If you have a textbook, something that helped me with my physics class was to read ahead (I know time is limited, but it does help). If you read the section that corresponds to what the class will be about, then you already know something of the topic, are more familiar with it, and you might find it easier to follow the lecture/what your teacher says.

 

Eventually, I guess you could switch classes, but that will depend on scheduling and whether there is another class you want to do. And I repeat, a 5 is a good grade!  Don't despair yet :) good luck, and I hope some of this advice helped (sorry if it was overly long and obvious) 

 

P.S :I'm slightly confused about something: it says your exams are in may 2016, but you're only 5 months into the course? shouldn't you have done a year already? (I'm just asking because I thought science courses, even at SL, were two years long). 

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I don't understand anything my teacher is saying, I get 5s in all my exams. Its 5 months into the course and I reaallllyyy don't know what to do :( everyone in my class is extremely smart and I can't understand what they explain. All I do is cram the night before exams and watch videos on the topic. I can't wrap my head around the trends and calculations. What do I do? 

 

hi. At first, I felt like that with my physics course-- I spent more time studying for physics SL than for any other subject, and even then my grades weren't so great. BUT as time went by, I started to feel more comfortable with the subject. I'm not saying this will happen for you, but it might! 

 

Another thing: a 5 is a good grade! specially if you feel you aren't understanding a lot. I don't know what you want to study in uni, so I realize a 5 might not be enough to get where you want to go, but it's a good start. 

 

Have you tried talking to your teacher? He might have extra review material, or a spare textbook, that he could lend you. He might also be willing to answer your questions (I know that not all teachers are the same, but some teachers in my school do stay after school hours once or twice a week to answer student questions).

 

Watching videos is a good study technique! Don't do it just before the exams, do it earlier too. It can help you understand more of the topic, and also pin point the particular steps/concepts you don't understand. There are plenty of lectures, presentations, etc. scattered through the internet.  Do you take notes during class? If you do, it might help to look at them when you get home, and see whether you understand what they mean or not. If you think your notes aren't helping you, then you might want to ask one of your classmates for his/her notes for one day, and see whether those notes make sense, and if so, how can you make yours better?

 

 You might also consider getting a textbook if you already don't have one. If you have a textbook, something that helped me with my physics class was to read ahead (I know time is limited, but it does help). If you read the section that corresponds to what the class will be about, then you already know something of the topic, are more familiar with it, and you might find it easier to follow the lecture/what your teacher says.

 

Eventually, I guess you could switch classes, but that will depend on scheduling and whether there is another class you want to do. And I repeat, a 5 is a good grade!  Don't despair yet :) good luck, and I hope some of this advice helped (sorry if it was overly long and obvious) 

 

P.S :I'm slightly confused about something: it says your exams are in may 2016, but you're only 5 months into the course? shouldn't you have done a year already? (I'm just asking because I thought science courses, even at SL, were two years long). 

 

Thanks for the inspirational words! 

I'm looking for a tutor at the moment who can answer all of my questionss. I'm in an SL/HL Mixed class but im the only SL so we go pretty fast to keep up with the HL content which sucks. My teacher isn't great at teaching, she skips over a lot of information assuming we've learned it (my class is really advanced except me bleh) and she just isnt that approachable ://// but yeah i find videos really useful, but there are so many questions i want to ask, so a tutor would be really helpful and also this website.

About the may 2016 thing, it should say 2017 - I'll look into that

Also, do you know any good IB Chemistry youtubers? I watch richard thornley and hes pretty good

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Thanks for the inspirational words! 

I'm looking for a tutor at the moment who can answer all of my questionss. I'm in an SL/HL Mixed class but im the only SL so we go pretty fast to keep up with the HL content which sucks. My teacher isn't great at teaching, she skips over a lot of information assuming we've learned it (my class is really advanced except me bleh) and she just isnt that approachable ://// but yeah i find videos really useful, but there are so many questions i want to ask, so a tutor would be really helpful and also this website.

About the may 2016 thing, it should say 2017 - I'll look into that

Also, do you know any good IB Chemistry youtubers? I watch richard thornley and hes pretty good

 

 

SL/HL mixed classes suck :(  I don't know any good videos (I have tons for physics, but none for chem haha); I have some power point presentations but since my teacher sent them the Google Drive doesn't let me share them. I leave the links of the ones I can share below (note: I got these from internet, I do not own them!):

 

This one is for organic chemistry

This one is for acids and bases, and this one too, and this one

This one is for oxidation + reduction

 

I hope these help! And I'm willing to help out with specific questions anytime, just PM me :) 

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Watching videos is a good study technique! Don't do it just before the exams, do it earlier too. It can help you understand more of the topic, and also pin point the particular steps/concepts you don't understand. There are plenty of lectures, presentations, etc. scattered through the internet.  Do you take notes during class? If you do, it might help to look at them when you get home, and see whether you understand what they mean or not. If you think your notes aren't helping you, then you might want to ask one of your classmates for his/her notes for one day, and see whether those notes make sense, and if so, how can you make yours better?

I think watching videos is super helpful for most people. In Year 1 a classmate ask me what my strategy to do well in physics, I said (and it's true) that I watched half of the khan academy playlist before the unit started. Did that for 3 units that it just paid off. Year 2 for some months she had a higher physics average than me. There really is no short cut. Whenever you read stuff ahead you are just going to be more prepared in class and in homework. I would recommend that for every new topic, you watch some videos or read some textbook before even the first class.

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I don't understand anything my teacher is saying, I get 5s in all my exams. Its 5 months into the course and I reaallllyyy don't know what to do :( everyone in my class is extremely smart and I can't understand what they explain. All I do is cram the night before exams and watch videos on the topic. I can't wrap my head around the trends and calculations. What do I do? 

 

Hey Jen, getting all 5s in the first half of the year for IB is not bad at all! It is a very good start indeed. I remembered that I got a 3 in English at the end of year 11 but I learnt from my mistake and kept looking into how to do better in the exam and at the end, I got a 6! So don't worry too much about your grades because it takes time to improve! And in IB, you really need time to get used to doing exams and familiarising yourself with the exam styles, making and applying your own exam strategies.

 

Even though not everyone has a good teacher, there is always a way out! As IB is very exam intensive, you not only need to learn the content well, but also learn HOW to do well in the exams. The exam styles are different in every subject and even in different papers. You should look into what the examiners want by reading and analysing the marking rubic for subjects like English, History and the mark scheme for science subjects. This approach may sound a bit weird and different but it really helped! I got 7s in HL Chem and Bio and I think this approach is SO useful in science subjects because the mark schemes are very specific. You need to know what to answer specifically to get the marks after you read a question.

 

I agree with eross that you should get a textbook, Pearson is very good. While reading the textbook, make sure you make notes according to the IB syllabus points. Explain each point after reading the paragraphs.

 

I have been tutoring Chem and Bio for two years and I have set up my own blog recently -www.ibexamsurvivalguide.com

You could check it out -I have posted notes on calculations and trends and I hope you will find those useful! Let me know if it helps and feel free to contact me if you have any problems with Chem!

I have also shared my experience on how I got 7s in HL Chem and Bio here -http://www.ibsurvivors.com/new-blog/2016/1/24/secrets-steps-to-7s-in-hl-chemistry-and-hl-biology

 

Best wishes

Tiffany 

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Understand, I cannot emphasise how much understanding rather than memorising helps. I'm currently in IB1 doing Chemistry HL, I suppose you're referring to trends in topic 3 (periodicity) and most likely stoichiometry. I'm currently achieving 7 in HL Chemistry and don't mind helping you out, shoot me a message with all your questions and i'll make sure to answer them as detailed as possible from my notes and the teachers. Best of luck!

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Hey there, like Scienuk, feel free to send me a message at any time. Our school does SL and HL in separate years so I've completed the SL course, so shoot me a message if you want any help for anything! For Chemistry, however, I believe going over past papers is the best way as you learn what examiners want and its particularly good for Stoichiometry!

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I don't understand anything my teacher is saying, I get 5s in all my exams. Its 5 months into the course and I reaallllyyy don't know what to do :( everyone in my class is extremely smart and I can't understand what they explain. All I do is cram the night before exams and watch videos on the topic. I can't wrap my head around the trends and calculations. What do I do? 

Hey!

 

First off, a 5 is not a bad score at all, especially if you can maintain it for the next 2 years. So don't get disheartened just yet.

 

For me, Khan Academy videos were the best source of information and explanations of calculations. However, nothing can beat regular preparation. You're doing it all wrong if you just cram the night before. The IB Chemistry guide by Oxford was a great source of help for me, but you should read through the textbook beforehand and save the revision guide for the day before the exam. Flip through your class notes in your free time; you're in grade 11, I presume, so you must be having some! Perhaps you could look for a tutor or a study partner as well.

 

And if you really don't think you can handle some parts of the syllabus (e.g calculation) don't think your grade is completely down the drain. IA's are also a major component which can boost you an entire grade point. Also, since you're in chem SL there is less maths than there would be in HL.

 

The last option to look at is changing your subject selection (though this is a drastic measure). I don't know what subjects you take, but bio SL or ESS SL are relatively easier than chem.

 

Don't fret, IB feeds on panic! Best of luck! :)

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In addition to previous offers, if you need help with specific concepts/questions you can just posted it on the forum or ask any of us taking chemistry (including myself). But you have to put in a lot more efforts yourself if you really want to score higher grades.

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