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Trouble With Answering IB Chem Questions?

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I understand the material for my IB Chemistry class (HL), but I can't seem to figure out how to answer the questions on tests?

This is a problem unique to this class, it seems, I don't have any problem answering the others.

But I keep getting tests back with 50% and not really knowing what I did wrong in my answers, and in a class where tests are 55% of my grade this is a problem!

I have an anxiety disorder and the teacher scares me just seeing him so talking with him is kind of not an option. :( 

Does anyone have any tips? It's okay if you don't.

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I might not have any tips for the subject itself, as I'm not in IB yet, but I can give you a few tips on social anxiety as I was also diagnosed with it.

 

Firstly, don't let your overthinking win. I know it's hard when that's usually what your brain does, but try to push these thoughts away. When you see someone, try not to think straight away of the "worst scenario" where you get laughed at or get ignored, and make an attempt to start a conservation. It's probably the hardest step.

 

Secondly, seek professional help. I don't know if you take any medication or go to therapy, but if you don't I strongly suggest you do. This helped me out A TON and made me realise that most of the anxiousness was irrational and only preventing me from happily live my life. Talking about your problems with a professional will greatly improve your power over the anxiety, trust me.

 

Lastly, talk to someone at school. To a teacher preferably. They're trained to help students, and they're always there to listen. School is there to help you become a greater person, not make you feel bad. Go to a counsellor, or even your chemistry teacher (I know you're scared of him, but I'm sure he will be understanding) and explain what the problem is. Your chemistry teacher might provide you with additional tutoring or extra work to help you out. Solving the problem at its core is the best option, because when you don't understanding something in the future you won't be scared to talk to him.

 

Good luck. :)

 

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Hey there,

I did not study Chemistry at any level at IB (or since, for that matter), but right now, the only response you will get is rather generalised and vague. We have no way of knowing what you are struggling with, and thus not why you are not obtaining the grades you should obtain. If you could give us some details (and perhaps some actual examples), that'd be great! Also, although your teacher is scary, has he given you any kind of feedback as for what you're doing wrong? This way the community can give you advice tailored to your exact needs, which would certainly be better than generalised assumptions of what might have gone wrong. 

 

Good luck! 

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You should identify two things: 1) how you know that you have grasped the materials; are you only able to do homework but not on tests? 2) What type of questions do you lose mark the most?
It's best that you somehow get the solutions (answer key) by asking a friend to ask the teacher. With the solutions you can compare your answers and yours. When you do get to read the answer key, do the answers make sense?
Chemistry HL is a very very stressful class. I don't want to say much that can backfire. If you are under lots of stress talk to someone, even if it's a teddy bear or something. Whatever's troubling you get it out, talk it out.  
Finally know that as long you try your best, even though at times that might not seem much, you are going to get into good schools after high school and it's going to be ok. 

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It is hard to know what you mean exactly without more details, but in Chemistry a key part of answering the questions (and why it is so difficult!) is figuring out which bits of the syllabus they are asking you to apply. In the UK we have A levels as an alternative course to IB and I remember once seeing my friend's Chemistry papers. The difference between my paper and theirs was that A Level questions were divided up: they give you facts and then say do part A by calculating the following. Do B. Do C. And then using those answers, figure out D.

IB just goes - here are the facts, what is D?

It is difficult because you have to come up with the processes A, B and C all by yourself! But it can be achieved. You've just got to think about the things from the syllabus that you DO know and try to work it out from there. Concentrate on breaking it down into things you DO know how to do. And do plenty of past paper pratice questions to help you get the hang of it.

Hope that helps somewhat.

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What I've known to be an issue with my chemistry responses in the past is through missing a key term. It's quite frustrating really because I've studied the content and are familiar with the syllabus yet a specific word (that I'm often unaware that is vital) is needed to actually get the marks. Maybe check with your  teacher to confirm whether this is the case and double check with them before tests because often it isn't made clear in class (or such is the case with my teacher at least). 
Best of luck!

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