Chemistry Regents: What To Expect and How to Study!

chemistry regentsSo you are gearing up for another exam, and this time, it is for Chemistry! Let me provide you with some valuable insight in how to pass the Chemistry Regents Exam.  If you are preparing to take this exam, you might be a high school student living in New York looking to receive a distinguished Regents Diploma.  You also might be wondering what this exam is really about and how it can benefit you.  Set your test tubes, beakers, and safety goggles aside, and read on to find out why Chemistry is so important, and what you are going to need to know come exam day!

Why is Chemistry Important? The Basics

You’re already reading this so I hardly have to convince you why chemistry is integral to our lives, but let’s just go through this quick refresher. Chemistry has a reputation for being on the tough side. However, the truth is — we are all chemists!  Every day we use chemicals to perform chemical reactions without even being aware of it.  Not only that, but we are chemistry.  Our bodies are made up of chemicals, and are walking chemical reactions as we breathe, eat, and process materials and components on a daily basis.  Here are some reasons as to why you should embrace the study of chemistry:

  1. Nearly everything you see is made up of chemicals.
  2. Changes that you see in the world, whether they are natural or unnatural, are a product of chemical reactions.  For example: cooking food, taking a bath, or seasonal changes in nature.
  3. Chemistry can help you with daily life, such as: cleaning with household chemicals, applying mosquito repellent, or checking expiration dates.

What to Expect on the Chemistry Regents Exam

Now that you are aware of its importance, let’s get back to the fun part: the test!  Here is what you can expect to see on your exam.

The Chemistry Regents Exam covers 11 different topics related to Chemistry.  They are as follows:

  1. Math Fundamentals
  2. Atom
  3. Periodic Table
  4. Moles and Stoichiometry
  5. Chemical Bonding
  6. Physical Behavior of Matter
  7. Kinetics and Equilibrium
  8. Organic Chemistry
  9. Oxidation-Reduction
  10. Acids, Bases and Salts
  11. Nuclear Chemistry

The above topics are split up into 3 parts that will make up a 3-hour long test.  The 3 parts will look a little something like this:

Part A:  The first part of the exam covers Multiple Choice questions.  You are expected to select one best answer fit for each question.  Section A will test your basic knowledge and comprehension of core concepts used in chemistry.

Part B:  The second part of the exam is comprised of Multiple Choice and Constructed Response questions.  This will assess your ability in analyzing situations in chemistry and applying your knowledge to these concepts.  For the constructed response questions, you will write out your answer.  You also will be asked to draw and interpret graphs and perform some numerical calculations.

Part C:  The third part of the exam covers an Extended Constructed Response.  Make sure you answer any of your questions using complete sentences.  These questions will test your ability to apply your knowledge of chemistry concepts and skills.

Chemistry infographicHow to Study for the Exam

Knowing where and how to start studying for an exam can be the toughest part.  Let’s go over how you can go about preparing to tackle the Chemistry Regents Exam.

  1. Gather your notes:  Organize all the notes that you have for your Chemistry class.  If you need to rewrite some of them to clean them out and filer through the ones you do not think you are going to need.
  2. Gather old tests and quizzes:  A great way to study for an exam is to consult old tests and quizzes that you might have.  Include answer keys in your notes if you have them as well.
  3. Get a Regents Review Book or go online:  Go to a bookstore or a library and check out the Regents review books.  Alternatively, you can go online and take an online course for Chemistry Regent preparation.  The great thing about taking an online course is that you can work comfortably at your own pace, and your online instructor will keep you accountable for consistent work and practice.
  4. Study:  Do not overwhelm yourself with trying to learn or go over everything all at once.  Take it slow and study a little bit at a time.  Always work from the beginning, for example, go over the things that you learned at the beginning of the course or year because those are the things that are not as fresh in your memory.
  5. Study Wisely:  If there are concepts and terms that you feel comfortable with, simply skip over those.  Do not waste your time studying things that you already know.
  6. Reference Tables:  Since there are going to be reference tables on your exam, you can spend less time studying those topics.  Just make sure that you know how to properly read the table or chart that you will be referring to.
  7. Re-read:  If there is something you do not know, re-read your notes in the morning when you wake up and at night right before you go to bed.  This will help keep the information fresh in your mind throughout the day.
  8. Ask for help:  If there are concepts you do not understand, do not hesitate to ask for help.  Consult a teacher, tutor, or friend for some studying help as the test gets closer.  Do not wait until the last minute!

Show The Regents Who’s Boss!

With all these tools on what to expect and how to study, you should be able to adequately prepare yourself for your Chemistry Regents Exam!  Remember that Udemy.com has some wonderful online courses that can help you prepare for your exam with a qualified and knowledgeable instructor.  Take these tips, your calculator, and ID card, and get ready to rock your exam!