Before we answer the question “is college chemistry hard?” or, better yet, let some of the graduates share their opinion on the chemistry program is a difficult subject matter it’s important to mention that – regardless of whether you like this topic or not – chemistry classes are still needed if you wish to graduate college at the end of the semester.
So, it’s better to focus on it from the get-go so you can pass the exam from the first try and be done with it ASAP. Many students have taken this exam several times before they could capitalize on their studies, so you might want to do the same.
Like with many other courses, the chemistry program also requires a certain mindset in order to get the hang of it and to pass the exam, but the good news is that all students who have attempted this subject have eventually passed. So, let this be your motivation.
What Do You Learn in Chemistry?
Usually (and without getting into too many details), chemistry is divided into 2 parts:
- inorganic chemistry, which explains the properties of, and interactions between metals, minerals, acids and bases, as well as the chemical bonds of, and reactions between these elements;
- organic chemistry, which deals with the reactions and properties of carbon-containing compounds and materials, hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones and more…
Of these 2 segments, inorganic chemistry seems to be the fun one, while the organic part is “hard and boring” (quoting the students.)
What Is the Hardest Part Of Chemistry?
We’re not gonna lie: this science might seem hard at first, especially if you don’t have a calling for it. And to make things harder, this is also a science in which all parts tightly and precisely link to each other. So, it’s an exact science and if you’ve missed, or didn’t understand one of its core concepts getting the hang of the entire topic will be challenging.
Proof for this is also the fact that the college graduates that have been interviewed have given rather different answers, so it’s not like there’s one particular thing that’s hard about it which you can just fix.
The reasons for which chemistry is hard or – on the contrary, easy – are numerous as you will see in a moment. But, for many students the cycles of citric acid have been almost impossible to grasp, while others have had problems understanding the chemical bonding and reactions between substances.
These being said, let’s see what the students have to say…
Why College Grads Believe That Chemistry Is Not Hard
When asked why chemistry is easy for her, one college graduate has given us a very good reason for it, and the reason is that having someone (a teacher) willing to explain the concepts to you in an easy to understand manner, and to which you have access whenever you can’t put the pieces together completely enhances the understanding experience than if you were to study the topic alone.
In addition to having access to a tutor, the students have also studied the materials on their own before entering class, and this has helped them get a better understanding of the topic. Having had read the materials at least once before lecture time has allowed them to connect the dots easier and thus leave the class with a basic understanding of the topic.
Other reason that another person has given us on why he thinks that chemistry is not hard is because he had approached the topic while sober, and he has consciously tried to understand it.
When you immerse yourself into topics that are seemingly hard to grasp your brain needs to be 100% focused on that topic to understand it properly; not only that, but the memory also needs to be in top shape if you are to memorize the more complicated parts because, let’s be honest, chemistry is a bit harder than English, for example.
So, it makes sense that you are fully rested (mentally and physically) when tackling this science and are that you are willing to grasp it. Besides, chemistry is something that happens all the time time around and within us, so it’s quite fascinating if you give yourself the chance to understand it.
Why College Grads Believe That Chemistry Is Hard
Of course, not all students think that the chemistry program is easy. As a matter of fact, most of them believe quite the opposite, and they’ve given us many reasons for their belief, but the 4 most common reasons we’ve heard are these ones:
1. It’s too broad of a topic, there is too much to take in and understand
It’s true! As we’ve mentioned earlier, chemistry is an ongoing science, it’s something that happens all the time and at every step of our lives. It happens in nature, in the fluids we are dealing with each day, in the live and inanimate objects around us, and it definitely happens inside of our own body. So it’s only natural that – just like physics – chemistry is also a never ending science that keeps on going revealing new and more things each day.
But, you’re going to need to pass this exam at some point, so it’s recommended that instead of worrying about not understanding this concept to make a conscious effort to want to understand it when you’re attending chemistry classes. And do not worry! Teachers know that some of their students struggle with it, so they won’t ask for the moon in the sky to let you pass.
2. It’s the teacher’s fault
Believe it or not, in many schools students blame it on the professors’ inability of making them understand the science. And while it’s true that some tutors don’t use simple and concise teaching methods it’s also true that a good few students want the easy route out of everything, so they won’t make the slightest effort of understanding what’s being taught to them. In the end, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
3. It takes a lot of study time to read and understand
For many students this may be a valid reason. But not everyone hates reading and those that enjoy learning new things each day find themselves understanding chemistry being easy.
There are also students who find it hard to concentrate on certain topics (especially if they’re topics they don’t enjoy), and for them the topic of chemistry will always be time consuming and even boring. This reason is particularly true for students who love spending time with their friends and doing other activities instead of studying, and if you’re like that you can probably relate to their struggles easily.
4. It takes a lot of memorizing
One reason we would have never thought of that students have mentioned is that certain parts of this science require a very good memory and a lot of memorizing to be done on the various formulas, chemical reactions, etc.
But, given what an exact science this is, we tend to agree with them.
So, Is College Chemistry Hard, or Not? (Conclusion)
While we would love to say with 100% certainty that chemistry is one thing or the other, the truth of the matter is that – just like with all other topics of school years – it can be both hard and easy.
In the end it comes down to what type of personality you are and what your interests are. As we’ve said, some people are naturally attracted to chemistry and for them it is fun and interesting, but for others it is definitely a struggle. But it’s a necessary struggle until the semester is over.
In conclusion, chemistry can be both hard and easy (as you could see from the statements of the various students that we’ve interviewed) but it largely depends on how well your chemistry teacher passes the knowledge on to you, how good your memory is, how willing you are to grasp this matter, and what your natural affinity for chemistry is. If you have a natural calling towards this fundamental science you will get the hang of it quite easily and you’ll become a great chemist.