Surviving the Great Chem War

Sophia Merino
Edited by Isabelle Lawton
Published on
August 2, 2023

What is the hardest honors class you could take? Many people, including me, would all have to say Honors Chemistry. Now, we aren’t the only ones, as I have seen multiple TikTok users and people on social media complain about the course and its difficulty. 

Honor Chemistry indeed contains a multitude of new concepts and topics which can be difficult to get accustomed to if they are thrown at you all at once. For incoming underclassmen who are soon going to be taking this class, don’t worry! I have set aside some of the best tips I can give so you can succeed!


I get this is the most redundant piece of advice, but it’s such a simple and effective way to ensure success in any class. While taking notes, always annotate important concepts, laws, definitions, and keywords. Remember that you will be looking back at these notes, so make sure to include every detail you might forget! Here is an outline of how I would annotate:

*Concept* (in green highlight) 

  • definition (keywords highlighted in purple)
  • Examples (highlighted in blue)


Motivation is key, and a study group will provide it! In my personal experience, I wouldn’t have studied if it wasn’t for my study buddies in that class. Study groups make studying overwhelming material fun! When taking this class, you should find people you feel supported by and get together to study. Whether it’s at someone’s house or the library, you may find studying much easier. Study groups also provide you with the ability to ask questions if you’re confused. You’ll have people around who understand the topic and can help you out if your teacher is unavailable. Overall, study groups are the second most important thing you can do to succeed in this course.


If the study group fails, your next bet is the teacher. A teacher has all the knowledge on the topic at hand and will be helpful if you are struggling. Don’t be afraid of asking them for help and scheduling times with them for additional assistance.


I don’t mean to overwhelm yourself with studying, but keep testing your Chem knowledge. If you have any spare time, go over concepts that you haven’t seen in a while or have forgotten (this is where good notes come in handy). Practicing and keeping concepts fresh in your brain will help you once you get to studying for your final exams!

Here are some practice worksheets that saved me when reviewing:

Now moving on to the next section….Gas Law Worksheet!

Polyatomic Ions:

Mole Conversion:

  • A mole is a unit of measurement that equals…
  • 6.022 x 10^23 particles/molecules of a substance 
  • The molar mass of a substance (found by adding the molar mass of elements on the Periodic Table)


  • This is chemistry we use Kelvin! 
  • Kelvin = the temperature in Celsius + 273
  • Thus… 0° Celsius = 273 K

Law of conservation of energy

  • The system + the surroundings = 0 
  • Example: if a system has an energy gain of 6 the surroundings will have an energy loss of 6 to equal 0

Types of Energy (Potential and Kinetic)

  • Potential energy refers to the attraction between molecules in Chemical Bonds 
  • So… when there is a phase change or a chemical change, there will be a potential energy change in the sample 
  • Kinetic energy is related to an object's temperature 
  • So… the higher temperature = higher kinetic energy, while lower temperature = lower kinetic energy 

Direct vs. Inverse Relationships:

  • Direct and Inverse relationships are found by looking at the variables: pressure, temperature, moles, volume 

Direct Relationships: occur when both variables go through the same change 

  • For example: As variable A increases, variable B increase as well (if variable C and D are left constant)

Inverse Relationships: occur when the variables move in different directions.

  • For example: As variable, A increases, variable B decreases (if variables C and D are left constant)

Gas Laws: tell us about the relationship between the variables 

Boyle’s Law: Pressure and Volume have an inverse relationship (when moles and temperature are held constant) 

  • For example: if pressure increases, volume decreases 

Gay-Lussac's Law: Pressure and Temperature (in Kelvin) have a direct relationship (when volume and moles are held constant)

  • For example: if temperature increases, pressure increases 

Avogadro's Law: Volume of gas and Moles have a direct relationship (when pressure and temperature are held constant)

  • For example: if moles increase, pressure increases as well 

Charles's Law: Volume of gas and Temperature have a direct relationship (when pressure and moles are held constant)

  • For example: if volume increase, temperature increases 

Grades do not define you and your success in this class does not have a major impact on your life. Just remember to try your best and be you! I hope these tips and resources help, and that this class can be a little more manageable with this blog!

Find more free resources here!


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