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5 tips to scoring a 7 in IB Higher Level Chemistry

Like to know the secret sauce to scoring a 7 in IB Higher Level Chemistry? It is not as difficult as it seems. Scroll down to read the tips shared by our ex – student, Melody.

Practice with past papers  

Past papers are one of the best resources to study to familiarize oneself with the nature and expectations of exam questions. Practicing past paper questions will not only allow students to apply their in-class knowledge but reveal the trends of how questions are phrased and their corresponding solutions. When using past papers, it is crucial to pay attention to the command terms and marks. These provide insights into what the examiners are looking for – a term, statement, brief explanation, detailed evaluation, etc – as well as the time we should allocate to tackle a question, both of which can help us to write succinct and targeted answers! 


Extending upon the importance of recognizing command terms, “define” is one commonly used in exam papers for IB chemistry. Hence why one of the best ways to gear up for chemistry is to make sure you are well equipped with the definitions of different terminologies! When learning a definition, try not to memorize but rather understand why specific words are used in the definition and their context. A piece of personal advice is to compile a list of flashcards and regularly go through them. 

Be familiar with the data booklet 

Data booklets can be an excellent tool for helping us solve exam problems – that is, when utilized. If not, the running pages of values will only come across as intimidating! As such, practice using the data booklet frequently and have it alongside you as you are studying past papers. This can help you to recognize the trends and interpretations of the values, as well as how different formulas are related to each other. Finally, knowing beforehand which pages to turn to will definitely save you time during exams when in a pinch

Study together with friends 

Working together with friends is often one of the best ways to help one another improve. Verbalizing the steps of a chemical process to friends is a great way to consolidate your own understanding of a concept and break down complex problems. Furthermore, studying with another provides another “pair of eyes” which may help to uncover mistakes you may otherwise have overlooked. If all else, it never hurts to have someone by your side for moral support! 

Utilize online (youtube) resources 

Textbooks are definitely a reliable primary source for our foundations in chemistry. However, for those who struggle to follow along with text, online resources such as Youtube videos can be extremely beneficial for learning and practicing chemistry. To name two highly recommended channels would be MSJ Chem and Richard Thornley, both of who curates informative chemistry content based on the IB syllabus. Both creators release videos detailing specific steps on solving common chemistry pathways, explanation of concepts, as well as reviews that can serve as an efficient way to maximize and evaluate your own learning.

Our ex student, Melody scored 44 points and a 7 in HL Chemistry in the 2019 International Baccalaureate examinations. She is currently a second university student at the National University of Singapore.

To find out more about IB Higher Level Chemistry or Mathematics Standard Level (Analysis and Approaches) tutoring, do not hesitate to contact us at +6598198928 or fill up the contact form below.

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