10 key ideas to get full marks in Physical Chemistry in CSIR NET chemical science exam
The CSIR NET is one of the most difficult exams to pass in order to advance your career as a Junior Research Fellow or Lecturer. You must prepare smartly, efficaciously, and diligently to crack this exam.
Physical chemistry is the science of atomic, macroscopic, subatomic, and particulate phenomena in chemical systems in terms of the principles, practices, and concepts of physics like dynamics, energy, equilibrium, force, quantum chemistry, motion, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, and time.
If you are good at solving numericals, physical chemistry is a high-scoring subject of the CSIR NET. Most of you are probably tired of solving numerical problems, but unlike Physics numericals, Chemistry numericals are easier to solve and have a nearly identical pattern.
It is immensely tough to qualify for the CSIR NET exam without a proper preparation strategy. The goal should not be to simply pass the exam but to obtain the award of JRF or Assistant Professorship, which can only be obtained with dedicated preparation.
Understand the fundamental concepts and formulas of mathematics
Physical Chemistry is all about understanding, imagining, and not mugging up. Mathematics and physics are two fields that are inextricably linked. Math is a tool used by physicists to answer questions. For example, Newton invented calculus to aid in the description of motion. Physics can be a source of inspiration for mathematicians, with theoretical concepts like general relativity and quantum theory offering thrust for mathematicians to invent new tools.
There are some fundamental mathematical topics that you should be well-versed in, to solve physical chemistry problems with ease.
A few of the fundamental mathematical topics you should know are Trigonometry (to understand graphical plots better), mensuration, basic algebra (to help solve the equations regarding wave functions, etc), straight line, graphical analysis, and plotting (to help you understand and solve the graphical plots related to maxwell gaseous problems, quantum chemistry, etc.) and permutation-combination (to understand quantum as well as statistical thermodynamics).
Vedic mathematical calculations
Many students claim that physical chemistry is their favorite of all the chemistries. One reason for this is that there are no exceptions, and it is mostly analytical/mathematical. There may be times when this part of chemistry requires difficult calculations, such as solving quadratic equations. This may necessitate a square root calculation. Vedic Maths comes in useful when calculating square roots and could save you a lot of time.
The word ‘Vedic’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Veda,’ which means ‘Knowledge.’ And Vedic Maths is a fantastic collection of sutras for quickly solving math problems. Vedic Mathematics is a bunch of Techniques/Sutras for quickly and easily solving mathematical arithmetic. It is made up of 16 Sutras and 13 Sub-Sutras that can be used to solve problems in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, and conics. Vedic math will also help learn many shortcuts for calculating many complex math problems in physical chemistry.
First and foremost, master the fundamentals of physics
It is also critical to understand the fundamentals of physics. Students usually jump to the highly challenging chapters like Ionic Equilibrium and Electrochemistry first to satisfy their hunger for exploring newer topics. There can’t be a more serious major red flag than this.
Keep in mind you need to devote enough time to topics such as Mole Concept, Atomic Structure, and Gaseous State. The concepts serve as the foundation for the later ones, making your journey through Physical Chemistry far more enjoyable. Spend as much time as you can on these chapters and ensure that you are capable of solving every type of problem.
Some basic topics you must be well versed in are Unit and conversions, Classical mechanics (velocity, speeds, maxima minima, etc.), Rotational and circular potions, Simple harmonic motion, Electrochemistry, Modern physics (atomic structure theory, electron discovery, Electromagnetic waves, stationary waves, etc.).
Understanding mole concepts:
The most important topic from physical chemistry for CSIR NET chemical sciences is the mole concept. The mole connects between an easily measured macroscopic property, bulk mass, and an exceptionally significant fundamental property, number of atoms, molecules, etc. The mole concept underpins certain reactions, such as the Redox Reaction. As a result, as the basic link, this topic should be on your radar.
Every student must understand the fundamentals of mole concepts and stoichiometry. Periodic table, bonding, kinetics, chemical and ionic equilibrium, solutions, colligative properties, and so on are all related topics.
From the standpoint of the CSIR NET Exam, the concept of the Mole is critical. Some questions are direct questions. Most importantly, this topic is covered throughout Chemistry. As a result, it is critical to have a clear cut on this topic.
Independent and inter-related topics
The next on the list of 10 key ideas to get full marks in Physical Chemistry in CSIR NET is to not overlook any of the Physical Chemistry chapters. Every chapter’s questions are equally important. Split your time and devote equal amounts of time to each of the three sections. Spend extra time if you are having difficulty comprehending a reaction mechanism or equation. However, don’t be overly confident at any point, and ensure you’ve studied everything.
Students should concentrate primarily on topics with a higher weightage. Not that the whole curriculum should not be reviewed or exercised. The topics with higher weightage should be given more attention than the others.
Some independent topics can be studied separately, and some interrelated topics can only be studied after you have completed all of their related topics. So, categorize such topics and plan your schedule accordingly.
We have listed some of the independent and interrelated topics here.
Simple and independent topics: Solid-state Chemistry, Chemical kinetics, Surface chemistry, Polymer, Ionic and chemical equilibrium, Solution and colligative properties, Phase rule, Electrochemistry
Interrelated topics: Kinetic theory of gas, Gas, Thermodynamics, Statistical thermodynamics, Atomic structure, Quantum chemistry, and Spectroscopy
Try to cover the chapters in the following order
Following the preparation of a study plan, mastery of the exam pattern, and knowing the books, the next and most important tip in the row is understanding what is important and emphasizing it.
To get a good CSIR score in physical chemistry, you should start your preparation with the easy and basic topics first and work your way up to the more difficult ones, as shown below. This will help you strengthen your fundamentals.
Begin by reading some good books
It is important to study from the best available study material in order to prepare effectively. You should be aware that CSIR preparation necessitates a thorough understanding of concepts. The syllabus is extensive, and it is possible that random study materials available online and offline will not adequately cover it all. As a result, get feedback on the study material you choose to read and ensure that it fully assists you without missing out on important topics. Ensure that the study material is appropriate, accurate, and competitive enough to help you in completing your preparation.
There are many NEET physical chemistry reference books in the market. The following are a few excellent sets of books for physical chemistry CSIR NET preparation.
- Quantum Chemistry by Donald A. McQuarrie
- Quantum Chemistry through Problems and Solutions – R.K. Prasad.
- Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach, D.A. Mc Quarrie, and J.D. Simon.
- Chemical Applications of Group Theory – F. Albert Cotton.
- Fundamentals of Molecular Spectroscopy – Colin N. Banwell.
- Principles of Physical Chemistry – Puri, Sharma & Pathania.
- A textbook of Physical Chemistry (Vol-V) – K. L. Kapoor.
- An Introduction to Electrochemistry – Samuel Glasstone.
- A book of Physical Chemistry (Vol-III) – K L Kapoor, Chemical Kinetics – Keith J Laidler, Chemical Kinetics and Catalysis – Richard Mishel.
- A Textbook of Physical Chemistry (Vol-V) – K. L. Kapoor, Surface Chemistry – A Goel.
- Solid State Chemistry: An Introduction by Lesley E. Smart, Elaine A. Moore.
- A Textbook of Physical Chemistry (Vol-V) – K. L. Kapoor.
- Data Analysis for Chemistry: An Introductory Guide for Students and Laboratory Scientists by D. Brynn Hibbert and J. Justin Gooding.
- G.W Castellan: Physical Chemistry 3rd edition by G.W. castellan
- Physical chemistry 6th edition by I.R Levine
- Chemical applications of Group theory
- Fundamentals of molecular spectroscopy
- Physical methods for chemists by R.S Drago
- Textbook of Physical Chemistry by O.P. Tondon
Make some quick notes of your own while studying
Don’t ever mug up Physical chemistry. Physical chemistry is all about comprehending, imagining, and reasoning. Try to comprehend and then create your own short notes from study materials, class lectures, and books.
While studying for the exam, start taking brief notes. It is the most efficient way to cover your entire syllabus in a short period of time, and it also helps in revision.
Although there is a plethora of study material for the physical chemistry exam available both online and offline, nothing beats reading from your own notes. Sure, going through every detail about a topic and compiling it takes time, but it’s all worth it. Your notes will undoubtedly be one-of-a-kind and the easiest reference during your revision. Manually writing down all of the key facts and studying from them aids in recollection and saves time during revision. Use all of the preparation tools available to you to ace the physical chemistry exam.
More and more numerical practice is required
You should practice at least 100 numericals per chapter to strengthen your numericals. If you don’t practice the numericals included in physical chemistry, you’ll be sweating in your exam. Avoid putting yourself in such situations.
As a result, after learning any formula in physical chemistry, make sure you start practicing and go through all of the questions, irrespective of their difficulty level, to get a solid idea of each one and point yourself in the right direction.
To be more specific, unless you practice a problem, you will find it really hard to relate it to any law or principle when taking your exam.
To be frank, only the most exceptional and incredibly smart students can crack the NEET problems without practicing them. As a result, please make sure that you do not skip any problems and that you thoroughly practice them all.
Only after you’ve mastered the concepts in each chapter, practice numericals
Don’t solve numerical problems before you’ve read the theories. Then practicing will be pointless.
Split the topics into subtopics while you start studying. When you read a topic, make sure you understand the concept and consider the types of problems that can be constructed from that topic, and try answering those questions.
Don’t begin by attempting to solve complex problems. If you have only recently finished the chapter, solving tough questions might discourage you from giving you the incorrect answer. It may even make you dislike physical chemistry even more. Instead, begin with the basics. Work through the instances in your coursebook. Don’t look at the answer ahead of time. When you’ve finished, compare your solution to the textbook solution or the reference book you’re using. Check that all of your steps are correct, not just the main answer. When you have completed all of the steps correctly, you are ready to move on to the simpler problems. Once you’ve mastered those, you can progress to the more difficult ones.
While practice is absolutely key, one should not neglect the importance of studying the theory. Students frequently find it difficult to crack physical chemistry despite knowing every formula. This is due to a lack of theoretical understanding. You must be very thorough with the theory, or you will frequently struggle with a question with no idea how to move ahead. Every formula you learn must be thoroughly understood. You should know when it is and when it is not valid.
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