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Issue no 9, 28 MAY - 3 JUNE 2022

Tackling Neet - Ug How To Deal With Chemistry

Prateek Singh

As far as NEET-UG is concerned, preparing for Chemistry section is comparatively easier. Unlike Botany and Zoology, Chemistry does not require a lot of memorization nor does it require lot of problem solving skills and numerical abilities as in Physics section.

Chemistry consists of three major sections: Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry. We will look at the strategy for each these domains in detail.

Question Pattern

The Chemistry portion consists of 50 questions which are split into two sections: Section A and Section B. Section A comprises 35 questions in which each question has to be attempted and Section B comprises 15 questions out of which 10 questions have to be attempted. +4 marks will be awarded for each correct answer and -1 mark will be awarded for each wrong attempt. 0 marks will be awarded for a question which is unattempted. The maximum marks for the Chemistry section is 180. If you wish to get into a decent Government Medical College, then you should score at least 150 marks in Chemistry; and believe me, it is not much of a mammoth task to achieve. Of late, the trend of scoring 180 out of 180 is catching up among NEET toppers. It is possible if you just stick to the basics; focus majorly on the NCERT textbooks, achieve command over the previous years' questions and you would have solved a large variety of questions to boost your preparation.

Weight Carried by Each Section/Chapter

If we are to go by recent trends, an equal number of questions are asked from each of the Physical, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry sections. So it is important that you focus on each of these sections and you must have the necessary skills to solve the questions. Always remember that in order to succeed in a competitive exam you are required to have just enough skills to be able to solve the questions and arrive at the correct answer without being the master of the subject. In Chemistry since there are so many exceptions of rules and one cannot have a command over all the concepts, so you must know how to deduce the correct answer by following your instincts and that can be achieved if you solve a lot of questions.

The list given below has been compiled by analysing the last 10 years' question papers

Physical Chemistry

Chapter

No. of Questions

Basic Concepts of Chemistry

1-2

Structure of an Atom

1

The Gaseous State

1-2

Thermodynamics

3

Equilibrium

3

Redox Reactions

0-1

Solid State

1-2

Solutions

1-2

Electro Chemistry

2

Chemical Kinetics

2

Surface Chemistry

1

Inorganic Chemistry

Chapter

No. of Questions

Periodic Properties

2-3

Chemical Bonding

5-6

Hydrogen

0-1

S Block Elements

2

P Block Elements

4-5

D Block Elements

2

F Block Elements

1-2

Metallurgy

2

Coordination compounds

3-4

Organic Chemistry

General Organic Chemistry

4-5

Hydrocarbons

3

Haloalkanes and Haloarenes

1-2

Alcohol, Phenol and Ethers

1-2

Aldehydes, ketones and  Carboxylic Acids

2

Amines

1-2

Environmental Chemistry

1

Biomolecules

1

Polymers

1

Chemistry in Everyday Life

1

 

How to Prepare for Physical Chemistry?

In general, if we talk about Physical Chemistry then it is somewhat similar to Physics. There are few concepts in each chapter and a lot of practice is required to be able to solve the numericals asked from this section. Before starting your preparation of Physical Chemistry, you must understand that there are a few chapters which needs to be prepared first as these are the chapters that form the basis of the concepts that are explained later in the text book.

So you should start your preparation by first focusing well on 'Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry' i.e. Mole Concept which consist of topics like Molarity, Normality, Formality and Mole Fraction as these topics form the core for the chapters like Equilibrium, Solutions and Electro Chemistry.

The high yielding topics in Physical Chemistry are chapters like Thermodynamics and Equilibrium and these two chapters are also considered among the toughest of all in Physical Chemistry. However, though these chapters are relatively tougher than other chapters, but luckily in the NEET examination, the questions asked are relatively easy. You just need to understand the concepts and focus more on practising simple and basic conceptual questions.

The strategy you can follow for Physical Chemistry is that you should write down all the examples, important charts and formulae of each chapter in 2-3 pages and should revise them regularly.

 For solving the questions you should first solve all the examples given in your NCERT textbook. You should not be wasting your time in solving the questions given at the end of each chapter of the NCERT textbook for Physical Chemistry as these questions are quite lengthy and subjective which is not the format of NEET. Instead, you can solve questions from any NCERT based MCQ book available in the market. After that, solve the previous years' NEET questions (2015 onwards). If you wish to boost your score even further, then you can solve the questions asked in the JEE Mains examination in the recent 3-4 years.

How to Prepare for Inorganic Chemistry?

Inorganic Chemistry is the most versatile subject in the Chemistry portion because there are a lot of exceptions to the concepts and principles. So this subject requires a lot of memorization of facts. There are two approaches to learn Inorganic Chemistry. The first one is that you start from the basics and have a thorough understanding of all the concepts and fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry and also learn the major concepts involved wherever there is an exception. This is a very time consuming approach. But if you don't have much time left for the NEET exam, you can follow the second approach which I am giving below.

The second approach to learn Inorganic Chemistry is to focus more on memorization rather than learning the concepts involved behind each and every topic. This may not sound a very convincing way of learning but in the small time frame it's the best possible way. Start off your preparation by first learning the chapters 'Periodic Properties' and 'Chemical Bonding'. These two chapters form the basis of the entire Inorganic Chemistry and are also high yielding chapters. After this for the Block Chemistry portion, you can use your immense memorization power for learning all the facts ( since you all opted Biology and you are going to be doctors you have to be very good at memorizating facts). Coordination Compounds is a very important chapter and it yields up to 4 to 5 questions so it must be mastered.

Some Pro Tips:

·         Make a list of all the important orders mentioned in your NCERT textbook like Atomic radius, Ionic radius, ionization energy, boiling point order, melting point order, acidic strength order, basic strength order and so on and so forth. Focus more on the questions asked in previous year NEET and JEE Mains examinations.

·          Draw all the organic and inorganic structures of your NCERT textbook at one place. It will help you in determining the Oxidation States as well as many other properties like acidic and basic strengths of these compounds.

·         Collect all the compounds which have an exceptional Oxidation State due to an unconventional structure such as where peroxide bond is involved like Cr05 and Br3O8. Questions can be directly asked about their Oxidation States.

·         For solving questions, follow the same strategy as for Physical Chemistry.

How to Prepare For Organic Chemistry?

Organic Chemistry is the Chemistry of all the compounds involving carbon and it is also known as the Chemistry of Life or Vital Chemistry. You should start your preparation with the chapter General Organic Chemistry. This chapter forms the foundation for the entire Organic Chemistry.

An interesting fact about Organic Chemistry is that it could be very easy for some students while for some others it could be a nightmare. The reason behind this is that those students who are good at GOC (General Organic Chemistry) find it very easy to solve all the other problems of Organic Chemistry while those who are weak in GOC are weak in the entire subject as well.

 So first focus on the General Organic Chemistry portion with special emphasis on the topics like Inductive Effect, Resonance, Mesomeric Effect and Hyperconjugation and understand the real concepts involved behind these topics. Also you should have the basic knowledge about nomenclature of organic compounds, Isomerism in organic compound and Qualitative and Quantitative analysis of organic compounds. GOC is a very important chapter for NEET examination as it will fetch you 4 to 5 questions directly and many other questions indirectly.

Then you should focus on the chapter Hydrocarbons as it will yield you 3 to 4 questions.

The four very small chapters of Organic Chemistry: Environmental Chemistry, Biomolecules, Polymers and Chemistry in Everyday Life will give you one question from each of this chapter and question from these chapters are a cakewalk. So prepare them just from your NCERT textbook and you are good to go.

For practicing questions in Organic Chemistry, first you should start off by doing intext questions of NCERT as well as the question given at the end of each chapter of NCERT textbook. Secondly you should be doing the NCERT exemplar and for more questions follow any NCERT based MCQ book. Solve the previous year questions of NEET as well as the JEE Mains examination.

While solving the Chemistry portion you should always keep in mind that the questions asked will not take you much time in solving and often students commit very silly mistakes which could have easily been avoided if they would have been a little more careful and attentive while solving the questions.

Have patience while solving the questions and read the given options in the question very properly. As far as time management is concerned, you should be able to solve the Chemistry portion in 50 minutes to 1 hour time or it may depend on your preparation and strategy as to how you are approaching the examination. Follow all the above mentioned tricks and strategies and have confidence in your preparation.

(The author is a NEET Coach. He can be reached at prateeksinghtalks@ gmail.com)

Views expressed are personal.