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Chemistry Preparation Strategy for UPSC CSE
Chemistry is one of the optional subject provided for UPSC Civil Services Examination. It is totally a science subject & the students who have a prior knowledge of this subject can opt chemistry as their optional subject for UPSC Main Examination. If you are from chemistry background & you know the subject deeply then you should definitely take chemistry as your optional subject.
So our article will tell you about the chemistry as an optional subject & also the strategy to prepare for this subject.
What is Chemistry?
Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties, how and why substances combine or separate to form other substances, and how substances interact with energy. Chemistry is the study of matter, including its composition, properties, and structure; how it changes; and how it interacts with energy. This is a pretty simple definition that sums up what is actually a complex and fascinating subject.
Benefits of Chemistry
If you are from science background then this will the biggest advantage to you. You can easily take chemistry as your optional if you have some prior knowledge.
As this is science subject, so every topic is précised with its equations & specified words. In this scenario, there is very little scope for subjectivity by the examiner.
If you prepare for chemistry, this will be going to help you in general studies paper also. Some of the topics of chemistry are related to current affairs like environment, climate change etc. so you will get knowledge about chemistry as well as about current affairs also.
Syllabus of Chemistry
- Atomic Structure
- Chemical Bonding
- Solid State
- The Gaseous State
- Transport Phenomenon
- Liquid State
- Phase Equilibria
- Phase Solutions
- Chemical Kinetics
- Surface Phenomenon
- Surface Catalysis
- Bio-Inorganic Chemistry
- Coordination Compounds
- Main Group Chemistry
- General Chemistry of ‘f’ Block Elements
- Delocalized Covalent Bonding
- Reaction Mechanisms
- Pericyclic Reactions
- Preparation of Polymers
- Properties of Polymers
- Synthetic Uses of Reagents
- Mass Spectrometry
Paper 1 Strategy
- Paper 1 basically consists of Physical Chemistry & Inorganic Chemistry. These two branches are easy to score. It is compulsory that there will be at least 3 questions in the mains on physical chemistry & one question is must from inorganic chemistry.
- You should focus on atomic structure & chemical bonding & prepare them from multiple sources & separately. The question paper will consist direct questions on these two topics.
- Another important topic for paper 1 is solid stet chemistry & for this topic, you should focus on theory as well as on numerical. Prepare the notes of these two things separately.
- Another topic which is getting famous is a gaseous state, it is a new topic added in the section of paper 1.
- Thermodynamics focuses on derivations, so prepare accordingly to it. In this topic, you should maintain the orientation of chemistry.
- Phase Equilibria is a topic where you need good writing skills. If you are good at writing, then you can score well on this topic.
- In electrochemistry, your focus should be on numerical as this will help you to score well.
- Another numerically based topic is chemical kinetics & photochemistry. It is must that there will be numerical on this topic.
- Another topic with good weightage in the exam is coordinate chemistry. There will be at least two lengthy questions on this topic.
Paper 2 Strategy
- Papers are mainly focused on organic chemistry. Paper 2 is more scoring as compared to paper 1 because of its mathematical relation, straight factual questions, objective nature of questions, no dearth of quality material & emphasis on reaction mechanisms.
- While you were preparing for paper 2 you should remember that your strategy should be simple, standard and to the point. Directly write the relevant answer do not write the irrelevant word to increase the length of the answer.
- Emphasis on diagrams for pericyclic reaction. These sections consist more numerical rather than theory based questions.
- Practice as many reactions as you can. This is very important for this topic.
- You should be clear with the concepts of reaction mechanisms.
- Questions in this paper are straightforward & direct. So try to write the short &relevant answer.
- The orientation of orbitals and molecular orbital diagrams are necessary.
Reference Material/ Books for Chemistry
The materials or the books which will help you during your preparation are discussed below.
- Bonding and shape of organic molecules, Stereochemistry of carbon compound – Reactions and reagents – O.P. Agarwal
- A guide to the mechanism in organic chemistry – Peter Sykes
- A textbook of organic chemistry – Bahl & Ba
- Atomic Structure – Principle of physical chemistry – Puri, Sharma & Pathway
- Advanced Inorganic Chemistry – J.D. Lee
- Chemical Periodicity, Chemical bonding, Coordination compound- Maden, Malik, Tuli
- Theoretical principles of inorganic chemistry – G.S. Manku Buy Now
- Extraction of metals, Principle of inorganic chemistry – Puri, Sharma, Jauhar.
- Principals of Physical Chemistry– Puri, Sharma & Pathway
- Chemical kinetics – Advance physical chemistry – Gurdeep Raj
- Photochemistry – A textbook of physical chemistry (Vol. – IV) – K.L. Kapoor
- Advance physical chemistry – Gurdeep Raj
- An advance inorganic chemistry – J.D. Lee
- Pollution and its control – A text book of environmental chemistry and pollution – S.S. Dara.
Must see: The preparation strategy for Sociology Optional for UPSC Main Exam
Strategy for Chemistry
- The time duration you will dedicate to the preparation of this subject is 4-5 months.
- You should have a deep knowledge of the syllabus for the chemistry as an optional.
- Then you should clear with the basic concepts of the topics to easily tackle with the paper.
- Prepare notes at the beginning of the preparation. Make the notes of flowcharts, diagrams for the relevant topics.
- You should stay updated with the recent news related to the chemistry.
- You should continuously follow the government websites to get the knowledge about the chemistry.
- The most important thing for preparation is to solve previous year question papers.
If you have any doubt or need guidance you can comment below, our team will try to answer it.