The first thing you need to know about chemistry is that it is a scoring subject. It has had so far (in CBSE) a fixed pattern, approach and type of questions. Yes, you need to remember many (emphasis on the word many) equations, formulas and structures, but if you know them, a certain number of marks in your paper are guaranteed.

This article covers aspects of material to be used and how you should attempt the paper. Following this are two articles with specific tips on preparing for chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical and other chapters)



  • As far as chemistry is concerned the NCERT textbooks are excellent. They are well written, well explained and contain most of the content for your board exams
  • One thing missing in the NCERT book is the explanation for quite a few ‘give reason’ questions in inorganic and organic chemistry.
  • For this area you should first refer to past year board papers and can possibly refer to Pradeep publications or Arihant question banks. (Note:The Pradeep’s book also contains a lot of extra content, beyond the scope of the CBSE exams, so you can refer to it only for specific topics/ questions)







  • Generally, completing the paper in 3 hours is not difficult.
  • Go straight to the point and explain it well. (Yes, don’t forget to explain it even for a 1 mark question)
  • Please don’t give one word answers for one mark questions
  • For definitions and where ever applicable: give examples (even if not asked for)
  • Draw the structure of compounds where ever applicable (even if it is not asked explicitly), unless you’re not sure about the structure.
  • While choosing between the optional 5-mark questions, first read both the questions fully, with all the 5 sub-divisions and select the option for which you know the maximum answers. Don’t just see the first sub- question and begin to answer blindly.
  • Give reason questions: along with the name of the core concept/ phenomenon that explains what is given in the question, also elaborate on it and explain how that concept/phenomena applies to the given question.




  • Numericals:
    • the steps/procedure to arrive at the answer might be quite trivial but to ensure marks, write out all the steps and formulas used, explicitly.
    • calculate the intermediate values as well, i.e. even if there are variables whose value you don’t have to give in the final answer but their value have to be computed while arriving at the final answer, don’t leave these intermediate values in the fractional form. Compute its full answer. This is very important as the answer key often has marks assigned for these values.
    • Ensure that your log calculations are visible. (I was told by my teachers that marks might be deducted otherwise.)


  • For products or reactions, if you can, write intermediate compounds formed and all the reactants as well. However, if you are not sure about them and it is not explicitly asked in the question, then don’t write them.
  • Conversions: definitely mention the reactants used and it is safe and better to write the by-products as well.
  • Complete the equations: writing the by-products is necessary
  • Mechanisms: write it in the form of the various steps/ stages as given in the text book
  • Value-based question: (What are the values exhibited etc etc), this is important;
    • mention two things – a key word that represents the value (such as honesty, curiosity etc)and how this value has been exhibited in the given question/scenario
    • just giving the explanation of the value and not the key word of the value may lead to loss of marks
  • In general give four points (each side) for a differentiate question
  • Refer to the article on WRITING TIPS to for general tips and techniques.

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