IB Chemistry may not be quite as easy as this penguin makes it seems. So to help you out, I have compiled the best FREE online IB Chemistry Study Guides and Notes into one helpful article. I will order this IB Chemistry Study Guide using the IB Chemistry Syllabus.
How to use this IB Chemistry Study Guide
If there is one specific topic that you need more help with, use the Command + F function on your computer to search this guide for that subject. So, if you hope to read about The Mole Concept, use Command + F to bring up the search function. Type in “Mole Concept” and it will bring up all of the study materials for The Mole Concept.
If you are looking for summary material to help you study for the IB Chemistry papers, check out the Overall Reviews section for great overall study resources. First, I will list the notes/guides by topic.
How should you use this article during the school year?
You should glance at this article during the school year to help you study for in-class tests and quizzes if you need more assistance or if you struggled to understand certain lectures in your IB Chemistry course. If you want additional help, read our article on the Best IB Chemistry Books, Reviewed (Coming Soon!) to find additional study resources. You should be learning the material over the course of the school year and not cramming right before the IB Chemistry papers.
What are the best study practices during the school year?
Make sure you are practicing related IB Chemistry past paper questions as you learn each new topic. You can find past IB Chemistry HL and IB Chemistry SL papers using our other article Where to Find IB Chemistry Past Papers - Free and Official (Coming Soon!). Also, if you are having a hard time comprehending a class lecture, you should be reviewing the corresponding chapter in a textbook or study guide. Find great IB Chemistry books in our other article The Best IB Chemistry Books, Reviewed (Coming Soon!).
Common errors IB Chemistry students make when studying
Many students struggle with IB Chemistry SL/HL. There are so many subjects to learn, and you cannot fall behind. You need to be learning during the school year in order to ace the IB Chemistry papers.
Common errors students make when studying are:
- Avoiding the topics you didn't fully comprehend in class. If you did not learn it in the classroom, you need to seek additional assistance whether through this IB Chemistry study guide, IB Chemistry Books (article coming soon!), or through tutoring.
- Only cramming a week or two before the IB Chemistry Exam. There are way too many topics to master in only a week or two (that is why the course is taught over 1 to 2 years). So, master the subjects as you learn them in class. Use this study guide if you need more help comprehending the topics you cover in class:
Otherwise, you will be as nervous as this kid during the test.
Core - 95 hours for SL and HL
Topic #1: Stoichiometric relationships - 13.5 hours for SL and HL
1.1 Introduction to the particulate nature of matter and chemical change
1.2 The mole concept
- Notes on Mole Concept and Avogadro’s Constant
- Notes on The Mole
- Notes on Formulas
- Notes on Chemical Equations
1.3 Reacting masses and volumes
- Notes on Mass and Gaseous Volume Relationships in Chemical Reactions
- Notes on Solutions
- Notes on all of Stoichiometry
Topic #2: Atomic structure - 6 hours for SL and HL
2.1 The nuclear atom
2.2 Electron configuration
Topic #3: Periodicity - 6 hours for SL and HL
3.1 Periodic table
3.2 Periodic trends
Topic #4: Chemical bonding and structure - 13.5 hours for SL and HL
4.1 Ionic bonding and structure
4.2 Covalent bonding
4.3 Covalent structures
4.4 Intermolecular forces
4.5 Metallic bonding
Unfortunately, you will not learn about this type of bond.
Topic #5: Energetics/thermochemistry - 9 hours for SL and HL
5.1 Measuring energy changes
5.2 Hess’s Law
5.3 Bond enthalpies
Topic #6: Chemical kinetics - 7 hours for both SL and HL
6.1 Collision theory and rates of reaction
Topic #7: Equilibrium - 4.5 hours for SL and HL
Topic #8: Acids and bases - 6.5 hours for SL and HL
8.1 Theories of acids and bases
8.2 Properties of acids and bases
8.3 The pH scale
8.4 Strong and weak acids and bases
8.5 Acid deposition
Topic #9: Redox processes - 8 hours for SL and HL
9.1 Oxidation and reduction
9.2 Electrochemical cells
Topic #10: Organic chemistry - 11 hours for SL and HL
10.1 Fundamentals of organic chemistry
10.2 Functional group chemistry
Topic #11: Measurement and data processing - 10 hours for SL and HL
11.1 Uncertainties and errors in measurement and results
11.2 Graphical techniques
11.3 Spectroscopic identification of organic compounds
Additional higher level (AHL) - 60 hours for HL
Topic #12: Atomic structure - 2 hours
12.1 Electrons in atoms
Topic #13: The periodic table—the transition metals - 4 hours
13.1 First-row d-block elements
13.2 Coloured complexes
Topic #14: Chemical bonding and structure - 7 hours
14.1 Covalent bonding and electron domain and molecular geometries
Topic #15: Energetics/thermochemistry - 7 hours
15.1 Energy cycles
15.2 Entropy and spontaneity
Topic #16: Chemical kinetics - 6 hours
16.1 Rate expression and reaction mechanism
16.2 Activation energy
Okay, you may not get to do this.
Topic #17: Equilibrium - 4 hours
17.1 The equilibrium law
Topic #18: Acids and bases - 10 hours
18.1 Lewis acids and bases
18.2 Calculations involving acids and bases
18.3 pH curves
Topic #19: Redox processes - 6 hours
19.1 Electrochemical cells
Topic #20: Organic chemistry - 12 hours
20.1 Types of organic reactions
20.2 Synthetic routes
Topic #21: Measurement and analysis - 2 hours21.1 Spectroscopic identification of organic compounds
Option - 15 hours for SL and 25 hours for HL
Unfortunately, there are no free online study guides for the options, but look at our article on IB Chemistry Books (Coming Soon!) to find books that review the options topics.
- IB Chemistry HL 31 Common Mistakes: Richard Thornley, the author of this video, has several other helpful videos on IB Chemistry SL and HL available for free on YouTube
- Summary of Chemistry Definitions: This list is great for making flashcards!
Learn more about IB Chemistry:
- The Complete IB Chemistry Syllabus: SL and HL
- Best IB Chemistry Books, Reviewed (Coming Soon!)
Learn more about the IB Program through our other articles:
- The Complete List of IB Courses and Classes
- Which IB Courses Can I Take Online? Can I Get an Online IB Diploma?
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As an SAT/ACT tutor, Dora has guided many students to test prep success. She loves watching students succeed and is committed to helping you get there. Dora received a full-tuition merit based scholarship to University of Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude and scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. She is also passionate about acting, writing, and photography.