Subject Guides

How to get a H1 in the Leaving Cert Chemistry Exam

By Elsa H. - 4 minute read

While it is a fascinating subject, Chemistry is by no means an easy one! Luckily for all of you Chemistry students, it is a subject that will always reward dedication and hard work. In this blog, Elsa goes through her top tips and tricks for getting a H1 in this subject.

Understand the Curriculum

While questions can be repeated and a high percentage of marks often goes towards formulas and definitions, Chemistry is by no means a subject that can be rote learned. Avoid learning off an A4 page of notes with no understanding of the underlying concept. For me, just listening to my teacher’s explanation in class, followed by an occasional read through my textbook allowed me to comprehend the wider principles before focusing on the key points in my notes.

Participate in Class 

Like any subject, by actually listening in your classes, making an effort to understand the notes as you’re taking them down and asking questions in class will save you a lot of time. Your teacher should know the course inside out so they can be your best resource. It’s a lot quicker to ask a question as your covering it in class as opposed to spending time trawling through a textbook or google a week later trying to find the same answer.


All you have to do is read through the break-down of the exam to understand the importance of the experiments. While the experiments are separated into different chapters, I found it handy to keep them all together in one big folder, allowing me to study them as a whole. It does take some time to get your head around all of them but if you just spend half an hour or so on each one as it’s covered in class, it’ll honestly make revising them for your exams so much easier!

Practise Calculations

From chemical equilibrium to stoichiometry, calculations are going to make up a large part of your exam and that is why it is important to give them the time they deserve when studying. It is so important to present your calculations in an organised manner on your script; this makes it easier for you to answer the question and rectify any mistakes, while also making it easier for the examiner to correct it and identify where you may have possibly gone wrong. By including all of your calculations and keeping your figures to 3 decimal places this will maximise the amount of marks you can be awarded even if your final answer isn’t correct.

Key Definitions and Terms

These can be such easy marks for even the struggling Chemistry students. Random definitions and principles simply need to be regurgitated in seconds once you recognise the terms on the paper and require no form of lateral thinking.  The easiest way to learn all of the definitions, terms, formulas is to simply add them all to a small folder or highlight them in your notes in some way and just get it into your head quickly after you did it in class! You’ll surprise yourself with how easily you can remember them if you learn one or two at a time and revise them every so often.

Use Exam Papers 

You might know the course off by heart and can recite every page of your notes but, like most other subjects, studying past papers and their marking schemes is essentially where you’re going to pick up the majority of your marks. This is where Studyclix is going to come in handy! Once I learned my notes and felt confident with a chapter, I would then choose that topic on Studyclix and go through every question that’s come up in relation to that chapter.

You should become familiar with how different questions are marked by looking at key words such as ‘name’, ‘explain’ etc., so you know how much to write for each question in the exam. 

Test Yourself 

In addition to practicing past papers, Studyclix's Quizzes are a great (and fun!) tool to help test your knowledge. They can help you figure out what you know already and what topics you need to work harder on. Take the test and see how you get on!


For more tips and tricks, read our Chemistry Guide by clicking the button below.

Good luck!

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