Why should I study Inorganic Chemistry?

Inorganic Chemistry almost contributes one-third of JEE Advanced Chemistry paper. So, this might seem a bit exaggerated but this is the reality.But, there is one thing which is pretty outspoken about this segment. This is literally hated by most of the students. Infact, in course of my IIT JEE preparation at Kota, I rarely found a guy who cherished Inorganic Chemistry. Whatever be the case, one simply can’t neglect Inorganic Chemistry if one wants a good rank in JEE Advanced.

In course of my preparation, I witnessed some strategies which helped me a lot in mastering this subject in JEE preparation days at Kota. I was at Resonance, Kota and I simply liked the way in which Inorganic Chemistry was taught. Here, I would like to mention some noteworthy points which if followed help in mastering Inorganic Chemistry.
1.Don’t hesitate from straight memorization: This might sound a bit cheap especially to those who advocate the logical aspect of things. There are certain things which can only be mastered by memorization. I mean, one simply can’t understand why the color of a particular compound is red or blue(though one can explain them but prediction of color is literally impossible considering the domain of JEE syllabus). There are things which still challenge human logic and one can get rid of them by straight mugging (In our Kota days, we used to refer them by “SHUDDH RATTA”). So, for all beginners, it’s highly recommended to memorize periodic table,most stable and possible oxidation states of important elements( this includes s-block,p-block and first transition series), color of compounds which are used in qualitative analysis and solubility of various compounds in water.Sometimes, one may find attractive theories for explaining some observations but at the end,it’s memorization which helps.I mean these theories can explain observations but if one goes for prediction based on these theories,there is no guarantee.
2. Be clear regarding what is to be memorized and what is to be predicted on the basis of theories: This is another important aspect which should be taken care of. It’s very important to know the scope of a theory apart from understanding a theory. Infact, most of the theories can be applied on a limited scale and one must be thoroughly aware of that. Once, you step out of the domain of theory and go for random predictions, you are bound to fail. So,there are certain exceptions which can be best tackled by rote memorization. Again,one may find a higher level theory explaining that exception but it’s better to stay within the domain of JEE syllabus.For example, MOT is mentioned in JEE syllabus but one doesn’t need to understand it completely.One simply needs to understand the order of energies of orbitals in homonuclear species and s-p mixing. One can tackle almost all questions recently asked by learning the order of energies of MOs and s-p mixing. So, it’s very important to be aware of the trend developed by JEE.
3.Master Periodic Table and Chemical Bonding: This is really a key aspect. Most of the students tend to hate Inorganic chemistry as they haven’t mastered periodic table and chemical bonding.I mean these two chapters are backbone of entire JEE Inorganic chemistry. So,it’s advisable to spend considerable time in mastering these two chapters and most important thing regarding these chapters is that life is quite smooth in these chapters. Chemical Bonding doesn’t require rote memorization and it’s quite interesting too. At times, things go pretty logical in these chapters. However, periodic table demands a bit of rote memorization but if one wants to master Inorganic chemistry,one simply can’t run away from memorization.
4.Don’t neglect s-block, p-block and d-block elements: In JEE chemistry , coordination compounds and Qualitative analysis enjoy great status.I have seen aspirants literally doing their best to master these portions. But, people often neglect block chemistry. However, JEE sometimes simply asks few basic questions from this segment and most of the aspirants fail to answer them. So, one can expect two or three questions from this segment which if correctly answered can create a significant difference. Do focus on this segment. It’s important to study preparation and properties of important industrial compounds like borax,boric acid,silicones(they seem to be favourites of JEE) etc. Best way is to analyse past 40 year papers and take note of the topics which are repeatedly asked. Yaa, repeatedly.Though,JEE has been quite notorious by not repeating questions but in this segment,they defy their norm. Infact, there was a question which appeared in JEE for three years in a row sometime in 90s( I guess it was related to thermal decomposition of hydrated iron sulphate)!!!!! So, those who don’t like Inorganic chemistry can still score well if they just mug up past year papers.
5. Do regular revision: I mean it’s nothing special in suggesting revision but its importance gets scaled up when it comes to Inorganic chemistry. Infact, many students complain that they tend to forget things which should have been memorized and that’s simply due to lack of revision. So, do plan your revision accordingly and most importantly revision shouldn’t be discrete. It should be in continuation with your regular studies. In my Kota days, I preferred to write all those things which were expected to be memorized in Inorganic. This appears to be a painful activity but nevertheless, it helps a lot. I think in present scenario where MCQs are asked in bulk, it’s a must if one wants to excel in MCQs.
6. Don’t neglect NCERT: In a number of cases, aspirants tend to neglect NCERT books. This might prove disastrous as in JEE Main, most of the questions are asked straight forward from NCERT books and it’s not a hidden fact that one needs to qualify Main to be able to sit for JEE Advanced. Moreover, it’s not unreasonable to expect one/two question(s) directly from NCERT in JEE Advanced. Infact, it’s helpful to take a glance at NCERT after completion of any chapter to brush up things.
Though,when one is giving an exam like JEE,one can never be sure of every question which might be asked and that too in a subject like Chemistry driven entirely by Uncertainty Principle but still, in my perception if one sticks to these points, one can easily score close to 80% in Inorganic chemistry. And this would escalate his/her rank to a considerable extent!
Note: Though aspirants hate Inorganic but if one follows these points, one might land in better ranks than those aspirants who simply ignored Inorganic. Infact, in JEE, one gets approximately three minutes for solving a question but if one has mastered Inorganic , one can easily tackle questions within a minute and save time for other tougher questions. Many of my friends used to get over these questions within thirty seconds. So, just imagine the gain in terms of marks one gets by mastering Inorganic. Hence, do focus on Inorganic and score well…
All the best, 

Abhijeet Aanand

Electrical Engineering, IIT Bombay

NTSE Scholar, KVPY Scholar.

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