Overview of High School Chemistry Topics

Chem tools plus practice problems and quizzes are included

Teenage girl in high school chemistry class experimenting
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Are you confused by all the topics in high school chem class? Here is an overview of what is studied in high school chem, with links to essential chem resources and worked chem problems.

Introduction to Chemistry

To study high school chem, it's a good idea to know what chem is.
What Is Chem?
What Is the Scientific Method?

Math Basics

Math is used in all the sciences, including high school chem class. To learn chem, you need to understand algebra, geometry, and some trig, as well as be able to work in scientific notation and perform unit conversions.
Accuracy and Precision
Significant Figures
Scientific Notation
Physical Constants
Metric Base Units
Derived Metric Units
Metric Prefixes
How to Cancel Units
Temperature Conversions
Calculate Experimental Error

Atoms and Molecules


Stoichiometry describes the proportions between atoms in molecules and reactants/products in chemical reactions. You can use this information to balance chemical equations.
Types of Chemical Reactions
Balance Equations
Balance Redox Reactions
Gram to Mole Conversions
Limiting Reactant and Theoretical Yield
Mole Relations in Balanced Equations
Mass Relations in Balanced Equations

States of Matter

The states of matter are defined by the structure of matter as well as whether it has a fixed shape and volume. Learn about the different states and how matter transforms itself from one state to another.
States of Matter
Phase Diagrams

Chemical Reactions

There are several types of chemical reactions that can occur.
Reactions in Water
Types of Inorganic Chemical Reactions

Periodic Trends

The properties of the elements exhibit trends based on the structure of their electrons. The trends or periodicity can be used to make predictions about elements.
Periodic Properties and Trends
Element Groups


It's important to understand how mixtures behave.
Solutions, Suspensions, Colloids, Dispersions
Calculating Concentration


Acids and Bases

Thermochemistry and Physical Chem


Matter is always in motion. Learn about the motion of atoms and molecules, or kinetics.
Factors That Affect Reaction Rate
Chemical Reaction Order

Atomic and Electronic Structure

Much of the chem that you learn is associated with electronic structure, since electrons can move around much more easily than protons or neutrons.
Valences of the Elements
Aufbau Principle and Electronic Structure
Electron Configuration of the Elements
Quantum Numbers and Electron Orbitals
How Magnets Work

Nuclear Chem

Nuclear chemistry is concerned with the behavior of protons and neutrons in the atomic nucleus.
Radiation and Radioactivity
Isotopes and Nuclear Symbols
Rate of Radioactive Decay
Atomic Mass and Atomic Abundance
Carbon-14 Dating

Chem Practice Problems

Chem Quizzes

General Chem Tools

Periodic Table. Use the periodic table to make predictions about element properties. Click on any element symbol to get facts about the element.
Chem Glossary. Look up the definitions of unfamiliar chem terms.
Chemical Structures. Find the structures for molecules, compounds, and functional groups.