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.

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.

Atoms and Molecules

Atoms are the basic building blocks of matter. Atoms join together to form compounds 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.

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.

Chemical Reactions

There are several types of chemical reactions that can occur.

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.


It's important to understand how mixtures behave.


Gases exhibit special properties.

Acids and Bases

Acids and bases are concerned with the actions of hydrogen ions or protons in aqueous solutions.

Thermochemistry and Physical Chem

Learn about the relationships between matter and energy.


Matter is always in motion. Learn about the motion of atoms and molecules, or kinetics.

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.

Nuclear Chem

Nuclear chemistry is concerned with the behavior of protons and neutrons in the atomic nucleus.

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.
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Overview of High School Chemistry Topics." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/high-school-chem-604137. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2021, February 16). Overview of High School Chemistry Topics. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/high-school-chem-604137 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Overview of High School Chemistry Topics." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/high-school-chem-604137 (accessed March 29, 2023).

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