Overview of High School Chemistry Topics

Chem tools plus practice problems and quizzes are included

High school chemistry covers all the main points of general chem.
High school chemistry covers all the main points of general chem. Ryan McVay, Getty Images

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

Atoms are the basic building blocks of matter. Atoms join together to form compounds and molecules.
Atom Basics
Atomic Mass and Atomic Mass Number
Types of Chemical Bonds
Ionic and Covalent Bonds
Oxidation Numbers
Lewis Structures or Electron Dot Models
Molecular Geometry
What Is a Mole?
More About Molecules and Moles
Law of Multiple Proportions


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


Gases exhibit special properties.
Ideal Gases
Ideal Gas Law Problems
Boyle's Law
Charles' Law
Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures

Acids and Bases

Acids and bases are concerned with the actions of hydrogen ions or protons in aqueous solutions.
Acid and Base Definitions
Common Acids and Bases
Strength of Acids and Bases
Calculating pH
Salt Formation
Henderson-Hasselbalch Equation
Titration Basics
Titration Curves

Thermochemistry and Physical Chem

Learn about the relationships between matter and energy.
Laws of Thermochemistry
Standard State Conditions
Calorimetry, Heat Flow, and Enthalphy
Bond Energy and Enthalpy Change
Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions
What Is Absolute Zero?


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

Index of Worked Chem Problems
Printable Chem Worksheets

Chem Quizzes

How to Take a Chem Test
Atom Basics Quiz
Atomic Structure Quiz
Acids and Bases Quiz
Chemical Bonds Quiz
Changes in State Quiz
Compound Naming Quiz
Element Number Quiz
Element Picture Quiz
Units of Measurement Quiz

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.