How to Tackle Surface Chemistry and Prepare for JEE 2016

Many topics in Chemistry for JEE Main & Advanced are hard to tackle. One such topic is Surface Chemistry. Previously not many questions were asked from this chapter. However, since JEE 2012, the trend changed when they directly asked 2 questions from this chapter.

Since a large part of this chapter involves sheer memorization, many students leave this chapter assuming that no question would be asked in JEE. However, the paper setters are smart enough to realize this and so; they have started asking questions from this chapter. A serious JEE aspirant cannot afford to lose even a single mark unnecessarily and so, it becomes important to give each topic the required time and practice.

Surface chemistry includes the basic concepts of:

  • Adsorption,
  • Colloids,
  • Emulsions,
  • Surfactants
  • And Micelles.

The favourite topic seems to be colloids because quite a few questions are asked based on identifying the type of colloid, methods of preparation of a particular colloid and also from the general physical and chemical properties of colloids. Another favourite and interesting topic is electrophoresis. It is important to remember the basic definitions of all the substances mentioned above.



The following tips must be kept in mind while preparing for this chapter:

  •  Spend ample of time in learning and understanding definitions
  •  Learn to differentiate between various types of substances
  •  Understand the various chemical phenomena like electrophoresis. Also understand the associated applications of these phenomena
  •  Make sure to stress more on colloids because most of the questions from this chapter are asked form colloids
  •  Stress more on understanding rather than blindly cramming everything
  •  Practice theoretical problems from this chapter
  •  Practice ample of more than one correct type problems from this chapter. A single wrong tick will get you negative marks
  •  NCERT is the most important book for this chapter. Study NCERT carefully and make sure you know at least everything that is written in NCERT

Having said that, we would like to mention that this chapter is indeed a bit harder than other chapter because not everything is intuitive and not everything has an explanation at this level and so, quite a bit of cramming is needed. However, if regular revision is done and ample of questions are practiced, then this chapter is just like any other chapter in JEE syllabus and so, it should not be difficult to cover it.

Keep in mind that this chapter is ultimately a part of inorganic chemistry and so, the strategies that apply to inorganic chemistry also apply to this chapter. For your reference, we enlist the important points:

  • Focus a lot on revision. It is easy to forget the things you memorized. Revision will help you to stay updated
  • Revision also helps you to know new stuff. It is sure that a student cannot absorb 100% in a single read. Every new reading brings in a new missed concept
  • Practice ample of problems from a number of sources, the best ones being the past year JEE papers

We hope that this article benefits you and helps you to tackle this chapter easily.


About the Author

Aman Goel IIT B2 Aman Goel is B.Tech, computer science and engineering undergraduate student at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Born in a business oriented family of Kanpur he secured an All India Rank 33 in JEE advanced 2013 and also scored 323/360 in JEE main 2013. He has also cleared Indian National Physics and Chemistry Olympiads, and KVPY. In his free time, he likes to write articles related to JEE preparation. He loves speedcubing (the art of speed solving a Rubik's cube) and also loves to play computer/mobile games.


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