Physical Chemistry for JEE Main & Advanced

JEE is well known for its tough numericals- Be it Physics, Mathematics or Chemistry. But Physical Chemistry is the easiest of all three, because most questions asked from Physical Chemistry in JEE(Advanced) are simply based on formulae.

But this is where things get tough- there is no good book available in the market for JEE! This is in contrast to other subjects where there is at least one book available in the market which can be your god book. So, you might need to resort to coaching class material for this. Anyway, I’ll come to that later.

1. Mole concept

This is the first chapter(and probably the running chapter for class 11 students). This is a simple chapter(although it might be looking tough right now). Be clear with balancing equations, and various methods for that(you might be taught redox stuff later, but if you are being taught redox reaction now, then do remember the rules well). 

This chapter is nothing but simple balancing and simple mathematics. Be quick with calculations. The key to this chapter is massive practice. Practice a lot. As much as possible. This chapter is the starting point of many chapters and you must do it well in order to understand future topics well(for class 11 students). Solve a lot of questions from coaching/books.

2. Atomic Structure

This chapter is immensely important. There was a paragraph of 3 questions in 2017 from this topic. Also, this will come again in 12th in Physics, so it well now, so that you can do well in 12th. There are a lot of formulae. Make sure that you are thorough with them, and make their list. Revise t daily when the chapter is going on, and half the job is done. This is a fundamental chapter, be clear with electronic configurations and exceptions(Copper and Chromium I guess :p). 

This is a big chapter and usually takes a month or more to cover, so be patient and do it regularly or you will be stuck. The questions are usually conceptual, and don’t need much(don’t misread it, I mean less, not none) practice except for getting used to formulae, but read theory well. Don’t ask too many questions in Quantum Mechanics, and be ready to accepts facts and formulae(Heisenberg, De Broglie concept, etc.). Chemistry Olympiad has some really good questions from here.

3. Gases

Closely linked with Mole Concept, just one equations. Practice a lot, as there are many types of questions in this topic. Also, do some graph based problems too(very common in JEE. e.g.- draw a P,V graph for T= constant/ some function of P,V). Van der Waal equation looks scary, but its easy and remember the concepts of non- ideal gases well.

4. Chemical Equilibrium

A very important chapter. It links with it around 50% of Physical Chemistry. This chapter is highly conceptual, and requires good understanding. Clear every doubt which comes to your mind. Practice a lot of conceptual questions, specially from Le Chatelier principle. Olympiads have a good number of questions from Chemical Equilibrium.

5. Ionic Equilibrium

Based on Chemical Equilibrium, but has many formuale and conditions for acids bases. Practice and revise a lot. Be careful about which cases apply(strong acid/ salt/ buffer etc.) This chapter will fool you a lot. Apply approximations carefully. Sometimes they can be wrong. Practicing numericals is the key here. Some really good questions can be formed from this chapter. Writing down all possible equations helps(acid/base, buffer, solubility, etc.).

6. Thermodynamics

Another highly conceptual chapter. This is related to Physics, so study it well. Some conventions are different in both chapters, so be clear about them. This is linked to Chemical Equilibrium, so be ready for mixed type questions. There are a few equations in this chapter, and remember them well. Practice questions well, like in Hess’ Law and different types of questions using First Law. Second law has many conceptual questions, so practice conceptual questions well from this part.

7. Solid State

Relatively easy, but requires good 3D sometimes. There is a tiny bit of memorization(voids, free space, geometry, coordination number, etc.). Learn it well. It will boost up your speed. Remember the facts about defects and all. BE clear with radius ratio calculations and all those concepts. Practice and learn them for once, and they will stay for long.

8. Solutions

Easy one, there are a few formulae(Raoult’s law, Henry’s Law, and Colligative properties). Remember them, read NCERT, and practice a few questions.

9. Surface Chemistry

Very few concepts, and is mostly based on learning the stuff in NCERT. Just learn well, and be clear with the (small numb er of) concepts(calculating charge sign using the type of suspended particle, etc.) involved.

10. Electrochemistry

Have a thorough understanding of Ionic Equilibrium before you move here. Lots of concepts and formulae, and be clear with them. It is easy to get confused between positive and negative terminals. Practice a lot, and understand the derivations well. There are a lot of tough questions and that too of many types. Be clear with every type and do it again and again until you are crystal clear. Mixing of ions Ionic conduction, and Kohlrausch’s law are few more topics which need practice. Overall, this is relatively challenging and requires lot of revision. Be patient and give some time to it. Important from Olympiad point of view too.

11. Chemical Kinetics

This is mostly mathematics. Do a few questions on calculating rate laws,etc. Not too tough, but important(specially for Chemistry Olympiad). Then there is Arrhenius equation and collision theory and related theory. Read it a few times, solve some questions and you are done.

12. Nuclear Chemistry

Again, linked with Physics. Mainly has questions from radioactivity and stability. For stability, remember the rules(magic numbers, even odd, etc.). And then there is some theoretical stuff. Study it well from some good books.


To be honest, there aren’t many good books available for theory out there, so your coaching teacher/sheet has to be your godbook. If you study on your own, then you can use the study material of a coaching. I was from Resonance and found it pretty good, so I will recommend their material. It was upto mark and had good questions. If you have access to some other material then you can do it too.

For practice I recommend P. Bahadur. I have heard that R.C. Mukherjee is another good book (I didn’t solve it). You can see Wiley’s book which a friend used. It might be good too (it has theory as well as questions). I won’t recommend too many books, as it confuses students. Buys either Resonance material/ Wiley for theory and P. Bahadur/R.C. Mukherjee for Practice. If you are interested in theory, you can go for Bruce Mahan. It has awesome theory. Bit off-track for JEE, but builds concepts well (specially Atomic Structure is given really well in this book). Reading NCERT is a must.

So, basically Physical Chemistry has easy numericals and little tough conceptual questions. So, practice well where needed, and revise well where conepts/formulae are many. Reading NCERT, and making good class notes is highly advised.

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