The maths is quite straight forward believe it or not, but the big equations and the use of logarithms can make these questions seem more difficult, and let’s face it, sometimes kinda scary!

Fear not, it takes a little practice but the more you see and use your basic math skills with these equations, the less scary they become, until you’re laughing in the face of huge equations!

The following set of videos cover the following mathematical techniques:

- Rearranging equations involving logs
- Using simultaneous equations to find values for more than one unknown
- “Linearising” an equation (ready for graphing, or just to simplify)

The idea of this post is to remove some of the “scary factor” when you see complex equations, and to help you become more familiar with, and learn how to manipulate them.

All the videos are around 3 minutes long. If you don’t understand the rearragements or log rules, you should consult the other maths for Chemistry resources on this blog, such as “Logs in less than 5 minutes“.

**Resource 1: Logarithms in Chemical calculations**

The following resource explains the maths used when manipulating some common physical chemistry equations.

- Nernst Equation: The use of log to base 10 and the natural log (ln) in the Nernst equation is shown, and how the equation can be rearranged to be able to plot on a straight line graph.
- Gibbs Free energy related to the Equilibrium Constant: How to rearrange the equation ΔG = RTln
*K*to solve for*K*using log rules - Clausius-Clapeyron Equation (relating vapour pressure to temperature): Another example of how to rearrange an equation involving log rules.

**Resource 2: Simultaneous Equations and the Arrhenius Equation**

This video is concerned with the Arrhenius equation (relates the rate constant *k* to the temperature). It summarises the following:

- Rearranging the Arrhenius equation into a “linear” form
- Using simultaneous equations to solve for more than one unknown

**Resource 3: Simultaneous Equations and Thermodynamic Expressions**

More practice at using simultaneous equations and rearranging equations with logs in them.

I hope these resources help you feel more at ease with some scary looking equations.

*For more information about cbsquared GAMSAT preparation courses, please visit: http://cbsquared.co/learn/courses/*

The GAMSAT is notorious for using graphs to represent data, and for requiring that graphs are interpreted correctly to answer a question.

But hands up who can’t even remember doing a simple straight line y = mx + c graph since school, and who’s graphical prowess is either limited to a graphics calculator, or those blue pie charts in excel?

Never fear.

Being able to interpret and draw a graph are excellent skills to have, they can be applied across all three of the sciences of GAMSAT Section III, and they are suprisingly easy to learn!

Here are a couple of resources for getting up to speed with graphs.

**Resource 1: BBC Bitesize – Graphs and Proportion**

This resource gives a quick rundown of:

- direct proportion
- inverse proportion
- straight line graph (proportional)
- quadratic
- cubic
- square root
- inverse proportion

**Resource 2: Zona Land Education – A closer look at graphing**

Weird name, and old school looking website, but good explanations. Scroll to the bottom for links to each of the following:

- Direct proportions
- Linear functions
- Inverse proportions
- Inverse proportion graph
- Rational functions, 1/x

I hope these resources helped jog your memory and enable you to “tow the line” so to speak, when it comes to graphical analysis.

*For more information about cbsquared GAMSAT preparation courses, please visit: http://cbsquared.co/learn/courses/*

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Despite what you might initially think, the level of maths required in the GAMSAT is not difficult, but it may require a concerted effort to make sure your skills are up to scratch, especially with the no calculator rule.

So with a bit of practice, you really can turn that maths into child’s play

Below are a list of linked resources to get “back to basics” with your maths knowledge, and ensure you have the basic skills down-pat so that you can apply them while answering your chemistry questions. Many include examples and practice questions.

**Rearranging & manipulating equations**

Transposition of formulae (rearranging equations)

Fractions: Fear and loathing in mathematics

Dimensional Analysis

Simultaneous Equations

**Logarithms**

Logarithms

Conversion of natural logs to base 10 logs

**Graphing and graphical analysis**

Graphs and Proportion

Graphs and Functions

I’ll continue to add to this list as I find targeted and relevant resources. Follow us on our social media channels or join our mailing list to be alerted about updates.

(A derivation of this equation pops up in ACER Practice Test 1, Questions 49-51)

The Arrhenius Equation looks pretty nasty…after all it has a FRACTION raised to the power…with base “e”…eeeee indeed!

Also, dragons:

But we must remember that the rules for manipulation of NATURAL LOGS (ln) are the SAME as LOGS to the BASE 10.

If you need to refresh these rules, please see my previous post “Logs in less than 5 minutes” which has a great video explanation of the rules. The resources section of the cbsquared Chemistry for GAMSAT online course also contains some practice drills for using logs, and also manipulating scientific notation which may be helpful.)

Ok. Now that we have that sorted, we might have the activation energy levels high enough to launch into the next video (don’t worry it’s only a little more than THREE MINUTES!) which demonstrates how we can use simultaneous equations to use the relationship between temperature and rate constant to solve for Ea, Activation Energy.

For a more indepth discussion of the Arrhenius equation and the forms it takes, the Khan Academy also has a really great resource (this link also includes some other kinetics concepts such as rate laws and reaction mechanisms).

Also, for a detailed explanation of the *pre-exponential factor, A*, check out this chemwiki resource.

You begin to feel overwhelmed. You’re not really sure where to start, or if you’re even up for the challenge anymore. You’ve got limited science and maths background after all, and there just seems like so much to learn!

Surely there is some other tool that could help, some strategic approach to learning? Some way to “jump start” your brain into the problem solving gear that you’ll need for GAMSAT?

I often hear these questions from students with feelings of despair and overwhelm. So I was glad this week to have stumbled across a really useful tool that I want to share with my students and other GAMSAT candidates.

It’s a free course entitled “Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects” available via Coursera. (It really is free, just click “enrol” and choose to complete the course without a certificate)

It’s being offered by The University of California San Diego, and was created by Barbara Oakley. In the TEDx video below, Barbara explains how she “fell off the maths bandwagon” and flunked her way through primary and high school maths and science. But at the age of 26, she decided to “change her brain” and is now a Professor of Engineering.

I saw it on bigthink.com, one of my favourite websites (it’s a knowledge forum of sorts, and would make a great inspiration resource for Section II of the GAMSAT, you should check it out!).

This free (it really is free, just click “enrol” and choose to complete the course without a certificate) “Learning How to Learn” course would be a great addition to your GAMSAT study approach. But please keep in mind that you’ll need a whole lot more than this and strategy (currently offered as the main part of a lot of GAMSAT prep courses that have popped up over the last few years).

I personally would be wary of spending a lot of time and money on a solely “strategic” approach, especially if you have limited science and maths background. Unfortunately there is no “silver bullet” to GAMSAT and those with limited background in science and maths will need to dedicate a reasonable amount of time getting familiar with the language of science and the basic functions of algebra and logarithms, as well as a lot of practice with problem solving to be able to do well in Biology, Physics and Chemistry aspects of GAMSAT section III.

The good news is, with a good plan and a positive attitude there’s no reason why you can’t give the GAMSAT as good a go as anyone else!

by ]]>Despite what you may remember, you DID learn how to use logs in the early high school years! So try not to fret about them now, we are just going to be jump starting your memory a little.

The following video will give you a summary of logs in LESS THAN 5 MINUTES!

Find out:

- Why we use logs
- The nomenclature of logs
- Inverse or “anti” logs
- Rules of logs (what to do when multiplying, dividing, adding etc)

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Ian Stewart wrote a book about the 17 equations that changed the world, and a short explanation of each can be found in this Business Insider article.

Read it and we guarantee you’ll feel smarter in minutes.

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