Chemistry may be defined as the study of matter and chemical reactions between substances. High school Chemistry comes with a lot of chemical reactions and equations, concepts of acids and bases, saponification and cleansing action of soap, etc.

Chemistry is part of our everyday life - from cooking to the heating of water.

Additionally, there is the periodical table of elements, often dreaded by many, but if familiarized, it can be a great source of scoring high marks in exams. Students are also expected to balance chemical equations properly and to illustrate and explain any chemical reactions where conversion from one compound to another takes place.

Chemistry encompasses our daily lives - from the cooked food in our homes to the medicines that we consume | Source: Sergei Golyshev (AFK during workdays) on Visual Hunt

Class 10 Chemistry Syllabus

It is essential that students familiarize themselves with the entire Class 10 syllabus of Chemistry, irrespective of the Board of education they are affiliated to. This step should come before any of the other exam prep tricks such as solving past papers, etc.

Familiarity with the curriculum helps in the understanding of the unit-wise distribution of marks, important topics that need extra preparation, components for internal assessments, along with the actual design of the question papers in the final exam. 

ICSE Class 10 Chemistry Curriculum

  • Periodic Properties and variations of Properties – Physical and Chemical, including atomic size, metallic character, non-metallic character, ionization potential, electron affinity, electronegativity, etc.
  • Chemical Bonding, including electrovalent, covalent and co-ordinate bonding, structures of various compounds – orbit structure and electron dot structure, etc.
  • Study of Acids, Bases, and Salts, including definitions in terms of the molecules and their characteristic properties, etc.
  • Analytical Chemistry, including the use of Ammonium Hydroxide and Sodium Hydroxide, etc.
  • Electrolysis, including  Definitions and examples of electrolytes and non-electrolytes, etc.
  • Mole Concept and Stoichiometry, including Gay Lussac’s Law of Combining Volumes; Avogadro’s Law. The idea of mole, etc.
  • Metallurgy, including metals, and their alloys, non-metals, reduction of metallic oxide, etc.
  • Compounds, including Hydrogen Chloride, Ammonia, Nitric Acid, Sulphuric Acid.
  • Organic Chemistry, including an introduction to Organic compounds, structure and Isomerism, Homologous Series, Hydrocarbons: alkanes, alkenes, alkynes.
  • Practical Work

CBSE Chemistry Syllabus for Class 10

  • Chemical reactions: Chemical equation, Balanced chemical equation, the implication of a balanced chemical equation, types of chemical reactions: Combination, decomposition, displacement, double displacement, precipitation, neutralization, oxidation, and reduction.
  • Acids, bases, and salts: Their definitions in terms of furnishing of H+ and OH- ions, General properties, examples, and uses, the concept of pH scale (Definition relating to logarithm not required), the importance of pH in everyday life; preparation and uses of Sodium Hydroxide, Bleaching powder, Baking soda, Washing soda and Plaster of Paris.
  • Metals and nonmetals: Properties of metals and non-metals; Reactivity series; Formation and properties of ionic compounds; Basic metallurgical processes; Corrosion and its prevention.
  • Carbon compounds: Covalent bonding in carbon compounds. Versatile nature of carbon. Homologous series. Nomenclature of carbon compounds containing functional groups (halogens, alcohol, ketones, aldehydes, alkanes, and alkynes), the difference between saturated hydrocarbons and unsaturated hydrocarbons. Chemical properties of carbon compounds (combustion, oxidation, addition and substitution reaction). Ethanol and Ethanoic acid (only properties and uses), soaps and detergents.
  • Periodic classification of elements: Need for classification, Early attempts at classification of elements (Dobereiner’s Triads, Newland’s Law of Octaves, Mendeleev’s Periodic Table), Modern periodic table, gradation in properties, valency, atomic number, metallic and non-metallic properties.
Class notes
Chemistry notes - both the class notes and the revision notes - are your best friends during exam preparation | Source: Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

CBSE Class 10 Grading System

The Central Board of Secondary Education has introduced a new nine-point scale grading system that requires students to obtain qualifying grades in 4 out of 5 subjects in order to get promoted to the next higher class. This unique grading system has been introduced to reduce unnecessary exam pressure on students. 

CBSE Class 10 Science consists of the three branches of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

Of course, the final Board exam will test the students' skills and knowledge - a culmination of a number of small tests (internal assessments) conducted by the respective schools throughout the year.

Structure of Science Question Paper

  • A total of thirty questions divided into three sections: A, B, and C.
  • Section A: 14 objective type questions consisting of MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) and assertion-reason type questions, each carrying 1 mark.
  • Section B: 10 very short answer type questions with 3 marks each.
  • Section C: 6 long answer type questions carrying 5 marks each.

Useful Tips for Chemistry Exam Prep for Class 10

There are many revision resources and learning strategies at your disposal to help you be well-prepared for your Chemistry paper. Here are some general tips on the same.

  • Try to score well in your internal assessments.
  • Read your NCERT Science books thoroughly. The CBSE exam papers are always based on them.
  • Carry out continuous self-assessments with Chemistry question papers of previous years.
  • You must keep revising all the topics on a regular basis for better retention.
  • Try not to boggle your mind with new topics on the eve of the exam. You don't need to add to the exam stress!
  • Make sure you are taking down regular class 10 Chemistry notes for better revision. You can take the help of learning aids such as flashcards, highlighters, diagrams, study groups, etc.
  • List out the formulae and theories in a separate sheet/notebook.
  • Prepare and follow a strict study routine on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Take adequate breaks between revisions.
  • Keep yourself hydrated.
  • Sleep well before the day of the exam.
As you enter the examination hall, relax your mind and tell yourself that it is just an exam | Source: Roel Dierckens on Unsplash

During the Exam...

  • Read the question paper thoroughly, more than once, if required.
  • Write your paper in neat and clean handwriting.
  • Start with easier questions and then move on to the difficult ones.
  • Don't get stuck on one particular question. You can always come back to it with better time management!
  • Don't lose track of time.
  • Keep ample time to revise your answer sheet.
  • Write short and crip answers. Add diagrams and illustrations to explain your answers better.

Find all the chapter-wise learning resources covered in the CBSE Class 10 Chemistry Syllabus online, including sample papers and solutions, CBSE Class 10 Chemistry Previous Year Papers and Solutions, chapter notes, videos, etc. Apart from these, the must-have reading companions for your exam preparation include:

  1. Science - Textbook for Class X - NCERT Publication
  2. Assessment of Practical Skills in Science - Class X - CBSE Publication
  3. Laboratory Manual - Science - Class X, NCERT Publication
  4. Exemplar Problems Class X - NCERT Publication
  5. Additional References/ Exam Guides - Lakhmir Singh Chemistry Class 10, Selina Concise Chemistry Class 10
  6. Textbook Solutions, Videos, Sample Papers & More

CBSE Marking Scheme for Chemistry

Based on analyses of past Board exam papers, latest CBSE Syllabus, sample papers, and NCERT textbooks, some topics have been identified as being more important in the context of the upcoming Class 10 Board Exam. Here we have listed the expected weightage of marks for each chapter in the Chemistry curriculum.

Please note that these examples are merely suggestive in nature and do not reflect the true nature of the exam paper for the Chemistry exam 2020.

Chemical Reactions

  • The action of water on quick lime
  • The action of heat on ferrous sulfate crystals
  • Iron nails kept in copper sulfate solution
  • The reaction between sodium sulfate and barium chloride solutions

Chapter 2: Acids, Bases, and Salts [Expected weightage - 3 marks]

Important topics may include the following:

  • Preparation, Reactions, and Uses of the Following Substances:
    • Sodium Hydroxide
    • Bleaching Powder
    • Baking Soda
    • Washing Soda
    • Plaster of Paris
  • Important Topics for Chemistry Lab Practicals
    • Studying the properties of acids and bases (HCl & NaOH) on the basis of their reaction with:
      • Litmus solution (Blue/Red)
      • Zinc metal
      • Solid Sodium Carbonate
Back yourself to do well and you have won half the battle | Source: Church of the King on Unsplash

Chapter 3: Metals and Non-Metals [Expected weightage - 7 marks]

  • Properties of Metals and Non-Metals: Physical & Chemical
  • Formation and Properties of Ionic Compounds (NaCl, MgCl2),
  • Basic Terms Used in Metallurgy: Calcination, Roasting, etc.
  • Corrosion and its prevention

Chapter 4: Carbon and its Compounds [Expected weightage – 5 marks]

  • Covalent Bonding in Carbon Compounds
  • Main Reasons for Forming Large Number of Compounds: Catenation, Tetra-Valency
  • Homologous series:
  • Nomenclature of Carbon Compounds Containing Functional Groups  (Halogens, Alcohol, Ketones, Aldehydes, Alkanes, and Alkynes)
  • Saturated & Unsaturated hydrocarbons:
  • Chemical Properties of Carbon Compounds
  • Ethanol and Ethanoic acid
  • Soaps & Detergents

Chapter 5: Periodic Classification of Elements [Expected weightage - 5 marks]

  • Gradation in Properties:  Valency, Atomic number, Metallic, and Non-metallic properties.

Try to make sure that you cover the entire CBSE syllabus of Class 10 Chemistry based on the weightage outlined above. You may choose to focus on those unites with higher weightage. That does not mean, however, that you will neglect the other chapters. There are all types of practice questions available. Make the most of them!

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Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.