(Polar molecules, Non-polar molecules, etc.)
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Yeah, unfortunately I don't think it's super easy to memorize the bond angles. If you can visualize the yellow molecule toys that Dr. Lavelle showed us in class, that might help you distinguish between 120 degrees, or 109.5 degrees, etc. However, for a lot of the bond angles, you really just have to unfortunately memorize it. There are plenty of helpful charts on Google images that can help you with memorizing the VSEPR shapes.
Theoretically if you know the geometry of a molecule, like how many bonds are in the same plane, you could divide that 360 degrees by that number; honestly, though, it is probably wiser to just use Quizlet to memorize or become familiar with the unique bond angles.
I think we have to memorize them. What I find really helpful is making flashcards so you can memorize them a little quicker. For molecules with one pairs such as NH3 and H2O, I don't think we have to memorize them besides stating that they would be less than the tetrahedral angle of 109.5 degrees.
Best bet is to memorize them. We will continue to draw molecules and will have to know what they look like to look at its chemical properties. Luckily, its not that much and is typically straightforward once you get the hang of it.
The way I learned the bond angles in high school, was by making a table that contained the names of molecules, drawings of them, and the bond angles. By studying this, it allowed me to later recall the drawing that contained the bond angles
For the common shapes, it should be fairly easy to know those angles since we work with them regularly. For shapes with lone pair electron density areas, those bond angles would be smaller than normal but different for each molecule, and we won't have to calculate those.
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