How to score well in Chemistry (O Levels and A Levels)

For most secondary schools, Chemistry (or at least combined Chemistry) is a compulsory subject for all students. Even in JC, a large portion of the student population continues to select Chemistry as a part of their subject combinations.

This is largely due to the fact that Chemistry is a prerequisite for most STEM courses, opening a door full of opportunities into prestigious careers such as engineering, medicine, etc. Hence, it is of critical importance that students know how to tackle the sciences subject in order to score the distinctions they want for their national examinations.

If you’re struggling to find the right studying techniques, or can’t seem to get into the groove of Chemistry for O-Level or A-Level, don’t fret! Here is some detailed advice on how you can start doing well with help from Chemistry tuition classes at Sophia Education that offers Group Tuition or 1-to-1:

Know your topics well

Chemistry topics can be largely divided into two types: Calculation topics (i.e. topics like Mole, Redox) and Content-heavy topics.

These two types of topics require different demands and approaches when being studied for their exams, and a student needs good guidance to know how to approach the topics and maximise their learning.

In schools, teachers don’t always provide the best learning experience or go into the right specifics when teaching new topics. This is because the school curriculum is constantly packed with different subjects, events and extra-curriculars. With lessons that are too short, and teachers who are strapped for time, content and topics are often glossed over. This is to the detriment of many students who are unaware of what to expect and listen out for during lessons.

At Sophia Education, our students are well-informed by our centre’s tuition teachers on what exactly they need to understand, memorise, and practice for each Chemistry topic- rather than aimlessly listening to lessons. Our teachers have many years of experience and are well aware of the MOE syllabus as most of us here are MOE teachers. We provide a unique teaching style and know that it is far more effective to know what to look out for in the content so students are able to more effectively direct their focus when learning.

Use a memorisation technique that works for you

There’s a lot to memorise for Chemistry, so you need to devote a good amount of time doing so before your examinations. It would be wise to set aside specific times and sessions to memorise your chemistry content, long before your exam season. Memorising the content over a long period of time, as opposed to in short bursts days or hours before your exams, is way more effective in the long run as your brain is able to better retain the information that you learnt.

What memorisation technique works for you largely depends on the type of learner you are. If you’re a visual learner, making colourful and succinct cue cards might be helpful. For auditory, you might find trying to speak your content aloud more beneficial. Either way, you want to find ample time and the right memorising technique to overcome this huge hurdle in Chemistry.

At Sophia Education, an effective memorisation practice we have is the use of routine quizzes. For our JC Chemistry tuition and O Level Chemistry tuition classes, routine quizzes (at the end of lessons in which new topics are being taught) are conducted to ensure the new content is properly retained.

These practice quizzes are not just conducted once, but across the span of a few lessons to track their pitfalls and give students the opportunity to revisit forgotten concepts.

Practice, practice and practice again

While most students are often able to wrap their heads around the different concepts and topics after a certain point, it does not mean they are properly equipped to properly tackle Chemistry questions. Aside from having a good understanding of the subject, you also need to develop the right answering techniques to meet question demands.