According to the Education Statistics Digest 2018, an estimate of 15,000 secondary students enrolled in junior colleges in the year 2017. These students get to choose between arts of science stream, electing for their preferred subject combinations comprising of H1 and H2 subjects. That being said, junior college students face the daunting challenge of studying more advanced and comprehensive subjects as compared to secondary schools, such as H2 Chemistry, Maths and General Paper.
As such, many students seek out tuition to help with their studies, serving as supplementary education support. However, as the side from enrolling into tuition centres, there are few tips and tricks that a student can learn to benefit his/her learning. Hence, this article will elaborate on challenges that students face when taking up content-heavy subjects such as H2 Chemistry, and to also explain the benefits of H2 chemistry tuition.
What are some of the main challenges faced by secondary school students when they take up A level/H2 Chemistry?
It goes without saying that content becomes more in-depth, such that students can no longer rely solely on textbooks, or memorizing notes. H2 Chemistry is a demanding subject that introduces students to a more advanced chemistry syllabus that more often than not stumps even the top scorers for chemistry for O levels.
One of the main challenges secondary students face is that content becomes more analytical and deduction based, as such students are challenged to apply what is taught and not merely memorise it
Take these illustrations below as an example:
In O level – Organic Chemistry, the reaction of alcohol
Organic chemistry in O levels requires students to draw out an overview of a chemical reaction. Above is the O level illustration of the reaction of alcohol.
In A level – Organic Chemistry, the reaction of alcohol:
Organic chemistry in A level, on the other hand, requires students to illustrate a more detailed breakdown of the reaction.
What is the recommended practice routine for studying A Level Chemistry? Does it help to do as much practice papers as possible? Why or why not?
Although there isn’t a sure-fire practice routine for studying A-Level Chemistry as every individual has his/her own preferred approach to studying, the practice routine that New Dawn Learning Studio encourages all its students to adopt has been proven to be effective.
As students commonly feel overwhelmed by a load of content to study as the syllabus are undoubtedly extensive and very in-depth, it is recommended for students to start early and to learn to be consistent in their studies. At New Dawn, lessons cover topics that are ahead of what is taught in school, so as to better prepare students. In addition, the tuition centre organises topical based workshops to help students who lag behind.
Students are therefore advised to learn the concepts first and only attempt practice papers afterwards. In order to ensure that students do not merely memorise the content, they are encouraged to learn how to cross topics and to apply concepts learned through the course of learning. For a subject like H2 Chemistry, quality naturally beats quantity; efficiency is measured not be the number of practice papers completed, but the quality of questions answered.
How does having a chemistry tutor help student overcome these challenges?
That being said, tutoring has become an essential tool in helping students better understand the syllables, especially for a content-heavy subject like H2 Chemistry. As students have to take up a combination of subjects, all of which are relatively heavy and content, the time constraint is a common issue faced by many. In some cases, students who are unable to practice good time management fail to allocate enough time to study the entire syllabus in time for the A levels.
As such, it is crucial for tutors to help break down or summarise content so as to present it in a more “digestible” manner for students.
What are some of the key questions that students should be asking the tutor and themselves?
When it comes to A level Chemistry, a very deep understanding of a concept is vital. Take for example a simple concept of chemical structure in chemical bonding:
What sets us apart from other tuition centres?
New Dawn’s A-Level chemistry tuition classes place great emphasis on comprehensive learning, so as to equip students with a well-rounded knowledge of both the subject and how to effectively tackle its examination. Our method incorporates researching and cross-referencing notes and questions from multiple schools, ultimately allowing us to compile well-thought-out notes.
In addition, we encourage our students to study the exam question trends across a variety of schools, so as to create a step-by-step guide on how to effectively approach exam questions.
Take a look at the example below:
When is it time to take a study break to avoid burnout?
It is strongly encouraged for students to practise good time management and make use of the spacing effect, which is essentially the result of learning that becomes more efficient when studying is spread over time, rather than condensed into a single session. A common practice that incorporates the spacing effect is to set goals and objectives and deciding on topics to tackle before every study session. New Dawn’s teaching method helps and guides its students by creating a study plan according to their learning pace.
Are study groups helpful?
Although forming study groups is a preferred method of studying a great many students, more often than not, students tend to get distracted and chat amongst themselves. There are also individual study pods designed for independent learning so that students are able to study at their own pace with a high level of engagement.