Chemistry is, with no doubt, one of the core subjects that is not only required as pre-requisite when applying for university courses in Singapore but also serves as central science through which other sciences such as physics, biology and geology connect to each other.
At O-level, you took chemistry as a single. However, at Junior College, you’re presented with options to choose from, either H1 or H2 level chemistry with H3 building on H2. To be honest, both levels have an equal share of difficulty, but H2 and H3 offer a wider scope of the study compared to H1.
At the O-level, you are required to take at least two sciences, chemistry being compulsory. Of course, there has to be a valid reason as to why it has to be this way. In an attempt to solve this puzzle, we have summed up some of the key skills gained from learning chemistry.
“Two heads are better than one.” You must have come across this saying. During the lab sessions, you may be asked to work on your own or in small groups. In most cases, you’ll end up working in small groups and only work on your own during the practical exams.
Working in groups helps you learn how to collaborate with other students, and by so doing, you’re more likely to produce accurate results. All in all, teamwork is an important skill that will not only help you complete projects in the university but also in your career.
Generally, Chemistry covers topics that involve a series of mental processes. Throughout the course, you’ll be required to analyse, assess, evaluate, compare and contrast different chemistry concepts.
Take Reaction Kinetics, for instance, this is a topic that involves simple rate reactions in relation to concentration, temperature and catalysts. By just comparing the reaction rates of different elements and compounds, you’ll be improving on your analytical thinking skills, something that is king when it comes to problem-solving.
Research by various scholars indicates that chemistry is one of the subjects perceived as difficult by most students. These findings are spot on to a certain extent. And from our teaching experiences, we’ve come to realise that our students grasped more by engaging themselves in asking and answering questions, presentation of both class and lab work, group work among other class activities. Communication skills are further honed at our chemistry tuition center in Singapore where we actively encourage active participation, interaction and questioning concepts in order to truly understand concepts.
While working on that class assignment or lab report, you will get to share as well as listen to other people’s observations and opinions before arriving at a conclusion. This improves your listening skills as well as negotiation skills.
It is true that working in a group can be difficult and requires patience. People learn differently, we have fast learners and slow learners, but how do we make sure we move together? By communicating, and life ahead is a lot easier with good communication skills.
Individuals with this ability tend to perform better at what they do than those who do not. Attention to detail strengths offers you the ability to be more effective and minimize any risk of errors.
Chemistry trains you to be detail-oriented. You have to visualise both the physical and chemical processes. Whether you’re recording readings or drawing graphs or adding drops of an indicator to a solution, you need to be keen to details.
This is basically knowing how things work or need to be carried out to achieve certain results. Chemistry offers students with an opportunity to develop something known as “chemical common sense”. You get to have a clear understanding of how substances look like and their properties. For example, if you see a precipitate of a sodium thiosulfate and an acid, you should be able to identify sulfur as the insoluble substance.
Problem-solving is a life skill. This is basically being able to evaluate a problem or a situation when faced with one. Chemistry has several problem-based activities which can be solved in a number of ways. These activities are aimed at helping students to develop problem-solving skill.
For example, you may be provided with a solid sample, say Compound X and asked to devise an experiment to identify the name of the solid sample. This will require some brainstorming. You will need to refer to your knowledge the reduction of metal oxides, properties of dilute acids and the reactivity series. Depending on the provided chemicals and apparatus, you’ll be able to know which experiment to carry out.
An essential skill that can be of great use in future if well mastered. This is the mathematical side of Chemistry. Remember the Mole concept? Where you had to perform calculations involving reacting masses and volumes of gases. Ah, mathematics, another monster! However, once you grasp the concept, you’ll agree with us that this is one of the easiest Chemistry topics.
At this level, you’ll be able to gain a good standard of arithmetic in preparation for more advanced concepts when you join the university.
As a student, you’re expected to conduct yourself in a certain way. Chemistry instils discipline in students in a special way. You are wondering how? Before you step into a chemistry lab, you are instructed to be in safety goggles and a lab coat. The first lesson is always about safety rules and this including how to handle gas taps, eye wash stations and fire extinguishers.
The main point for all these is to minimise the chances of accidents occurring as these can be life-threatening. In other words, at any given moment you are expected to do the right thing, at the right time and place. Chemistry helps you develop the culture of following rules, something that extends beyond the classroom setting.
Let’s face it! Chemistry is definitely no joke, and most students struggle to find their footing when they enrol in both Secondary school and Junior College. Don’t find yourself in such a situation. Julian Chemistry offers A-Level and O-Level chemistry tuition lessons that delivers results. Enrol today and get assistance from an experienced Chemistry tutor who will make your learning experience a memorable one.