Are you prepared for O Level Chemistry?

Here is a checklist if you are ready for your battle in Chemistry

1.            Strong foundation of Basic Concepts

              The main reason why some students under-perform in examination is their lack of understanding of the fundamentals in Chemistry. A topic-by-topic approach is crucial – for each topic, students must revise the underlying concepts or formulae.

In Chemistry, it is important to know and master the topics taught in Secondary 3 first. Chemistry is a much more abstract science subject compared to Physics and Biology because almost every topic is interrelated to another topic.

2.           Pay Attention to the Usage of Keywords in Structured Questions

               Just knowing the key concepts i.e. ‘stories’ is not sufficient. Students will be marked by the examiners based on the correct keywords or key phrases written. One of the main challenges that many Chemistry students faced is answering structured questions with the appropriate, specific, complete set of keywords.

               The reason for such mistakes is often rote memorisation. Mastery of Chemistry involves a strong foundation of basic concepts coupled with clear usage of keywords on top of their application skills.

3.           Attempt Ten-Years Series Questions

               Next, to put their understanding of each topic to the test, students are advised to start work immediately on the O level questions.

               Since strong foundation is built on topic-by-topic approach, the use of the Ten-Years series (TYS) topical books is strongly recommended, preferably one that provides step-by-step detailed solutions.

4.           Keep Clarifying

               Building a strong foundation consists of understanding the key concepts for each topic, testing the student’s understanding by working on the questions, and most importantly, clarifying any doubts and correcting any mistakes made.

               If your child is afraid of embarrassment, get him to ask someone who has the most up-to-date knowledge in Chemistry concepts and someone he is comfortable with, for example, his friends, his siblings, his teachers or tutors. With technology, he can even email or message his questions to someone he trusts.

               Some TYS books even highlight mistakes that are commonly made, and this feature helps students learn how to avoid them during the examination.

5.           Examination Strategies

               Once your child has mastered all the key concepts for all the topics, the next step is to learn how to manage his time during the examination. Students have to go through timed trial exercises so that they can understand and appreciate the importance of time management during examinations.

Quoted from an educational magazine

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