Focus Chemistry: A Deep Dive
It is only natural for parents to want to know what their child is doing during tuition classes, and how they can benefit from the supplementary classes which are intended to improve their grades at school. In this Deep Dive, we will explore the answers to some common questions parents have about their child’s education so that both students and parents can be assured that they have made the right choice by choosing Focus Chemistry!
What is my child going to do in class at Focus Chemistry?
Students will face the same challenges in school which Focus Chemistry can help with. The following list denotes the common challenges which students need to overcome to achieve their desired grades in Chemistry, both at the secondary school and Junior College levels.
1. Clarify doubts by asking questions
At school, students may not clarify their doubts and will leave gaps in their understanding for later. These gaps in their knowledge will become apparent when they undertake their examinations, as exam questions may use a blend of topics to test the student’s knowledge. With a rickety foundation in basic Chemistry concepts, students may not be able to answer properly.
2. Learn how to solve exam questions
Often, students face problems solving exam questions under a timed setting. Firstly, there is the problem of interpreting the question and figuring out which topics they are testing. Next, there is the problem of having all the steps of the workings needed to solve the questions. Lastly, there is writing the answer in a presentable way such that all the keywords needed to score are present.
3. Learn the link between content knowledge and exam questions
Many students opt to study Chemistry purely using rote memorisation. This creates a problem as when the factual matrix of the question is changed, students will face issues solving the new question as they either have memorised the content the way it is structured in the textbook, or how to solve existing questions. The goal is for students to know the link between their content and the questions they are trying to solve so that they are prepared for any type of question.
4. Learn how to complete coursework with help (for IB and IP)
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and certain schools’ Integrated Programmes (IP) will have coursework for Chemistry which involve independent research and experimentation. Students need to come up with a Research Question, finetune a methodology and carry out experiments in their school Chemistry lab, and process their results using statistical testing
Modes of Lesson Delivery
There are physical classes delivered at our on-site location at Balmoral Plaza, as well as online lessons delivered over Zoom. It is possible to sit in for a physical lesson via Zoom as well, and classes will be recorded so that any student who misses a lesson can still catch up on their revision by watching the recording to ensure that they do not miss out on their learning.
The benefit of physical classes is that the student can concentrate better as their learning will be more hands-on. Furthermore, having their peers in the same class can boost morale and inculcate a healthy competitive attitude where they all strive to achieve their desired grades together. If the student encounters any difficulties with the material, they will be able to ask their peers for help and receive guidance from the tutor in person, which may strengthen their understanding.
However, in this digital age, learning via Zoom is beneficial as students can access tuition from anywhere and anytime, depending on their schedules. For students with busy schedules, not having to learn at a physical location could be beneficial for them as they will save time and energy commuting. Moreover, as Zoom classes at Focus Chemistry are recorded, students have the benefit of replaying the recording to go over parts of the class they do not understand well.
Qualifications of the Tutor
Our Focus Chemistry tutor, Dion Khoo, has over 31 years of experience teaching Chemistry to all levels of students with varying abilities. This is highly important as every student looks at their subjects differently, with some students having greater aptitude for some skills than others. It is important for every student to be guided in a way which helps them best understand.
Furthermore, having graduated with a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, Dion has a good research background which will help students complete any Chemistry coursework. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and certain Integrated Programmes (IP) courses will require students to research independently to complete a written coursework with results garnered from experiments conducted by the student in their school Chemistry labs.
Our tutor’s strong research background will help students who need to complete their coursework in every step of the journey, from crafting the research question, refining their methodology, processing their results, to writing an acceptable conclusion.
At times, students run into a roadblock when they do not have ideas for their research topic, when their experimentation goes wrong, or if they are not sure how to process data and check for whether their results are significant. Focus Chemistry can guide students in every step of the research process to ensure that students are able to cope with the rigorous coursework demands.
What materials will be given out to students at Focus Chemistry?
Students will receive a set of notes which will give them information about the content in the syllabus which they need to refer to or revise when tackling exam questions. These notes have been compiled by our Focus Chemistry tutor to help students organise their content into an order which will help them revise and provide an easy reference when answering practice questions.
Additionally, students will receive question papers from a variety of schools to ensure that they keep up with the latest questions which are being asked in schools around Singapore. For example, A Level students will need to practice Chemistry questions from other Junior Colleges to ensure that they are prepared for every permutation of question which could appear in exams.
Moreover, Focus Chemistry has specially crafted rare questions which appear in exams occasionally. These questions do not come often, but are advanced in difficulty and may cause students to lose marks if they cannot answer them, which could adversely affect their grades. Focus Chemistry has written a number of questions to simulate these rare questions to prepare students for this aspect of their Chemistry exams.
What separates Focus Chemistry from other tuition centres?
Focus Chemistry is a specialist tuition centre which, as our name suggests, means that our tutor has chosen to specialise in learning and teaching Chemistry to his students, as opposed to having many subjects in a “one-stop-shop” model. As such, our tutor has a deep knowledge of many exam systems as well as the changes in syllabus which have taken place over the years.
With further education in the field, our Focus Chemistry tutor is able to go above and beyond, crafting rare questions and specialised materials to supplement his students’ learning. Moreover, having seen many students of all types over 31 years of teaching, our tutor is able to spot the common weaknesses of students very easily so that they may be corrected before the exam.
In Singapore, parents looking for a tuition centre for their child will face a myriad of options. It can be difficult to assess the best option for the student without first knowing what exactly the tuition centre can and will do during classes with the child. Focus Chemistry is open to questions from parents if they have any specific concerns, and we are just a text message away!
With time, effort, and our specialised learning methods and materials at Focus Chemistry, all Focus Chemistry students will surely be able to achieve their desired grades.
Click here to book your slot with Focus Chemistry today!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How not to be a boring tutor?
Tutors should engage the child by knowing their personalities and the things which make them interested to learn. Some children respond well to rewards, and others need a firmer approach.
2. What is the hardest part of being a tutor?
The hardest part of being a tutor is to discern the student’s strengths and weaknesses and tailor your teaching approach to help your student.
3. How do you know if your tutor is bad?
A bad tutor will be frequently absent and will not help the student understand the concepts. The tutor should be able to help their students understand difficult concepts in their explanation.
4. Why do students not go to tutoring?
Students may not need tutoring if they are good at the subject already. Moreover, some parents may find that their child should study by themselves instead of seek help.