IB Chemistry

A Day in the Life of an IB Focus Chemistry Student

Do you wonder how a typical lesson at Focus Chemistry is conducted? Want to know what makes Focus Chemistry so special? Delve into a typical day at Focus Chemistry’s IB Chemistry tuition to find out what you will be learning when you take a class with us! 

When a student first enters the studio, they will sign their names to take attendance. Alternatively, they can log on online to catch the lesson remotely as per their convenience! Don’t worry if you miss a lesson - if you do, the lesson is recorded and will be sent to you, so you don’t have to compromise on your revision and progress.

The IB diploma is a challenging time for the students who choose to undertake it, simply because of the need for excellent time management of the various deadlines. Each subject has an Internal Assessment (IA) which is a coursework component contributing significantly to the student’s final grade. Moreover, the content knowledge needed for the Higher-Level subjects and Standard Level subjects must be studied in time for the final IB exams at the end of the 2 years.

1. Explanation of IB syllabus and content

The IB syllabus spans many topics and requires students to master all the relevant content before their final IB exams. At times, explaining the concepts requires visualisation with real-life examples. Focus Chemistry uses examples from outside the IB syllabus to explain how the concepts work so that students can better understand. Moreover, Focus Chemistry uses suitable analogies to help students visualise the concepts which are not visible to the naked eye.

Focus Chemistry uses the Socratic Method to ensure that students deepen their answers by explaining the concept properly, instead of giving one-word answers. Students may feel shy to volunteer answers in class, and Focus Chemistry aims to give its students the opportunity to hone their answering skills in the exam by practicing how to answer in real life. Students need to learn how to provide complete answers in the exam to attain the full marks allocated to the particular question by mentioning all the relevant keywords and explaining the concept properly.

Every IB Chemistry HL student needs to study an option topic – most schools do Medicinal Chemistry. For this option topic, students will need to study the practical application of medicine, which includes the interaction of drugs with the patient’s body. To visualise how drugs bind to the receptor site, Focus Chemistry uses molecule models with different coloured balls to represent different elements. Students will assemble these models in class and use them to visualise the relevant concepts to further enhance their understanding.

Focus Chemistry has an intimate understanding of how the IB tests a particular concept in Chemistry, especially the paper in which the topic will come out in. One benefit of studying with Focus Chemistry is that Focus Chemistry is highly capable of sifting through information to identify the relevant parts of the concept studied to ensure that students do not waste time and energy revising information which will not be tested in the exam. Focus Chemistry helps students with their content-heavy IB Chemistry syllabus by analysing how the questions are structured and highlighting the main points during lessons so students can take them down.

2. Tackling Internal Assessments (IAs) for Chemistry

The Internal Assessment (IA) in Chemistry makes up a significant portion of the student’s grade and will involve some experimentation and report writing. Students who are unfamiliar with this process will face difficulties in conducting the experiment, analysing their experimental results, and presenting their findings in a coherent and concise manner.

Students need to come up with a Research Question and do a preliminary literature review for their chosen topic to help them craft an experimental methodology. Next, the student will have to do the experiment in their school science lab and tabulate their findings. These results must be analysed and linked to the concepts studied in the IB syllabus and must undergo statistical testing. Lastly, the appropriate conclusions must be drawn from the findings.

Focus Chemistry helps students with their Chemistry IA, taking them through the whole process should they need help. Students are always welcome to ask questions when they are facing difficulties during experimentation. At times, students may face difficulties when their experimental setup does not produce the expected results, or when there are issues with their methodology. Students may feel lost as to what to do when they run into difficulties and may need additional guidance. Moreover, students may be confused as to how to analyse their results with statistical testing and present them in a coherent and concise manner.

Students who need help with their IAs can ask our experienced tutor at Focus Chemistry. Moreover, Focus Chemistry reviews the student’s drafts and provides helpful comments to ensure that they get the best possible feedback and grades for their Chemistry IA.

3. Chemistry Extended Essay

Every IB student needs to write a 4000-word, independently researched Extended Essay in one of their Higher-Level subjects to attain the IB Diploma. For students who have never undertaken such research and the presentation of their results before, they may face significant difficulties in producing this Extended Essay. However, Focus Chemistry provides additional guidance to students seeking to do their Extended Essay in Chemistry in various ways.

During lessons with Focus Chemistry, as the tutor goes through the Chemistry syllabus, he will point out which ideas in the syllabus are suitable to be researched for the Extended Essay in the context of a high school Chemistry lab. As such, this overcomes one of the main hurdles students face when deciding to do a Chemistry EE – finding a Research Question and crafting it properly. The Research Question is the central thesis of the Extended Essay and must be formulated in a proper way such that it is not too specific nor too vague. Moreover, the Extended Essay should link the concepts studied in the IB syllabus to the experiment the student is undertaking.

Another avenue where Focus Chemistry helps IB Chemistry students with their EE is by reviewing their EE and providing comments on the draft before submission. This is especially helpful as often, EE mentors in the students’ schools may not have enough time to help the student as much as the student needs it. As such, an additional pair of eyes and another set of feedback could help students improve their final EE to get a good grade when submitted.

Achieve your desired IB grades with Focus Chemistry!

Focus Chemistry boasts 30 years of experience in teaching Chemistry to all levels of students. Whether you are looking to prepare for exams, go for Chemistry competitions, or simply bolster your foundation of basic Chemistry concepts, Focus Chemistry is the go-to Chemistry specialist in Singapore.

The IB Diploma is particularly challenging as students need to complete Internal Assessments (IA) which contribute to a significant part of their Chemistry grade. Moreover, they need to study the content in the IB syllabus (along with another option topic) to sit for their final exams at the end of the IB diploma. As such, students may need extra guidance and help from their tutor.

With time and effort, every student will surely be able to achieve their desired grades in Chemistry. Focus Chemistry has a tried-and-tested teaching method and specially curated materials and question banks to help you prepare for every Chemistry exam.

Feel more confident when you step into the exam and hall and gain knowledge and experience answering many different permutations of Chemistry questions so that you will be well prepared to handle any question in your Chemistry exam paper.

Contact us to secure your slot today!

Frequently Asked Questions:

a) How to study for IB Chemistry?

Firstly, knowing the syllabus for IB Chemistry (either HL or SL) will help the student revise. Next, try practicing with past year IB papers to get used to the exam format. If there are questions students do not know how to answer, they can revise the concepts regarding the question to help them answer them or clarify with a tutor or teacher.

b) What do you do in IB Chemistry?

IB Chemistry consists of exams at the end of the IB programme and an Internal Assessment where the student needs to perform independent research and experimentation and write a report regarding their methodology and findings.

c) How do I start giving tuition in Singapore?

Approach various tuition centres and ask whether they have tuition job openings. Alternative, aspiring tutors can join Telegram groups advertising tuition job and assignment opportunities.

d) Is IB Chem difficult?

Chemistry is one of the hardest IB subjects as students must be good at conceptual understanding of the topics tested as well as good at conducting independent research and writing.

e) Is chemistry the hardest IB subject?

Chemistry is one of the hardest IB subjects, along with IB History, and IB Maths Analysis and Approaches.

f) Is IB chemistry or biology harder?

IB Chemistry is ranked as more difficult as IB Biology, but both subjects require a different set of skills which students may find equally hard.