Looking for an JC A Level or H2 Chemistry tutor? I’m sure you would have encountered many tutors just by performing a Google search. With so many chemistry tutors available, how do you decide the best chemistry tutor to help you with H2 Chemistry? Afterall, you have a lot at stake for A Level and engaging a Chemistry tutor is a big investment as well as a long term commitment. Well, we have got you covered for this. We will discuss 3 things that you should look out for before engaging a Chemistry tutor.
Qualifications of the tutor
Chemistry Undergraduate or Ph.D?
Do you need a tutor with Ph.D in Chemistry? Should you settle for an undergraduate in Chemistry? In order to have sufficient content knowledge to teach H2 Chemistry, an undergraduate may not have sufficient depth to teach Chemistry at A level effectively. However, having a Ph.D in Chemistry just means that this person has done some form of research in a very specific field in the entire realm of Chemistry. This person with a Ph.D may not be well versed in all the content or topics covered at A Level. To put things simply, A level Chemistry tutor should at least possess a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry so that he/she will be able to explain chemistry concepts with depth and this is a key aspect of H2 Chemistry. Always do a check on the tutor’s degree as his Bachelor degree might be in other disciplines instead of Chemistry, and soon you will realise that he/she will be using whatever he/she learnt from A level to tutor you.
PGDE? What’s that?
PGDE stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Education. It is a certification jointly awarded by National Institute of Education (NIE) and National Technological University (NTU). It is compulsory for MOE teachers to undergo training with NIE prior to becoming full-time teachers, thus all MOE teachers or ex-MOE teachers will possess this qualification. This is something good to look out for as it shows that the tutor has teaching experience (more on this later) in MOE schools and will possess the necessary teaching pedagogies.
Besides looking out for qualifications, experience of the tutor is equally important! Read on!
Experience of the tutor
It’s a tough choice if you were to choose between an undergraduate with 3 years of tutoring experience versus a Ph.D with no experience in teaching H2 Chemistry. You need a tutor who is knowledgeable of the H2 Chemistry syllabus so that the tutor can guide you on topics to focus on for examinations as well as answering techniques. All these will only come with teaching experience. Ideally, the tutor should be a current or former MOE teacher so that you can be certain that the tutor knows the syllabus well. Beware of tutor who said that they are former MOE teacher but has no experience teaching in a Junior College. Such tutors have probably taught in a secondary school for a few years for O Level Chemistry but they may not be very conversant with the current H2 Chemistry syllabus. It is always advisable to engage a former Junior College teacher as tutor because they will be able to prepare you for both theory and practical papers. Most chemistry tutors in the industry have not conducted practical experiments for some time and may not prepare you well for the much-feared practical examination.
Teaching style of the tutor
This aspect of the tutor is the hardest to ascertain unless it is through your friend’s recommendation. That is the reason why you should go for trial classes as much as possible to see if the teaching style or personality of the tutor suits you. What your friend liked about a tutor may not be what you are looking for, do not join a tuition just because your friend is there. Engage a tutor who you think will best help you for H2 Chemistry. Remember that Chemistry tuition is not for short term gains, it is a long term relationship with the tutor so that the tutor will be able to guide you to the best results possible for A level.