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Mr Kelvin

Mr Kelvin

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Best Way to Ace your ‘O’ Level Chemistry Examinations

Chemistry is a challenging subject because it is a vast discipline that requires students to fully comprehend several topics before moving on to others. Memorisation alone is not enough to ace Chemistry, and students are expected to gain a solid understanding of various concepts. Despite the difficulty, it is possible to do well on your Chemistry papers. Aside from attending ‘O’ Level Chemistry tuition, there are other ways to study more effectively. Here are some tips.

1. Understand the Periodic Table

The Periodic Table is a tabular display of the Chemical elements that all Chemistry students must be familiar with. Students can easily solve problems if they fully understand and know how to read it. This is because it contains the proton number, mass number, group number, and period number, from which you can deduce other information such as the number of protons, electrons, neutrons, the electronic configuration, number of electron shells, number of valence electrons, and more.

2. Understand the Links Between Topics and Concepts

Be it ‘O’ Level pure or combined Chemistry, the topics learned are often interlinked and tested together. Pay attention to how concepts are linked and focus on getting your foundation right. The key overarching topics to master for ‘O’ Level Chemistry are Atomic Structure, Chemical Equations, Energy Changes, Kinetic Particle Theory, and Mole Concept. Understanding these topics will make it much easier to answer other questions. Other concepts that are frequently linked are:

  • Acids, Bases and Salts + Metals + Qualitative Analysis
  • Periodic Table + Metals/Salts
  • Electrolysis + Reduction and Oxidation Reactions
  • Chemical Bonding + Atomic Structure

3. Dissect Questions

Learn how to dissect exam questions to identify keywords that will tell you which topic(s) are being tested, what information you need to provide, and how to present the answers. Questions containing the words “define,” “state,” “describe,” “explain,” or “outline” typically assess factual knowledge and understanding.

Also, keep an eye out for phrases like “use your answer from…” or “based on your observations…” as these questions will require you to back up your responses with additional research or explain your answer from a previous question. You could lose a lot of points if you don’t pay attention to these details.

4. Practice Answering Questions

Doing practice papers is an excellent way to remember what you have learned because you are forced to practice and recall. It allows you to apply your knowledge to new questions and situations, forces you to work under exam conditions, and teaches you how to phrase your responses effectively. Answering questions will also help you determine how well you understand the topic and which parts require more detailed revision.

5. Start Studying and Preparing Early

Chemistry is a discipline that requires you to connect your knowledge of various topics. Hence, it is important to start revising early to gain a strong foundation of key concepts. Having a good understanding of topics taught in sec 3 chemistry and carrying that into sec 4 will allow you to tackle tougher topics much more easily rather than scrambling to understand all concepts right before your exams.

Learn More: ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level Chemistry: A Guide to Preparing for your Examinations

Need more help with your Chemistry papers? The Chemistry Practice is a learning centre offering sec 3 and sec 4 ‘O’ Level pure Chemistry tuition to students in Singapore. Revise more efficiently with the help of our professional and highly experienced tutors today. Sign up for your free trial here.