Science is a fascinating subject that encompasses three major divisions which are Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Though each division may seem starkly different from one another, they are similar in many ways.
While some students may excel in Biology, others might be more interested in Physics. This natural difference is what determines a students’ career; some may enter the field of engineering while others venture in life science or biotechnology.
At the level of Primary school, “science” is so generic. It is more so a brief introduction to something much larger and more complex. In order to get the basics right, students opt for Primary school science tuition and students specifically prefer home tuition as they receive a much more personalised approach in learning as opposed to learning by themselves all alone.
INTERNALISING THE CONCEPTS
Firstly, students that do well in science try to understand the topics instead of memorising them. This may give the wrong idea to students that they need to mug these keywords. The key methods to be able to perform well in examinations.
Instead, students need to understand why the answer requires these keywords and understand the concepts. For example, many students may simply mug which structure corresponds to which steric number and lone pair.
Instead, students can understand that the structure can be easily derived by remembering that the electrons repel each other and must be furthest from each other. Knowing simple details like this can go a long way in helping students remember the content that they learn.
PRACTICE IS KEY
Secondly, students should spend a significant amount of their time doing practice papers and mock assessments. Studying and learning new content is only a portion of what students need to do to perform well in their examinations.
Many students may think that they understand a topic well but are easily proven wrong the moment they are asked to answer a question related to that topic. Applying the concepts learnt to solve a problem is a separate skill that students need to learn through experience.
Doing practice papers give students the experience that they need. Not only does doing practice papers allow students to apply the concepts that they have learnt, it also helps students realise which topics they are weak in and can also help in memorisation of certain content.
Studying is only a part of what students need to do. Revision is very underrated in how effective it can be to do well in assessments. By revision we do not mean reading and re-reading the textbook or notes; a good revision session requires systematic recall of content and one should also be aware of how one concept is linked to another.
Some ways that students can revise their topics can be through,
- Customised notes
- By watching YouTube videos
- Discussing topics with peers (group study session)
- Going through topics with home tutor
Our memory takes time to register important pieces of information and organise them in ways that your brain would find it easy to recollect when needed. Hence is of utmost importance to practice spaced repetition as a revision technique to reinforce one’s memory.
Taking down notes during lessons and making personal notes at home while revising and reading textbooks is an excellent learning technique. Note-taking does not come naturally for some students as not many are used to practicing this. The most intuitive thing that students do during lessons is to pull out their highlighter and start highlighting their textbook or lecture notes.
This is unfortunately a less effective way of learning (passive learning) as students won’t be matured enough to even understand and distinguish between the less important points from the salient points of information.
During examinations staying calm and focused on solving the problems is the key to doing well. Anxiety causes students to forget even the simplest pieces of information and all the hard work and effort would eventually become idle. Taking deep breaths before the start of exam would calm the mind and it improves concentration as well as effective recall.
OUTSIDE OF TEXTBOOKS
Students should not be afraid to read textbooks and scientific journals outside of their own school textbooks. They may contain information that are very useful and can help greatly to improve understanding.
The syllabus that is crafted today by the Ministry of Education demands students to be creative thinkers and to go a few steps further beyond the material that is being given in school. Learning about concepts beyond textbooks would widen a student’s horizon and higher-order thinking would become second nature which would enable them to perform well in examinations.
Practical component of science can never be neglected as it is indeed an essential component that has a huge impact on the overall grade as well. Studying the theory and all precautions is important for practical.
Practical are an important part of science that students can generally only get better at with practice. However, it is something that cannot be practiced at home and thus many students might not care to do anything about them at home. However, learning the theory and about what can go wrong during experiments can help increase the success of experiments.
21st century competencies demand a whole lot from students as examinations is not just about regurgitating exam content; it’s all about application and analysis. The exam requirements and expectations of students now is unlike how it was a few years ago.
Science is a major pillar to developments and progress in various fields and hence there are great opportunities for students in terms of their career. Science tutors will be able to guide students in an organised manner and give them the appropriate training as well as guidance and advice regarding career options. Hence its of paramount importance that students seek help when needed immediately!