Teaching Methodology and FAQ

Methodology
1. Clear and detailed explanation of concepts
2. Facilitate understanding with analogies and examples found in everyday life
3. Differentiated practices for smaller group sizes.
4. Personalized attention in a small group setting.
5. Personalized post-test/examination performance analysis and feedback
6. Examination-oriented practices
FAQ
General Questions
Many tutors teach chemistry in the context of chemistry. However, at Focus Chemistry, students get to see how concepts are linked across topics in Chemistry, and sometimes, from Physics and Biology. In addition, the tutor always weave in real life examples and analogies to help the students remember concepts in an easier and more engaging way.
In addition, the other key point of differentiation is the post-assessment analysis of test / examination answer scripts of each student and feedback given by the tutor. Students are told to attribute all the marks loss to 5 different categories of common causes, and identify which is the main contributor to poor performance. This practice is done on an individual session, without the presence of other students. This practice is highly effectively as students, once rectify the biggest causes to marks loss, usually see improvement across all the rest of the academic subjects, and not just Chemistry

Dion has been teaching Chemistry since 1992. Over the years, he has produced students who have aced the examinations at a national level: For O levels, 100% scoring A1 and A2, for A levels, 85% scoring grades A and B (of whom more than half scoring A grade), and 100% scoring grade 7 for IB Chemistry.

Improvement in grades is definitely guaranteed. (Refer to parents’ and students’ testimonies)

The tutor has relatives and friends teaching in MOE schools, and thus is constantly updated about the format/content changes and latest requirements for various national examinations.

A typical lesson includes teaching of concepts, practices, going through assignments and occasional quizzes.

The tutor regularly seeks feedback from students about upcoming school tests and examinations and prepares the students for those assessments.

Subsequently, the tutor goes through the answer scripts of the students and get the students to go through a test/examination answer script analysis, to attribute marks loss to 5 common “sins” of examination. Once the students know which “sin(s)” contribute to the most marks loss, advice would be given to reduce the likelihood of committing such “sins” in future assessments.

This method of analysis and feedback is one of the differentiating points of Focus Chemistry, and is highly individualized and extremely effective because when students identify which “sin” causes the most marks loss, they can improve their academic performance across all subjects and not just Chemistry. Improvement of 10-20 marks in such a post- assessment analysis and feedback between tutor and student is commonly seen.

The students will be given thorough concept revision and for each chapter, supplemented with past year preliminary papers from notable schools for practice. The use of past year preliminary examination papers is also used for topical practice after each topic is taught in class. The use of past year O and A levels examination papers after the school preliminary examinations are over, in preparation for O and A levels examinations.

The tutor does conduct intensive revision for O and A levels, usually during the 2nd/3rd week of June. Collation of the most recent past year preliminary examination papers will be used for topical revision after the concepts of each chapters are taught.

Secondary school students are taught practical skills during lessons. For JC and IB students, planning of experiments are also taught.

Lessons missed will not be charged as students pay fees based on lessons attended. If the student chooses to do a makeup with another class, then the missed lesson will be charged.

For students who are either shy or are not able to ask questions during lesson time, they are encouraged to ask any questions at any time of the day, any day of the week. Students are encouraged to use Whatsapp to take pictures of notes or questions and send them to the tutor. The tutor will either answer through text messages or clarify doubts over the phone. Typical response time is less than an hour for text messages and within 2 hours for phone clarifications.

The student does not need to buy any guide books or 10-year series as the tutor has notes that are more than sufficient to ace in examinations. He also has soft copies of top schools examination papers and O/A lvls/IB papers with solutions.

Fees are pre-paid every first lesson for four lessons for group lessons. For one – to –one lessons, parents can choose to pre-pay for four lessons or pay after each lesson conducted.
The fees paid is inclusive of materials fees. No registration fee is charged. This fees also include any soft copy of prelim exams or O/A/IB exams papers required by the student.
Referral fees are a unique feature in Focus Chemistry. The amount depends on the class enrolled in and is usually paid out after the 2nd month of the referred student.
O Levels

Group classes conducted for secondary school students are usually for those who do Secondary 3 and 4 pure Chemistry. For IP IB students, due to similarity in content, they are able to join O level pure Chemistry classes. However, for IP A level students, there will certain content from A levels embedded within year 3 and 4 syllabi, and thus these students might not find O levels Pure Chemistry class to fit 100%. Either the tutor customize the group class to accommodate students of 2 different tracks within the same class, or the student can opt for a more customized and personalized one-to-one lesson with the tutor.

A levels / IB diploma bridging classes for post O levels students are usually conducted from end November to mid January. During this 8-10 weeks course, students experience a sample of the variety of topics as well as nature of questions at these higher levels.
A levels
Planning of experiments is usually taught in the middle of JC2 after all the topics in the syllabus are covered. Students need to have the content knowledge of all the chapters to be able to appreciate the rationale of experimental procedures for different topics.

The usual classes conducted for A levels is H2 Chemistry (which is taken by the majority of the students). H1 and H3 classes can be conducted if there is a minimum number of requests to start the classes.

IB Diploma

Based on the tutor’s many years of research experience mentoring upper secondary and JC students on research projects for national level competitions (such as the Singapore Science and Engineering Fair, Singapore/Stockholm Junior Water Prize and Sembcorp Greenwave competitions), he is able to help IB students craft project scopes, guide students through experimental procedures and vet project synopses as well as reports before submission.

It is often difficult to segregate content based on SL and HL because certain chapters contain content meant for both levels. Thus, unless there is an ongoing SL Chemistry class, parents are usually advised to consult the tutor of individual and customized lessons instead.