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Chemistry Tutoring Overview

Chemistry is considered by some to be one of the hardest courses in VCE – and it’s also one of the most competitive. As a prerequisite for undergraduate medicine, many of the state’s top students are enrolled in the subject, meaning a high raw study score can be challenging to achieve.  And that’s ignoring the sheer conceptual toughness of the course.

But, with challenges come rewards! Many people find that while Chemistry requires genuine levels of work, the process can be enjoyable, and the learning can be truly enriching. 

What to look for in a Chemistry tutor:

When you’re looking for a Chemistry tutor, you’re looking for a passionate problem-solver who can communicate. A tutor who appreciates the beauty of Chemistry, and who brings the same appreciation to tutoring, will make the subject far more enjoyable and much easier to learn.

It’s also important that a Chemistry tutor have a sound understanding of the math involved in Chemistry, as this can be a problem area for many students. You should look for a tutor that has an array of problem-solving skills that they can pass on to students to help with the subject’s trickiest question. Most importantly, a person who is good with the math, and good with the problem-solving skills, must be good at communicating those things to their students. Teaching someone content is one thing, but cultivating skills and abilities in a pupil is another thing entirely. Make sure your tutor can do both.

How Chemistry tutoring could benefit you:

Chemistry can be a subject that builds off previous knowledge, so entering the subject with gaps in understanding or knowledge can often pose challenges later on. Things like bonding, naming molecules, and so on are often ‘left behind’ in Year 11 but are actually necessary to answer questions at a Year 12 level, So, one benefit of a Chemistry tutor is the opportunity to fill any conceptual holes a student have if and when they arise.  

Like most science subjects, Chemistry draws on the student’s ability to apply what they have learned to foreign situations, which demands higher-order thinking. Tutors can be beneficial here in that they can launch off the foundations created in the classroom and focus on stimulating such thinking in their students during tuition time.

Of course, the best tutors will be able to benefit students not only by increasing knowledge and understanding, but in helping students increase exam technique. To maximise marks on any assessment, students should know exactly how to approach certain questions, structure certain responses, and apply what they know in the most appropriate fashion.