"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."
- Marie Curie
HSC chemistry tutoring at SIGI Learners is based on the current HSC chemistry syllabus, which contains 4 core modules:
Properties & Structure of Matter
SIGI learners will analyse patterns between pure substances by studying the periodic table. Matter is comprised of either pure substances each with distinct measurable properties like the melting and boiling points or mixtures with properties that are dependent on the relative amounts of pure substances within it. Throughout this module, learners will delve in depth to discover the fundamental properties and structure of chemical elements and the trends that exist among them.
Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry
Chemistry is fundamentally quantitative in nature and thus learners must be able to quantify reactions to make valid scientific predictions. Throughout this module, learners will be studying nomenclature, genres and modes unique to this chemical discipline. They will also be covering the mole concept and be given an opportunity to select and use appropriate mathematical representations to solve problems such as calculating the mass of reactants and products, whether solid, liquid or gas. This would entail a good understanding of the universal language of Chemistry.
Being quantitative in nature, one must understand chemical reactions and its critical involvement in the creation of new substances and producing energy transformations. With an in-depth understanding of the nature and fundamental principles of reactions and laws, one is able to produce desired substances at will for the forward development of useful products. Chemical reactions occur at various speeds and generally involve the breaking and making of chemical bonds. Learners will grasp an understanding of how chemicals react, the changes in matter, and the energy transformations as well as how these reactions relate to everyday life.
Drivers of Reactions
From understanding the structure and properties of elements to developing a quantitative understanding how these elements react, learners must also investigate the factors that drive such reactions. They will examine fundamental chemistry concepts like enthalpy and entropy and how these play in the spontaneity of reactions. All chemical reactions involve the creation of new substances and associated energy transformations. Students conduct investigations to measure heat energy changes (endothermic and exothermic), enthalpy changes using Hess’s law and explain such reactions in relation to the law of conservation of energy.
HOW TO APPROACH
Rather than rote learn a series of chemical theories and ideas, which is not the essence of HSC Chemistry, it is much more beneficial for students to be able to relate their learning to everyday experiences and current issues which have a direct impact in their lives.
For instance, did you know that the sodium chloride (that is common table salt) can be used to extinguish fires?
- History of Chemistry
- Nature and Practice
- Application and Uses
- Implications to Society and the Environment
- Current Issues, Research and Development
How to Study
- Break it up
Try to categorise each module into smaller sections. Chemistry in Focus breaks the content up into manageable bits by integrating exercise questions designed to reinforce newly-learnt concepts and theories.
- Get on top of things
Organise and plan everything ahead of schedule and leave plenty of leeway for mishaps. Have a rough plan with all the important dates, and then fill in the finer details throughout the year depending on the situation.
- Always ask
Be proactive in your learning. One of the most effective methods is a study group. Team up with your friends and form a regular study group, take turns summarising notes, making up and answering questions, peer teaching, etc.
Excelling in Chemistry requires a 4 step process – reading, understanding, memorising and applying.