Here's a flavour of my teaching style and type of learning resources I create.
SMART REVISION FOR A-LEVEL CHEMISTRY
Struggling to revise effectively? Look no further...
1) Take a sheet of A3 paper, and in the centre, stick an A5 version of the syllabus for that topic (depending on the size of the syllabus, this may mean you have to use both sides of the paper).
2) Go through the syllabus point by point, and try to write notes for each syllabus point. Check you've covered the key points by referring to a revision guide or your notes, and amend as appropriate. For syllabus points where you were far less sure, go and learn these properly, using your revision guide, textbook, own notes, etc., and then demonstrate your understanding by adding notes to your revision sheet without any help. Repeat this learning process until you can do this confidently.
3) Go through your class notes and look for work and tests where you received feedback on things you got wrong or could have done better (use your Learning Points sheets). Add these points to the relevant syllabus points, perhaps in a different colour.
4) Try some past paper questions. Use the mark schemes to check your answers. If there's anything you learn here, add this to the relevant point(s) on the syllabus on your revision sheet. Again, using a different colour might help.
SUCCEEDING AT A-LEVEL CHEMISTRY
10 tips for success
A-level Chemistry can be tough. It’s also what can be classified as a ‘step subject’, which means that although it may be packaged up as differently themed topics, content in the earlier units underpins that in the latter ones. This is why atomic structure and quantitative chemistry (mole calculations, etc.) often come right at the start of the course – you’re not going to be able to calculate the yield of an organic synthesis without understanding what atoms and moles are!
This means that you need to approach your course in the right manner from the get-go, and here are some tips to help.
1. The specification is your friend
Do you know what an A-level specification is or how to find it? If not, you want to find out pronto (okay, just look on your exam board’s website – it’s no secret!). The specification is where your exam board details the content that you must learn. Take a moment to digest this: although the questions in the exams may ask you to apply the content in unfamiliar scenarios, they can’t ask you about topics that aren’t on the specification. Now, don’t get me wrong, you should expose yourself to as much chemistry as you can throughout your A-level course, as this will make you a better chemist, but you should be ruthless in your knowledge of what is and isn’t on the specification, firstly to ensure that you have covered everything you need to know, and secondly to get inside the examiner’s head when it comes to answering questions. POV: What’s the topic being tested here and what am I supposed to know about it? Oh, yeah, funny they’ve asked it like that, but that must be the answer…
Remember the revision guides you had at GCSE? Well, they were just the specification written in colour with some fancy pictures. If you don’t believe me, look up the specification and compare it to your GCSE revision guide – I bet it’s exactly the same wording!
Which takes me onto my second point…