If you are heading to secondary 3 next year and are still undecided on the subject combination to take, here are some the reasons why you may want to consider taking Chemistry at ‘O’ levels.
i) Chemistry is required for some bachelor studies in universities
Attaining a passing grade in Chemistry ‘O’ levels will allow you to take H2 Chemistry at JC level. And H2 Chemistry serves as a requirement to some of the courses offered at university level. Some of these courses include Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Chemical, Environmental Engineering and etc. As you can see, taking Chemistry opens up the gateway to many of the niche and prestigious degrees that our universities have to offer. Although Chemistry is not a prerequisite for some of the other courses as it can be substituted by other science electives like Physics, students will generally find it easier if they have a good foundation in Chemistry should they decide to take Science or other Engineering degrees as some of these courses do teach concepts that are related to Chemistry or may even require students to take Chemistry at the first year as part of the broaden scope of university education.
ii) Useful skillsets acquired while studying Chemistry
The problem solving and knowledge inquiry skillsets learnt during Chemistry lessons will also be useful to tackle other science electives taken at ‘O’ levels as some of these techniques taught are transferable. Furthermore, there may be overlapping topics or concepts with other science electives like Physics and Biology, so students who take Chemistry will have an edge over their peers who do not.
iii) Improve your eye for details and observation skills while learning Chemistry
Taking up Chemistry will allow students to develop a keen intuition and observation skills when they are conducting experiments in the laboratory. As Chemistry requires certain level of precision work, students can become more accustomed to hands-on handling of experiments at a young age which will serve them well when it comes to ‘O’, ‘A’ levels and even in university, where laboratory work and final year projects may require laboratory based approach.
The only likelihood that you may not end up choosing Chemistry at ‘O’ levels is because you are not interested in the subject or feel that you may do better at other subjects, in which case strategizing of the subject combinations will benefit you greatly and it will not be a bad decision to do so in this scenario.
Thinking that Chemistry is a difficult subject however, is not a very good excuse to not take up Chemistry because as with all subjects, you do need to put in sufficient amounts of time and effort into studying and learning of the subject in order to do well. If you find yourself struggling with Chemistry, do consider taking up Chemistry tuition lessons as it can help to accelerate your learning of the concepts in a straightforward manner. Chemistry tuition lessons also provide some handholding by the tutors so that students are not so intimidated by the Chemistry content.