Chemistry education is becoming more important over time, as this fascinating study of molecular systems is helping to tackle world problems like climate change and food scarcity.

Like Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Biology, the study of Chemistry takes time and hard work to really learn well. It's full of theories, maths formulas and confusing concepts.

Similar to Engineering or Maths, Chemistry students often find studying, understanding and memorising all of these ideas to be a truly overwhelming experience.

Because of this, all Chemistry students can use a little help from time to time during their studies through private lessons with experienced tutors.

But before looking at just how lessons with a private tutor could be so useful, let's have a look at the Chemistry syllabus for students in secondary school in Brisbane and Queensland in general...

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How is the QCE Chemistry Syllabus structured?

Like English, Mathematics and all other upper secondary school QCE subjects in Queensland, Chemistry is divided into four units, to be completed in order, teaching one each term in Years 11 and 12.

Throughout this course, students will be learning about chemistry basics such as structure and reactions. Here's a quick breakdown of what you will be studying in each unit:

  • Unit 1- Chemical Fundamentals: This covers the basics of atom properties and structures, as well as chemical reactions.
  • Unit 2- Molecular Reactions: Here your studies will include lessons on rates of chemical reactions and molecules in different states.
  • Unit 3- Equilibrium and Reactions: These lessons will focus more on chemical equilibrium systems, oxidation and reduction.
  • Unit 4- Structure, Synthesis and Design: In this final unit studies will include learning about properties and structures of organic materials, as well as chemical synthesis and design.
Learning chemical formulas doesn't have to be difficult
One of a tutor's primary goals will be teaching and reviewing important chemistry and maths formulas | Photo credit: Chromatograph- Unsplash

It's important to note that only the results from Units 3 and 4 will affect your final ATAR calculation.

For more detailed information on these two important years of your high school education, you can view and read the full syllabus online at the Queensland Assessment and Authorities' website

The thing that most students want to know about, and the reason why most are interested in tutoring, is the final assessment at the end of each unit. In Chemistry, assessment is done in four parts.

The first is a Data Test, worth 10%, where Students are given data sets with questions that require a short response.

Next is a Student Experiment, worth 20% which will happen over 10 hours of lessons. Students must modify an experiment that will address a hypothesis or question.

Then there is the Research Investigation, where students are given 10 hours of lessons, as well as home studying to investigate and respond to a claim.

This is worth 20% and students will have to read and analyse scientific data related to the subject to write an essay of around 2000 words.

The final assessment, and the biggest, is the external assessment, a writing exam separated into two papers, which together form a high 50% of your final grade. The papers include multiple-choice questions and short response exercises.

Now that we've read about the secondary school QCE Chemistry course and how it will be assessed, let's consider how tutoring could support you in this important stage of your education.

How can a Chemistry tutor help with your QCE exams?

Tutors will provide support and encouragement
Tutoring can be a great way for students to keep on track during the final year of high school | Photo credit: Kampus Production- Pexels

In general, these final years of high school take a lot of hard work and studying, and students usually find it to be quite a stressful experience.

Whether you're studying Maths Methods, English Literature or hard science subjects like Physics and Biology, trying out extra lessons with a private tutor is always a good idea. Of course, Chemistry is no different.

A tutor can help you in so many aspects of your studies, from feeling more confident and happy about your skills, to learning and memorising precise information necessary for exams.

A primary focus of your lessons will be reviewing concepts studied during the year at school. The final exam tests on information studied during the year, so it's important to view and review the subject over time.

Chemistry is full of complicated theories and concepts that your school tutors may not have the time to cover in-depth. Tutors can spend the hours of lessons teaching these concepts again.

Another primary point of your tutoring lessons will be exam skills. This will include learning how to read an exam question accurately and respond appropriately, as well as learning how to manage your time properly.

Many tutors have had past experience tutoring students who are doing QCE exams, so they know the difficulties that can come up in the subject, as well as the primary skills you need to pass the final exam.

For students who have busy schedules, and can't waste time travelling around Brisbane or other areas of Queensland, tutoring can also take place online. This will also allow your tutor to integrate technology into lessons.

If there are particular subject areas that a student is having difficulty with, like learning about oxidation, they can even find specialist tutors that have expertise in that area.

Clearly, any student would benefit from spending some extra time on their Chemistry studies, and learning with a private tutor can keep you on track with your education and help make the last years of high school a happy experience.

The Best Chemistry Courses in Queensland

There are great Chemistry faculties in Queensland
High school students who were happy with their Chemistry studies may decide to continue at university | Photo credit: Bree Evans- Unsplash

Chemistry education throughout high school is a great introduction to this interesting subject, and it's possible that after their studies, students will want to continue their experience in university.

If you're considering studying for a Bachelor of Science that includes Chemistry subjects, you'll be happy to know that there are a few good options in Qld.

To get into these courses, secondary school students will need to have completed an English subject like English Literature, as well as either General Mathematics or Maths Methods.

In general, the courses run from three to four years, with opportunities for advanced degrees and honours.

They also require the student to choose major or minor subjects, so they receive a more specialist education. Some of the most popular specialist areas are:

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Chemical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry

Let's look at the top three options for studying in Queensland, as rated by Top Universities:

#1- The University of Queensland

UQ features world-class facilities and teaching, with plenty of opportunities for research in their School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences. The tutors have plenty of experience in both teaching and research roles.

At the Bachelor level, students can choose either a Bachelor of Science or of Biotechnology, both of which have an option to extend to an Honours degree.

Students also have the opportunity to choose a minor that complements their Chemistry studies, such as Physics, Cell Biology, Applied Mathematics and more, or even do a dual degree such as a concurrent Bachelor of Engineering.

The campus is located in the St Lucia area, just a few km south of the Brisbane CBD a and the minimum entry ATAR is 80.00.

Brisbane is a wonderful place to study
Students will be happy to study in a vibrant and warm city like Brisbane | Photo credit: Valeriia Miller- Pexels

#2- Queensland University of Technology

Another great option for continuing your studies, QUT is known for its more hands-on approach which allows students to develop the more technical skills they'll need to find work later on.

From the first year of the course, students will already find themselves studying research methods and laboratory skills and actually being able to put them into practice in the field.

As well as Chemistry specific subjects, you'll have to complete some core science units, such as Physics, Quantitative Methods in Science or Foundations of Biology, and maths courses like Introductory Calculus.

To get into this course, students need a minimum ATAR of 70.00 and will find the campuses in the very centre of Brisbane.

#3- Griffith University

The final option in our top three has the advantage of having campuses across Qld. You can study in Brisbane at the South Bank campus, the Gold Coast or Meadowbrook (in South East Qld).

Griffith Uni also has a large portion of students who study online. Another benefit is that they use a trimester system, meaning students can join the course at three different points of the year.

The options that include Chemistry education here are the Bachelor of Science, and Biomolecular or Forensic Science. You can also try double degrees with a range of other subject areas, like Journalism, Business or Arts.

To get in, students will need to achieve a minimum ATAR of 63.00. There are also plenty of pathways for international students.

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Giulietta