Science Tuition

Science tuition generally relates to Common Entrance, GCSE and A-level. The subjects tutored are Physics, Chemistry and Biology. At GCSE level these may be taken as three separate GCSE or two GCSEs or one GCSE for all three subjects. The difficulty of the questions is modified accordingly. At A-level each subject is a separate examination. We do not have laboratory facilities, so science at A-level needs a student to be in attendance at a school or college that does. With this proviso, we have no difficulty in tutoring the sciences to A-level. We do have a few useful props with which to explain topics though.

There is also our excellent series of educational videos to which we can refer students when practical demonstrations are needed. The three sciences should not be bundled together in one’s mind. They are quite different from one another and quite different to learn. Physics is the most mathematical. Although it is generally allowed, we would not recommend someone who has done badly at GCSE Maths or who is not taking A-level Maths, take A-level Physics. At GCSE level Physics is largely descriptive. There are formulae but these are easily managed by a GCSE Maths student. It's essential to attempt as many problems as possible, to see how the information provided is applied in particular cases. A student may know the formulae for calculating pressure but not realise how this relates to the difference between stiletto heels and elephants’ feet.

At A-level much more Mathematics is needed. Many formulae are quite complicated and there is a need to understand logarithms and exponentials. Fluency with standard index form is taken for granted. Not that these topics can't be learned fairly quickly but they do need to be considered by someone who has difficulty with Maths. Chemistry is much more descriptive. There is calculation but it's much simpler than that needed for Physics. A good memory is particularly useful for Chemistry and in our lessons flashcards are made to assist in learning the essential facts. This is not to diminish the importance of the structure of Chemistry in, for example periodic and group trends and the effects of changes in electron orbitals but details of reactions together with their reagents and conditions need to be memorised. Even then, it's not just a matter of learning lots and lots of disjointed facts by any means. It’s as if Chemistry has its own logic.

Chemistry has sometimes been called the science of exceptions: Whenever a rule is given it only seems to work so far and then there is one or more exception to be remembered. Chemistry is a prerequisite for any student wishing to study Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry. Biology is the most descriptive and least mathematical science and a great deal of memory work is involved. It seems, that provided a student learns the meaning of all the biological terms and in particular those from Genetics and learns all the diagrams in the textbook, they will get through with flying colours. They will probably have done very little practical Biology in terms of experiments or field work.

Biology does not seem to be a prerequisite for studying Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry. It should be noted that there are different types of biology A-level available. For example there is General Biology but also Human Biology. General biology will include Plant Biology, which some students may not find very interesting; perhaps depending on what they intend to do later on.

As with Chemistry, making flash cards of all the definitions of words and brief descriptions of any processes is a great help. Some students prefer to make ‘spider’ diagrams to show how different ideas are grouped in Biology.

 




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science1science1

 

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN SUPERCONDUCTING MATERIALS

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