You might have heard the advice, “Work harder, practise more, listen attentively to lecture….” What i’m going to share is mindblowing.

All those advice is good but diligence without clarity is nuts!

I’m going to give a sports analogy. Soccer – Most teams will have the manager or coach give them a strategy briefing on how to play the game against the opposing team before the actual match. Why? Isn’t more practise and training enough? Strikers know how to score, defenders know how to defend, midfielders know how to tackle and get possession. Goalkeeper just keep the ball out of the net.

Of course not, soccer is a team game. The players need to know the objective so that they know how they should play. For example, if the opposing team is playing on their home ground, they have the advantage. Also does the team just need a draw rather than a win? Knowing the objective informs the strategy on how to play the game.

For students studying for O or A level Chemistry, or any other subjects, there is a clear objective laid out before every topic. But it seems like no student ever reads those.

Without clarity on what they will be tested on, how will they know the strategy to employ?

Students like to complain that their notes is so thick, so much information that they don’t know what are the important parts. But they failed to recognise that schools MUST give the context for the concepts that they study, otherwise there’s no head no tail. In the same vein, teachers in school need to teach the whole lecture notes because they must give the context. This is good and necessary.

On the student’s part, they will need to filter out the important information that they need to memorise and structure their answers properly with keywords. Without reading through the learning objectives, most students are lost and overwhelmed by the flood of information.

Thus, tuition comes in. What we try to do is to zoom in on the most important and most tested concepts. Then repeatedly tell the students. Why repeatedly? Because i’ve tried telling them once or twice, even three times. They end up forgetting. Repeating the same concepts in different ways/methods helps students to remember.

This post is on clarity and that is what i hope to impart to my students, clarity on what is important and what is not. With clarity, they can then learn to organise the important knowledge, classify them and easily pull them out from their mental cabinets when required.

Are you clear? 🙂

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