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Should you take Chemistry in SPM/IGCSE?

Ever since young, we would have come across TV shows of scientist blowing things up and setting things on fire. Many of these things actually happen in chemistry laboratories, as scientist mix many solutions up and chemical reactions occur. Some experiments produce incredibly stunning findings while some might end up blowing up. However, as an SPM/IGCSE student, should you take up Chemistry as one of your Science subjects?

1. You are good in calculations

While not entirely covered with calculations, Chemistry students do require to possess some mathematical skill in calculating chemical equations. In terms of the weight of substances used, volume of solution used and time of reaction, students have to mathematically express these factors accurately. One miscalculation may well blow a building up. Therefore, having the ability to do quick conversions and multiplication might just help you into becoming a successful Chemistry student.

2. You love experiments

Chemistry is all about experiments as the field of study is done through observing chemical reactions. You will get to set sodium on fire by using water, electroplate your own copper ring or even make your own soap. The results of these experiments are absolutely mesmerising as they turn into colourful and dramatic reactions. If you love attending classes in the science lab, Chemistry is definitely for you!

3. You want to become an engineer

In the real world, many industries rely on a chemical engineer – such as the petroleum industry and manufacturing industry. Every SPM/IGCSE student will learn how sulphuric acid is made, how ammonia is made, how petroleum is fracked and even how the delicious confectionaries are made. From deep down into the sea to the never-ending horizon of the world, there must be something related to the study of Chemistry that covers the world’s gases, solids and liquids.

4. You want to study medicine

No matter being a pharmacist, nutritionist, medical doctor or nurse, Chemistry will be a definite prerequisite for those who choose this pathway. As the broad world of medicine relies heavily on medical substances (which contains chemicals), medical students are expected to have vast knowledge in how these chemicals work. Just like in school labs, mixing wrong medicines might just cause a tragedy. Hence, you will unlikely get into the medical field without any prior knowledge in Chemistry.

5. You want to understand your surroundings

Many of the things we see in our daily lives are surrounded by chemicals. This includes nail polishes, hair sprays, refrigerators, detergents, jellies, neon lights and many, many more. For an average person, they might not understand how these things work inside out, however for a typical Chemistry student, they can easily identify the chemical wonders that work behind these products – such as the gases in neon lights and the acids in detergents. Therefore, you can also become a more informed consumer as you understand how Chemistry works in real life.

Chemistry is absolutely fascinating in terms of the experience while studying for it. In fact, it is rather complementary to the other Sciences – Physics & Biology, as you need Chemistry in order to understand how atoms perform in nuclear fusion reactions and how gases interact in the process of photosynthesis.