Chemistry KS3 at Common Entrance at 13+ is required for most of the top British boarding schools. The topics covered by IST tutors during the Chem lessons are particularly challenging for Hong Kong students because they are not usually covered by schools studying under the local HKDSE system. Topics taught during the lessons shall include: states of matter; atoms and elements; compounds and chemical substances; separating mixtures; types of reactions; the periodic table; acids, bases and neutralisation; pH scale; metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites; fossil fuels and the rock cycle; and organic chemistry.

Our IGCSE students shall develop these topics further to expand the depth and breadth of their knowledge of chemical terminology and scientific thinking skills. IGCSE topics may comprise of: ionic and covalent bonding; macromolecules; metallic bonding; stoichiometry; concept of moles; electrical charges; energetics of reactions; energy transfer; physical and chemical changes; rate of reaction; reversible reactions; types of oxides; preparation of salts; identification of ions and gases; periodic trends; group properties; transition elements; noble gases; properties of metals; reactivity series; extraction of metals; nitrogen and fertilisers; carbon dioxide and methane; sulfur; carbonates; fuels; homologous series; alkanes; alkenes; alcohols; carboxylic acids; and natural and synthetic polymers.

These topics shall be developed further for IB, SAT Subject Test, AP, and IAL students. In addition, topics such as: stereoisomerism; spectroscopic identification of organic compounds; redox processes; fundamentals of organic chemistry; Lewis acids and bases; acid deposition; transition metals; and equilibria. These topics shall help form a solid foundational base for future chemists that may be applied to help reduce climate change, carbon footprints, greenhouse gases; and help pharmaceutical research.

Chemistry is one of the most important subjects as it is required by most of the top medical schools in the world.

Chemistry tutor

In June 2014, Dr Sam Szeto joined International Scholars Tuition as a Chemistry tutor. He earned both his Bachelor of Science Honours (with First Class standing) and Doctorate of Philosophy degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta (CAN). During his graduate training and academic career, Dr Szeto has been the recipient of awards for scholastic and research excellence at both the provincial and national level. These include a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship and an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Studentship.

Prior to joining IST, Dr Szeto was at the University of Hong Kong conducting discovery driven research in the Department of Chemistry. In addition to his training as a scientist, he was actively involved in the mentoring and training of junior colleagues. At the University of Alberta, Dr Szeto took on the positions of Guest Lecturer, Tutor and Exam Grader in the Department of Biochemistry; he also taught biochemistry to dental students as a Sessional Instructor for the Department of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene. While at the A*STAR Institute of Medical Biology in Singapore, Dr Szeto took on the role of an Undergraduate Student Supervisor in addition to his research duties.

Through his PhD level training, Dr Szeto possesses considerable academic research experience. This includes publishing numerous research articles in peer-reviewed internationally recognized journals, with several of these research articles winning awards for scholastic excellence. He also has experience giving presentations at international scientific conferences. This experience and insight is particularly useful for those students carrying out self-directed research projects such as the IB Extended Essays, Internal Assessments, and A-level Extended Project Qualification investigations, as advice and critical analysis would be provided to the students to guide them through these challenging independent research assignments.

Since joining IST, Dr Szeto has tutored the fully array of CIE IGCSE Chemistry syllabus topics. Students from German-Swiss International School have been taught concepts such stoichiometry, equilibria and electrochemistry, while topics such as acid and bases, thermodynamics, and rates of reactions were revised with students from Singapore International School. For a student from Shatin College, the concepts of atomic structure and organic chemistry were tutored.

Dr Szeto also has experience tutoring the diverse complement of topics comprising the Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry syllabus. Dr Szeto has taught experimental techniques to a student from St. Paul’s Convent School while the concepts of electrolysis and chemistry in industry were revised with a student from Christ’s Hospital School. For a student from Island School, the topics of states of matter and properties of particles were covered and the concepts of rates of reactions and atomic structure were reviewed with students from Harrow International School. Concepts involving the reactivity of metals and displacement reactions were revised with a Cheltenham Ladies’ College student. In addition, Dr Szeto has tutored AQA GCSE Chemistry to a student from Concord College focusing on aspects of organic chemistry. Concepts relating to the electrolysis of molten and aqueous ionic compounds were reviewed with a Warwick School student also studying the AQA syllabus.

With respect to the higher level GCE Chemistry, Dr Szeto has tutored a student studying AQA AS from Old Swinford Hospital School on aspects such as equilibria, mass spectrometry, redox chemistry. For a student from Oundle School studying OCR A-level/A2 chemistry, topics such as amines, amino acids, NMR spectroscopy and acid-base titrations were covered. Various topics including Hess’s Law and Born-Haber cycles from Edexcel AS syllabus were reviewed with students from Harrow International School and Broomsgrove School. Concepts relating to all the aspects of atomic and molecular structure and bonding were taught to a Milton Academy student in preparation for the upcoming SAT Chemistry Subject test. Dr Szeto has also tutored a Phillips Exeter Academy student SAT Chemistry, including topics such as the chemical and physical behaviours of elements and compounds. For AP Chemistry, concepts such as quantum theory, solid state chemistry, nuclear chemistry and molecular orbital theory were tutored to an International Christian School student. In addition, various topics such as acid-base equilibria, organic chemistry synthetic routes and mechanisms were discussed with a student studying the CIE Pre-U chemistry syllabus.

In regards to the IB Diploma, the full range of the Higher level Chemistry syllabus including topics such as energetics and chemical bonding and structure have been tutored to a student studying at West Island School. For a student studying at Kiangsu-Chekiang College, concepts such as thermochemistry and redox processes were reviewed in preparation for the upcoming exam. Concepts relating to the chemical properties of acids and bases and their equilibria were revised with a Canadian International School of Hong Kong student. Option topics including biochemistry, energy and medicinal chemistry have also been reviewed and discussed with students from various schools such as Li Po Chun World College, Island School and Kiangsu-Chekiang College.

He has also helped a Hong Kong-based student to prepare for the chemistry component of the Cheltenham College (UK) Science Entrance Examination. This preparation involved introducing and explaining a wide range of topics such as states of matter, elements, compounds and mixtures, physical and chemical changes, properties of metals and acids and bases as part of the comprehensive 13+ Common Entrance Examination science curriculum.

Chemistry tutor

Mr Ivan Zovich received his Bachelor of Arts Honours and Master of Science degrees in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge in June 2014. During his undergraduate course, Ivan specialized in Chemistry for Part IB (second year), Part II (third year) and Part III (fourth year, MSci), studying a broad range of topics in physical, organic and inorganic chemistry. As part of the Natural Sciences Tripos, Ivan studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to second year undergraduate level.

In addition to theory, Ivan’s MSci lab project involved independent and innovative research in the field of Supramolecular Chemistry (self-organizing molecular systems); synthesizing functionalized molecular containers that have potential therapeutic applications as injectable hydrogels for drug delivery.

Since graduating, Ivan has worked in the process chemistry sector, first with British Sugar and subsequently the British Oxygen Company (BOC). While at BOC he delivered key technical training to colleagues in the theory and application of process engineering principles and operational software.

Chemistry tutor

Mr Daniel Chan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Hons.) in Chemistry from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and a Bachelor of Science Degree (Advanced) from the University of Sydney, Australia, majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Daniel has three years of tutoring experience in Hong Kong and Australia, in addition to his one and a half years at International Scholars Tuition School. As a student, Daniel achieved a perfect score of 800 on his SAT Chemistry.

Daniel has tutored main group chemistry and rates of reaction to a CIE Chemistry Pre-U student from Winchester College, acids and bases to IB Diploma students from Island School, organic chemistry mechanisms to an undergraduate Chemistry student at Case Western Reserve University, USA, and intermolecular forces and structure and bonding to an OCR Chemistry A-Level student from Wycombe Abbey School.

Chemistry tutor

Yenga Yan (BA, MSci) studied Chemistry as part of the Natural Sciences Tripos at the University of Cambridge.The course covered topics such as molecular orbitals, NMR spectroscopy, bonding and VSEPR theory, electrochemistry, enthalpy and thermodynamics, organic and inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry, in addition to extensive laboratory work.


Since joining IST in November 2018, Yenga has been tutoring students mostly within the age range of 12- 18 in chemistry from top international schools in Hong Kong, such as German-Swiss International School, West Island School, King George V School, and British International School (Kellett). She has successfully guided students preparing for their 13+ Common Entrance exams and her lessons for GCSE students covered topics stated in the syllabus such as atomic structure, the periodic table, reaction of metals, standard chemical tests, acids and alkali, and mole calculations. In addition to past papers, Yenga draws educational material from her own resources as a student of chemistry and uses multiple digital resources to help students build interest and confidence in the subject.


She is available to tutor chemistry across a range of levels (13+ common entrance exams, IGCSE, A-level, and IB Diploma) with the aim of improving the student’s interest and understanding of chemistry and overall examination performance. Furthermore, she can advise Natural Sciences applicants on writing their personal statement and preparing for interviews.

Chemistry tutor

Mr Don Ho has tutored Chemistry at International Scholars Tuition School since 2005. Don’s chemistry students are mostly preparing for the 13+ Common Entrance Exams and IGCSE. Don has helped many Hong Kong students achieve excellent results and receive offers from some of the best schools in the UK. To a student from Hong Kong International School (HKIS), Don has tutored alkanes, alkenes, alcohols, carboxylic acids, isomers, and homologous series; to a student from St Swithun’s,fractional distillation crude oil and cracking of hydrocarbons; to a Singapore International School student, reacting acids with metals, oxides, hydroxides, non-metal oxides, carbonates, and ammonia; and to a Chinese International School (CIS) student, tests for positive and negative ions.

Don is also the Principal of International Scholars Tuition School and is happy to provide advice to students wishing to apply to boarding schools in the UK. As an additional service, IST can invigilate most subjects for the 13+ Common Entrance Exam.

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