High school can be an intense transition for a lot of students, especially after years of learning in the familiar comfort of elementary or middle school. In grade 8, kids are often pushed to answer some tough questions about their future. What do you want to do for your career? Do you plan to go to university, college or the workforce after high school? What do you want to focus your studies on?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most 13 year olds are challenged to answer such big picture questions. They may be more preoccupied with the usual concerns of kids at that age: social lives, video games, sports, books, social media, fashion, and friends, just to name a few. So what can you do as a student to start preparing for the big decisions of high school? What can families do to support them?

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How do I Choose Science Courses in Grade 9?

Probably the first unavoidable questions teens must answer are regarding course choice in grade 9. In many provinces, students must already start choosing between academic and applied coursework. 

Students that enjoy science may be wondering whether or not they should take science classes in high school. There are a number of different courses you can take that can sound intimidating for a grade 8 student - chemistry, physics, biology, to name the major classes. For many students, chemistry can be an easy choice as students love experimentation and mixing different substances. But which one do you take, academic or applied?

Academic courses are generally more theoretical and prepare students for a pathway toward university. Students that take academic courses will usually do so throughout high school, though they may change to applied courses should they wish. Generally these courses are seen as more rigorous and challenging, and by grade 12 they become prerequisite courses for many university programs.

Applied courses are more hands-on and focused on real-life and community examples and content. Students that take applied courses in grade 9 may not be planning to attend university, and instead are pursuing the workforce directly after high school or community college programs. They may also switch to academic courses should they choose to.

Some students may choose to do a mix of applied and academic courses. A student may choose to do this if the applied courses do not affect their pathway to university, and they are looking to fulfill a credit requirement. For example, a student may take an academic Science course but an applied course in the arts. It’s important to note that academic English is usually required for any university program - so that’s one course you will definitely want to have.

In some provinces, like Ontario, academic and applied courses are being phased out and replaced by ‘destreamed’ courses, which will generally focus on an academic curriculum. Ontario students will, however, still need to make choices for academic and applied track courses in the senior grades, and this includes science based subjects like chemistry or biology.

Students that have a hard time choosing which type of course to take might want to think about what their long term goals are and what their strengths and weaknesses are as students. You may find that an applied science course meets your needs as a student, and if it doesn’t affect your next steps in post secondary, it can be a great course to take! If you discover later that you need to do an academic upgrade, it’s something you can certainly do through night school or an online school.

Do you know what topics you will cover in chemistry in grade 9 science? Learn all about the exciting coursework you’ll do in secondary school.

Chemistry Major
A chemistry major can lead to an exciting career in a lab. Source: Unsplash.

Why Should I Get a Chemistry Major?

Getting a chemistry major can open many doors in your career and education. Choosing this pathway of study is a huge commitment to studying science and understanding the nuances of the physical world. If you love scientific inquiry and research, it can be the perfect complement to studies in Biology or Physics, or any other science related topic.

Pursuing a chemistry major will also mean that you get to meet other like-minded students that love the subject and want to make a difference in the field.  You will be inspired and awed by the creativity of scientists who make it their purpose to learn about all the material world, and are driven to do great things like developing life-saving medicines and treatments.

As a chemistry major, you can pursue exciting careers and pathways in graduate study. You’ll be able to pursue work and learning in the health sciences: medicine, pharmacy, nursing, research, laboratories, food and beverage industry, and any other associated field. Chemistry majors may also choose to work in areas like manufacturing, developing new materials and innovating products for different companies. Here are list of some of the jobs you can with a chemistry major.

  • Food Scientist
  • Brewmaster
  • Laboratory manager
  • Pharmaceutical Chemist
  • Textile Chemist
  • Biochemistry Technologist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Educator
  • Doctor
  • Sustainability Specialist
  • Medical Researcher
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Government Affairs
  • Regulatory officer
  • Petroleum Engineer

To get started on a pathway toward becoming a chemistry major, you will need to identify which universities you would like to study at. Find out whether or not the university of your dreams has a strong science program, and if they offer other majors and programs that will support and enrich your study of chemistry. Check out the chemistry program’s page on the university’s website to find out what courses you will need to take to qualify as an applicant. This can be important if you are applying outside of your province or outside of Canada.

When you have an idea of which schools you will consider applying to after high school, make sure you prioritize the coursework you will need to apply. Of course, it is important to take other courses unrelated to chemistry that you enjoy, as it will make your learning experience more enjoyable, and to pursue any extracurriculars to keep you healthy and well-rounded. 

Taking grade 9 chemistry is a great way to prepare for higher learning. Explore the best ways to study and be successful in the sciences.

What are the Rewards for Mastering Chemistry?

Pursuing chemistry into the highest levels of education can bring endless rewards for your career and learning. You’ll join a unique group of people whose knowledge is largely responsible for advances in modern medicine and manufacturing.

Chemists play an important role in the world, developing everything from vaccines to sustainable materials to skincare solutions. It is highly probable that everyone uses something developed by a chemist every day of their lives. The work of a chemist is always in demand, due to its connections with so much of our economy. 

Of course, as a high school student you will just be starting your journey of learning chemistry, so it’s important to remember that you need to focus on building a solid foundation of scientific knowledge first. Take the time to enjoy and immerse yourself in your secondary school courses, and you will be well equipped to handle higher level studies.

 chemistry degree
One of the greatest rewards of studying chemistry is advancing science. Source: Unsplash.

What happens in a grade 9 chemistry class? Experiments, labs, research and so much more.

Will a Chemistry Tutor Help Me to Succeed?

Hiring a chemistry tutor to support your studies can make a huge difference in your academic performance and ensure you will get the best grades possible. The best place to find a tutor is on Superprof.ca. Superprof has listings for hundreds of tutors across Canada that help thousands of Canadian students every day. Superprof tutors are passionate about their subjects and are ready to support you in your learning needs. You’ll find amazing science tutors who can aid you while completing your secondary coursework.

organic chemistry tutor
Having someone experienced to tutor you in chemistry can be critical for success. Source: Unsplash.

We all know it takes competitive grades to get into the best chemistry schools. Having a tutor is like adding a new weapon in your artillery as a student. A tutor can help you understand new scientific concepts you encounter in class, and explain complex ideas, whether they are about chemical reactions or scientific theories. They can help you prepare for major assessments and exams, creating a schedule or program of review that will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed when big deadlines or test dates come up.

Chemistry tutors can give you valuable feedback on your research projects and lab reports, so you can clearly express your ideas and share your discoveries succinctly and comprehensively. In many cases, they have also studied university courses in chemistry, and understand how to be successful in the subject.

Superprof offers an easy to navigate interface where you and your family can browse tutors near you to compare their profiles and rates. The site is eye-catching, engaging, and contains tons of great content about all the subjects you are learning in school. You can easily search through different tutor profiles, compare costs, and connect with different options who might be a good fit for you. Look for someone who understands your province’s curriculum, and who can meet the needs of your schedule and budget.

Do you love science and want to continue learning chemistry in high school? Here’s everything you need to know about basic chemistry classes.

Getting an Organic Chemistry Tutor

You might see the phrase organic chemistry tutor in many of your searches, and while these tutors are able to help people pursuing this specific subfield of chemistry they can certainly help you with your secondary courses. Reach out to them and see what they can offer you, and make a decision that aligns with your needs as a learner.

Check out Superprof to find a chemistry tutor today!

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Colleen

Colleen is a Toronto-based educator, mom and freelance writer who believes in lifelong learning and strong coffee.