Is A level/AS level Chemistry really as hard as people make out?

  • 0 votes

People say that Chemistry A level is the hardest one, is this true? I'm predicted an A/A* at GCSE, and I need a Chemistry A level for my course at uni, is it a lot harder than other a levels?

Posted Tue 9th April, 2013 @ 13:20 by Martha Collison

3 Answers

  • 2 votes

I'm doing AS Chemistry at the moment and I was warned off it due to the difficulty countless times and the fact I wasn't taking Maths A Level aswell. I only got Bs in my Chemistry and Maths units at GCSE but I enjoyed it so wanted to carry it on as I like Science even though my main strengths are in the humanities and in essay writing. Chemistry requires extra time compared to your other A Levels to gain solid own knowledge and understanding. It is challenging and the expectations put up by others put you into a frame of mind that you'll be faceplanting the desk every lesson but it is by no means like that. There are some tricky parts but most of it is care free and simple to plow through. My Sixth Form College follows the Edexcel Chemistry course, this is made up of Unit 1: The Core Principles of Chemistry and Unit 2: Application of Core Principles of Chemistry and three IAT categories which equate to 20% of your final AS mark I think. Quite a lot of Unit 1 is going over bits of GCSE. Chemistry is a progressive subject; you're mostly building on the foundations of what you've learnt previously on that topic from GCSE but in much greater depth although there are a good deal of new topics. If you're predicted A/A* the chances are you'll be fine to continue to A level, the variance in grades at GCSE doesn't really put you behind or ahead of people at A level which is what I've found out. Of course you need to get an A*-B to show you've got what it takes to be there but I thought I'd be behind the people who got A*s in Chemistry at GCSE but everyone seems to have their different strengths. Mine is in Physical Chemistry which I can answer better than some who got A* at GCSE whilst others can answer questions on Organic Mechanisms better than me. Also people always said it was a giant step up from GCSE, I wouldn't say any of my A Levels have been a giant step up from GCSE, Chemistry is the biggest step up in comparison to History and English Lit/Lang but you expect to be learning new things and if you embrace it you shouldn't be faultered by it all.

Answered Tue 9th April, 2013 @ 14:15 by Justin
  • 1 vote

Chemistry is a hard a-level, but what you need to remember is that most a -levels are hard. If you put a lot of hard work into it you should come out with a high grade. It isn't very hard but is still difficult, there is a lot of theory to know but it is easy to understand. You also need to be good at doing practical experiments. Because your coursework is based on that.
Chemistry salters b units include:
Elements of life - atoms, radiation, bonding, shapes of molecules and the periodic table.
Developing fuels - gas volumes, entropy, Hess' law, isomerism, catalysts, fuels and shapes.
Elements from the sea - calculations, redox, halogens, electro negativity, chemical industry and halogenoalkanes
Atmosphere - giant structures, reversible reactions, atmosphere, greenhouse gases, ozone, CFCs
Polymer revolution - alkenes reactions, alcohols, hydrogen bonding, polymers, isomerism and infrared spectroscopy.
That is for the AS level chemistry ocr b course.
Hope it's helped.

Answered Tue 9th April, 2013 @ 13:38 by Ash
  • 0 votes

Thank you so much, it's nice to hear it from people who actually do it rather than rumors!

Answered Tue 9th April, 2013 @ 18:14 by Martha Collison