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Why study A Level Chemistry?
Chemistry is integral in every part of our lives. The stereotypical image of a scientist in a lab coat may be true in some contexts but chemistry has a far wider impact. Understanding chemical concepts helps to explain and describe our world.
What is chemistry?
Chemistry is the study of
- the material world
- the properties of matter
- the combination or separation of substances to form others
- how substances and energy interact
What is covered in A Level Chemistry?
The main examining boards (AQA, Eduqas, Pearson, OCR) all offer A Level Chemistry courses and these follow similar syllabi. An A Level Chemistry curriculum will cover basic concepts such as:
- the structure of atoms
- interactions of energy and matter
- the periodic table
- controlling reactions
- carbon based molecules
The work will involve learning facts, understanding and applying concepts. Key ideas will need to be applied in a practical way through experiments, which help to reinforce the underlying theories you are studying. Aspects of the course will involve calculations so it is important to be confident with numbers and equations.
A Level Chemistry is assessed through exams at the end of the second year. Any interim exams (for example AS exams or internal exams in the first year) will not be a component of the overall A Level grade. Of the three written exam papers, two will comprise of questions from certain topics covered during your studies. The third paper will test the understanding gained from practical work across the course and each question will require knowledge from across several of the topics covered.
Throughout your course, there will also be twelve core practicals. These are assessed by your teachers and will be an additional endorsement when published with the grade from your A Level.
What GCSEs do I need?
Only those with a genuine interest in the subject should consider studying A Level Chemistry. It will require hard work and a degree of enthusiasm will serve to make it enjoyable as well. Independent work is important in A Level Chemistry and you will be responsible for your own progress to a significant extent.
GCSE is a good foundation. As a minimum, students should have GCSE science (separate sciences or double) at 7 or above. Mathematics is also important, reflecting the equational component so GCSE Mathematics at 7 or higher is recommended. Students will be required to use scientific vocabulary and communicate concepts via written English.
Where can I use A Level Chemistry?
The skills developed in studying Chemistry are highly transferable and pertinent for many other subjects and a wide range of careers. It develops and demonstrates analytical skills, together with problem-solving and research skills. Chemistry will often require high level, effective communication and teamwork. These abilities are prized in many different disciplines.
A Level Chemistry will often be combined with the study of Biology, Physics or Mathematics. It is a requirement if you wish to study dentistry, medicine, veterinary sciences, pharmacology, biochemistry or pharmacy at university.
Is A Level Chemistry right for me?
Ultimately you are the only person who can answer this question. However, there are people who can help. The Profs academic consultancy service can provide advice on key decisions as you plan your educational path. Combined with career advice, we are well placed to answer any questions you may have as to whether A Level Chemistry is required or appropriate for your longer-term objectives.
If you are sure that A Level Chemistry is the right course but are concerned about managing the work, then The Profs private tuition service is here to help. With a rigorous selection process, you can be assured that our tutors will provide an expert, reliable service. Even if you are confident in your abilities to complete the work, a little extra tuition may improve your grade and reinforce your knowledge.
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