Chemistry

Why Study Advanced Level Chemistry at King Solomon Academy?

A-level Chemistry covers a wide variety of basic concepts such as the structure of the atom; the interaction of matter and energy; how to control reactions; patterns in the Periodic Table and understanding carbon-based molecules. Amongst topics you will learn new knowledge and skills and build on GCSE Chemistry, in order to understand and apply ideas. Many topics include mathematics calculations, so you should feel comfortable using equations and numbers. Chemistry is a hands-on science and you will carry out experiments regularly in order to consolidate class work but also to build your skills and confidence in completing safe and accurate practical work. Chemistry A-level is a highly respected A-level as a variety of skills are tested, see below for which subjects compliment A-level Chemistry.

What will we study in Year 12?

We follow the AQA 2-year A-level Chemistry specification. The content is split into Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry (see below how they are assessed).

In year 12, we study a lot of Physical Chemistry a small amount of Inorganic and some Organic towards the end.

The topics we teach in year 12:

  • Physical Chemistry – Atomic structure, Amount of substance, Bonding and structure, Redox, Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibria
  • Inorganic Chemistry – Periodicity, Group 2, Group 7
  • Organic Chemistry – Alkanes, Alkenes, Haloalkanes, Alcohols, Organic Analysis

How is our learning assessed in Year 12?

Throughout year 12, just like in other subjects, you will sit ‘tri-weekly’ assessments. Every 3 weeks you will sit an assessment, either on the content learnt in the previous 3 weeks or assessing everything from the year so far.

At the end of the year, AS-style assessments will be sat in order to produce predicted grades moving into year 13.

What will we study in Year 13?

The following topics are typically taught in year 13:

  • Physical Chemistry – Thermodynamics, Rate equations, Kp, Electrode potentials, Acdis and bases
  • Inorganic Chemistry – Period 3, Transition metals, Ions in solution
  • Organic Chemistry – Optical isomerism, Aldehydes and ketones, Carboxylic acids, Aromatic Chemistry, Amines, Polymers, Proteins and DNA, Organic synthesis, NMR, Chromatography

How are we assessed in our A-Level Exams?

You will sit 3 A-level assessments in Chemistry

 

  Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3
What’s assessed
  • Relevant Physical Chemistry topics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Relevant practical skills
  • Relevant Physical Chemistry topics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Relevant practical skills
  • Any content
  • Any practical skills
How it’s assessed
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 105 marks
  • 35% of A-level
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 105 marks
  • 35% of A-level
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 90 marks
  • 30% of A-level
Questions 105 marks of short and long answer questions 105 marks of short and long answer questions
  • 40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis 
  • 20 marks of questions testing across the specification
  • 30 marks of multiple-choice questions

Which subjects complement a study of Chemistry?

Many of the topics contain a great deal of mathematical content, and whilst A Level maths is not required to understand this content, studying this subject also is an advantage. Some of the content also overlaps with the physics and biology curricula. Studying these subjects alongside chemistry would be advantageous. Chemistry is a concise subject that requires deep thought. Studying Chemistry would complement A levels which are essay based, or that have a heavy reading load, like Biology, History, Geography, English and Modern Languages.

What could I do next with an A level qualification in Chemistry?

Chemistry is often seen as one of the most demanding A-level subjects to take, and as a consequence is well respected and admired by prospective universities and employees. A-level chemistry is an essential qualification for careers in healthcare such as medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy and dentistry. It is also a very useful qualification for careers in the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, geology and environmental science. Outside the world of science, chemistry is also taken by many law applicants as it shows you can cope with difficult concepts. It is also often taken by people who end up working within banking and finance.

Which skills will I be developing through studying Chemistry?

Chemistry will help develop some key skills that can be applied outside of the subject discipline; these include problem solving, numeracy, practical skills as well as developing a broad scientific background.

Are there any extra-curricular opportunities to support my study of Chemistry?

There will be opportunities to attend chemistry lectures held at external locations in the UK, such as the Royal Society. There will also be opportunities to take part in workshops at Universities across London too. There are many opportunities for such workshops in half term and summer holidays too, so do take advantage when you are made aware of these by your teacher or careers coordinator.

What are the KSA requirements for entry onto the course?

If you sat the Combined Science exams: You must have achieved at least one level 7

If you sat the Triple Science exams: You must have achieved a level 7 in Chemistry

At least a level 7 in GCSE mathematics is also desirable.