Chemistry A-Level | Surbiton High School
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Chemistry A-Level

Examination Board: AQA

Chemistry A-level is a unique course where you will study the science of substances, delving deeply into the physical laws that determine their behaviour, how they can be manipulated to produce the chemicals we desire, and the ways in which they drive biological processes. As well as learning the theory behind why molecules are the shape they are, or how pharmaceuticals are made, you will also link the theory to reality, discussing how to solve the problem of pollution or ways to produce chemicals more sustainably. Chemistry is a wide reaching subject that holds the opportunity to make a huge difference in the world; whether it is developing vaccines, improving nanotechnology, or producing greener energy, chemists can be found in all industries.

Chemistry is inherently a practical subject, and alongside the theory, you will complete a set of 12 required practical activities. Here, you will develop your planning and analysis skills, and will improve upon your GCSE lab techniques. You will become adept at making observations and spotting patterns in results, and you should gain an appreciation for the fact that Science isn’t perfect, and that often practical activities need adapting or amending in order to work as expected. The qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and process skills inherent in GCSE. It is expected that students will be capable mathematicians, and it is highly recommended (though not essential) to take Mathematics AS or A-level alongside this course.

An A-level in Chemistry opens many doors. You will become effective communicators, advanced problem solvers, and critical thinkers, which will stand you in good stead for any higher education course. Of course, you can continue on to a degree studying pure Chemistry or Natural Sciences. Chemistry A-level is a prerequisite for most Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine courses. However, Chemistry A-level allows you to develop a number of transferrable skills which are highly sought after from a wide range of universities and employers. For example, chemists are highly sought after in the financial sector for their numeracy and first-rate analytical skills. Studying Chemistry is excellent preparation for any future studies.

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Paper 1: Inorganic and Physical Chemistry

■ Inorganic Chemistry
■ Relevant practical skills
■ Relevant physical Chemistry topics such as:
 Atomic structure
 Amount of substance
 Bonding
 Energetics
 Equilibria
 Acids and bases
 Redox
■ 105 marks, with a mixture of short and long-answer questions

Paper 2: Organic and Physical Chemistry

■ Organic Chemistry
■ Relevant practical skills
■ Relevant physical Chemistry topics
such as:
Amount of substance
■ 105 marks, with a mixture of short and long-answer questions

Paper 3: Practical Skills, Data Handling and Synopsis

■ All content
■ All practical skills
■ 40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis
■ 20 marks of questions testing across the specification
■ 30 marks of multiple-choice questions

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