What is taught in A level chemistry?

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Are you a student interested in studying A level chemistry? If you are, you should know a bit more about what is taught in this A level before taking it. After all, A level subject decisions should not be taken lightly due to their difficulty. Students across the country often get overwhelmed by A levels due to how challenging they are compared to GCSEs. Therefore, with chemistry being one of the toughest subjects, you need to learn about what you’re getting yourself into! Read on for more information about the kinds of things you’ll be studying at A level.

Physical chemistry

This first section of chemistry encompasses the application of theories and techniques of physics to chemical systems study. Students will come across a range of topics within this branch within both years of their college experience. One of the first things taught is content about atomic structure. This involves the arrangement of particles around the nucleus in an atom. This influences the way elements are arranged in the infamous periodic table.

Secondly, students will come across bonding. Briefly covered at GCSE level, students will study the different chemical bonds in more detail. You’ll learn how atoms are held in these structures, and also how particular properties can be applied to new technologies. Oxidation and reduction also dominate physical chemistry, whilst thermodynamics is only studied within the second year of A level, noted by some students to be particularly difficult. Rate equations are also only studied at A level too, observing the relationship between concentration and the rate of reaction.

Inorganic chemistry

Inorganic chemistry is a type of chemistry that deals with inorganic compounds. Students can firstly expect to come across periodicity, which deals with the structural organisation of the period table. You’ll look at scientific theories, different properties of elements, and atomic structure in this section. Within inorganic chemistry, you’ll also look at certain period groups in more detail, including Group 2 and Group 7.

Elements of Group 2, the alkaline earth metals, have trends in the solubilities of the sulfates and hydroxides of these elements which link to their uses. Group 7 elements, the halogens, are incredibly reactive non-metals – physical property trends are examined and coupled with explanations. Properties of the transition metals are also examined and explained at A level in the second year of study. This middle block in the periodic table provokes opportunities for students to carry out a range of practical experiments.

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Organic chemistry

This branch is one that deals with carbon compounds. Students will learn about alkanes and alkenes, and there are even topics centring on the structure and reactivity of alcohols. At A level only, you’ll come across aromatic chemistry, polymers, amino acids, DNA, and chromatography.

As you can see, there are so many different branches in chemistry, which splits into different important topics. With a range of calculations, practical examinations, and study of complex content, chemistry is both very rewarding and very academic. If you need any help with your A Level Chemistry then here at Exam.tips we have a number of high quality Online A Level Chemistry Tutors who are more than able and eager to help you. 

If you, or your parents would like to find out more, please just get in touch via email at info@exam.tips or call us on 0800 689 1272