Why Study Chemistry in the Sixth Form?
This course will try to give you the skills and understanding to make decisions about the way chemistry affects your everyday life by applying concepts into contemporary areas of chemistry including climate change, green chemistry and pharmaceuticals to name but a few. In addition, an A Level in Chemistry allows you to develop a range of generic skills requested by both employers and universities. For instance, a successful A Level chemist will be an effective problem-solver and be able to communicate efficiently both orally and with the written word. Handling data will be a key part of your work, allowing you to demonstrate information retrieval skills as well as use of numeracy. You will build up a range of practical skills that require creativity and accuracy as well as developing a firm understanding of health and safety issues. As chemistry is a subject in which much learning stems from experimental work it is likely that you will need to work effectively as part of a group, developing team participation and leadership skills. As you become more skilled you will take responsibility for selecting appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods, recording your observations and findings accurately and precisely as well as critically analysing and evaluating the methodology, results and impact of your own and others' experimental and investigative activities.
What do I need to know, or be able to do, before taking this course?
The qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and process skills that you achieved in GCSE Science, Additional Science and Chemistry. In chemistry you will need to be able to communicate effectively, be able to carry out research, work independently and critically think about problems. Good practical skills are also important as chemistry is a very practical subject.
How will I be assessed?
In light of Michael Gove’s changes to A levels this is a new specification that we have just started teaching. However, there is little difference in content to the old specification; it is just the order the topics are taught and the method and timing of how they are assessed which differ. All the examinations for AS or A level have to be sat at one sitting in June.
You will complete a written exam that lasts for 75 minutes for each of Paper 1 and 2. The papers will contain objective questions, short answer questions and extended answer questions. As there is no longer any formal practical examination, the papers will include questions that assess conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods (indirect practical skills).
You will complete three written exams
Paper 1: Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry is 90 minutes long and accounts for 30% of the marks
Paper 2: Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry is also 90 minutes long and accounts for 30% of the marks
Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Chemistry is 150 minutes long and accounts for 40% of the marks. Questions in this paper may draw on any of the topics in the specification and will include synoptic questions that may draw on two or more different topics. The paper will also include questions that assess conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods (indirect practical skills)
Speak to your Chemistry teacher and to find out more about careers involving GCE Chemistry visit websites such as: http://www.rsc.org/Education/SchoolStudents/index.asp
Mr Mark Gluning
Head of Chemistry
GL8 8 QG
GL8 8 QG