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AS Level Chemistry (2015 Specification)

Examining Board: Edexcel
Next Examination Period: May/June 2020
Exam Specification Code:9CH0
Coursework Element: None
Practical Element: No
Course Fee Includes: Online course materials and tutor support. Additional materials available at extra cost.

Edexcel A Levels are available for study anywhere in the world. Examinations can be taken at any registered examination centre in the world. It is recommended students check with examining centres that the chosen exam is available.

Introduction

Chemistry is an impressive subject to have on a CV – highly respected by universities and employers alike it shows a depth of learning that requires numerous skills of its students; maths, scientific reasoning, written and spoken communication and practicality among many others. It is for this reason that Chemistry is considered a highly academic subject that keeps many of life’s “doors” open to you.

chemistry A Level

AS Level Chemistry Entry Requirements

Although the AS Level Chemistry programmes build on the course content of GCSE, it is not necessary to have this qualification before undertaking an AS Level. However, in order to meet the demands of the course, it is recommended that candidates have literacy and communication skills equivalent to C or higher at GCSE. Please note that full tutor support is still provided throughout your course duration.

All students must be 16 years of age or above.

AS Level Chemistry Course Duration

1 year.

Study Hours Required

Approximately 150 hours.

Awarding Body

Pearson Edexcel

Edexcel A Levels are available for study anywhere in the world. Examinations can be taken at any registered examination centre in the world. It is recommended students check with examining centres that the chosen exam is available.

Examination Information

Students are required to arrange and pay for their AS Level Chemistry examinations and manage the course work element if the subject requires this. Students must check the relevant examination board website for further information and final examination sitting dates for the specification.

All examinations are held during the May / June exam period of every year.

AS Level Chemistry Course Content

The AS-Level Chemistry course consists of 10 topics: –

  • Topic 1 Atomic Structure & the Periodic Table
  • Topic 2 Bonding & Structure
  • Topic 3 Redox I
  • Topic 4 Inorganic Chemistry & the Periodic Table
  • Topic 5 Formulae, Equations & Amounts of Substance
  • Topic 6 Organic Chemistry I
  • Topic 7 Modern Analytical Techniques I
  • Topic 8 Energetics I
  • Topic 9 Kinetics I
  • Topic 10 Equilibrium I

AS Level Chemistry Selected Topic Summaries

Atomic Structure & Periodic Table – The course starts with a look at the atom, the building blocks of chemistry. We discover the subatomic particles that make up an atom and look at how mass spectrometry is used to determine molecular masses.

Bonding & Structure – This topic develops on understanding atomic structure and looks more at molecules and the types of bonding witnessed in different types of molecule. Previous study of ions is developed and we explore radii and other physical properties and the effects these have on the behaviour of atoms and ions.

Redox I – This topic is concerned with balancing equations and how the concept of oxidation numbers can provide a very efficient tool in this area.

Inorganic Chemistry and the Periodic Table – A more detailed look at some of the groups of the periodic table. Discover the elements of group 1 and 2 as well as the halogen gases of group 7. Learn more about these groups and how their physical properties decide their external characteristics.

Formulae, Equations and Amounts of Substance– Discover the concept of the “mole” and meet Avogadro’s constant, as well as calculating reacting masses and volumes and identifying both empirical and molecular formulae.

Organic Chemistry – There are three topics relating to organic chemistry; that is, chemistry relating to compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. The first of these topics provides an introduction to the discipline and starts to introduce key homologous series, including the alkanes and alkenes. The Second organic topic introduces important functional groups including the carbonyls and carboxylic acids and discusses the concept of chirality. The third and final organic chemistry topic develops this understanding further and introduces further organic species including the arenes and aromatic rings as well as the nitrogen-containing organic series.

Modern Analytical Techniques – The two topics covering modern analytical techniques describe the key, cutting edge methods being employed in chemical analysis. Starting in the first topic with Mass spectrometry and IR spectroscopy before, later in the course, expanding on mass spectrometry and then introducing nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and chromatography.

Energetics – the topics on energetics learn to use Hess’s law to calculate otherwise immeasurable energy changes in chemical reactions as well as discovering bon enthalpies, before being introduced to lattice energies and the concept of entropy and how scientists use this idea of “chaos” and “order” to answer important questions about chemical stability.

Kinetics – The kinetics topics in the A-Level course show the student how the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution and collision theory are key in the creation of models in chemistry and how they account for the different effects that changing variables can have on the rate of a reaction. The later topic in this area explores the effects of catalysts on rates of reaction and introduces the mathematical expressions that describe rates of reaction.

Equilibria – In this topic, discover the fact that many chemical reactions are completely reversible and the idea of dynamic equilibrium. Students will also learn how changing variables like temperature, concentration or pressure can affect the position of a reaction’s equilibrium. The equilibrium topics continue to look at the maths behind equilibria, introducing Kp and Kc calculations as well as the equilibrium constant.

Assessment

The AS Chemistry course is assessed in two external exams: – Paper 1: Core Inorganic & Physical Chemistry 8CH0/01 80 marks – 1 hour 30 minutes – 50% of total qualification Question types: multiple-choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions. ● The paper will include questions that target mathematics

AS Level Chemistry Topics examined:

  • Topic 1 Atomic Structure & the Periodic Table
  • Topic 2 Bonding & Structure
  • Topic 3 Redox I
  • Topic 4 Inorganic Chemistry & the Periodic Table
  • Topic 5 Formulae, Equations & Amounts of Substance

Paper 2: Core Organic & Physical Chemistry 8CH0/02 80 marks – 1 hour 30 minutes – 50% of total qualification Question types: multiple-choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions.

AS Level Chemistry Topics examined:

  • Topic 2 Bonding & Structure
  • Topic 5 Formulae, Equations & Amounts of Substance Topic 4: Exchange and Transport
  • Topic 6 Organic Chemistry I
  • Topic 7 Modern Analytical Techniques I
  • Topic 8 Energetics I
  • Topic 9 Kinetics I
  • Topic 10 Equilibrium I

AS Level Chemistry Practical Endorsement

There is no practical endorsement element to the AS-only course, there are 8-core practicals, however, that are covered within the four topics, the understanding of which is examined in the two exam papers.

Further Reading

CGP Revision Guide – New 2015 A-Level Chemistry: Edexcel Year 1 & AS Complete Revision & Practice with Online Edition – Due for release in September 2015, ISBN currently unavailable.

AS Only Curtis, Cliff – Edexcel AS/A Level Chemistry Student Book 1 + Activebook (Edexcel A Level Science (2015)) – Pearson 2015 – ISBN: 978-1447991168 AS Textbook

Qualification

The AS-level title as will appear on certificates is the Edexcel Level 3 Advanced Subsidiary GCE in Chemistry (Specification number: 8CH0) Both exams must be taken and passed to achieve the full A-Level qualification

Progression

Our AS Level Chemistry programmes are eligible for UCAS points, making them a great choice for students aiming to progress to University. UCAS points are awarded according to the grade earned, please see below for details.

A levels are also widely recognised by employers and are useful for students looking to progress their careers or meet requirements for promotion.

UCAS Points Table

A = 20
B = 16
C = 12
D = 10
E = 6

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