Edexcel a level chemistry coursework

A Level students overall get much harder mole calculations that are often set in unfamiliar contexts and are often unstructured i. This one is close as coverage of atomic and electronic structure is the same.

A big topic, with some big differences. Both programmes require you to thoroughly understand all the periodic trends, and exam questions are similarly difficult. A Level has significantly more inorganic chemistry content though. The halogens is also a much shorter IB topic than for A Level, which looks at reducing power of halide ions and associated redox chemistry. With transition metals, only IB students learn about the spectrochemical series, but the topic is an afterthought compared to its coverage at A Level, with all that aqueous transition metal chemistry and colour changes!

The content is the same in this huge topic, but the IB content gives students a deeper understanding e. This gives IB students a much more comprehensive understanding of this topic and a greater variety of exam questions to prepare for. There is nothing to separate them here now that Arrhenius is back in all the A Level specifications. Exam questions are of similar difficulty. Another topic where the IB programme gives students a more complete picture. The IB includes reaction quotient, which helps better understand what happens when you disturb an equilibrium but omits Kp and partial pressures.

Only the IB and Edexcel delve into the relationship between equilibrium and Gibbs energy though. There is little difference in exam question difficulty for students that fully grasp the concept and are adept at ICE table calculations. This demanding, mathematical topic is much more demanding in the IB, which has more content, more depth, and more calculations, including Kb and pKb. IB students also cover pH of salt solutions and the half-equivalence point. This balances things out a lot. The basics oxidation states, oxidising and reducing agents and balancing redox equations get the same treatment in both qualifications.

Redox titrations, another difficult area, is quite limited in the IB and based around manganese redox chemistry.

Pearson A-Level Maths Essentials

A Level questions however are very demanding, with far more redox systems, unknowns to calculate, and are often unstructured, making it difficult to see how to approach the question. What swings the balance in favour of the IB is electrochemistry, which is covered in greater depth and has more challenging exam questions. The A Level has more organic reactions, reagents, conditions and mechanisms to learn. Both programmes require you to develop four-step synthetic routes, but A Level organic synthesis questions are more demanding and require knowledge of a much bigger reaction toolkit.

Both programmes have some minor content differences IB has Index of Hydrogen Deficiency and X-ray crystallography, A Level has chromatography and high-res mass spectroscopy , but the crux of this topic is structure determination using analytical data. Choosing and executing a high-scoring IA is a challenge, but an enjoyable challenge for engaged students.


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It requires creativity, specialist knowledge, research skills, management skills, and communication skills. Mole calculations, redox, and organic chemistry are topics where A Level questions are more demanding, often due to lack of question structure and use of novel contexts to test familiar topics in unfamiliar ways.

It also has to be noted that to earn their diploma, IB chemistry students take five other subjects which also have demanding coursework requirements and have to complete an Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge essay, and undertake Creativity, Activity and Service work. Despite some omissions, thanks to its excellent coursework programme, the IB overall better equips students for university-level study by giving them a broader understanding of practical chemistry and by developing essential communication and research skills.

For that reason, I would say the IB Diploma offers a better pre-university education. You seem to imply that only A-Levels cover high-resolution mass spectroscopy and NMR spectroscopy despite both being present in the IB syllabus and all exams as well. Perhaps these were added with the reformed syllabus?

A-Level Chemistry Revision

BR, Emilia. Low-res MS is covered in the current syllabus under topics However, it's not a good subject because it's easy my opinion of course , it's an excellent subject because it's so interesting. From GCSE you know that certain reactants 'join' to form certain products. You will now learn why they do. It's that extra level of detail that makes Chemistry so exciting to me, for any of the topics it seems like you're learning that tiny bit beyond what you should know. You're not though obviously.

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GCSE Chemistry

What I dislike about studying this subject: The definitions are really boring and have a tendency to show up in exams. Really make sure you learn these, A small definition at the bottom of a page can be easily missed. However, this is really just a very slight negative to the subject. I would recommend anyone to give Chemistry a go.

What I like about studying this subject: I'm a semi mathematical person, so I find Chemistry interesting and challenging, but not to the point where I want to pull my hair out. I didn't enjoy it at GCSE, but now there's just that little bit more detail to the concepts I'm finding it strangely fascinating. What I dislike about studying this subject: How unbelievably picky the exam mark schemes are. You lose the mark if you put g instead of Also, missing lessons make it hard to catch up, because I find Chemistry is just one of those subjects that are best taught by a teacher for full understanding.

But if your teacher is crap, you're doomed for hours of independent study. There's less 'Ideas in Context' crap, and much more actual science.

The Edexcel Bookshop - Huge savings on Edexcel textbooks

What I dislike about studying this subject: 1 If the teacher's bad, you most likely won't understand much. Although ECF Error Carried Forward, where you can gain marks on method even if you use the wrong values has saved my arse on many occasions. What I like about studying this subject: 1 I love thinking from a scientific perspective and solving problems; nothing can beat the satisfaction when you solve a problem on your own! Because the course is 'context-led', we're questioned on the application of chemical phenomena.

For example, when doing pH calculations, we have to apply that to buffers in the oceans or controlling soil acidity in Agriculture. Having to learn an additional textbook makes the workload unbearable. We basically chose our topic and planned it, carried out the investigation, wrote up the report and handed it in with no second draft. What I like about studying this subject: Chemistry is broad in its usage and very well respected as an A-level.

16+ Biology

It has its own beauty and combined with Biology it gives you a greater understanding about the world. Chemistry is probably the most applicable A level science you can pick up a bottle of food, detergent or even cosmetic read it and realise how much you really understand about it just through your A level knowledge.

Unlike biology and maths where you are tested on the knowledge of the mark scheme and ability not to make careless mistakes chemistry is rarely semantic and usually tests you on the subject. What I dislike about studying this subject: Again it is very difficult especially for me at AS because at AS its difficulty is combined with a very boring syllabus I did Edexcel. However A2 is far more interesting. Im not trying to scare anyone but honestly it is very difficult.

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