A Level Chemistry (Reformed 2015)

What is Chemistry?

Chemistry has been aptly defined as that branch of science which is fundamental, molecular and interesting. Chemistry touches every aspect of our everyday lives, and its study encourages analytical, critical and logical thought: all important ingredients in any higher education course.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

The study of Chemistry continues to be mandatory for students aiming to read Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science. That should not put off other students, since the training it encourages is applicable in a wide area of expertise. Students have gone on to study Law, Pharmacy (and even Chemistry!) at university.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

For candidates who decide to stop their study of Chemistry at AS, the approach will be as rigorous as that for students progressing to A2. Laboratory sessions run alongside theory sessions and both are seen as vital in illustrating the specification and to prepare candidates for the practical test.

AS Specification Number
AQA 7404

3.1 Physical chemistry
3.1.1 Atomic structure
3.1.2 Amount of substance
3.1.3 Bonding
3.1.4 Energetics
3.1.5 Kinetics
3.1.6 Chemical equilibria and Le Chateliers's principle and Kc
3.1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox questions

3.2 Inorganic chemistry
3.2.1 Periodicity
3.2.2 Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
3.2.3 Group 7(17), the halogens

3.3 Organic chemistry
3.3.1 Introduction to organic Chemistry
3.3.2 Alkanes
3.3.3 Halogenoalkanes
3.3.4 Alkenes
3.3.5 Alcohols
3.3.6 Organic analysis 

Assessment

 

Paper 1

  • Physical chemistry topics (sections 3.1.1 to 3.1.4, 3.1.6 and 3.1.7) Inorganic chemistry topics (Section 3.2.1 to 3.2.3).
  • Relevant practical skills
  • Written exam: 50% of the AS 1 hour 30 minutes 80 marks
  • 65 marks of short and long answer questions
  • 15 marks of mulptiple choice questions

 Paper 2

  • Physical chemistry topics (sections 3.1.2 to 3.1.6).
  • Organic chemistry (Section 3.3.1 to 3.3.6). Relevant practical skills
  • Written exam:50% of the AS 1 hour 30 minutes 80 marks
  • 65 marks of short and long answer questions
  • 15 marks of multiple choice questions

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Alyn McFarland, Teresa Quigg and Nora Henry AQA A-level Chemistry Year 1 Student Book Hodder Education

A Level

MPW approach to A level study

The same combination of theory and practical allows thorough coverage of the specification.

A level Specification Number
AQA 7405 

 

3.1 Physical chemistry

  • 3.1.8 Thermodynamics
  • 3.1.9 Rate equations
  • 3.1.10 Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems
  • 3.1.11 Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
  • 3.1.12 Acids and bases

3.2 Inorganic chemistry

  • 3.2.4 Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides
  • 3.2.5 Transition metals
  • 3.2.6 Reactions of ions in aqueous solution

3.3 Organic chemistry

  • 3.3.7 Optical isomerism
  • 3.3.8 Aldehydes and ketones
  • 3.3.9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives
  • 3.3.10 Aromatic chemistry
  • 3.3.11 Amines
  • 3.3.12 Polymers
  • 3.3.13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA
  • 3.3.14 Organic synthesis
  • 3.3.15 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • 3.3.16 Chromatography

Assessment

Paper 1

  • Physical chemistry topics (sections 3.1.1 to 3.1.4, 3.1.6 to 3.1.8 and 3.1.10 to 3.1.12).
  • Inorganic chemistry (Section 3.2).
  • Relevant practical skills
  • Written exam: 35% of A-level 2 hours 105 marks
  • 105 marks of short and long answer questions

 Paper 2

  • Relevant Physical chemistry topics (sections 3.1.2 to 3.1.6 and 3.1.9) Organic chemistry (Section 3.3)
  • Relevant practical skills
  • Written exam:35% of A-level 2 hours 105 marks
  • 105 marks of short and long answer questions

Paper 3

  • Any content.  Any practical skills
  • Written exam: 30% of A-level 2 hours 90 marks
  • 40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis
  • 20 marks of questions testing across the specification
  • 30 marks of multiple choice questions

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Alyn McFarland, Teresa Quigg and Nora Henry AQA A-level Chemistry Year 1 Student Book Hodder Education

Jonathon

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Exeter University (Business Management)

I chose MPW because of the academic support provided by the college, which was instrumental in helping me throughout the challenging nature of my one-year A level courses. The weekly Timed Assignments and assistance provided by the Personal Tutor system helped me in areas I had previously struggled. Playing for the college football team was a great release from the challenging academic nature of the year and it helped me build friendships with other students in the college.

Shivali

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
Leeds University (Dentistry)

The best part about studying at MPW is the friendly, encouraging and supportive classroom environment that MPW provides.  It makes asking for help and reaching your potential easy and enjoyable. The college really helps students to believe in themselves.  The Personal Tutor system is great because it is available for you to use to whatever extent you might need whether that be having weekly meetings or meeting every now and then for a quick catch up to analyse my current progress.  The weekly Timed Assignments have also enabled me to build my confidence in the build up to my exams.  They help you to feel comfortable in an exam environment, as well as enable you to consolidate the material you need to recall in the final exams

Annabel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AB

Progressed to
Exeter University (International Relations and History)

“Having not achieved the grades I wanted or needed in my A levels at my previous college I decided that retaking would be the best option for me.  I have found the small classes at MPW to be a real asset, and that, coupled with the fantastic teaching, has certainly enabled me to grow academically. Further to this, both the academic support and the university guidance provided by the college have been exceptional.”

Renee

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A

Progressed to
Manchester University (Dentistry)

After failing to get into Dental School last year I lost a lot of confidence and was worried that I might never get into my dream course.  The one-to-one support you get from MPW is so much more efficient compared to the main stream schools and colleges. The individual help you get for applying to University which includes interview support is amazing. No matter if you are a resit or a first time student, no one judges you and as long as you are hardworking and want to be a success.

Jake

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
Oxford University (Mathematics)

I joined MPW because I wanted to be part of a close knit community that focuses on helping students attain the grades they are really capable of.  Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who assists them in all aspects of student life.  I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student looking to expand their academic horizons.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible. 

Cordelia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
King’s College London (Dentistry)

MPW gave me a second chance in pursuing a career in dentistry. The small class sizes and weekly timed assessments gave me and my tutors a clear indication of my progress.  The rigorous teaching schedules, structured and tailored to my personal needs, was exactly what I needed. MPW placed heavy focus on exam technique as the key to achieving the required higher grades. Being able to talk with my tutors at any time in the day was an invaluable aid. It was also clear how much the teachers took a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Josephine

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of Warwick (Management)

I joined MPW having not fulfilled my academic potential during my AS level exams at my previous school. I decided to retake my AS year at MPW and it was the best decision I ever made. The tutors at MPW have pushed me to achieve my maximum potential and have greatly improved my academic performance. The best part of studying at MPW is the weekly timed assignments as they ensure that you continuously review and revise work as well as helping you to make weekly improvements on exam technique.

Olivia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Bristol University (Dentistry)

Throughout my time at MPW I have been provided with constant support.  The college has prepared me for not only my exams but also the university interviews I attended.  It has been an amazing experience from start to finish.  The friendly and welcoming environment created by the staff and students made it an ideal setting for me to concentrate on achieving my targets.

Alex

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
University of Birmingham (Law)

I came to MPW with very low self-confidence after under-achieving at AS level at my previous school, and have left with greater confidence about my academic ability and with a definite degree of clarity about what I hope to achieve in terms of my career. My experience at my previous school was that those with Oxbridge potential receive the most support and attention. This is not the case at MPW. I have found that it does not matter about that what the student's potential may be, each student receives the same amount of help to achieve their goals.