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    Me and my friend spent a fair amount of time during chemistry lessons discussing the best methods of suicide. That is how bad it was.

    (By the way I got an A at GCSE chemistry)
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    Depends entirely on the person!
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    Chemistry is that hardest A-Level according to many newspapers and I agree. It's the toughest and you need to good a maths too... Chemistry is all formulae. It's interesting but the exams are so hard! You'll need good teachers because without them you're pretty much screwed!
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    (Original post by rachelll=))
    Me and my friend spent a fair amount of time during chemistry lessons discussing the best methods of suicide. That is how bad it was.

    (By the way I got an A at GCSE chemistry)
    Thanks for all the replies. How hard is it at AS specifically?
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    (Original post by Part A)
    Thanks for all the replies. How hard is it at AS specifically?
    On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being really really reallly hard an 8. I did the OCR B course and 25% was memorising definitions (2-3 mark ones) with 4 ot 5 4-8 mark questions in each of the 2 papers, a lot of 2-3 mark questions and a fairly deep understanding of everything you've learnt. You need to read around chemistry a reasonable amount, ask questions when you don't understand, really try and think when doing past papers and don't just look for the answers when you don't know, and keep at it.
    You're unlikely to get as much homework for chem as you would if you take a modern language or social science, but don't let that fool you into thinking you don't need to be doing as much work for it, because if anything, there's a lot more involved. The textbook I got wasn't great at explaining everything, so chemguide.co.uk needed to be checked for most topics (it's a great site and most of the pages are A Level friendly).
    All in all, if you enjoy chemistry, don't let it put you off. You'll overcome the obstacles and do well in it if you really want to. It's really rewarding when you get your grade sheet and find you get an A or B in it, knowing it's worth more (no offence to Media or Film Studies takers) than an A or B in quite a few other subjects and that you really had to work hard for it.
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    It's hardness is subjective. Personally I find it relatively straightforward. And as for the amount of maths, well yes there's a fair chunk but at a level. But a lot of it isn't difficult in terms of mathematical concepts. Although maybe it's just me who thinks that.

    So in short yes it's quite challenging. The workload is not overwhelming and if you're up for the challenge and will put the work in you should be fine.
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    (Original post by Part A)
    Thanks for all the replies. How hard is it at AS specifically?
    aqa unit 1 is practically just regurgitating a few pages of the text book and performing some very straightforward calculations.
    unit 2 is pretty similar but some understanding needed, you can however get through it without the understanding as the same types of questions come up every year, so you can just learn the technique if you're struggling with the concepts - but the concepts shouldn't really be a problem, a-level chemistry just skims over a lot of stuff without really breaking the surface.
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    (Original post by bluefrog)
    aqa unit 1 is practically just regurgitating a few pages of the text book and performing some very straightforward calculations.
    unit 2 is pretty similar but some understanding needed, you can however get through it without the understanding as the same types of questions come up every year, so you can just learn the technique if you're struggling with the concepts - but the concepts shouldn't really be a problem, a-level chemistry just skims over a lot of stuff without really breaking the surface.
    what about the ISA? what does that involve, is it similar to the GCSE ISA as I hate those? x
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    Biology is mostly about remembering concepts
    Physics is heavily maths based
    Chemistry is both.

    I'd strongly recommend at LEAST an A in GCSE Chemistry if you want to do well (like B or above), also be aware you will need to remember virtually ALL of GCSE Chemistry just as a start. None of this "done the exam so i can forget it" stuff.

    If you know dot-cross diagrams like the back of your hand, can do moles calculations in your sleep and laugh in the face of bond energy calculations you might have a chance.
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    (Original post by gingerbreadman85)
    Biology is mostly about remembering concepts
    Physics is heavily maths based
    Chemistry is both.

    I'd strongly recommend at LEAST an A in GCSE Chemistry if you want to do well (like B or above), also be aware you will need to remember virtually ALL of GCSE Chemistry just as a start. None of this "done the exam so i can forget it" stuff.

    If you know dot-cross diagrams like the back of your hand, can do moles calculations in your sleep and laugh in the face of bond energy calculations you might have a chance.
    I'm on track for an A* in chemistry but the mole calculations seem a bit challenging, even at GCSE.
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    any other contributions would be helpful...
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    Hate to say it, but mole calculations are the easiest thing you could want by the time you get to Unit 4 / Unit 5. I would say there is a little maths in Unit 1 (not much more than GCSE), there isnt much more in unit 2, there is alot in unit 4 though with the physical chemistry and unit 5 gets quite physicsy in some parts. AS chemistry is not that bad, but A2 chemistry uses quite alot of maths.

    Most people would also agree, the physical chemistry is also the easier part. The organic (which isnt maths at all), is alot of memorising or understanding ( I reccomend that method)
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    I do OCR Salters, so i cant give you and specifics on AQA, just the general feel for A-level.

    This sounds like a stupid question, but have you asked your science teacher? Of if they aren't a chemistry specialist (likely unless you are in a private school) you can go and ask one of the chemistry teachers in your department. This might sound weird, but i've seen A-grade students really take to A-level chem, and others completely balls it up, so the grade itself isn't so much the issue as your willingness and dedication to the subject. Your teacher should know you better than anyone.
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    (Original post by gingerbreadman85)
    Biology is mostly about remembering concepts
    Physics is heavily maths based
    Chemistry is both.

    I'd strongly recommend at LEAST an A in GCSE Chemistry if you want to do well (like B or above), also be aware you will need to remember virtually ALL of GCSE Chemistry just as a start. None of this "done the exam so i can forget it" stuff.

    If you know dot-cross diagrams like the back of your hand, can do moles calculations in your sleep and laugh in the face of bond energy calculations you might have a chance.

    Agree except the dot and cross diagrams. HATE THEM! They are the worst invention ever. Aswell as being completely wrong, they dont explain some chemical bonding like for example Nitrous Oxide.
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    (Original post by QuantumOverlord)
    Agree except the dot and cross diagrams. HATE THEM! They are the worst invention ever. Aswell as being completely wrong, they dont explain some chemical bonding like for example Nitrous Oxide.
    Indeed, they fail when it comes to hypervalent bonding, the d-block and also completely fail to explain 3-D structures, however if you dont understand them then graduating onto s/d/p/f shells, Pauli, and VSEPR theory is very hard.
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    (Original post by gingerbreadman85)
    Indeed, they fail when it comes to hypervalent bonding, the d-block and also completely fail to explain 3-D structures, however if you dont understand them then graduating onto s/d/p/f shells, Pauli, and VSEPR theory is very hard.

    I suppose so, even In A level we don't learn MO theory which is chemistries finest model! Thats a completely different way of thinking about electrons and the covalent bond. Tbh I don't understand why we cant just learn MO theory first
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    (Original post by QuantumOverlord)
    I suppose so, even In A level we don't learn MO theory which is chemistries finest model! Thats a completely different way of thinking about electrons and the covalent bond. Tbh I don't understand why we cant just learn MO theory first
    What is this thing I heard that at the beginning of the A-level course, the teachers tell you that everything you learnt at GCSE is wrong?
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    (Original post by Part A)
    What is this thing I heard that at the beginning of the A-level course, the teachers tell you that everything you learnt at GCSE is wrong?
    The majority of 'things' you learn in chemistry (indeed science in general) are just models - ways of explaining extremely complicated things. The models you learn at GCSE are just more simplified than the models you learn at AS/A2.
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    (Original post by QuantumOverlord)
    I suppose so, even In A level we don't learn MO theory which is chemistries finest model! Thats a completely different way of thinking about electrons and the covalent bond. Tbh I don't understand why we cant just learn MO theory first
    Too complicated. You really need to understand some quantum mechanics for it to make any sense, plus the standard stuff you need for s/p/d electron shells.

    Can you imagine standing infront of a class of 14-15 yr olds and telling them that electrons aren't really particles, they aren't really anywhere, they are kinda mathematical equations buzzing around and you can only predict where they might be. They'd either laugh or their brains would explode. Not to mention bonding orbitals and anti-bonding orbitals, sigma, sigma*, pi, pi* and delocalised electrons, HOMO/LUMO etc etc.

    You have to be kidding if you think that's a good idea. the 2/8/8 rule is hard enough for some kids! Remember how few people go on to do A-level chemistry......

    (Original post by Part A)
    What is this thing I heard that at the beginning of the A-level course, the teachers tell you that everything you learnt at GCSE is wrong?
    Not wrong, just a simplification of the facts that does not allow you to predict all the properties and behaviours of matter.


    I find it fascinating how the models for science that we learn and discard for more complex ones as we progress through our stages of learning quite closely map the development of science itself, from apparent simplicity (with little predictive validity) to increasing complexity that gradually allows us to predict the behaviour of atoms and molecules with greater accuracy.
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    (Original post by gingerbreadman85)
    Too complicated. You really need to understand some quantum mechanics for it to make any sense, plus the standard stuff you need for s/p/d electron shells.

    Can you imagine standing infront of a class of 14-15 yr olds and telling them that electrons aren't really particles, they aren't really anywhere, they are kinda mathematical equations buzzing around and you can only predict where they might be. They'd either laugh or their brains would explode. Not to mention bonding orbitals and anti-bonding orbitals, sigma, sigma*, pi, pi* and delocalised electrons, HOMO/LUMO etc etc.

    You have to be kidding if you think that's a good idea. the 2/8/8 rule is hard enough for some kids! Remember how few people go on to do A-level chemistry......



    Not wrong, just a simplification of the facts that does not allow you to predict all the properties and behaviours of matter.


    I find it fascinating how the models for science that we learn and discard for more complex ones as we progress through our stages of learning quite closely map the development of science itself, from apparent simplicity (with little predictive validity) to increasing complexity that gradually allows us to predict the behaviour of atoms and molecules with greater accuracy.
    I Suppose you are right, but It would be more interesting if we learnt MO theory. And also I think if you learnt some Thermodynamics stuff aswell, you could use it to really get a grasp of how reality works, in terms of chemistry.
 
 
 
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