Why do people find A-level Chemistry so hard? Watch

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kingam
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#41
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#41
im sure you will do fine i did OCR additional science and got an A currently on a high B in AS OCR.
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blush.ox
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#42
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(Original post by haydyb123)
I'm sure I must follow you around threads!
:teehee: should i be worried?
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haydyb123
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#43
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(Original post by blush.ox)
:teehee: should i be worried?
I'll let you know in another thread or something haha!
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kerily
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#44
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I thought Chemistry was a right cow of a qualification. Hence why I only took it to AS.

I didn't do triple science at GCSE as my school didn't offer it, and that definitely made it harder for me, because the boys' school down the road did offer triple science, so most people in my class had had the opportunity to take it and thus most of them already knew more than I did, so there was stuff we didn't go over. I also find it personally very hard to rote-learn processes; I'm far happier with ideas and concepts and the like, and mathematical content, than with memorising things in the order in which they happen. (I could have got around this by actually understanding the subject, I know, but it wasn't brilliantly taught and I had to self-teach. And while self-teaching is fine, it doesn't always mean you understand.)

I wouldn't take it unless you actually want/need to - I took it just because I was thinking of studying astrophysics when I chose my AS, and I thought it would go with everything else I was taking. Looking back, this wasn't really a good enough reason.
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Medpotter
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#45
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(Original post by iloveconverse)
I'm thinking of taking Chemistry for my A-levels, but many say that they find it hard. What is it that makes it difficult? The topics? Exams?

Also, if you are taking it and you are doing well, can I ask what grade you got at GCSE Chemistry?

Thanks

I want to know if you think its worth me taking it, even tough I'm unsure if I'll be doing a science degree or not?
I got A*A* in dual science at GCSE and A* at A2 in chemistry, Quite a lot to memorise but then you have to remember everything and use it to problem solve. I did maths and biology at A2 as well and chemistry was my hardest alevel.

Edit: I did really enjoy chemistry though and we had some great banter. Fun subject.
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blush.ox
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(Original post by haydyb123)
I'll let you know in another thread or something haha!
I look forward to it xD
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Freerider101
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#47
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(Original post by kerily)
I thought Chemistry was a right cow of a qualification. Hence why I only took it to AS.

I didn't do triple science at GCSE as my school didn't offer it, and that definitely made it harder for me, because the boys' school down the road did offer triple science, so most people in my class had had the opportunity to take it and thus most of them already knew more than I did, so there was stuff we didn't go over. I also find it personally very hard to rote-learn processes; I'm far happier with ideas and concepts and the like, and mathematical content, than with memorising things in the order in which they happen. (I could have got around this by actually understanding the subject, I know, but it wasn't brilliantly taught and I had to self-teach. And while self-teaching is fine, it doesn't always mean you understand.)

I wouldn't take it unless you actually want/need to - I took it just because I was thinking of studying astrophysics when I chose my AS, and I thought it would go with everything else I was taking. Looking back, this wasn't really a good enough reason.
What would you have taken instead? A2 additional further?
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chembob
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#48
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(Original post by Kidneyjean)
(I may be a bit biased 'cause I think Chemistry's amazing :P)

- You have to be able to strike a balance between memorising content and understanding/applying concepts. Biology is mostly memory, and Physics is mostly concepts. Chemistry's somewhere in between, and some people find that hard.
- There are a few synoptic elements (not as much as there used to be), so if you didn't understand some of the basic stuff, then the stuff later on will be very difficult.
- A lot of the GCSE content is actually wrong/imprecise, and you have to get out of the habit of using it.
- The exams aren't actually that bad if you really understand all the concepts.

And for your second question, I'm on track for an A in Chemistry, and got an A* at GCSE.
This
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Retrodiction
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#49
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It's just the form it's presented in. It seems to me just 'so these letters on a stick have these properties and react in this way when they encounter these letters on a stick'... it's so dull and uninteresting to me.
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LimeTree.
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#50
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Well I got a B in GCSE and i'm looking at a C most likely overall... shame.

Got a B in module 1, C in module 2 (the biggy), C in module 4.. and now just module 5..

I need 40 marks out 120 in this final exam to average a C.

Bit gutted.. but least I passed


That being said.... I'm on an A for Maths... So, Really... Chemistry, like anything is what you make of it and what you're good at... Im better at calculations than I am at remembering equations.
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Qi Jia
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#51
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(Original post by iloveconverse)
I'm thinking of taking Chemistry for my A-levels, but many say that they find it hard. What is it that makes it difficult? The topics? Exams?

Also, if you are taking it and you are doing well, can I ask what grade you got at GCSE Chemistry?

Thanks

I want to know if you think its worth me taking it, even tough I'm unsure if I'll be doing a science degree or not?
Hi, I took my A-levels last year and did worst for Chem. It's not really that hard, just that some topics (spectroscopy in applications) are harder than any other topics you'll find in the other sciences.

I'd say go for chem, because it's kinda like a science that is the bridge between Biology and Physics. There'll be quite alot of stuff you'll miss out on if you don't take it!
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Scrubby
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#52
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I don't actually think it's that hard in terms of the syllabus and content. It's just that there's alot to remember, most of which won't come up. So the exam is unpredictable and sometimes they ask kinda strange curveball questions which aren't quite like those you'll have seen before or they're asked in a different, incredibly annoying way. So it's not the course but the exams. But it is always based on your knowledge of the syllabus which may sound obvious but if you take AQA Biology you'll learn to appreciate little things like the exam actually containing questions based on the syllabus :rolleyes:
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Crystalclearmagic
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#53
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(Original post by Stormwhite)
Chemistry is easily the most difficult AS Level I'm doing, out of Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry. I'm not sure I can really explain why, exactly, it's partially because there's a lot of rote, which my other subjects don't have, but the exams are also just plain hard.

I do the same combination for AS as Stormwhite with History above it as well, and I'll say, Chemistry is pretty hard. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, it was a piece of cake for me at GCSE and with little revision I got the A* I wanted. Now, I'm on a B grade on average, and need to do some serious revision for the A.

History is my hardest AS only for it's workload and it was the same case for me at GCSE. I put most work into my HIstory GCSE to get the A* I wanted.

Chemistry is hard, but once you understand it, it's fine. It's because a lot of the "simplifed" chemistry is explained to you and you must get your head around it or you are completely stuck. The exams are also more difficult than physics (AQA) as in physics all the formulas are given, whilst in Chemistry no formulas what so ever are given to you and you have to remember formulas above the chemistry itself - rather difficult in my view.

If you love chemistry, take it. Depsite finding it hard, I'm continuing it onto A2.
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Cinamon
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#54
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I know all the content and then I get into the exam and it all seems foreign! I have no idea why!
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gildartz
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#55
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I'm doing AQA and the exams are very factual for most of the units so it's just a case of knowing the content tbh, so if you're good at learning facts then Chemistry will be pretty simple. I'm finding A2 chemistry easier than my other subjects (I found AS history much harder, lol) but obviously it varies from person to person so don't be put off taking chemistry just because others found it hard.

Oh, and I got A*s in double science GCSE
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thegodofgod
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#56
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I only did double science, got A, A*, and I am on track for an A at AS.

It's not that difficult - just some of the concepts can be a bit difficult to grasp. There's quite a bit of application involved (which I like), whereas Biology it's virtually all about memorization.

Good luck
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Weasel341
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#57
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I got an A in my GCSE Chemistry and am on track for 90% plus in my AS.
I think people find it difficult because it requires decent numerical ability and a fantastic memory, which most people don't have. And the mark schemes are awful! :P
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dolmio
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chemistry a-level is known to be more difficult than others but if you work hard enough there's no reason why you can't obtain a top grade, simples.
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kerily
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(Original post by Freerider101)
What would you have taken instead? A2 additional further?
No - I'm on AQA and they don't offer Additional Further. I would have really liked to do that, as I'm teaching myself extra maths modules anyway but just not getting a qualification out of them because of my exam board

I'd not have bothered with 5 AS, to be honest; there's no point. I'd have got a job in the extra time instead.
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battycatlady
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In terms of what you learn in class it is easy, but then you get to the exam and feel like you don't know enough to answer the questions. It is hard, but it's interesting and is a good subject to have in terms of applying to uni. It is a big jump and I wouldn't advise doing it unless you got at least an A at GCSE. I got an A*.
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