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Do I need Maths for A-Level Chemsitry? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Is A-Level Maths important for A-Level Chemistry?
    It helps a lot
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    It helps a small amount
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    47.37%
    It isn't really necessary at all
    16
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    I have just completed my A2 chemistry OCR A spec. Here are my thoughts:

    For the most part, no, A-Level maths at AS or A2 is completely unnecessary in my opinion.

    As long as you are okay with rearranging equations with fractions in them (a higher level GCSE skill), you are familiar with power rules like a^b*a^c=a^b^+^c for Kc etc. and finally some BASIC logarithm rules for understanding the mathematics of what makes a buffer solution ideal (basically \log(1)=0 ) for the Henderson-Haselbalch relationship you should be okay.

    Essentially mathematical common sense! It's chemistry, most of the maths is rearranging things and other basic skills. If you were talking about physics where you require complex knowledge of differential equations and integrals/ exponents then I would strongly advise maths, but you don't come across those in chemistry at this level.

    You'll learn a lot of stuff you don't need for chemistry in maths and plus maths is in my opinion very very hard at A2, it takes a lot of dedication and practice for most to succeed.
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    (Original post by james Thompson56)
    You talking about Kc the equilibrium constant?
    Partial pressures (Kp) is new in the reformed AS, it used to be in old spec chemistry too, but they took it out in 2010. Now it has reared it's ugly head again
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    Hm? Because its the denominator? I'd say the argument is semantic at best. Even if it is +- 2 (how do you do this fancy maths thing? I must know) then the signs will cancel such that the only answers are +- (y/2) regardless.

    I don't see why it shouldn't be. If i gave you y/root(4) then the answer is +- y/2.
    There negative and positive square roots

     -\sqrt(4) = -2
     +\sqrt(4) = 2

    Most of the time for positive square roots, they don't include the + sign because mathematicians are fat and lazy
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    Hm? Because its the denominator? I'd say the argument is semantic at best. Even if it is +- 2 (how do you do this fancy maths thing? I must know) then the signs will cancel such that the only answers are +- (y/2) regardless.

    I don't see why it shouldn't be. If i gave you y/root(4) then the answer is +- y/2.
    There is no plus/minus when you square root a number.
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    (Original post by Naruke)
    There negative and positive square roots

     -\sqrt(4) = -2
     +\sqrt(4) = 2

    Most of the time for positive square roots, they don't include the + sign
    I presume you mean the - sign. Still, I wouldn't say what i put was wrong. Superfluous, yes, but wrong?
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    (Original post by L33t)
    Partial pressures (Kp) is new in the reformed AS, it used to be in old spec chemistry too, but they took it out in 2010. Now it has reared it's ugly head again
    Did you take the reformed spec??
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    (Original post by L33t)
    I have just completed my A2 chemistry OCR A spec. Here are my thoughts:

    For the most part, no, A-Level maths at AS or A2 is completely unnecessary in my opinion.

    As long as you are okay with rearranging equations with fractions in them (a higher level GCSE skill), you are familiar with power rules like a^b*a^c=a^b^+^c for Kc etc. and finally some BASIC logarithm rules for understanding the mathematics of what makes a buffer solution ideal (basically  log(1)=0 ) for the Henderson-Haselbalch relationship you should be okay.

    Essentially mathematical common sense! It's chemistry, most of the maths is rearranging things and other basic skills. If you were talking about physics where you require complex knowledge of differential equations and integrals/ exponents then I would strongly advise maths, but you don't come across those in chemistry at this level.

    You'll learn a lot of stuff you don't need for chemistry in maths and plus maths is in my opinion very very hard at A2, it takes a lot of dedication and practice for most to succeed.
    Did you take the reformed spec? because this is exactly the same exam board I'll be doing, was it H032?
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    (Original post by L33t)
    I have just completed my A2 chemistry OCR A spec. Here are my thoughts:

    For the most part, no, A-Level maths at AS or A2 is completely unnecessary in my opinion.

    As long as you are okay with rearranging equations with fractions in them (a higher level GCSE skill), you are familiar with power rules like a^b*a^c=a^b^+^c for Kc etc. and finally some BASIC logarithm rules for understanding the mathematics of what makes a buffer solution ideal (basically  log(1)=0 ) for the Henderson-Haselbalch relationship you should be okay.

    Essentially mathematical common sense! It's chemistry, most of the maths is rearranging things and other basic skills. If you were talking about physics where you require complex knowledge of differential equations and integrals/ exponents then I would strongly advise maths, but you don't come across those in chemistry at this level.

    You'll learn a lot of stuff you don't need for chemistry in maths and plus maths is in my opinion very very hard at A2, it takes a lot of dedication and practice for most to succeed.
    For future reference, to write the proper log symbol in \LaTeX, you should put a backslash infront of it, like this: \log. Same for sin, cos, etc.
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    (Original post by alow)
    For future reference, to write the proper log symbol in \LaTeX, you should put a backslash infront of it, like this: \log. Same for sin, cos, etc.
    Thanks, I didn't know that one I shall edit the post. Also, why does it matter to you so much?
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    (Original post by TomSuffolk)
    Did you take the reformed spec? because this is exactly the same exam board I'll be doing, was it H032?
    No, I did the now "old" spec chemistry A
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    (Original post by L33t)
    No, I did the now "old" spec chemistry A
    Do you know any differences about the spec I'll be taking and the spec you took, or what it'll be like in general?


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    (Original post by TomSuffolk)
    Do you know any differences about the spec I'll be taking and the spec you took, or what it'll be like in general?


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    Practical skills modules don't count towards your A-Level although you can get a "practical endorsement" which recognises your skills and is required by most unis "you must also pass the practical skills module" is what I've seen on a lot of uni websites.

    Other than that i'm not sure what has changed other than I know partial pressures was added back in because my teacher was planning it on the board in a lesson and everyone was like "WTF is that on the board?"
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    (Original post by L33t)
    Practical skills modules don't count towards your A-Level although you can get a "practical endorsement" which recognises your skills and is required by most unis "you must also pass the practical skills module" is what I've seen on a lot of uni websites.

    Other than that i'm not sure what has changed other than I know partial pressures was added back in because my teacher was planning it on the board in a lesson and everyone was like "WTF is that on the board?"
    Is partial pressures hard then? 😂 lucky me


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    (Original post by TomSuffolk)
    Is partial pressures hard then? 😂 lucky me


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    No not really, it is much like Kc etc. I believe. We just got worried because we saw something with "K" in it (which for some reason is chemistry's favourite constant letter) 2 days before the exam and everyone was pooping themselves thinking they hadn't revised something lol. Just turned out she hadn't done it for a while and was having a go at some kind of partial pressure calculation on the board whilst we were revising which left us lot with our jaws on the floor and stumped
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    (Original post by L33t)
    No not really, it is much like Kc etc. I believe. We just got worried because we saw something with "K" in it (which for some reason is chemistry's favourite constant letter) 2 days before the exam and everyone was pooping themselves thinking they hadn't revised something lol. Just turned out she hadn't done it for a while and was having a go at some kind of partial pressure calculation on the board whilst we were revising which left us lot with our jaws on the floor and stumped
    Oh, good 🙂

    Did anybody in your Chemistry class not do maths? And if so did they cope well?


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    (Original post by TomSuffolk)
    Oh, good 🙂

    Did anybody in your Chemistry class not do maths? And if so did they cope well?


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    There were 6 in our class (I went to a tiny sixth form!), 3 of us did it 3 of us didn't and we all did fairly well. I'd say it really isn't a disadvantage if you did okay at GCSE maths (which you probably did if your doing science A-Levels). Even if you didn't you'll be okay.

    People are missing a big point here, and that is that you're going to be taught how to do all the mathsy chemistry bits in lessons. So even if you don't have the mathematical knowledge (rare i'd say) or don't understand something if you ask your teacher they will explain what power law or rearrangement they used. Just use your common sense.

    Another big point missing is that it is more important that you understand the chemistry behind the maths you're doing rather than just doing things for maths sake- if you wanted to do that go do maths!

    In short: I could have got the same grade easily in chemistry without my maths A-Level.
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    (Original post by TomSuffolk)
    I've just been to enrol and I intended to take A-Level Chemistry. The head of sixth form urged me not to take Chemistry without taking atleast AS Maths because apparently I'll massively struggle at A2.

    This is the first time I've ever been told that Maths is crucial for A-Level Chemistry.

    I'm quite competent with maths (A* at GCSE) however I really don't enjoy it and I really don't want to take it at A-Level at all.

    So how important is A-Level maths for Chemistry? And will I completely crumble if I don't take it; like the head of sixth form said?

    Do I need maths

    (Excuse the misspelling of Chemistry in the title)
    I got a B in AS Chemistry and got a C in GCSE maths, so not really. I did struggle a little bit but got the hang of it all and it was quite straight forward from there really. I was told the same as well and that a C "wasn't good enough". I'm not taking it to A2 so can't really comment
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    (Original post by L33t)
    There were 6 in our class (I went to a tiny sixth form!), 3 of us did it 3 of us didn't and we all did fairly well. I'd say it really isn't a disadvantage if you did okay at GCSE maths (which you probably did if your doing science A-Levels). Even if you didn't you'll be okay.

    People are missing a big point here, and that is that you're going to be taught how to do all the mathsy chemistry bits in lessons. So even if you don't have the mathematical knowledge (rare i'd say) or don't understand something if you ask your teacher they will explain what power law or rearrangement they used. Just use your common sense.

    Another big point missing is that it is more important that you understand the chemistry behind the maths you're doing rather than just doing things for maths sake- if you wanted to do that go do maths!

    In short: I could have got the same grade easily in chemistry without my maths A-Level.
    That's exactly what I was thinking, surely the teachers can't assume that EVERYONE will be taking maths, so surely they must be prepared to have to teach the maths to the students that haven't took maths to A-Level

    Also I got an A* in GCSE Maths, however I literally scraped it so an A is probably a better representation


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    (Original post by TomSuffolk)
    That's exactly what I was thinking, surely the teachers can't assume that EVERYONE will be taking maths, so surely they must be prepared to have to teach the maths to the students that haven't took maths to A-Level

    Also I got an A* in GCSE Maths, however I literally scraped it so an A is probably a better representation
    You can only ever really scrape and A*. If you got over 90% then its an A* as good as any other. Everyone loses a few marks here and there which is why A*s are often luck imo.
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    (Original post by Marked Target)
    You can only ever really scrape and A*. If you got over 90% then its an A* as good as any other. Everyone loses a few marks here and there which is why A*s are often luck imo.
    I see what you mean, but I was getting As all year, and then in the exam I met the exact grade boundary. So if I'd have dropped another mark I'd have gotten an A


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