Chemistry Nuffield, did anyone else do this sylbus? Watch

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DeliBelly
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#1
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Please someone tell me that me and my mates werent the only ones!

A group of 9 of us did As Chemistry Nuffield this year, in the first unit in January everyone failed, except for one guy who was on the boarder of passing and failling. And in the final exams and all resits in may/june, out of all of use, only 4 of us passed, the highest grade being a D.

One of my mates sisters in year about has just passed with a B, after a LOT of hard work.

We all found the text book difficult to work with, and well one of our teachers was just a complet waste of time and didnt know what she was ona bout and the other only started being any good at the end of the year (first time teacher).
Please someone tell me we are not alone!
If anyone else did this sylbus or had problems with Chemistry let me know! Its hard not knowing! compared to My two As and two Bs, the E in chemistry is the odd one out (spesh when my target grade was a B).
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smessy
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thank god i thought my class was the only ones doing the nuffield course, i hate it!! i mean ok theres lots of practicals but theres no where viable to tell you if oyur results are correct, and the book is awful! especially as theres no decent revision book specific for our course for A2, did u use the phillip allen ones for AS? they were specific for unit one and two. our whole class id awful, there was one A, but hes a genuis and the rest were awful have to all resit both exams! do u know any partically good books to help? jim clarkes calulations book is really good. did u know there were cds you could buy from a school which have all the reactions and results plus some useful info? i can email you some stuff if you want to check it out!
please reply!!
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spoon1
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I did nuffield, and I seem to be the only person in the world who actually enjoyed it - I got a B at AS but it was very close to an A, and I know alot of people in my year who got A's.
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DeliBelly
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We had the problem that we had to rely on teachers to get the right results for our notes, what we would call one colour like dark orange would, according to Chemistry Nuffield be brown, and if we put orange, we would have lost or rather not got the mark. Im not even bothering with Chemistry for A2 and packed it in after the exams had finished and carried on with my other subjects and was so much more happier. I dont know about boooks to help so much, i borrowed a text book my cousin had for when she had to do chemistry as part of degree/teacher training (shes a biology teacher) and she had hated chemistry.

And as to those who got Bs and As, you must have brilliant Chemistry teachers in the background or actually learnt a lot at GCSE. We told simply to learn the sylbus, and only teaching done was by one of our two teachers. Our Chemistry teachers for As were totally rubbish, one teacher never prepared for lessons and if we asked her to explain anything in a different way, she couldnt. The other teacher was new to teaching and thought the other teacher was brilliant until our results came back from our january exams, and our complaining that the other teacher was a waste of space, we even went to the new head of science! The new teacher, in about april time actually started to become a really good teacher, to the extent that she prepared for lessons and was more willing to put time in to see us if we had problems. If we had had her from the start for 5 hours instead of 2 a week from the start and teaching like that, i think the whole class would have done well.
In the A2 exams, there were only 2 candidates, one of my friends sister and a lass called Emma, tho Sarah (my mate) and her sister parents both did chemistry in pharmacutical degrees and so taught a lot of the course needed at home, and as a result, Sarahs sister actually got a high grade in chemistry (A or B i think).

I think to suceed in Chemistry Nuffield, you need brilliant teachers behind you and probably more time. I wouldnt do it again knowing what i do about the teachers behind it. If it was a different sylbus or better teachers i maybe would consider Chemistry again, but there is not way i am repeating my As year in it. Sarah, who also did chemistry even said she was thinking of redoing it and was one of only 2 who planned to do it for A2 out of 9 of which noone got higher than a D and only 4 actually passed.
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samd
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I am doing (just starting A2) Nuffield Chemistry. I find that the problems are:

--1 Textbook is unclear about which content needs learning.
--2 Textbook doesn't provide results for experiments.
--3 Textbook provides very little theory expecting you to learn about it through your practicals. When the practicals are unsuccessful, you are stumped. This is compounded by number 2.
--4 Exam papers are a completely different standard to the Textbook implies (I thought easier) but certainly different.
--5 No Revision Guides (ok there is one set) specifically for the Nuffield Specification.
--6 Textbook is very longwinded about anything, (this is in the few cases where number 3 doesn't apply, i.e. the book is explaining something), which means it is utterly unreadable.
--7 Silly comprehension exercises in the Textbook and (for God's Sake) in the Exam (do other specs do this?)
--8 Very little guidance over the (entirely practical) coursework tasks.

A lot of this was resolved for me as my school bought this CD ROM with videos of all the experiments and explanations of the theory behind them. This obviously put an end to numbers 2, 3 and 6. And provided help with 1, and 8. Obviously if this CD isn't available to you then use ChemGuide and maybe invest in a tutor.

As for 7, it isn't really a problem it is just an irritation. I chose Chemistry not English. And 5 can be got round with the Revision Guides I discuss and using books for other Specs. And 4 just needs exam practice.

So overall although I think there are problems, there are also solutions.

I got a 298 A at AS level.
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DeliBelly
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I tried chemguide but i didnt get on with it, dunno why, mind you it got to the point when i wasnt enjoying chemistry at all (no thanks to our teachers) and when i dont enjoy somethin, i dont put the effort in. As for the exams, i thought they felt a bit strange, even tho we had done practice papers. When we went over them in class and one of the teachers was explaining the answers it seemed easier , and not for the obvious reasons! lol

I tried looking at other texts books to help, which did come in handy for some things, but the answers for, say the flame tests, were different to what the Nuffield sylbus said.

I only just passed because i got an A in the assessment work, but i failed the exams (well considering i didnt bother revising so much for it cos i knew i wouldnt do well - my mate says i gave up before the exam, in my opinion, long before the exams), and this is evident beside my other grades - A in geo, A in maths (whey hey! A in stats!) and Bs in History and General Studies.

Is it true that you can only resit the same nuffield exam once? Our teacher was looking through the specification when we went to see her and it said something about that.
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3.14159265
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I do nuffield too. i screwed up AS and now have to find somewhere where i can retake both modules.
Does any one know if those nuffield revision guides good?
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lil groovy dude
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my sister duz nuffield!!! she luvs it, the geek :rolleyes:!!!! she got an A but apparently nuffield is the hardest for chemistry and most people are happy with a pass for nuffield chemistry!!
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chien_andalou
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I finished Nuffield chem in July, I got an A and am glad to now have it in my past! I'm starting medicine this October so an A in chemistry was essential, having to do Nuffield wasn't the best of help. We did it because of the high level of practical work. I must admit it used up a lot of time but without the CD-rom with videos someone said about I wouldn't have had very reliable results! I found that acquiring as many past papers/mark schemes was the key as they are very fussy about explanations, especially at A2, and effectively just learning the required solution was often the best strategy. The 'textbook' is useless but I noticed they have a habit of taking an obscure diagram in the margin and turning it into a whole question. My advice (although Samd I doubt with AS results like those you need it!!) to those starting A2 is to really work hard for unit 4, it's often the unit that trips up previously good candidates. The organic chemistry is not too bad, but the tricky questions concern the rates and equilibria content. A good unit 4 score with a good practical investigation means more room for error in the 'synoptic'(not really) paper. I did Biochem special study which in the context of A2 biology was straightforward. Best of luck!

Oh - and get your head round entropy early on and you'll cruise through the rest...
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DeliBelly
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The high level of practical is why our teacher has decided to do it but it is totally not suited to our school. Most people i know that did it ended up hating it. The is no set revion guide for nuffield either. Using past papers did help like prementioned.
Our results were never (or very rarely accurate, and thats not from not trying either).
Am just so glad im not doing it for A2 now, i dnt really need chemistry, it was only a subject i took up because i used to enjoy it. Think ive decided on history at York St Johns hopefully in 2006, with maybe business management. Totally different subject area! lol. Though people who know thought id be doing maths......
Thats another thing, the mathematical part, our teacher made it look and seem harder than it was, and even confussed me and ross at times and we were doing As maths at the time. Mind you the text book isnt the easiest book in the world to use. :mad: Ah well, its all over for me now. If the As course this year had been another sylbus, i might have taken it up again, mind u at least now i can concentrate on my maths geo and history! Much better subjects!
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DeliBelly
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Oh thats another thing, evidence to prove how rubbish our teacher was who decided to do Nuffield AGAIN and the course possibly in general, when going through the test papers in lesson, she didnt actually know the answers without always having to look at the answer booklet, and those she thought she knew were often wrong when she checked it. Dont know if anyone elses teachers was incapable as one of ours! The other teacher was almost as bad, and she was younger and not long out of uni (mid to late 20's).
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samd
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(Original post by 3.14159265)
Does any one know if those nuffield revision guides [are] good?
It depends what you're after. They provide very short versions of the content and lots of practice questions (although it is better to do past papers).

I would say an investment in a sturdy A level Chemistry Textbook would be more worthwhile, but also more expensive. I own and would recommend these: (any one is more than enough)

Advanced Chemistry - 24.90
New text. Topics divided into double page spreads. Full coverage of reactions you'll meet. Can see where you syllabus fits in using their website.

Advanced Chemistry for You - 21.56
Alright book. Not one I like much. Short sentences that annoy me. Loads of good ways (well strange ways) to remember things by. Full coverage.

Seriously Recommended
Understanding Chemistry - 28.50 (used: 18.99)
Brilliant book. Written in continuous sections unlike Advanced Chemistry, which I prefer. Full mechanisms and anything else you might ever need. Also some really good checklists at the ends of chapters.

A Level Chemistry - 30.00
Old book. Very old (compared to all of above). However it has value. It is very thorough. Although I'd recommend buying one of the above as opposed to this. It is all written in black, white and blue. Which annoys me, but not the reviewers on the Amazon page.

Note most people only use these books over 2 years. And it isn't continuous study. Buying second hands ones is a great way to save nearly a tenner on each of the above. Sometimes more.

I also have the following calculations book (by the author of ChemGuide) which is helpful, although if your maths is any good you may not need to bother:

Calculations in Chemistry - 14.90

Q: Why did I buy it when I do Maths & Further Maths?
A: I have no idea.
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samd
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Sorry, just to add to the above:

The best revision guide that you can get that does the Nuffield Syllabus is the Letts Revise one. I'd recommend buying the double (as linked) rather than the singles (which as available for AS and A2) as it is rather cheaper.
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Robob
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#14
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I did nuffield and found it fine really, I would also recommend the letts revision guides
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