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Hi, I'll give a rep too for anyone who can help !

For Chemistry, I got a B for my AS-Unit in January, and an A in June, and and A for the Practical. Which resulted in an A overall. From my understanding A2 Chemistry is harder and requires more work

So for those who do Medicine Chemistry at Uni, or those who smash Chemistry exams how do I get an A/A* this year for the subject? I find the exams extremely difficult.

- How do you study for Chemistry specifically?
- The Chemistry past papers always seem like Pot luck to me? How do you prepare for them properly?
- Are CGP Books any good? Or should I just not use them this year? (i.e. can I get an A/A* using CGP)

Any help would be great!!!

Thanks
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-Liberty
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Do you do AQA Chem? If so I want to stress the importance of UMS. I retook exams just to increase my ums so I had less pressure riding on my last exam. I got a mixture of A's and a B throughout the modules. I'd say Chem4 is the hardest, got a B, Chem5 is just memorizing.
Study wise I would read through the textbook, you'll find a lot of little facts and tips that are easy to ignore are right there! Read topics then practice questions. Don't waste time reading through topics you are confident in. Always focus on what you aren't confident with because this is where you slip up on exams. You'll find questions are repetitive and you end up coming up with a sequence or obvious way to attempt them. Once you get to that point you will find Chemistry a lot easier.
I'm not saying sit there for hours, I only spent 1 hour a day during study leave revising chemistry. This is because of my final tip: Understand as you learn! With chemistry it's so easy to fall behind because of a lack of understanding. To avoid this, in class make sure you understand the topic before you leave that day. Even if it means staying behind. This will mean that come revision time, it literally is REVISION time. Just remembering words or formulas, that way you can spend more time practicing.

Sorry for this being long, good luck!
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niksta
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Write out the formulas and definitions that you need to remember and stick them up on your bedroom wall, and look over them everyday. Cover up the definitions, and see if you can remember them. Do all the past papers you can find, get them marked, or mark them yourself. Afterwards, spend some time looking through the mark scheme, and write down all the correct answers on the mark scheme next to your answer, even if you got full marks. It will teach you how to write your answers more concisely, and similar questions will come up in all exams. And revision guides may also help, go into a book shop, or on amazon (you can usually preview some pages of the revision guides) and see which guide you prefer.
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NutterFrutter
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Chemistry is easy, if you're struggling it's because you haven't understood the basics.
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(Original post by fallenangel)
I'll post some advice/resources later today.

Wow thanks Please do!!
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(Original post by -Liberty)
Do you do AQA Chem? If so I want to stress the importance of UMS. I retook exams just to increase my ums so I had less pressure riding on my last exam. I got a mixture of A's and a B throughout the modules. I'd say Chem4 is the hardest, got a B, Chem5 is just memorizing.
Study wise I would read through the textbook, you'll find a lot of little facts and tips that are easy to ignore are right there! Read topics then practice questions. Don't waste time reading through topics you are confident in. Always focus on what you aren't confident with because this is where you slip up on exams. You'll find questions are repetitive and you end up coming up with a sequence or obvious way to attempt them. Once you get to that point you will find Chemistry a lot easier.
I'm not saying sit there for hours, I only spent 1 hour a day during study leave revising chemistry. This is because of my final tip: Understand as you learn! With chemistry it's so easy to fall behind because of a lack of understanding. To avoid this, in class make sure you understand the topic before you leave that day. Even if it means staying behind. This will mean that come revision time, it literally is REVISION time. Just remembering words or formulas, that way you can spend more time practicing.

Sorry for this being long, good luck!

You hit it perfectly, I never did this Understanding as I go along. I just tried to cram in information without necessarily understanding it or if I got a mark wrong I wouldn't always go back and go to Teachers to see why I went wrong.

Kk this year I will hit it early on, thank you SO much! I'll create a rough study schedule for my subjects today as well

Should I use the CGP Books or are they too bad?

And yes I was on AQA, but I am switching to OCR for A2
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fallenangel
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Wrote this out a while back, it's relevant for OCR:

Seeing as I'm on a gap year before uni - I thought I'd try and offer you guys some advice with chemistry.

OCR Chemistry can be a ***** - the questions can be incredibly vague, and one of the greatest things that can go against you is time. I worked really hard at AS and only managed a B, but I learnt how to focus my revision and got a solid A at A2.

First things first - use the Heinemann Book (the big one) to write your notes - it's the most detailed source (some content is excessive) but what you'll find is that OCR can sneak in a cheeky 1 or 2 marker, so it's best to try know as much detail as you can - but most importantly seek to understand the stuff, go to your teachers/ask on here, just ask somebody who knows how to explain concepts you're not comfortable with.
The exam will test your knowledge of the application of these concepts - it's no longer re-call.

Now for some tangible help:

1. http://www.amazon.co.uk/OCR-A2-Chemi...382968&sr=8-10

These books are available for all the units. It's not the best book you are going to find - it's a revision guide (key difference) there is stuff in there which you will not find in any other book, which may creep up in the exam (again - remember it's application.) There is also some stuff covered in this revision guide, not in that much detail - so you have to use other sources. The reason why I recommend this book is because of it's simplicity - great before exams, and also they have a mock exam paper at the back, answered by two separate candidates, one A grade, the other C grade. An examiner then scrutinises their answers and explains why either they got the marks or didn't and alternative approaches to the questions.

2. Forget the CGP guide, unless you want to scrape a C - there is really no depth.

3. Possibly the best source I can give you:

http://www.a-levelchemistry.co.uk/OC...0A%20home.html

This teacher has gone through all the legacy papers, and sorted them out into seperate papers. There are entire papers on 'How Far' 'How Fast' "Transition Metals' ect. They are absolutely amazing - arguably the reason I did so well at A2. The best way to maximise the effects of the paper is to read over a section, and then complete the papers on it to consolidate the information. Also; OCR can be lazy at times, and you will find sometimes they may well use an entire question from the legacy papers in your exam - they did it once (i can't remember which one though, but I was shocked in my exam to find 10 marks worth of a question I answered the day before)

4. Sometimes Chemistry is about maturity, if you don't do that well in Jan12 - resit for Jun12. I re-sat all 6 units of chemistry during my final sitting of A-levels in the summer. It wasn't particularly fun, but you gotta do what you gotta do. You'll find being slightly older, allows you to mature to the concepts and the time allows you to really let them sink in.

5. This book is a god-send with calculations:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Calculations...7383048&sr=1-1

In order to really practice the tricky maths that may come up - the author 'Jim Clark' really goes into depth as to how to identify & tackle the worst problems that may possibly come up (ideal for A or A* grades) . It's also useful for F322 if you are re-sitting, but you really should get it for the bigger unit - it is definitely money well spent. It also explains key concepts and gives ample examples to work on.

6. Organise your revision and most importantly - relax and know if you put the work in, you will get the results out. It is very challenging - but I proved it is certainly do-able.

I sincerely wish you all the best.
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NutterFrutter
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(Original post by fallenangel)
...
I thought OCR A was the easier one? :ninja:
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angrydanmarin
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#9
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Get all the questions right
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fallenangel
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#10
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(Original post by NutterFrutter)
I thought OCR A was the easier one? :ninja:
Haha perhaps in comparison to OCR B, but still fairly challenging in my opinion :getmecoat:
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NutterFrutter
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(Original post by fallenangel)
Haha perhaps in comparison to OCR B, but still challenging in my opinion :getmecoat:
I didn't do OCR. Edexcel ftw.
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fallenangel
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(Original post by NutterFrutter)
I didn't do OCR. Edexcel ftw.
I heard that's a beast :lolwut:
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-Liberty
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(Original post by Better)
You hit it perfectly, I never did this Understanding as I go along. I just tried to cram in information without necessarily understanding it or if I got a mark wrong I wouldn't always go back and go to Teachers to see why I went wrong.

Kk this year I will hit it early on, thank you SO much! I'll create a rough study schedule for my subjects today as well

Should I use the CGP Books or are they too bad?

And yes I was on AQA, but I am switching to OCR for A2
Yes, when you change your approach to understanding as you go, you will definitely see a difference. It may be odd at first finding that you won't need to spend hours on reading come revision time. You may even find that you will have extra time to revise other subjects.

I used the CGP books, they were fine for me for both AS and A2. Since my understanding was there I found that they were great at helping you go over theory that's already there. So for revision it's fine. For learning stick with the textbook!

P.S You don't have to hit anything early on! Just get it as your teacher goes through the syllabus so you don't burn out. You'll find you are way more chilled out this way.
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Sublatus
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(Original post by Better)
Hi, I'll give a rep too for anyone who can help !

For Chemistry, I got a B for my AS-Unit in January, and an A in June, and and A for the Practical. Which resulted in an A overall. From my understanding A2 Chemistry is harder and requires more work

So for those who do Medicine Chemistry at Uni, or those who smash Chemistry exams how do I get an A/A* this year for the subject? I find the exams extremely difficult.

- How do you study for Chemistry specifically?
- The Chemistry past papers always seem like Pot luck to me? How do you prepare for them properly?
- Are CGP Books any good? Or should I just not use them this year? (i.e. can I get an A/A* using CGP)

Any help would be great!!!

Thanks

1) Retake your first module and get a higher mark. You have to bear in mind that A2 modules are harder than AS modules, and you'll learn AS concepts in greater detail. I retook CHEM1 in June and without revision for the exam (but with revision for CHEM4/5) I got 98, as opposed to the below par 60 I got the first time round.

2) For an A*, make sure you really work on CHEM4 and the ISA. You have to remember that the coursework has the power to drag your grade down if you underperform. Your A2 ISA is likely to be based on CHEM4 (organic) rather than CHEM5 (inorganic), so ensure you can answer Organic Chem and HSW questions well. CHEM4 is slightly easier than CHEM5, so if you get over 90% in CHEM4 and a good mark in the ISA, you'll have to get a lower mark in CHEM5 for the A*.

3) If unsure, get a tutor. I went into A2 with an overall D in Chemistry, but got a tutor in November of Y13 and ended up with an A*. Tutoring is expensive, but definitely worth it. In addition, most tutors are teachers themselves, and have access to resources unavailable to students. My tutor gave me one hour lessons the evening before CHEM4 and CHEM5, in which he would go over any concepts which were unclear to me.

Best of luck X
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Better
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(Original post by Sublatus)
1) Retake your first module and get a higher mark. You have to bear in mind that A2 modules are harder than AS modules, and you'll learn AS concepts in greater detail. I retook CHEM1 in June and without revision for the exam (but with revision for CHEM4/5) I got 98, as opposed to the below par 60 I got the first time round.

2) For an A*, make sure you really work on CHEM4 and the ISA. You have to remember that the coursework has the power to drag your grade down if you underperform. Your A2 ISA is likely to be based on CHEM4 (organic) rather than CHEM5 (inorganic), so ensure you can answer Organic Chem and HSW questions well. CHEM4 is slightly easier than CHEM5, so if you get over 90% in CHEM4 and a good mark in the ISA, you'll have to get a lower mark in CHEM5 for the A*.

3) If unsure, get a tutor. I went into A2 with an overall D in Chemistry, but got a tutor in November of Y13 and ended up with an A*. Tutoring is expensive, but definitely worth it. In addition, most tutors are teachers themselves, and have access to resources unavailable to students. My tutor gave me one hour lessons the evening before CHEM4 and CHEM5, in which he would go over any concepts which were unclear to me.

Best of luck X
D AS Level ---> A*A-Level = You are an absolute boss.

I need to get confidence in myself too. Thanks all of you for the advice. I have a local Tutor I know so I will see if I can get any sessions again this year.
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InadequateJusticex
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Since we have tips on how to get an A/A* in AQA A2 Chem, would anyone like to post one for OCR?
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NutterFrutter
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(Original post by InadequateJusticex)
Since we have tips on how to get an A/A* in AQA A2 Chem, would anyone like to post one for OCR?
The tips/advice doesn't really vary much between the exam boards.
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(Original post by Better)
D AS Level ---> A*A-Level = You are an absolute boss.

I need to get confidence in myself too. Thanks all of you for the advice. I have a local Tutor I know so I will see if I can get any sessions again this year.

Thank you . I was ill for most of year 12 though so the only reason I got a D is I missed a lot of school, so it doesn't really count :P. If you need any more help, hit me up; I still remember most of it and have some notes (not typed, but I understand how hard it is to get to the A* level and that to get there you need all the help you can get!).

(Original post by InadequateJusticex)
Since we have tips on how to get an A/A* in AQA A2 Chem, would anyone like to post one for OCR?
OCR is pretty much the same. I'm not sure about the weighting of the modules, but the same concepts apply; if you have a poor mark in unit 1, retake during year 13. Work hard to get as high a mark as possible in the A2 ISA and Module 4 (1st A2 unit) to take pressure off for the last unit, and get a tutor in Nov/Dec to work with you through the exam period and reinforce your revision and knowledge of the subject.
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(Original post by fallenangel)
...
I'm really glad I joined this Forum, it really probably has changed the direction of my A2's. People are really helpful. Wow at what you said about CGP.

Time to change a few things this year and work "smart" as well as hard. I'll focus mainly on the Big Heinmann book school. Because I'm switching exam boards I need to get new books so I'll buy the Big book you mentioned. The reviews on Amazon are very very good.

As you said I need to do what you did, and learn to "focus" my revision. I'll make sure I test my understanding for each Chapter etc as I go along and making sure I do questions. That's another thing I have never done, I always left questions to 3/4 weeks before.
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chemicangel
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Just to add - make sure you read up about Stretch and Challenge... It's something that is relevant to all exam boards at A2. These are questions that are designed to do exactly that they say - stretch and challenge! Basically they are questions where you really have to understand the content, as they will be expecting you to be able to apply your knowledge to concepts that may be unfamiliar or more advanced.

It is difficult to prepare for these questions, as there is no way to know which topics they'll stick an S&C question in, but as long as you know your stuff you'll be able to have a good stab at them! I try to point out to my students when I'm teaching them where S&C could fit in, or likely extension that might be used.
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