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    I'm going into sixth form next year to take up Biology, French, English Lit and last but not least, Salters Chemistry.

    What are your thoughts on Salters Chemistry?

    I do urge those who have actually studied Salter's Chemistry to reply below, although I do welcome those who do other exam boards (AQA, Edexcel, WJEC etc.) to compare.

    Some say that that is possibly one of the most harsh, narrow-minded examination boards which practically want answers to be word for word, which can be pretty difficult.

    However, others do say that even though the exam board's boundaries are quite narrow, it'll prepare you for more in depth learning if you were to take the subject to uni.

    I'm completely baffled. I'd really like to take Chemistry AS/A level but I'm not sure whether I want to continue on with Chemistry at my school's sixth form which has been supporting this exam board for several years.

    Thank you in advance to those who reply
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    I don't do salters but a different exam board and I can honestly say as chemistry isn't that bad in fact it's quite interesting, there are a lot of concepts and calculations can get tricky but I definitely don't regret taking it, it's overhyped in terms of difficulty IMO!


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    Oh god i lost my love for chemistry after being in chemistry salters b nearly a year now. You get a black and white book pretty much and i just dont like the course my opinion and some of my friends will be dropping it maybe me too.
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    I take chemistry salters and my friends call me crazy when i tell them i love it. I'm doing AS at the moment and i'm dreading A2 but AS is good.
    Salters try to teach chemistry in relation to things that are actually happening instead of just learning pure chemistry.
    In regards to the exam board wanting answer word for word answers. It irritated me for a month or so but then you can literally learn the mark scheme which makes exams so easy because they're always looking for specific words (which you end up knowing like the back of your hand).
    The textbook, although unappealing to the eye is straight forward and understandable.
    The hardest part of course is the coursework which are practical skills test but still they're doable.

    Looking through tsr most people dislike the course. So the only person who know if its good for them is you. are there people in the current year 12 that you know and can ask? I think whatever a levels you pick you can change your options 2-3 weeks into the course.

    Sorry for the essay! good luck choosing. feel free to message me
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    (Original post by Melas1)
    I take chemistry salters and my friends call me crazy when i tell them i love it. I'm doing AS at the moment and i'm dreading A2 but AS is good.
    Salters try to teach chemistry in relation to things that are actually happening instead of just learning pure chemistry.
    In regards to the exam board wanting answer word for word answers. It irritated me for a month or so but then you can literally learn the mark scheme which makes exams so easy because they're always looking for specific words (which you end up knowing like the back of your hand).
    The textbook, although unappealing to the eye is straight forward and understandable.
    The hardest part of course is the coursework which are practical skills test but still they're doable.

    Looking through tsr most people dislike the course. So the only person who know if its good for them is you. are there people in the current year 12 that you know and can ask? I think whatever a levels you pick you can change your options 2-3 weeks into the course.

    Sorry for the essay! good luck choosing. feel free to message me
    Ahaha, no please don't apologize, I'm happy that you've taken the time to reply

    You're honestly one of the first people I've heard who says that they enjoy Salters, what science grades did you achieve in your GCSEs?

    Also, do you think that I'll be able to cope once I go over the materials straight after we've done them in lessons? Or is it simply, if you don't get it when it's explained, you'll never get it..? Since my school is quite icky about this stuff, the teacher's do tend to notice if you ask for help often..

    I heard that in A level, you carry out your own practical where you're in charge of the materials you'll need? Is this difficult? Or are you speaking about other types of practicals?

    The thing is, I'm really intrigued by Chemistry now and I've already set my aspirations to be a doctor - my seriousness about this decision is proven by the work experience I'll be doing in West Africa straight after my GCSEs :P Therefore, Chemistry is a one-trip pony for me, I'm just not sure whether I'll be able to perform at the standard I'm capable of in this exam board when there are plenty of others that a more generous with their marking and it's an open-door for you to aim for high grades whereas in Salters, I get the impression that you have to work your buttside off to attain a grade someone with an AQA exam board for example, would have easily attain with less difficulty.

    I'm sorry for my long reply, I just have so many questions which are receiving so many different answers, ahaha.

    PF.xx
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    I do Salters, and complain about it all the time, but it's not really impossibly difficult. One annoying thing is the fact that there are two textbooks, which means extra weight to lug around sixth form The main concept behind the course is that all the chemical theory is taught in context, hence the second textbook "Chemical Storylines". This is a good way of learning, I guess... But there's a lot of random information in there that you don't know whether you need to learn for exams, or whether it's just there for your own general knowledge, so you have to check the specification. The Individual Investigation coursework in A2 is a bit of a pain too.

    BUT I don't think you should move sixth forms purely based on the exam board. Other exam boards might be just as bad, or worse :lol: If you like chemistry, and are willing to put in the effort, you'll have every chance of succeeding
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    (Original post by suncake)
    I do Salters, and complain about it all the time, but it's not really impossibly difficult. One annoying thing is the fact that there are two textbooks, which means extra weight to lug around sixth form The main concept behind the course is that all the chemical theory is taught in context, hence the second textbook "Chemical Storylines". This is a good way of learning, I guess... But there's a lot of random information in there that you don't know whether you need to learn for exams, or whether it's just there for your own general knowledge, so you have to check the specification. The Individual Investigation coursework in A2 is a bit of a pain too.

    BUT I don't think you should move sixth forms purely based on the exam board. Other exam boards might be just as bad, or worse :lol: If you like chemistry, and are willing to put in the effort, you'll have every chance of succeeding
    Thanks for your answer

    I'm not considering sixth forms solely on the exam boards, but I do believe that at the end of the day, it's the grades that you attain at the end which matter, am I right? Also, at the moment, the teachers in my school aren't exactly some of the best. I do think that some priority and care must be taken when choosing subjects, analyzing which you believe you can perform well in.

    Although I do agree on what you said about putting the effort in, I'll do so as long as the teachers puts in the same amount of effort into their teaching, many of the girls in the Chemistry class in year 12 are currently self teaching themselves some parts of it because the teacher was taking his time around mocks saying, "There's always time to improve" but at the last minute, he was cramming the remaining information into their heads. This is why I'd rather go into a sixth form where I am faced with a challenging exam board, the teachers will make it their priority to cover the whole syllabus first and then go back to parts of it which need to be taken into more depth.

    I'm sorry for that long rant.

    Are you enjoying Chemistry? How are you finding it apart from having to cart two humongous books into every lesson? (slight exaggeration there, oops!) How did you find the exams you've taken/recently taken?

    Ahaha, and I do apologize for the bias approach about Salters being harsh and horrible and mean in the OP, I'm just feeling a little uncertain because the normally bright girls in year 13 were telling me about how complex and how harsh the exam board could be during year 12 and how it's lethal-like in year 13 - and how several of the them attained Us and many attained Ds,Es and Fs, a few attaining Cs and only 3 attaining over a B. The teachers in my school only try to bribe students into taking their subjects and sugar coat everything which is underneath so the subject you'd take would be completely unexpected... :P
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    I take salters chemistry

    My interests lie in maths so for me its a real struggle however the storylines try and lut context to everything you learn and this can help a bit

    Although the markschemes are harsh and some of the content is brutal of you like chemistry and/or are willing to put the effort in you'll have no problem being successful

    In terms of prepartion for further study, it's absolutely brilliant, in particular the investigation in A2. I imagine this will really help prepare you a bit for uni as you choose what you want to investigate, plan it, carry it out and then write it up

    So overall as long as you aren't looking for an easy time, salters is pretty good

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    (Original post by PINKFLEUR)
    Ahaha, no please don't apologize, I'm happy that you've taken the time to reply

    You're honestly one of the first people I've heard who says that they enjoy Salters, what science grades did you achieve in your GCSEs?

    Also, do you think that I'll be able to cope once I go over the materials straight after we've done them in lessons? Or is it simply, if you don't get it when it's explained, you'll never get it..? Since my school is quite icky about this stuff, the teacher's do tend to notice if you ask for help often..

    I heard that in A level, you carry out your own practical where you're in charge of the materials you'll need? Is this difficult? Or are you speaking about other types of practicals?

    The thing is, I'm really intrigued by Chemistry now and I've already set my aspirations to be a doctor - my seriousness about this decision is proven by the work experience I'll be doing in West Africa straight after my GCSEs :P Therefore, Chemistry is a one-trip pony for me, I'm just not sure whether I'll be able to perform at the standard I'm capable of in this exam board when there are plenty of others that a more generous with their marking and it's an open-door for you to aim for high grades whereas in Salters, I get the impression that you have to work your buttside off to attain a grade someone with an AQA exam board for example, would have easily attain with less difficulty.

    I'm sorry for my long reply, I just have so many questions which are receiving so many different answers, ahaha.

    PF.xx
    A in biology
    A in chemistry
    B in physics
    I think for the first month or so alot of people flop chemistry but once you adjust its fine. If you consolidate the work you've done in lessons honestly you'll be fine. At most 6th forms i know 2 teachers teach each class the same subject. If this is the case for you, is you don't understand when one teacher explains just ask the other one and see if they explain it differently.

    At A2 you are pretty much left you your own devices for the practical and have to figure out what concentrations of everything you'll need etc which sounds pretty difficult.
    At AS you carry out 5 skills tests e.g observation, analysis, interpretation.
    Each skills test is explained in the spec which i will put a link to at the end. You get 3 chances to do each skill though so i wouldn't worry.

    Your work experience sounds really cool. there's a unit in salters a2 called "whats in a medicine?" which looks at aspirin and stuff.

    Have a loock at the spec and see what you think http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/73469-specification.pdf

    Good luck with medicine!
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    (Original post by PINKFLEUR)
    Thanks for your answer

    I'm not considering sixth forms solely on the exam boards, but I do believe that at the end of the day, it's the grades that you attain at the end which matter, am I right? Also, at the moment, the teachers in my school aren't exactly some of the best. I do think that some priority and care must be taken when choosing subjects, analyzing which you believe you can perform well in.

    Although I do agree on what you said about putting the effort in, I'll do so as long as the teachers puts in the same amount of effort into their teaching, many of the girls in the Chemistry class in year 12 are currently self teaching themselves some parts of it because the teacher was taking his time around mocks saying, "There's always time to improve" but at the last minute, he was cramming the remaining information into their heads. This is why I'd rather go into a sixth form where I am faced with a challenging exam board, the teachers will make it their priority to cover the whole syllabus first and then go back to parts of it which need to be taken into more depth.

    I'm sorry for that long rant.

    Are you enjoying Chemistry? How are you finding it apart from having to cart two humongous books into every lesson? (slight exaggeration there, oops!) How did you find the exams you've taken/recently taken?

    Ahaha, and I do apologize for the bias approach about Salters being harsh and horrible and mean in the OP, I'm just feeling a little uncertain because the normally bright girls in year 13 were telling me about how complex and how harsh the exam board could be during year 12 and how it's lethal-like in year 13 - and how several of the them attained Us and many attained Ds,Es and Fs, a few attaining Cs and only 3 attaining over a B. The teachers in my school only try to bribe students into taking their subjects and sugar coat everything which is underneath so the subject you'd take would be completely unexpected... :P
    You're right, grades are important, but if you're set on being a doctor then you'll have to do chemistry no matter what! Unless you do a different degree first, then do postgraduate medicine, but that's a whole different issue...

    Aaanyway, I know how you feel about teachers. I have one good, and one useless one, and yes, you will have to self-teach to make up for bad teaching. It's annoying, but there's nothing you can do about that, and it's the same with any subject/exam board... Unless you move to a sixth form where ALL the teachers are brilliant You'll also find that A Levels require a lot more independent study than GCSEs, so you can't be overly reliant on your teachers.

    I am quite enjoying it now, yeah. In Year 12, I found it really difficult and there seemed to be so much to remember, but things are sorta 'clicking' properly now. I've found the exams alright tbh (I got borderline A in AS, and a mid A this January) but I know I put a lot of effort into revision. Rest of the class got U/E/D and the one B was by a guy holding an Oxford chemistry offer To be honest, I think a lot of it is down to exam technique and how well you can perform in exam conditions.

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    In my opinion, Salters B chemistry isn't really in depth at all, at least not at A2. AS gives you the "in depth" knowlegde of basic chemical concepts, such as bonding types and perodicity, but they never cover any of the grey areas/anomolies so everything is really clear. AS is actually a pretty fun course IMO. Only issue I would say is that quite often, you find yourself on the internet trying to understand a topic which the textbook explains very poorly, and then realising that all this new useful content you have learnt isn't actually on the exam markschemes.

    A2 brings you a few new concepts (NMR, Ligand complexes, structure of a Benzene ring) But since they're totally new to the Y13 student, you ony really scratch the surface of these topics, there's nothing that a good 6 hours of reading wont fix. Over a few days. You have an entire year! Again, the lack of depth might be an annoyance to some. Then again, that could just be my school.

    The only problem is OH MY GOD THE INVESTIGATION IS SUCH A PAIN IN THE ASS. I'm not joking. You'll have to fast forward all of your chemistry learning to expert level (that means, undergrad chem level) in order to put together a decent experiment, write out your whole plan by around November, only to find out on the first day of practicals that your original method was completely useless, and have to start over again from scratch right there and then. And be prepared to skip ALL of your lessons the week before the deadline, staring at a computer screen reading reels of graphs and calculations whilst manically trying to finish the never ending torture...

    So basically, if you're bad at deadlines, don't do A2. Unless you don't mind being a zombie for about two weeks... then by all means go ahead.


    EDIT: I realise you said you wanted to move sixth forms to get better teachers. For Salters B, it's really imperative that you have talented lecturers... and I've been blessed with that for two years in a row. I've seen some of my classmates suffer, because their teachers were just terrible.
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    (Original post by Another)
    EDIT: I realise you said you wanted to move sixth forms to get better teachers. For Salters B, it's really imperative that you have talented lecturers... and I've been blessed with that for two years in a row. I've seen some of my classmates suffer, because their teachers were just terrible.
    This is very true, I have great teachers at the moment and they really do make all the difference. I wasn't going to take it because i was going to have bad teachers but then i moved schools ( not purely for this reason) I have friends who have bad teachers and they hate it.
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    I do Salters, really don't understand why so many people complain about it. I think that putting the theory into more of a real-life situation is much more useful and fairly easy to learn, and the course is very interesting. The coursework is probably the most interesting bit! At AS it's a little dull but very easy - you just have to do a few simple experiments and answer some questions like 'What colour change occurred' or 'What was the percentage yield for the reaction'. At A2 it becomes much more interesting, you get to design your own experiment (based upon guidance from your teachers), and spend a month carrying it out. The main challenge is writing the whole thing up - mine was 30,000 words long! It's just very important to keep on top of the work any analyse the results of your experiments as you go along and it will be fine.
    The exams are generally very simple. When revising, go thoroughly through the specification to find out what you actually need to know (most of the stuff in the 'Chemical Storylines' textbook is not really relevant), then do lots of past papers and look at the markshemes to create model answers to common questions (the same sort of questions come up each time). The worst paper is the last one of the A2 - it's 'synoptic' which means they can test you on anything from the whole two year course, so you need to make sure you have written up all your notes properly over the whole course. Again, past papers are the best revision material as exam questions tend to be similarly structured each year.
    Basically, Salters is not all that bad, although it may suit some learning styles more than others.
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    I actually moved school to a sixth form which does Salters, instead of staying at my previous school to do AQA. I have no regrets at all, I love Chemistry even more than I did at GCSE, because it's just so much more interesting. I was a bit sceptical at first, as I'd heard bad things about the exam board, but you really do get used to the language of the exam. Just make sure you make revision notes as you go along, and don't let the exam board put you off, do the subjects you love!
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    This exam board is hell had an a* for gcse then a c for AS

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    (Original post by ElChapo)
    This exam board is hell had an a* for gcse then a c for AS

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    Why did you choose the subject?

    a) you attained an A* at GCSE and you thought that because of that, you'd surely be good at the subject

    or

    b) Because you actually enjoy the subject but as a matter of fact, the work put towards getting an A* in GCSE isn't enough to get an A in AS

    or

    c) You love Chemistry so much you attained an A* and you thought that it was an sign to do the subject in A level?

    or

    d) Please explain -> was it something you needed for uni? You thought it would be an easy pass? Because you thought that it was a "respected" subject?

    But look on the brightside, a C is still a pass

    PF. xx
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    I do Edexcel Chemistry, not Salters, but two of the current teachers at my school said that Salters is hell, as far as the exams go.
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    (Original post by Melas1)
    I take chemistry salters and my friends call me crazy when i tell them i love it. I'm doing AS at the moment and i'm dreading A2 but AS is good.
    Salters try to teach chemistry in relation to things that are actually happening instead of just learning pure chemistry.
    In regards to the exam board wanting answer word for word answers. It irritated me for a month or so but then you can literally learn the mark scheme which makes exams so easy because they're always looking for specific words (which you end up knowing like the back of your hand).
    The textbook, although unappealing to the eye is straight forward and understandable.
    The hardest part of course is the coursework which are practical skills test but still they're doable.

    Looking through tsr most people dislike the course. So the only person who know if its good for them is you. are there people in the current year 12 that you know and can ask? I think whatever a levels you pick you can change your options 2-3 weeks into the course.

    Sorry for the essay! good luck choosing. feel free to message me
    This is spot-on. The chemistry is just more applied to real-life situations, tbh it makes it more interesting but is probably the reason it is considered harder than other exam boards. You'll learn the same topics, but just be expected to apply it. If you like Chemistry then do it, the mark schemes are a bit ****, but you get used to it

    As poster said above, feel free to PM me if you want

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    (Original post by James A)
    I do Edexcel Chemistry, not Salters, but two of the current teachers at my school said that Salters is hell, as far as the exams go.
    It's not that bad tbh If you put in the work then it's ok, it's mainly the mark schemes that make it ****, one year it'll be 'have to use this word for the marks', the next it's 'No marks if they used this exact word again'. Doesn't make sense at all

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    I'm sorry I haven't had the time to reply to your comments - I'm in a GCSE dilemma which I'm sure some of you will be laughing at me about, ahaha :P
    I've taken all your comments on board.

    (Original post by Another)
    -
    @ Another

    To be honest with you, I've never even heard of the subjects you've mentioned that will be studied in A level, hopefully they'll gradually introduce us to these concepts in AS? So do you have to self-teach yourself most of the time?
    Also, won't the teachers give you advice on how to construct your plans, calculations and so on? You cannot possibly do an experiment without having any knowledge of how to carry it on, or is the internet meant to be your only friend during the time?! And wouldn't skipping class mean that all the work that builds up then will be hovering over your grave until you catch up with them again? I'm okay with deadlines (thankfully) but I'm a bit nervous about the idea of the teachers leaving you to do something that you could get completely wrong without noticing...
    And I'm sorry to be a pain, but do you have any useful websites that I could perhaps have for safe-keeping until I start the Salters course?

    PF. xx

    @ Suncake

    (Original post by suncake)
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    Ahaha, I guess I have no other option, I'm just hoping that I have a good teacher who is able to teach me the fundamental concepts efficiently so that I'll feel confident enough to do some independent study... how can you go into depth on something if you have no kind of knowledge on it? :P

    As some people have mentioned in this thread, the books given to you might contain information which you are unsure that you should study it and some of the explanations are just impossible to get your head around... do you have any useful resources which I could possibly preserve until I get to this stage?..

    If you don't mind me asking, what is your final prediction for Chemistry? Oh dear, really? It must really be tough if someone who has been accepted in one of the most prestigious universities in the world attain a grade B.. it must really be a pain to grab that A!

    I wish you every success in your coming Chemistry examination,

    PF. xx

    @ Melas

    (Original post by Melas1)
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    One word.. wow. You have such amazing predicted grades

    In my school, some teachers tend to teach subjects that they're not specialised in so they seem to get muddled up themselves, which makes us even more confused, hopefully this won't be the case. 2/3 Biology teachers are failing the A level students :L Only 4 people in a class total of 33 students is predicted an A and one of they told me that they've only managed it because of the extra support outside school and lessons..

    Aaha, I already knew the topics we'd be studying, I just wasn't sure of the actual content they're expecting you to know, I can't wait though. :ahee:


    Thank you so much for spec, I cannot lie and say that I didn't start panicking but wow, the exam board asks a lot from you. Ahaha, GCSEs must have been a stroll in the park for you..

    I wish you too every success in your forthcoming exams

    PF. xx

    @ NiceToMeetYou

    (Original post by NiceToMeetYou)
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    Do you need a lot of mathematical knowledge in order to do well or is it okay if you do not carry on Maths in Chemistry in A level?

    Ahaha, you're the first person I've heard who is actually optimistic about the A2 investigation, I'm a little nervous at the thought of it..

    Well.. I do need that extra little push in order to be motivated but I'm pretty certain that AS/A2 Salters B will push me over the edge at some point, I'll need to prepare :P

    Thanks a lot for your input,

    PF. xx
 
 
 
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