Not enjoying a level chem? Watch
I thought it'd be focused on the application of theories learnt and focused on a more thorough understanding than GCSE. Atomic structure did this in a way, but the focus was massively on rewriting an answer exactly as we'd already been taught to, and exactly as it was written by the teacher. I know you have to do this to get the marks according to the mark schemes, but I'm finding it really boring. It's getting to the point where I can't remember what I thought I liked about the subject in the first place. The repetitive maths is killing me (pV=nRT and amount of substance generally).
Any A2s, does it get any better after amount of substance? In terms of being more interesting/applied to more varied contexts? I'm wishing I could drop it, but I still love biology and need to do the a level, and attempt to get a bloody A grade, in order to get onto my course...
Did anyone dislike the start of the course but go on to enjoy it?
Amount of substance has more maths in it than any of the other topics but you should practice it a lot as it's a really easy way to gain - or lose - marks in the exam!
. Partially because that the Quantum Physics that describes Chemistry can only be taught once people have enough maths under their belt. So it's all watered down ideas.
. Also, Organic Chemistry is like learning another language, like Maths. You won't understand it properly until you learn the fundamentals behind Carbon and why certain groups of atoms in a molecule are deemed to be "Functional".
It's like the Scientific equivalent of trying to play Chopin on the Piano when you have just learned the notes on the treble clef!
It's a shame more people don't continue it into degree level because that's where the real problem solving and interesting stuff starts to be revealed. Our "Symphonies" are revealed in the form of beautiful Synthetic routes to target molecules like for instance, the total synthesis of Vitamin B12 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitami...otal_synthesis
Part of the problem as well is that people tend to associate Chemistry with 'Memorisation'. In truth, it's a problem solving subject.
For example: I like to think of LiAlH4 (Lithium aluminium hydride) as our equivalent to the Logarithmic function that Mathematicians use. A log can be used to linearize or change an equation. LiAlH4 can be used to reduce or change a carbonyl functional group (such as an aldehyde) to an Alcohol.
So if you want to change a molecule with an aldehyde functional group to make the same molecule but with an alcohol group. I know I can use a 'reducing agent' or 'LiAlH4' to perform my desired operation.
That is where real Chemistry starts to reveal itself in my opinion. When you gain the fundamental understanding of Chemistry as a Logical "toolbox".
I think Science and Maths education needs fundamentally reformed with much more emphasis on understanding why rather than memorising things.