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Massively struggling with AS Chemistry - want to drop it. Watch

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    After achieving two A grades in core and additional chemistry at GCSE, and having a genuine passion for Chemistry, I decided to take Chemistry as an A level choice. I've been on the course (specification OCR A) for less than 8 weeks and I'm honestly not coping at all.

    I chose chemistry, biology and psychology in the hope to studying medicine at uni, but I'm now starting to question how achievable this will be. It honestly feels like a massive step up from GCSE (which of course I expected it to be), but as I've said above I'm really struggling.

    Any tips and pointers for me would be greatly appreciated as at this point, come the beginning of next half term I'm seriously considering dropping chemistry and taking up health and social care (BTEC) which would prevent me from taking medicine, but still allow to me to access midwifery courses which I'm also interested in.
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    watch a ton of different videos on the same topics if you dont understand, different people will explain it differently so hopefully one will be able to teach it in a way you understand and like
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    Get a revision guide for your specification as a first step. Obviously, not every detail will be included in a revision guide but a simpler understanding of something first might allow you to grasp the full concept. The thing with chemistry is it takes a while to get but it will hopefully click at some point once you have a foundation of knowledge to apply.

    A2 chemistry doesn't get any easier but if you try and understand it and then look at past paper q's on the topic it will help you identify where you're still weak. YouTube has a lot of good videos even if they're not spec specific, as does Snap Revise (costs but it is spec specific), and of course ask teachers or a different teacher to yours to have it explained a different way.

    Speaking to medics and other hopefuls, I've found "chemistry is hard" to be the general consensus. Even if it's enjoyable, it's hard, and a "necessary evil" for medicine.

    It's a good idea to get some work experience shadowing a doctor, and then some voluntary work as well, but also shadowing a nurse or a midwife to see which healthcare career you'd like to follow, then you can make a better decision about whether to drop chem or not.

    But, if you learn the stuff and then practice applying it - which is the most important thing with chem imo, you should be fine going through the year if you keep on top of the workload.
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    What grade did you get in Maths? I got an A* in GCSE Chemistry and I hated it at A level because it became more Math orientated.
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    (Original post by Piña colada)
    What grade did you get in Maths? I got an A* in GCSE Chemistry and I hated it at A level because it became more Math orientated.
    Maths is definitely a weak spot of mine - I got a 7 (A) at GCSE but it took A LOT of work as I was working at a D grade 3 months prior to the exams.
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    (Original post by jsg9)
    Get a revision guide for your specification as a first step. Obviously, not every detail will be included in a revision guide but a simpler understanding of something first might allow you to grasp the full concept. The thing with chemistry is it takes a while to get but it will hopefully click at some point once you have a foundation of knowledge to apply.

    A2 chemistry doesn't get any easier but if you try and understand it and then look at past paper q's on the topic it will help you identify where you're still weak. YouTube has a lot of good videos even if they're not spec specific, as does Snap Revise (costs but it is spec specific), and of course ask teachers or a different teacher to yours to have it explained a different way.

    Speaking to medics and other hopefuls, I've found "chemistry is hard" to be the general consensus. Even if it's enjoyable, it's hard, and a "necessary evil" for medicine.

    It's a good idea to get some work experience shadowing a doctor, and then some voluntary work as well, but also shadowing a nurse or a midwife to see which healthcare career you'd like to follow, then you can make a better decision about whether to drop chem or not.

    But, if you learn the stuff and then practice applying it - which is the most important thing with chem imo, you should be fine going through the year if you keep on top of the workload.

    Thank you so much for your advice Fingers crossed it all starts to click soon enough for me.
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    (Original post by Jodieendacott)
    Maths is definitely a weak spot of mine - I got a 7 (A) at GCSE but it took A LOT of work as I was working at a D grade 3 months prior to the exams.
    My Chemistry teacher recommended we took Maths A level as Chemistry and indeed Biology contained Mathematics.

    The Maths does come into play later in the course.
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    Personally I found the first AS year significantly harder than the second year; basically once you overcome the jump from A-Level to GCSE it should be easier. I did OCR B and we were taught in a spiral learning format, so basically you build on what you learn. So it will be harder at first learning the new concepts however it should get a lot easier as the course progresses as you build on these concepts. Chemistry is hard as jsg said, however, you know yourself more than any of us. I'm just saying all A-levels are significantly harder than GCSE, more so in the first few months as you adapt to the new concepts and theories, however it should get easier (although not very easy because chemistry is one of the hardest subjects).

    In terms of tips, as jsg said keep on top of the work. Also ask your teacher to explain anything you do not understand when they are free. After you understand the concepts then you should practice exam technique using loads of past papers (use old spec papers to test knowledge and then use practice new spec papers to hone in on your technique, especially with the new multiple choice questions [these are hard] and exam length). When marking, look at the mark scheme and see what answers continually come up to get a gist of the answer the exam board wants in their answers for the type of question (answers won't be the same in all mark schemes or in your exam papers in June, but can be a rough guide to what their looking for). On this note also ask your teacher as you go through the course for tips on answering questions that are on the subject you are learning about (as they might have ideas as to what the exam board want using their knowledge of the old spec).

    On another note, I did edexcel biology and the spec on their website will show you what you have to know for the course. As well as this, in the same spec document they have a command word section that describe all the command words they use in exams.
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    Hi,I understand what you are going through. When I first initially did chemistry AS I found it very overwhelming. I achieved an A* during GCSE time but get thay out of your head. GCSE chemsitry is nothing like A level chemistry. But I initially achieved a D for my very first test in AS chemistry. I was semi heartbroken ahahah but I kept resilient and worked hard. I did this by making revision cards and YOU NEED TO DO PRACTICE QUESTIONS ALL THE TIME!!! I can't emphasise this. This changed my entire view of chemistry and I ended up enjoying it!! I love the challenge now and I went from a D student to a achieving a B in AS exam and i was one mark away from A! So it is possible!! Please stick to it, it's so hard at the beginning and you feel defeated but trust me it'll be worth it! I'm in year 13 and still doing chemistry and I'm one of the best in the year, not cause of being a brainiac but a hard worker!! I'm predicted an A for chem. I did get it throughout the year however achieved a B in the real thing but still pleased!
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    (Original post by Jodieendacott)
    After achieving two A grades in core and additional chemistry at GCSE, and having a genuine passion for Chemistry, I decided to take Chemistry as an A level choice. I've been on the course (specification OCR A) for less than 8 weeks and I'm honestly not coping at all.

    I chose chemistry, biology and psychology in the hope to studying medicine at uni, but I'm now starting to question how achievable this will be. It honestly feels like a massive step up from GCSE (which of course I expected it to be), but as I've said above I'm really struggling.

    Any tips and pointers for me would be greatly appreciated as at this point, come the beginning of next half term I'm seriously considering dropping chemistry and taking up health and social care (BTEC) which would prevent me from taking medicine, but still allow to me to access midwifery courses which I'm also interested in.
    Drop, it’s because you did double science. Your school should’ve told you to do triple if you planned on doing an a level science
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    The initial jump from GCSE to A level is huge and it breaks a lot of people. You have to power through it and then it usually starts to click. Take this from someone who’s done a chemistry degree!
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    (Original post by Jodieendacott)
    After achieving two A grades in core and additional chemistry at GCSE, and having a genuine passion for Chemistry, I decided to take Chemistry as an A level choice. I've been on the course (specification OCR A) for less than 8 weeks and I'm honestly not coping at all.

    I chose chemistry, biology and psychology in the hope to studying medicine at uni, but I'm now starting to question how achievable this will be. It honestly feels like a massive step up from GCSE (which of course I expected it to be), but as I've said above I'm really struggling.

    Any tips and pointers for me would be greatly appreciated as at this point, come the beginning of next half term I'm seriously considering dropping chemistry and taking up health and social care (BTEC) which would prevent me from taking medicine, but still allow to me to access midwifery courses which I'm also interested in.
    Yo! Don't worry too much. Everybody as far as I know struggled including me in first 4 months because it was too much. I got Es and D's in mocks but this was only because at this stage you only cover specification rather than practising how to apply it. So I would say keep up with it and spend individual study to cover specification that's is available online. Make sure you cover everything and practise questions from past paper. There are so many of them, a lot if from old spec and few for new. My year group was unlucky as we didn't had much new papers to practise but you do. All I did was did all old past papers and did practical questions from isa papers and other exambiards ( edexcel is good one to practise practical style questions). Good luck, ask me if you are stuck in a anywhere, ready to help. I ended with an A in As and A* in A LEVEL. Also this may give you some motivstion,( I got B I chemistry in GCSE and B in additional science ).
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    If it's OCR salters, it tends to make a lot more sense at the end. It all falls together.
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    Hey, I was in the same position as you as I was so sure that I would drop chemistry AS by January and thought I hated it and was falling behind. I stayed and ended up liking it alot and carried it onto A2 where I did well enough at it. To make your decision:
    You've got to ask yourself whether you actually like chemistry or not.
    Whether you think its just to hard

    If its the latter don't worry and stick with it. Things get easier as you learn how to work hard and play hard, making the most of your time is key. If you want specifics of how I tackled the huge jump I can Private Message you some guides and details if you want? I did AQA exam board which are you doing?
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    I am also doing a-level chemistry and I can tell you that it will be tough. However, it depends on how you are learning it and whether you are being explained the content properly and in detail. I have an amazing chemistry teacher who has 40+ years of experience and he uses these ppts which are helpful if you use them along with your specification and textbook. If you want, I can forward you the ppts I have and try to use them. Just keep working and once you build good knowledge, everything clicks and you will find it all piss.
 
 
 
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