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Im failing a-level chemistry! Help!

so, im in year 12, and i'm doing aqa as chem. My a level subjects are maths, further maths, physics and chem. at the beginning of year 12 (september) i didnt really revise at all, so i was failing all my subjects, but i started revising in october and im getting A's and B's in all my subjects EXCEPT FOR CHEMISTRY. im revising more for chemistry than all my other subjects and im still failing. and i really wan to get an A on the As. So can anyone give me tips on how to do that. Also, dropping chem isnt an option so please don't say that.
Any advice would be great, thanks
Do as many practice questions as you can. I do chemistry too and I always go straight to practice papers when revising for topic tests. You can honestly learn stuff off the mark scheme as you go along and this is the only reason why I've been getting A+. Hope this helps :smile:
For chem I use flashcards to remember key information, so the different definitions, formulas and so on. They're great revision tools as you can just pick em up whenever and the repetition really helps keep things in your head. However you must practice application! Past papers are invaluable and you just need to keep practising to learn how you can get the marks. For mechanisms and such I would use diagrams and make up little rhymes or tunes to remind myself which mechanism was which and which arrow goes where.

Try not to worry too much about grades. I was getting consistent E-D grades last year for most of the year and I hated my first paper and honestly felt like I failed and came out with an A at AS. You just have to keep motivated and keep revising, even when you're failing or not doing as well as you want. You have to keep going!
Reply 3
Original post by Vanilla Twilight
Do as many practice questions as you can. I do chemistry too and I always go straight to practice papers when revising for topic tests. You can honestly learn stuff off the mark scheme as you go along and this is the only reason why I've been getting A+. Hope this helps :smile:


Thanks, will definitely try that
Reply 4
Original post by yeahthatonethere
For chem I use flashcards to remember key information, so the different definitions, formulas and so on. They're great revision tools as you can just pick em up whenever and the repetition really helps keep things in your head. However you must practice application! Past papers are invaluable and you just need to keep practising to learn how you can get the marks. For mechanisms and such I would use diagrams and make up little rhymes or tunes to remind myself which mechanism was which and which arrow goes where.

Try not to worry too much about grades. I was getting consistent E-D grades last year for most of the year and I hated my first paper and honestly felt like I failed and came out with an A at AS. You just have to keep motivated and keep revising, even when you're failing or not doing as well as you want. You have to keep going!


The flashcards idea sounds fun, im gonna try it .
Reply 5
It really depends on how you revise. I’m in my second year and find that repeating past paper questions by topic will help you remember how you need structure your answers. The only textbook revision needed is for the content on like periodic table trends/intermolecular forces etc as most of the marks people are drop are due to the maths of the questions. Most of my marks lost are because of silly things like forgetting to put the -1 after the units or not reading how I’m supposed to round my answer. Going over your past exams and seeing where you went wrong and picking up on those mistakes will help massively and don’t get disappointed heavily over failing, use it to help motivate you to work harder and be determined to get that B/A. I use physicsmathstutors.com it gives revision notes and questions by topic. From September till May last year I was getting U’s on my test and thought I was totally f*cked but ended up with a high D in the AS. Obviously I want a B/A but a D is better than a U considering it doesn’t count towards anything but your entry into year 13 and in some cases predicted grades
(edited 6 years ago)
Original post by zuberman123
so, im in year 12, and i'm doing aqa as chem. My a level subjects are maths, further maths, physics and chem. at the beginning of year 12 (september) i didnt really revise at all, so i was failing all my subjects, but i started revising in october and im getting A's and B's in all my subjects EXCEPT FOR CHEMISTRY. im revising more for chemistry than all my other subjects and im still failing. and i really wan to get an A on the As. So can anyone give me tips on how to do that. Also, dropping chem isnt an option so please don't say that.
Any advice would be great, thanks


Hey, I achieved an A* at GCSE and A Level so will happily give you advice.
Firstly, do not panic. The first thing you are doing wrong is treating A Level Chemistry like any other subject where hard work=good grades, period. Because Chemistry A Level is not like that. You firstly, especially in the first year, need to give yourself room for failure, for slip ups and poor grades. Last year in my tests my grades ranged from Ds-A*s, depending on the topic. I took this for what it meant (oh God I am **** at Chemistry), but it really isnt true. A Level Chemistry is no longer memorisation, its understanding. And that will build over time, after you study more, after you do more tests, etc. It all pieces together. Therefore, stop equating bad marks with failure. I cant think of a single person in my class who started off with As and A*s in tests from the outset, yet 4 of us in my class managed to achieve A*s in the end. You may not acknowledge it but A Level Chemistry is a work in progress and you will come to see how amazing your understanding will become WITH TIME! I can't stress that enough.

So then... what do you do? You continue to work hard, and do your best for every test that you get. My approach was memorise the content, IN YOUR HEAD QUESTION WHETHER YOU ARE UNDERSTANDING AND NOT JUST MEMORISING, then do practice exam questions which were situated in my textbook. If you then go wrong it tests, really look into why you went wrong.

Honestly, I don't know if it was an epiphany or what, but when I returned to school after summer for A Levels, it all just clicked. Everyone and my teacher included saw me approve by a mile. I didnt do anything special, just tried really hard to understand AS Level, and when I mastered that, A Level Chemistry fit together like a puzzle.
Good luck! x
(edited 6 years ago)
Original post by shymew
It really depends on how you revise. I’m in my second year and find that repeating past paper questions by topic will help you remember how you need structure your answers. The only textbook revision needed is for the content on like periodic table trends/intermolecular forces etc as most of the marks people are drop are due to the maths of the questions. Most of my marks lost are because of silly things like forgetting to put the -1 after the units or not reading how I’m supposed to round my answer. Going over your past exams and seeing where you went wrong and picking up on those mistakes will help massively and don’t get disappointed heavily over failing, use it to help motivate you to work harder and be determined to get that B/A. I use physicsmathstutors.com it gives revision notes and questions by topic. From September till May last year I was getting U’s on my test and thought I was totally f*cked but ended up with a high D in the AS. Obviously I want a B/A but a D is better than a U considering it doesn’t count towards anything but your entry into year 13 and in some cases predicted grades
. Hi if you don’t mind me asking what did you get for your A level chem then?
Reply 8
help same i am getting A/A* in my other subjects but royally flopping chem
Reply 9
Original post by zuberman123
so, im in year 12, and i'm doing aqa as chem. My a level subjects are maths, further maths, physics and chem. at the beginning of year 12 (september) i didnt really revise at all, so i was failing all my subjects, but i started revising in october and im getting A's and B's in all my subjects EXCEPT FOR CHEMISTRY. im revising more for chemistry than all my other subjects and im still failing. and i really wan to get an A on the As. So can anyone give me tips on how to do that. Also, dropping chem isnt an option so please don't say that.
Any advice would be great, thanks


I've found chemistry to be quite different to my other a levels (maths, fm, geog), but in like late Y12 I got into the rhythm of it.

Preparing for tests:
- make sure you start prep **at least** 1 week before and layer it in
- make summary notes to refresh the content using the textbook (spend no more than 30-45 mins on it depending on how much content is coveted)
- do as many exam questions from physics and maths tutor as possible (e.g. I try to do at least 12-16 pages, so around 2-3h or more)
- make sure you do this practice without the textbook or notes and mark the questions strictly, you'll notice a theme with how the mark scheme phrases things.
- if you really dont understand something, maybe watch a youtube video or something on it or look at examples

Hope this helps ☺️☺️

tl;dr: chemistry is a lot of consistent practise and work, but jt pays off and can be satisfying. I've gone from a B/C in Y12 to a strong A in Y13.

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