The-judge-16
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Does anybody have any good recommendations?
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artful_lounger
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CheeseIsVeg might be able to make some recommendations

I've heard "The Art of Writing Reasonable Organic Reaction Mechanisms" recommended for organic chemistry a few times. Another I've seen regularly suggested is Atkins' Physical Chemistry, although I'm not sure how much this is because it's specifically good or how much because it's just a very common textbook for physical chemistry courses to use as the basis of their syllabus...
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The-judge-16
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
CheeseIsVeg might be able to make some recommendations

I've heard "The Art of Writing Reasonable Organic Reaction Mechanisms" recommended for organic chemistry a few times. Another I've seen regularly suggested is Atkins' Physical Chemistry, although I'm not sure how much this is because it's specifically good or how much because it's just a very common textbook for physical chemistry courses to use as the basis of their syllabus...
Many thanks for your recommendations, I truly appreciate it.
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University of Bath
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(Original post by The-judge-16)
Does anybody have any good recommendations?
Hi there,

All of my chemistry lecturers have always recommenced Chemistry3 (read as "chemistry cubed), found here on Amazon. It's a fat old textbook covering all the first (and perhaps also 2nd) year inorganic, organic and physical chemistry you need.

I hope this helped,
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
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The-judge-16
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(Original post by University of Bath)
Hi there,

All of my chemistry lecturers have always recommenced Chemistry3 (read as "chemistry cubed), found here on Amazon. It's a fat old textbook covering all the first (and perhaps also 2nd) year inorganic, organic and physical chemistry you need.

I hope this helped,
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
Hi Jessica,

Many thanks for your recommendation of the chemistry3 textbook. I did actually see that one when I googled best chemistry textbooks at degree level. I’m actually going to start a levels in biology and chemistry and was wondering whether it would help with AQA a level chemistry?
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Galdiowolf
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Definitely chemistry ³
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University of Bath
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(Original post by The-judge-16)
Hi Jessica,

Many thanks for your recommendation of the chemistry3 textbook. I did actually see that one when I googled best chemistry textbooks at degree level. I’m actually going to start a levels in biology and chemistry and was wondering whether it would help with AQA a level chemistry?
Hi there,

No problem, I'm glad I could help!

Personally, I don't feel that university-level textbooks are helpful initially for A-Level chemistry. In order to understand the uni textbook, you need a solid understanding of the A-Level content - if you don't, then the uni textbook will be like gibberish to you. However, university textbooks are good if you have finished the A-Level content, and you want to improve your understanding of it. Basically, if you're at the start of year 12, then there's not much point trying to study a uni textbook as it won't make any sense. But, if you're in year 13/nearing exams, looking at a uni textbook will help you understand the A-level content you now know a lot better.

I never read uni textbooks at A-level, and I still got 2A* 3A in my A-Level exams. I'd say that the best thing you could do would be to find a way of studying that really works for you, and stick with it. Some people find mind maps work, others find reading textbooks works. I personally am an audiovisual learner, so watching revision videos helps me retain information the best. Throughout GCSE and A-Level, I used videos from Khan Academy for all my science subjects. I still use them now in my 3rd year of university! They're really clearly explained, but they go into a good amount of detail so they'll be more than good enough for you at A-Level. I'd advise using the Khan Academy videos (as they range from A-Level to uni level of detail), alongside your A-Level textbooks and perhaps also a uni textbook, and you'll have a really solid knowledge

I hope this has helped,
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
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The-judge-16
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(Original post by University of Bath)
Hi there,

No problem, I'm glad I could help!

Personally, I don't feel that university-level textbooks are helpful initially for A-Level chemistry. In order to understand the uni textbook, you need a solid understanding of the A-Level content - if you don't, then the uni textbook will be like gibberish to you. However, university textbooks are good if you have finished the A-Level content, and you want to improve your understanding of it. Basically, if you're at the start of year 12, then there's not much point trying to study a uni textbook as it won't make any sense. But, if you're in year 13/nearing exams, looking at a uni textbook will help you understand the A-level content you now know a lot better.

I never read uni textbooks at A-level, and I still got 2A* 3A in my A-Level exams. I'd say that the best thing you could do would be to find a way of studying that really works for you, and stick with it. Some people find mind maps work, others find reading textbooks works. I personally am an audiovisual learner, so watching revision videos helps me retain information the best. Throughout GCSE and A-Level, I used videos from Khan Academy for all my science subjects. I still use them now in my 3rd year of university! They're really clearly explained, but they go into a good amount of detail so they'll be more than good enough for you at A-Level. I'd advise using the Khan Academy videos (as they range from A-Level to uni level of detail), alongside your A-Level textbooks and perhaps also a uni textbook, and you'll have a really solid knowledge

I hope this has helped,
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
Hi Jessica,

Thank you so much for all your advice! I find that I tend to retain information easier if I have wrote the notes down on paper, not sure why it just sticks more with me that way. A lot of people have told me that practice papers are one of the best things you can do for a level, not too sure though, is this right?

Many thanks
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University of Bath
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(Original post by The-judge-16)
Hi Jessica,

Thank you so much for all your advice! I find that I tend to retain information easier if I have wrote the notes down on paper, not sure why it just sticks more with me that way. A lot of people have told me that practice papers are one of the best things you can do for a level, not too sure though, is this right?

Many thanks
Hi there,

No problem, I'm more than happy to help

If writing notes helps, then I'd definitely suggest colour coding your notes (if you don't already), and re-writing notes in different formats. For example, I will write more detailed notes, with info from lectures, textbooks and online, and will write important terms in a different colour. These are the notes I refer to initially, when I don't know the topic well, with all the information. I will then re-write them in a more condensed form, to include the most important information, but omitting stuff that isn't entirely necessary (such as examples or long explanations) once I know the topic better. I'll then write cue cards from these, with the most essential information, condensed as much as possible. I'll use these for active recall and revising a topic. If I don't understand something, or need to refresh my memory, I'll refer to the more detailed notes.

By re-writing notes, you are repeatedly going over that information, which will help you memorise it (obviously).

I would definitely say past papers are a great way to study, once you've written notes. GCSE and A-Level exams usually have pretty repetitive questions and a clear pattern, i.e. they'll ask the same sort of question in exam papers each year, with the same stock answer, they'll just phrase the question slightly differently. At A-Level, I would print all the past papers for my exam board, then type up a table in Excel so after each practice paper, I could write down the date I did it, and the mark I got in it - this way, you can see if you are improving. After I marked each past paper, I would write down the topics that I got questions wrong in on the front of the exam paper, and then I'd review the notes for these topics. This way you will clearly see what areas you are worse in, and actively focus on these areas, instead of just randomly studying with little direction.

I hope this has helped
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
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The-judge-16
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(Original post by University of Bath)
Hi there,

No problem, I'm more than happy to help

If writing notes helps, then I'd definitely suggest colour coding your notes (if you don't already), and re-writing notes in different formats. For example, I will write more detailed notes, with info from lectures, textbooks and online, and will write important terms in a different colour. These are the notes I refer to initially, when I don't know the topic well, with all the information. I will then re-write them in a more condensed form, to include the most important information, but omitting stuff that isn't entirely necessary (such as examples or long explanations) once I know the topic better. I'll then write cue cards from these, with the most essential information, condensed as much as possible. I'll use these for active recall and revising a topic. If I don't understand something, or need to refresh my memory, I'll refer to the more detailed notes.

By re-writing notes, you are repeatedly going over that information, which will help you memorise it (obviously).

I would definitely say past papers are a great way to study, once you've written notes. GCSE and A-Level exams usually have pretty repetitive questions and a clear pattern, i.e. they'll ask the same sort of question in exam papers each year, with the same stock answer, they'll just phrase the question slightly differently. At A-Level, I would print all the past papers for my exam board, then type up a table in Excel so after each practice paper, I could write down the date I did it, and the mark I got in it - this way, you can see if you are improving. After I marked each past paper, I would write down the topics that I got questions wrong in on the front of the exam paper, and then I'd review the notes for these topics. This way you will clearly see what areas you are worse in, and actively focus on these areas, instead of just randomly studying with little direction.

I hope this has helped
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
Thanks for all your advice, I think that putting a table on excel would be great!
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University of Bath
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(Original post by The-judge-16)
Thanks for all your advice, I think that putting a table on excel would be great!
Hi,

No problem, glad I could help

Jessica, a third year NatSci student
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