The Student Room Group

chemistry alevel

can any recommend me some tips to get better at chemistry I'm currently working a E
Reply 1
Im not sure what you've been doing so far for chemistry so this might be no help at all, but the first thing I did was really reduce my hours at work - I went from doing about 15-19 hour to 4 hours. the pay cut sucked so bad but I wasn't as nearly as burnt out and I could put a lot more time and effort into chem.
I made flashcards thought the year, but only on things I needed to memorise, like the energetics definitions.
I also got a tutor for a couple weeks, and the 1:1 really helped iron out any confusion I had or point out the little details I missed in certain topics - this can be expensive though, and if it isn't an option I suggest approaching you teachers as they should be able to help you in a similar way.
Then for my AS exams learnt all the content I could from the flashcards I made, and revised the rest by doing so many practise questions and every past paper I could get my hands on - I think I did most of them twice actually. I really recommend physics and maths tutor for that, I love that website
This is what works for me and it might not work the same for everyone, but I managed to go from an E in feb to and A at the end of the year
Original post by Maira108
can any recommend me some tips to get better at chemistry I'm currently working a E


https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7253201&p=97549790&page=2#post97549790

Which exam board btw?
Original post by Maira108
can any recommend me some tips to get better at chemistry I'm currently working a E

I was in that situation in year 13 and honestly it sucked but here is what I did. I was getting an E because I didn't understand the concepts in chemistry and everyone was telling me to do exam questions and when I didn't understand them it disheartened me even further. Firstly I grouped the topics together for AS and A2 so like energetics and thermodynamics, redox and electrochemistry etc and then I went through the textbook and allery chemistry on youtube to UNDERSTAND the key concepts thoroughly and then do active recall and answer exam questions and repeat for the other topics. For some bits you will have to memorise so probably suck it up and go over it again and again to ingrain it into your head. Then for revision exam questions, exam questions and exam questions this is key as most questions tend to repeat themselves over the years especially AQA just with different scenarios, numbers and different parts of the spec, you'd probably be able to pick up the pattern.

For organic chemistry what helped me like REALLY helped me was the organic synthesis map because exam questions are gonna ask you what was this product in so and so condition and not be so straight forward.
1)Go on google and download an organic synthesis map which has arrows and if not labelled LABEL THE MECHANISM NAME, REAGENT AND CONDITIONS
2) I would personally start with alkenes and blurt that section of the map so how an alkene can be made and what it can change into(do this as many times as you can) and how it happens via what mechanism, reagent and conditions
3)Then draw your mechanism on a seperate piece of paper for EVERY ONE OF THE ARROWS
- Make sure your arrows start in between a bond or lone pair
- you know the charges of the electrophile, nucleophile, base etc and put it on and the role of these( definition and know what they can do)
- Draw the delta charges on the bond receiving the arrow
- remember the charges ie positive charges repel one another and negative is attracted to the positive and vice versa
- AND valences of the atom don't draw 5 bonds from a carbon atom and a double bond counts as 2 bonds PLEASE
How I like to go by it is draw the initial functional group given and then the end one on the side(cross it out afterwards) and fiqure out where the lone pair would attack, bonds broken and formed, carbocation formed, charges or anything and what has to be released to form the by product.
- My teacher said never to draw the end product if it isnt asked in the question as you could lose marks for it not being chemically correct apparently you can lose marks but I'm not sure double check
4) Learn how to name and draw the functional group with the numbers ie: 1,1-dibromobutane if the suffix or prefix changes changes and the priority laws it follows it's easy to mess up on
5)If you go by the spec in AQA each functional group has a bit of info you learn alongside for example for alkenes you learn about the fractioning column and combustion, for halogenoalkanes you learn about chlorofloroalkanes and the ozone layer, understand these concepts to as they usually appear as 6 markers and if you understand them you could bag those marks
6) Repeat your way around the organic synthesis map and aromatic chem
6) Then exam practice is key, like some exam questions like bond enthalpy of benzene come up nearly every one-two years but by exam questions you gain exposure to the exam question style and practice and it helps for those map question things in organic synthesis, amount of substance questions(exposure to the style of question). For amount of substance, practice is key. It also helps with mechanisms which carry a lot of weight on paper 2. and exam questions like base strength of amines used to confuse me a lot practice helps.

Good luck with your exam and this is what I did and what helped me it may not show the same results for everyone so no guarantee given. I am a newbie so please like and everything I dont know how to increase reputation points on TSR. Please for anyone do try the method and exam tips above for organic synthesis I really do believe if you use the map first it's more integrated than learning the reagents and conditions last where you're more likely to confuse them and plus I havent heard anyone else use this technique before and it helped me so much so if it does help you please tell me, I'd be happy to know it helped someone. REMEMBER TO DO EXAM QUESTIONS I DON'T THINK THERE IS A WAY OUT OF IT.
REMEMBER THE EXAM TIPS FOR MECHANISMS if your teacher isnt telling you I have told you please do it, I want you guys to score 7/7 on mechanisms cuz once you grasp it it becomes logic a way of thinking or a checklist almost in your head so it hopefully become second nature to you.

I DO NOT GUARANTEE THIS WILL WORK FOR EVERYONE IT IS JUST EXAM TIPS AND MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AIMED TO HELP YOU
Plus it took me half an hour to type so please upvote, like the my post if you can
Reply 6
Original post by sumankaur10
i was in that situation in year 13 and honestly it sucked but here is what i did. I was getting an e because i didn't understand the concepts in chemistry and everyone was telling me to do exam questions and when i didn't understand them it disheartened me even further. Firstly i grouped the topics together for as and a2 so like energetics and thermodynamics, redox and electrochemistry etc and then i went through the textbook and allery chemistry on youtube to understand the key concepts thoroughly and then do active recall and answer exam questions and repeat for the other topics. For some bits you will have to memorise so probably suck it up and go over it again and again to ingrain it into your head. Then for revision exam questions, exam questions and exam questions this is key as most questions tend to repeat themselves over the years especially aqa just with different scenarios, numbers and different parts of the spec, you'd probably be able to pick up the pattern.

For organic chemistry what helped me like really helped me was the organic synthesis map because exam questions are gonna ask you what was this product in so and so condition and not be so straight forward.
1)go on google and download an organic synthesis map which has arrows and if not labelled label the mechanism name, reagent and conditions
2) i would personally start with alkenes and blurt that section of the map so how an alkene can be made and what it can change into(do this as many times as you can) and how it happens via what mechanism, reagent and conditions
3)then draw your mechanism on a seperate piece of paper for every one of the arrows
- make sure your arrows start in between a bond or lone pair
- you know the charges of the electrophile, nucleophile, base etc and put it on and the role of these( definition and know what they can do)
- draw the delta charges on the bond receiving the arrow
- remember the charges ie positive charges repel one another and negative is attracted to the positive and vice versa
- and valences of the atom don't draw 5 bonds from a carbon atom and a double bond counts as 2 bonds please
how i like to go by it is draw the initial functional group given and then the end one on the side(cross it out afterwards) and fiqure out where the lone pair would attack, bonds broken and formed, carbocation formed, charges or anything and what has to be released to form the by product.
- my teacher said never to draw the end product if it isnt asked in the question as you could lose marks for it not being chemically correct apparently you can lose marks but i'm not sure double check
4) learn how to name and draw the functional group with the numbers ie: 1,1-dibromobutane if the suffix or prefix changes changes and the priority laws it follows it's easy to mess up on
5)if you go by the spec in aqa each functional group has a bit of info you learn alongside for example for alkenes you learn about the fractioning column and combustion, for halogenoalkanes you learn about chlorofloroalkanes and the ozone layer, understand these concepts to as they usually appear as 6 markers and if you understand them you could bag those marks
6) repeat your way around the organic synthesis map and aromatic chem
6) then exam practice is key, like some exam questions like bond enthalpy of benzene come up nearly every one-two years but by exam questions you gain exposure to the exam question style and practice and it helps for those map question things in organic synthesis, amount of substance questions(exposure to the style of question). For amount of substance, practice is key. It also helps with mechanisms which carry a lot of weight on paper 2. And exam questions like base strength of amines used to confuse me a lot practice helps.

Good luck with your exam and this is what i did and what helped me it may not show the same results for everyone so no guarantee given. I am a newbie so please like and everything i dont know how to increase reputation points on tsr. Please for anyone do try the method and exam tips above for organic synthesis i really do believe if you use the map first it's more integrated than learning the reagents and conditions last where you're more likely to confuse them and plus i havent heard anyone else use this technique before and it helped me so much so if it does help you please tell me, i'd be happy to know it helped someone. Remember to do exam questions i don't think there is a way out of it.
Remember the exam tips for mechanisms if your teacher isnt telling you i have told you please do it, i want you guys to score 7/7 on mechanisms cuz once you grasp it it becomes logic a way of thinking or a checklist almost in your head so it hopefully become second nature to you.

I do not guarantee this will work for everyone it is just exam tips and my personal experience aimed to help you


thank you so so much for help :smile: hope u have a nice day
Original post by Maira108
ocr A


OCR A is a weird one. I did Edexcel, but I did have plenty of friends who did OCR A that I helped a fair bit.

You may find the following documents especially useful:

https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/563547-summer-highlights-report.pdf

https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/592305-exam-hints-for-students.pdf

Quick Reply

Latest