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Why am I failing chemistry a-level?

I need someone to give me their perspective. I studied so hard for chemistry (I studied everyday). It was topic 2 from Edexcel (bonding and structure). Yet I got an E? I did past paper questions yet I failed. I just do not understand where I am going wrong. I think I need someone to tell me how they got better than E. Cause my grades is worsening and so is my motivation
Reply 1
Did you get your paper back with feedback to see what you did wrong ? What’s your method of revising chemistry ?
Original post by DaydreamingTeen
I need someone to give me their perspective. I studied so hard for chemistry (I studied everyday). It was topic 2 from Edexcel (bonding and structure). Yet I got an E? I did past paper questions yet I failed. I just do not understand where I am going wrong. I think I need someone to tell me how they got better than E. Cause my grades is worsening and so is my motivation

Heya!
Chemistry is a hard subject. You need to make sure you properly understand the material and do enough practice questions topic by topic :h: How do you currently revise? Do you make revision notes and flashcards?
Ask for your mock back and ask the teacher to go through it with you. Note down WHY you kept losing the marks and go over the material again to make sure you understood it. After that, practice doing questions again to test your understanding. Study Mind offers plenty of free past papers and revision notes to help you with that.

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind
Original post by StudyMind
Heya!
Chemistry is a hard subject. You need to make sure you properly understand the material and do enough practice questions topic by topic :h: How do you currently revise? Do you make revision notes and flashcards?
Ask for your mock back and ask the teacher to go through it with you. Note down WHY you kept losing the marks and go over the material again to make sure you understood it. After that, practice doing questions again to test your understanding. Study Mind offers plenty of free past papers and revision notes to help you with that.

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind

Hi Study Mind,
I love your past papers! And yes this advice seems helpful, thanks you!
Original post by Khakhi
Did you get your paper back with feedback to see what you did wrong ? What’s your method of revising chemistry ?

Yea I did, I normally rewrite stuff in my own words?
Original post by DaydreamingTeen
I need someone to give me their perspective. I studied so hard for chemistry (I studied everyday). It was topic 2 from Edexcel (bonding and structure). Yet I got an E? I did past paper questions yet I failed. I just do not understand where I am going wrong. I think I need someone to tell me how they got better than E. Cause my grades is worsening and so is my motivation


There are more free revision resources available here:

https://www.physicsandmathstutor.com/chemistry-revision/


Also, if you are having difficulty understanding some topics, try MaChemGuy on youtube - he's an A level chem teacher:

https://www.youtube.com/user/machemguy?reload=9&app=desktop&cbrd=1
Original post by DaydreamingTeen
I need someone to give me their perspective. I studied so hard for chemistry (I studied everyday). It was topic 2 from Edexcel (bonding and structure). Yet I got an E? I did past paper questions yet I failed. I just do not understand where I am going wrong. I think I need someone to tell me how they got better than E. Cause my grades is worsening and so is my motivation

Active recall is really good as you can write down what you know and then fill any missing gaps and then you keep trying until you can remember everything and then do the past paper questions to apply your knowledge. I have a large whiteboard for this and it’s so helpful because you can fit a lot more on it as you get further into the course with larger topics, i got it from Wilko it was about £5 but you can buy them online from amazon etc
Doing past papers is really good revision but its only really effective when you actually understand the topic so make sure that you understand the topic and the theory behind them and hopefully you should see an improvement in your grades.

Hope that helps and good luck for the future:smile:
Original post by DaydreamingTeen
I need someone to give me their perspective. I studied so hard for chemistry (I studied everyday). It was topic 2 from Edexcel (bonding and structure). Yet I got an E? I did past paper questions yet I failed. I just do not understand where I am going wrong. I think I need someone to tell me how they got better than E. Cause my grades is worsening and so is my motivation

Having done Edexcel A level chemistry, I should be able to give some hopefully useful advice. https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7253201&p=97549790&page=2#post97549790

When you say you ‘studied so hard’, that implies to me that you probably dedicated long periods of time towards study. That is generally unwise when you don’t have breaks every 30 - 45 minutes, as the content you are trying to learn doesn’t really go in. So having breaks and making sure you take time to have a drink and a snack during study is advisable.

The structure and bonding topic is a pain, as there is quite a lot of stuff in it. Intermolecular forces, types of bonding, shapes of molecules and predicting some of the physical properties of substances is a lot, so finding a dedicated strategy for dealing with each is necessary.

I had a set model answer for the questions where you predict the shapes of molecules. After drawing a dot-and-cross diagram to make it easier, it went along the lines of “there are ___ bonding pairs (or regions if there is a double/triple bond) and ___ lone pairs surrounding the central atom. All electron pairs repel as far apart from each other, but lone pairs are more repulsive than bonding pairs, so they decrease the bond angle (only mention the lone pair part if there are any lone pairs), so the shape of the molecule is _____ with a bond angle of ____°”

Flashcards and active recall are the best. Old spec exam questions may also be worth giving a shot, as you can then save the newer questions for nearer to mocks and final exams.

Also, use the specification as a checklist. It may be worth working through the each specification point to see how well you understand the topic. https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/A%20Level/Chemistry/2015/Specification%20and%20sample%20assessments/a-level-chemistry-2015-specification.pdf
Original post by TypicalNerd
Having done Edexcel A level chemistry, I should be able to give some hopefully useful advice. https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7253201&p=97549790&page=2#post97549790

When you say you ‘studied so hard’, that implies to me that you probably dedicated long periods of time towards study. That is generally unwise when you don’t have breaks every 30 - 45 minutes, as the content you are trying to learn doesn’t really go in. So having breaks and making sure you take time to have a drink and a snack during study is advisable.

The structure and bonding topic is a pain, as there is quite a lot of stuff in it. Intermolecular forces, types of bonding, shapes of molecules and predicting some of the physical properties of substances is a lot, so finding a dedicated strategy for dealing with each is necessary.

I had a set model answer for the questions where you predict the shapes of molecules. After drawing a dot-and-cross diagram to make it easier, it went along the lines of “there are ___ bonding pairs (or regions if there is a double/triple bond) and ___ lone pairs surrounding the central atom. All electron pairs repel as far apart from each other, but lone pairs are more repulsive than bonding pairs, so they decrease the bond angle (only mention the lone pair part if there are any lone pairs), so the shape of the molecule is _____ with a bond angle of ____°”

Flashcards and active recall are the best. Old spec exam questions may also be worth giving a shot, as you can then save the newer questions for nearer to mocks and final exams.

Also, use the specification as a checklist. It may be worth working through the each specification point to see how well you understand the topic. https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/A%20Level/Chemistry/2015/Specification%20and%20sample%20assessments/a-level-chemistry-2015-specification.pdf


Thank you for you advice! this is so helpful <3
I like your model answers idea
Original post by normaw
There are more free revision resources available here:

https://www.physicsandmathstutor.com/chemistry-revision/


Also, if you are having difficulty understanding some topics, try MaChemGuy on youtube - he's an A level chem teacher:

https://www.youtube.com/user/machemguy?reload=9&app=desktop&cbrd=1

thanks! these resources seem so helpful ^^
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by aj_11_04
Active recall is really good as you can write down what you know and then fill any missing gaps and then you keep trying until you can remember everything and then do the past paper questions to apply your knowledge. I have a large whiteboard for this and it’s so helpful because you can fit a lot more on it as you get further into the course with larger topics, i got it from Wilko it was about £5 but you can buy them online from amazon etc
Doing past papers is really good revision but its only really effective when you actually understand the topic so make sure that you understand the topic and the theory behind them and hopefully you should see an improvement in your grades.

Hope that helps and good luck for the future:smile:


thank you :smile:

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