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Chemistry olympiad

I’ve signed up for the Cambridge chemistry Olympiad in 2 weeks however my GCSEs don’t end until next week so I’ll have less than a week to prep for it. I’ve done a few papers a few months ago but I don’t think I remember anything. Can anyone give me any tips on how to do well on it and any websites or recommendations to learn basic year 12 content.
My teacher said these are the topics that come often so it’ll be good to look into these:
Bond energies and enthalpy changes
Periodicity and similarities of reactions of elements in a group (e.g. you know how carbon reacts, so how do you think silicon and germanium would react?)
Curly arrow mechanisms and organic reactions
Using oxidation states to predict chemical formulae (e.g. Uranium(V) oxide, or nitrogen(II) oxide etc.)
Calculations in terms of thermodynamic properties (enthalpy, entropy etc.)

Any tips on how to learn these and on preparing for the Olympiad will be very much appreciated. Thanks a lot!!
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by Ashirs
I’ve signed up for the Cambridge chemistry Olympiad in 2 weeks however my GCSEs don’t end until next week so I’ll have less than a week to prep for it. I’ve done a few papers a few months ago but I don’t think I remember anything. Can anyone give me any tips on how to do well on it and any websites or recommendations to learn basic year 12 content.
My teacher said these are the topics that come often so it’ll be good to look into these:
Bond energies and enthalpy changes
Periodicity and similarities of reactions of elements in a group (e.g. you know how carbon reacts, so how do you think silicon and germanium would react?)
Curly arrow mechanisms and organic reactions
Using oxidation states to predict chemical formulae (e.g. Uranium(V) oxide, or nitrogen(II) oxide etc.)
Calculations in terms of thermodynamic properties (enthalpy, entropy etc.)

Any tips on how to learn these and on preparing for the Olympiad will be very much appreciated. Thanks a lot!!


My guess is that you mean C3L6 as the Olympiad this year has already taken place.

It’s a similar principle to preparing for the Olympiad really. I’d say I agree with your teacher and I’d recommend using some A level chemistry YouTube channels such as ‘MaChemGuy’, ‘Eliot Rintoul’ and ‘Allery Chemistry’ to passively revise the year 12 material of A level chemistry and when you have time, go straight to revising actively with past papers.
Reply 2
Original post by TypicalNerd
My guess is that you mean C3L6 as the Olympiad this year has already taken place.

It’s a similar principle to preparing for the Olympiad really. I’d say I agree with your teacher and I’d recommend using some A level chemistry YouTube channels such as ‘MaChemGuy’, ‘Eliot Rintoul’ and ‘Allery Chemistry’ to passively revise the year 12 material of A level chemistry and when you have time, go straight to revising actively with past papers.

Thanks a lot for your reply, yes I did mean the C3L6.
So I only have around 5 days. When I prepared for the Olympiad this year, all I did were past paper questions and got a high bronze, 2 marks away from the silver. However I did put in a lot of work for this but I think a huge problem was that I did not understand most of the a level content since I hadn’t learnt any of it and tried to use the knowledge I had from previous past papers.

I am in year 11 so have no knowledge on a level content. Do you recommend I go through the topics that my teacher has recommended using your websites and then skip straight to past papers?

Thanks again :smile:
Original post by Ashirs
Thanks a lot for your reply, yes I did mean the C3L6.
So I only have around 5 days. When I prepared for the Olympiad this year, all I did were past paper questions and got a high bronze, 2 marks away from the silver. However I did put in a lot of work for this but I think a huge problem was that I did not understand most of the a level content since I hadn’t learnt any of it and tried to use the knowledge I had from previous past papers.

I am in year 11 so have no knowledge on a level content. Do you recommend I go through the topics that my teacher has recommended using your websites and then skip straight to past papers?

Thanks again :smile:

I think that may be your best shot, so absolutely go for it.

And well done on a high bronze in the Olympiad, as that is no small feat (to give you an idea of how good that is, it’s considered very good for a year 13 to even get an award by unis they may be applying to).
Reply 4
Original post by TypicalNerd
I think that may be your best shot, so absolutely go for it.

And well done on a high bronze in the Olympiad, as that is no small feat (to give you an idea of how good that is, it’s considered very good for a year 13 to even get an award by unis they may be applying to).

Thank you so much for your kind words, that gives me some motivation to try my best :smile:
Reply 5
Original post by Ashirs
Thank you so much for your kind words, that gives me some motivation to try my best :smile:


Out of curiosity what prompted you to do a challenge aimed at Y13 in year 11 even though you hadn’t learnt it?
Reply 6
Original post by Ashirs
I’ve signed up for the Cambridge chemistry Olympiad in 2 weeks however my GCSEs don’t end until next week so I’ll have less than a week to prep for it. I’ve done a few papers a few months ago but I don’t think I remember anything. Can anyone give me any tips on how to do well on it and any websites or recommendations to learn basic year 12 content.
My teacher said these are the topics that come often so it’ll be good to look into these:
Bond energies and enthalpy changes
Periodicity and similarities of reactions of elements in a group (e.g. you know how carbon reacts, so how do you think silicon and germanium would react?)
Curly arrow mechanisms and organic reactions
Using oxidation states to predict chemical formulae (e.g. Uranium(V) oxide, or nitrogen(II) oxide etc.)
Calculations in terms of thermodynamic properties (enthalpy, entropy etc.)

Any tips on how to learn these and on preparing for the Olympiad will be very much appreciated. Thanks a lot!!

Have you done the C3L6 yet? If so, what questions and topics came up?
Reply 7
Original post by 4tgw4g
Have you done the C3L6 yet? If so, what questions and topics came up?

Nope not yet sorry
Reply 8
Original post by ahmed995482
Out of curiosity what prompted you to do a challenge aimed at Y13 in year 11 even though you hadn’t learnt it?


From what my teacher said it was for year 12 but our teachers suggested year 10 and 11 also try out because apparently people have managed to score a bronze before so I figured I might as well give it a go and I really like chemistry but ur right, I definitely haven’t learnt most of the content and Idek why I signed up now loool but ig if other ppl are giving it a go I might as well. Are you doing the c3l6 too?
Original post by Ashirs
From what my teacher said it was for year 12 but our teachers suggested year 10 and 11 also try out because apparently people have managed to score a bronze before so I figured I might as well give it a go and I really like chemistry but ur right, I definitely haven’t learnt most of the content and Idek why I signed up now loool but ig if other ppl are giving it a go I might as well. Are you doing the c3l6 too?

Yes I did it last Wednesday - I hope I could’ve got a gold award but there’s no way in telling how well I’ve done atp. I’ll be doing the olympiad in Jan and hope I’m a bit more prepared for that

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