The Student Room Group

Chemistry A-level

Is chemistry A-level as horrendous as everyone says? I picked it as one of my A-levels for next year and seeing everyone's thoughts on it is scaring me a bit ngl
Are they exaggerating or should I be terrified lol
Original post by fffhjtf
Is chemistry A-level as horrendous as everyone says? I picked it as one of my A-levels for next year and seeing everyone's thoughts on it is scaring me a bit ngl
Are they exaggerating or should I be terrified lol

I mean it varies, it depends on you as a student. E.g how long it takes u to understand it, how much effort is put into revision. You’ll be fine :smile:
While it does cause stress sometimes so can any subject if you think about it
Reply 2
Original post by Studentwithaname
I mean it varies, it depends on you as a student. E.g how long it takes u to understand it, how much effort is put into revision. You’ll be fine :smile:
While it does cause stress sometimes so can any subject if you think about it

thank you that helps
I don’t think you should be terrified, during year 12 I really didn’t like chemistry but that’s because I didn’t engage with the content at all. If you’re able to stay on top of any work that’s set and make sure that you go over what you’ve learnt in class then you’ll be fine :smile: Don’t be scared!
Original post by fffhjtf
Is chemistry A-level as horrendous as everyone says? I picked it as one of my A-levels for next year and seeing everyone's thoughts on it is scaring me a bit ngl
Are they exaggerating or should I be terrified lol


Physics is harder to be good at A levels. Chemistry is for people who have a passion for chemical formulas, chemical equations, concepts and theories behind the doctrines. Of course calculations are involved too, but not the worst compared to mathematics and physics. It is doable.

@5hyl33n
@TypicalNerd

Feel free to share your opinions!
Original post by fffhjtf
Is chemistry A-level as horrendous as everyone says? I picked it as one of my A-levels for next year and seeing everyone's thoughts on it is scaring me a bit ngl
Are they exaggerating or should I be terrified lol


It really depends. I know quite a few people who absolutely hated it and quite a few who absolutely loved it.

In terms of how difficult you will find it, much like any A level, it really depends on how much work you are prepared to put into it and how effective your revision methods are.

Here are a few questions to consider asking:

(1. Are you enjoying chemistry now at GCSE/equivalent? If so, then absolutely go for it! If not, then I would advise against taking it at A level.

(2. Are you struggling a lot with chemistry now? If so, why - and will said reasons why you are struggling continue to be an obstacle when you go on to do your A levels?

(3. What exactly is it about A level chemistry that these people you’ve heard from consider to be so awful? If it happens to be that it’s badly taught, then if they don’t go to the same sixth form or college as you are planning to, then it’s probably a non-issue.
Original post by fffhjtf
Is chemistry A-level as horrendous as everyone says? I picked it as one of my A-levels for next year and seeing everyone's thoughts on it is scaring me a bit ngl
Are they exaggerating or should I be terrified lol

i currently hate it bc i find it overwhelming but if i could talk to the start of y12 version of myself to fix all of that i'd force myself to start working through all of the pmt topic specific practice questions as we go along rather than doing it all at once the week before a test. this will definitely help you keep ontop of the content and find test revision easier. can't emphasise enough the importance of doing practice questions bc you can get away with doing little to none for gcse as long as you understand the content but a level is a whole other story so if you understand that before you start rather than realise halway through y12 you'll be much better off. also one thing i feel heavily impacts how you ifnd a level chem is how good you are with maths and moles calculations like the c4 topic if you do aqa, there is a lot of maths topics with set methods similar to the c4 format so if you find those easy i'd say your on the right track
Reply 7
Original post by UtterlyUseless69
It really depends. I know quite a few people who absolutely hated it and quite a few who absolutely loved it.
In terms of how difficult you will find it, much like any A level, it really depends on how much work you are prepared to put into it and how effective your revision methods are.
Here are a few questions to consider asking:
(1. Are you enjoying chemistry now at GCSE/equivalent? If so, then absolutely go for it! If not, then I would advise against taking it at A level.
(2. Are you struggling a lot with chemistry now? If so, why - and will said reasons why you are struggling continue to be an obstacle when you go on to do your A levels?
(3. What exactly is it about A level chemistry that these people you’ve heard from consider to be so awful? If it happens to be that it’s badly taught, then if they don’t go to the same sixth form or college as you are planning to, then it’s probably a non-issue.
thank you, this really helps a lot
the teacher really influences how much i like a subject, so hopefully in my new sixth form the teacher will be good
Reply 8
Original post by user1234512345
i currently hate it bc i find it overwhelming but if i could talk to the start of y12 version of myself to fix all of that i'd force myself to start working through all of the pmt topic specific practice questions as we go along rather than doing it all at once the week before a test. this will definitely help you keep ontop of the content and find test revision easier. can't emphasise enough the importance of doing practice questions bc you can get away with doing little to none for gcse as long as you understand the content but a level is a whole other story so if you understand that before you start rather than realise halway through y12 you'll be much better off. also one thing i feel heavily impacts how you ifnd a level chem is how good you are with maths and moles calculations like the c4 topic if you do aqa, there is a lot of maths topics with set methods similar to the c4 format so if you find those easy i'd say your on the right track

thank you! so should i start revising from the beginning of y12?
Original post by fffhjtf
Is chemistry A-level as horrendous as everyone says? I picked it as one of my A-levels for next year and seeing everyone's thoughts on it is scaring me a bit ngl
Are they exaggerating or should I be terrified lol


Before I forget to mention: the main part of lessons at A levels is analytic and theoretical chemistry. That means for you to make decisions and to give statements and to reason them.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by fffhjtf
thank you! so should i start revising from the beginning of y12?

yes defo, revise regularly after learning the content in classes
And if there’s something you aren’t understanding don’t push it aside and say oh I’ll understand it one day, ask for help! Cos some things follow on from a previous topic or you might have to have knowledge of a topic to be able to do another.
Hi I’m doing OCR chemistry (yr 13) and really like it. I definitely agree with the previous comment, everything links so as long as you keep up to date with what you’ve learnt and make sure you get it, you should be ok. It does get a bit harder in year 13, but it’s moreso because you’re busier in general, not as much the difficulty of the content. (Rn we have chem mocks/tests every other week but that might just be my college 😭) I think just make summary pages cos there’s not actually that much content, it’s mostly practicing applying concepts. It also makes it less stressful as you see that it’s actually a manageable amount.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by fffhjtf
Is chemistry A-level as horrendous as everyone says? I picked it as one of my A-levels for next year and seeing everyone's thoughts on it is scaring me a bit ngl
Are they exaggerating or should I be terrified lol

Hello, I do all three sciences at A-level ( Biology, chemistry and physics) and I would say that chemistry is the best science.
Reply 14
Original post by Denisa florica
Hello, I do all three sciences at A-level ( Biology, chemistry and physics) and I would say that chemistry is the best science.
oh really, a lot of people say it's really hard
do you have any tips for chemistry in y12?
Original post by fffhjtf
oh really, a lot of people say it's really hard
do you have any tips for chemistry in y12?

I do AQA so I can only tell you what has helped me because exam boards are a bit different.
I HIGHLY recommend buying the textbook called 'AQA A-level Chemistry by Hodder education' but they have an OCR version too. ITS AMAZING. It is a bit pricey but its so worth it.
In chemistry, you will need to learn a lot of mechanisms so make mind maps/ diagrams/ drawings and revisit them often because they are quite easy to forget.
This works for all sciences but make 'recipes' for each type of question - what I mean is when you encounter a question that has lots of marks (eg 6 marker or 8 marker) create flash cards with steps on how to answer that type of question and I promise you that you will get full marks each time because the question types are almost the same every time and using the 'recipe' will help you achieve everything the mark scheme wants- I recommend using the mark scheme to make the steps.
Do lots of past papers!!! do old spec and new spec
Watch this guys on YouTube called Allery Chemistry and/or Eliot Rintoul if you don't understand a topic, the way they explain stuff is A* level
Reply 16
Original post by Denisa florica
I do AQA so I can only tell you what has helped me because exam boards are a bit different.
I HIGHLY recommend buying the textbook called 'AQA A-level Chemistry by Hodder education' but they have an OCR version too. ITS AMAZING. It is a bit pricey but its so worth it.
In chemistry, you will need to learn a lot of mechanisms so make mind maps/ diagrams/ drawings and revisit them often because they are quite easy to forget.
This works for all sciences but make 'recipes' for each type of question - what I mean is when you encounter a question that has lots of marks (eg 6 marker or 8 marker) create flash cards with steps on how to answer that type of question and I promise you that you will get full marks each time because the question types are almost the same every time and using the 'recipe' will help you achieve everything the mark scheme wants- I recommend using the mark scheme to make the steps.
Do lots of past papers!!! do old spec and new spec
Watch this guys on YouTube called Allery Chemistry and/or Eliot Rintoul if you don't understand a topic, the way they explain stuff is A* level

thanks soooo much this will really really help me next year

Quick Reply

Latest