Chemistry is a challenging yet rewarding A-level taken by many students in the Sixth Form. The course at A-level builds upon GCSE studies, particularly in fundamental areas such as atomic structure, structure and bonding, rates of reaction, equilibria, and organic chemistry. Problem-solving, including the use of moles in calculations, is fundamental to the challenges A-level chemists must overcome and is developed extensively.
Practical work is at the heart of Chemistry and many experiments are carried out in addition to those required for practical endorsement. The combination of laboratory work, logical problem-solving, and links to the world around us make Chemistry the subject of choice for many students.
In addition to studying A-level, RGS students compete well in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and in the national Chemistry Olympiad. As part of Year 12, students complete a written project of their own choosing exploring a field of chemistry. Chemistry is considered as one of the eight facilitating A-level subjects and success in the course rightly comes with a feeling of real achievement.
A level Chemistry rapidly builds on GCSE going into greater detail than before by challenging and expanding some of the, simplified, models met to date. Organic Chemistry is handled in a new way and aspects that at GCSE were qualitative in nature get a more rigorous quantitative exploration. Practical work continues to be important with the A level assessing practical competency as well as understanding of the subject. Chemistry A level is rewarding but challenging. It is notorious for being “difficult” but is also, with good reason, generally a requirement for some of the most competitive next steps in Education such as studying medicine.