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Exam Board and Specification Codes: OCR (H432) 

We all do Chemistry every moment of every day of our lives! As the study of all the elements and their compounds, Chemistry is both conceptually challenging and requires good factual knowledge. 

Chemistry looks at all of the elements in the Periodic Table, both on a molecular and macroscopic level. It is regarded as the ‘central science’ that connects so many other areas together. New breakthroughs in fields such as genetics, biochemistry, medicine, materials, nanotechnology and drug discovery are all driven by Chemistry. Chemistry is about matter. The molecules that are all around us and how they change and interact with each other.

A study of Chemistry helps make so many observable everyday phenomena far less mysterious. 

As an A-Level student of Chemistry, you can expect to cover all of the fundamentals that make up the three core areas of Chemistry: Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry. Most importantly, Chemistry is a fascinating and ever-evolving subject; driven constantly both by new experimental discovery and advances made by theoreticians. If you want to fully understand the workings of the world around you then Chemistry is for you. 

What is covered by the course? 

Year 1 

Component 1 - Calculations in Chemistry 
Component 2 - Atomic & Electronic Structure
Component 3 - Structure & Bonding 
Component 4 - Redox: Groups II & VII 
Component 5 - Introduction to Thermodynamics 
Component 6 - Introduction to Organic Chemistry & Analytic Methods 
Component 7 - Introduction to Reaction Kinetics 
Component 8 - Introduction to Chemical Equilibrium 

Year 2 

Component 9 - Chemical Equilibrium 
Component 10 - Ionic Equilibrium: pH & Buffer Mixtures 
Component 11 - Transition Metals 
Component 12 - Reaction Kinetics 
Component 13 - Thermodynamics 
Component 14 - Electrochemistry 
Component 15 - Carbonyls, Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives 
Component 16 - Organo-Nitrogen Chemistry 
Component 17 - Analytical Techniques: Spectroscopy and Chromatography 

How is it examined? 

A-level assessment consists of three written exams taken at the end of the two-year course. 12 Assessed Practicals (called PAGS) which must be completed in class and submitted in order to pass the Practical Endorsement. 

Paper 1 - Written Assignment (2 hours 15 minutes) 

  • Periodic Table, Elements and Physical Chemistry 
  • 37% of the A-Level 

Paper 2 - Written Assignment (2 hours 15 minutes) 

  • Synthesis and analytical techniques 
  • 37% of the A-Level 

Paper 3 - Written Assignment (1 hour 30 minutes) 

  • Unified Chemistry 
  • 26% of the A-Level 

Related university courses & careers? 

Many students study Chemistry in conjunction with other sciences and/or Mathematics and go on to read Chemistry, Natural Sciences, Material Science, Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy at university. The most common combinations of A-Level subjects are those with Biology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics. 

Chemistry opens the door for many careers because training in Chemistry is essential for many positions in industry, is highly desirable for science teaching, and is useful for careers in the public service and management. Both the public and the private sectors increasingly draw their higher management echelons from Chemistry graduates. 

Suggested literature & resources 

A-Level Chemistry A for OCR Student Book’ by Rob Ritchie and Dave Gent
A-Level Chemistry A for OCR Year 1 and AS Student Book’ by Rob Ritchie and Dave Gent
A-Level Chemistry A for OCR Year 2 Student Book’ by Rob Ritchie and Dave Gent

Lower School

Kensington Park School (Years 7-11),
40-44 Bark Place,
W2 4AT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7616 4400

Sixth Form

Kensington Park School Sixth Form,
59 Queen's Gate,
South Kensington, London,

Tel: +44 (0)20 7225 0577

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