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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle






From September 2015 AQA Chemistry will be taught for the first time and will complement the Biology and Physics A-levels that are presently taught; it will also build on the GCSE AQA Chemistry course that has traditionally been followed by students at QEGS. The new AQA Chemistry specification includes a fresh approach to practical work, increasing choice; removing the constraints of tasks that are set by exam boards and putting purposeful practical work at the heart of teaching.

Coursework is being removed, so coursework practicals will no longer contribute towards the final AS or A-level grade.

Students will do at least 12 practical activities across the two-year A-level.

  • Students will have many opportunities to learn and use practical skills to link theory with practice, deepening their knowledge and understanding.

  • A wide variety of practical activities will be integrated into routine teaching.            

Students will be expected to apply the knowledge and understanding they learn from practicals in their written exams. Practical-based questions will form about 15% of the total assessment.


The course has been rearranged into the traditional three branches of physical, inorganic and organic chemistry.

AS and first year of A-level

Physical chemistryincluding: atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, energetics,  kinetics, chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle.

Inorganic chemistryincluding: periodicity, Group 2 the alkaline earth metals, Group 7(17) the halogens.

Organic chemistry including: introduction to organic chemistry, alkanes, halogenoalkanes, alkenes, alcohols, organic analysis.

Second year of A-level

Physical chemistryincluding: thermodynamics, rate equations, equilibrium constant (Kc) for homogeneous systems, electrode potentials and electrochemical cells.

Inorganic chemistryincluding: properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals, reactions of ions in aqueous solution.

Organic chemistryincluding: optical isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, aromatic chemistry,  amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy, chromatography.


There are 2 examination papers for AS, which is a totally separate qualification from A-level.

For A-level there are 3 examination papers.



Paper 1

1½  hours written paper.

50% of mark

Paper 2

1½  hour written paper. 

50% of mark



Paper 1

2  hour written paper.

35% of mark

Paper 2

2 hour written paper.

35% of mark

Paper 3

2 hour written paper.

30% of mark


Subjects that would go well with Chemistry at AS are Biology, Mathematics or Physics.  However, other combinations, including Geology, Geography and Food Technology are also suitable.  You may be concentrating on arts, humanities or modern language courses and wish to take Chemistry to AS level to broaden your studies.  Grade B in Mathematics is desirable as there is an emphasis on use and application of quantitative concepts throughout the course.


A qualification in Chemistry helps gain access to a wide range of Higher Education courses.  Chemistry develops the ability to think logically, to be creative, numerate and analytical.  As such it is an excellent preparation for many careers, both scientific and non-scientific.  Students who have taken Chemistry are to be found in areas as diverse as forensic science, finance, law, politics, computing and purchasing, as well as agriculture, conservation, veterinary science, medicine, food technology, geology and art restoration.


In order to study AS level Chemistry you will need to have at least grade B in GCSE Chemistry or in Additional Science.

It is recommended that you have at least an A grade in Additional Science if you intend taking more than one science subject at AS level.

If you have any questions regarding the AS level Chemistry Course please see Ms Westoby or Miss Smith.