GCSE Chemistry

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Exam Board & Specification code: Edexcel (4CH1)

The Course
Chemistry is the basis of everything. All matter is made up of atoms or molecules and the arrangement of these gives materials their chemical properties. Studying this course will help students to understand why certain processes do or don’t happen and how we can change factors to make reactions happen at different speeds or under different conditions. During this course, students will also develop their practical skills as well as learning how to express the data they collect in an appropriate fashion using graphs and tables. We are firmly committed to the teaching of separate sciences at this level, and have elected to follow IGCSE (as opposed to GCSE) as we believe it is intellectually more challenging, and gives a more accurate indication of the nature of the subject at AS /A level for students who want to want to continue to study the subject post-16.

IGCSE Chemistry is divided into 4 sections. In Section 1 (Principles of Chemistry) you will learn about the structures of atoms and compounds, how they join together to make chemical bonds, how this process can be reversed using electricity and how to perform various calculations using the chemical unit called ‘the mole’. In Section 2 (Inorganic Chemistry) you will study the behaviour of halogens, alkali metals, transition metals, acids and alkalis and also look at how unknown compounds can be identified. In Section 3 (Physical Chemistry) you will learn about how fast and how far a reaction can go and in Section 4 (Organic Chemistry) you will study the chemistry of carbon and look at the structure and reactions of different carbon-containing compounds, such as alkanes, alkenes, alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters.

What skills do I need?
We start the course from the beginning so no prior knowledge of this subject is needed. You should be willing to learn through experimentation and should ideally enjoy simple mathematical calculations.

How is the Course Assessed?
There are two written papers consisting of a mixture of short answer questions (up to 6 marks) and multiple choice. There is no practical endorsement.

Paper 1  (4CH1 / 1C) Written paper (2 hours, 61.1 % of the total marks)
This paper is designed to test candidates’ knowledge and recall. Not all topics are examined on this paper (as defined on the syllabus).

Paper 2  (4CH1 / 2C) Written paper (1 hour and 15 minutes,  38.9 % of the total marks)
This paper tests the ability of candidates to apply their assumed knowledge of the whole syllabus to unfamiliar situations, their data-handling skills, and ability to draw and interpret graphs. It includes questions targeted at the most able candidates, covering the grade range 9 to 6.

Pearson Edexcel International GCSE (9-1) Chemistry Student Book by Jim Clark Published by Pearson Education Limited ISBN 978 0 435 18516 9

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