Exam Review: Chemistry

By Dr. Martina Audley, Yeats College Chemistry teacher

Students should be happy with this year’s paper. 

There were no surprises in Section A of the paper. Students were delighted to see that Question 1 was the vinegar titration (which was expected as it had not been examined since 2016). 

Question 2 was a mixture of organic experiments (recrystallisation, test for aldehydes and soap). Question 3 was a Rates of Reaction question where the students were asked to plot a graph from the data given and answer questions related to the graph. All questions asked in Section A were very similar to previous exam papers.

Section B of the paper posed no major difficulty with Question 5 (Basic chemistry), Question 6 (Organic Fuels), Question 7 (Equilibrium), Question 10 (oxidation, radioactivity and moles) and Question 11 (bonding, organic and water) being similar to previous years. 

The long organic family question (Question 8) may have posed some problems for students with the substitution mechanism and the synthesis of the polymer PVC being asked. 

The short questions (Question 4) also had four parts that were organic based, which was unusual, so some students who were not strong in organic might have found this question challenging. 

Most parts of the acid/base/pH question (Question 9) were similar to previous papers, but students had to stop and think before answering parts b(iii) (dilution) and d(ii) indicator’s colour change.

Overall, it was a fair, balanced exam paper, which provided students who were well prepared by completing past exam papers with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the subject.

I wish all chemistry students the very best of luck with their results in August.