Specification at a glance

For the AS assessment, students explore the fundamental principles that form the basis of chemistry such as atomic structure, bonding, periodicity and an introduction to organic chemistry. Students also look at the applications of these principles.

For the A2 assessment, students develop further the concepts and principles introduced at AS through topics including equilibria, polymers, aromatic chemistry, thermodynamics, energetic chemistry and inorganic chemistry.

Both AS and A2 assessments include exams and internal assessments. To be awarded the full A-level requires students to sit a total of four written exams and complete two internal assessments.

Practical skills assessments

There is a choice of two routes where elements of the assessment can be marked either by the school or college or externally by AQA, giving the choice and flexibility to meet the needs of individual schools and colleges and students. Students cannot be entered for both assessment routes in the same exam series.

Centre Marked Route T involves:

  • Practical Skills Assessment (PSA)
  • an Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA).

Each year, we produce two ISAs at both AS and A2. This choice provides flexibility to schools and colleges.

Externally Marked Route X involves:

  • a Practical Skills Verification (PSV) by the teacher of candidates’ practical skills
  • an Externally Marked Practical Assignment (EMPA), which is set and marked by AQA.

All assessments will take place at the end of the course in June.

AQA sets no previous learning requirements. However, students should have the skills and knowledge associated with a GCSE Additional Science course or equivalent. Schools and colleges are free to set their own requirements.

AS Examinations (AS Award 1421)
Unit 1 – CHEM1 Foundation Chemistry
Examination paper (70 raw marks/100 UMS). 4 – 6 short answer questions plus 1 – 2 longer structured question(s).

1 hour 15 minutes
33⅓% of the total AS marks
16⅔% of the total A-level marks

Available in June only
Unit 2 – CHEM2 Chemistry In Action
Examination paper (100 raw marks/140 UMS). 6 – 8 short answer questions plus 2 longer structured questions.
 
1 hour 45 minutes
46⅔% of the total AS marks
23⅓% of the total A-level marks

Available in June only
Unit 3 – Internal Assessment Investigative and practical skills in AS Chemistry

Either CHM3T
 
Centre Marked Route T (50 raw marks/60 UMS)
Practical Skills Assessment (PSA – 12 raw marks)
Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 38 raw marks)

Or CHM3X 
Externally Marked Route X (50 raw marks/60 UMS)
Practical Skills Verification (PSV – teacher verification)
Externally Marked Practical Assignment (EMPA – 50 raw marks)

20% of the total AS marks
10% of the total A-level marks

Available in June only
A2 Examinations (A Level Award 2421)
Unit 4 – CHEM4 Kinetics, Equilibria and Organic Chemistry
Examination paper (100 raw marks/120 UMS). 6 – 8 short answer questions plus 2 – 3 structured questions. Some of the questions will have synoptic elements.

1 hour 45 minutes
20% of the total A-level marks

Available in June only
Unit 5 – CHEM5 Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry
Examination paper (100 raw marks/120 UMS). 6 – 8 short answer questions plus 2 – 3 longer structured questions. Some of the questions will have synoptic elements.

1 hour 45 minutes
20% of the total A-level marks

 Available in June only
Unit 6 – Internal Assessment Investigative and practical skills in A2 Chemistry

Either CHM6T 
Centre Marked Route T (50 raw marks/60 UMS)
Practical Skills Assessment (PSA – 12 raw marks)
Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 38 raw marks)

Or CHM6X 
Externally Marked Route X (50 raw marks/60 UMS)
Practical Skills Verification (PSV – teacher verification)
Externally Marked Practical Assignment (EMPA – 50 raw marks)

10% of the total A-level marks

 Available in June only