Why choose this specification?

AQA's aim is to make learning enjoyable and encourage students to be enthusiastic about Chemistry.

Assessment of A-level Chemistry is designed to be rigorous, while maintaining fair and balanced question papers. This includes testing synoptic understanding, knowledge of How Science Works and providing stretch and challenge.

The needs of schools and colleges and their students are met by two routes for internal assessment – T and X – where T is teacher-marked and X is externally-marked by AQA. Students can't be entered for both assessment routes in the same exam series.

Teachers like:

  • the clear specification structure which builds up from Foundation Chemistry and covers concepts of physical and organic chemistry
  • the online resources
  • the specifications that are sufficiently challenging to allow creative teaching
  • the way that AQA sets and marks papers fairly.

Students like:

  • being challenged by the subject and made to think for themselves
  • how their knowledge and skills are built as the course progresses
  • how comprehensive the course is, which gives them an insight into different kinds of chemistry
  • the hands-on work in the lab.

Knowledge/skills gained:

  • an understanding of how the chemical elements interact and the role they play in making up our world and beyond
  • an appreciation of How Science Works
  • The relevance of science beyond the laboratory
  • analytical, evaluative and synoptic skills
  • practical skills, including the ability to plan and manipulate information and data.


  • schemes of work for AS and A2 (including resource list)
  • guidance for the practical assessment
  • 20 exemplar practical skills assessment (PSA) exercises for use throughout the course
  • quick, easy access to secure key materials, including the most up to date past papers and mark schemes
  • the opportunity to compare results across classes and with other schools and colleges using enhanced results analysis (ERA)
  • online standardising training for the teacher-marked internal assessment
  • online webinars
  • advice by email and phone from the subject team
  • An assessment adviser allocated to every school or college who can provide advice on internal assessment.

Overlap with other qualifications

There are some overlaps with AQA A-level:

  • Biology
  • Human Biology
  • Physics A
  • Physics B
  • Science in Society
  • Environmental Studies. 


Students can re-sit each unit any number of times within the shelf-life of the specification. The best result for each unit will count towards the final qualification.

Private candidates

Private candidates must have their centre-assessed work supervised and assessed at an AQA school or college. For more information, please see our Private candidates page.

Follow-on study

A-level Chemistry is a good choice for students considering careers in the health and clinical professions, including medicine, veterinary science, nursing, dentistry and forensic science. Studying Chemistry will also prepare students for industry careers, such as those within the pharmaceutical or petrochemical sectors.