Specification at a glance

Chemistry helps to explain what makes up the world around us. It looks at the physical world of substances – how things are made up and the processes, reactions and treatments that can change them and how business and industry use these properties.

Students sit three written papers at the end of the course in June. They also need to take a controlled assessment that covers two written assessments and a minimum of one practical investigation based on the topics taught.

The controlled assessment is not tiered but students take either the Foundation Tier or the Higher Tier for the other units.

This specification has been updated to take account of GCSE reforms. There have been no changes to the subject content from the prior specification.

This qualification consists of four units of content: three teaching units and a practical Controlled Assessment unit.

Unit 1: Chemistry 1
Written paper – 1 hour
60 marks – 25%
Structured and closed questions

At least one question assessing Quality of Written Communication in a science context.
Unit 2: Chemistry 2
Written paper – 1 hour
60 marks – 25%
Structured and closed questions

At least one question assessing Quality of Written Communication in a science context.
Unit 3: Chemistry 3
Written paper – 1 hour
60 marks – 25%
Structured and closed questions

At least one question assessing Quality of Written Communication in a science context.
Unit 4: Controlled Assessment
Investigative Skills Assignment – two written assessments plus one or two lessons for practical work and data processing
50 marks – 25%
Controlled Assessment:
  • we set the ISAs and send you all the information before the course starts
  • you choose which of several ISAs to do and when
  • your candidates do the ISA test in class time
  • you mark their tests using marking guidance from us
  • we moderate your marks.