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Chemistry

Welcome to A Level Chemistry

Pre-course preparation

What do our students say about Chemistry?

As Crompton House's Head Girl, Ella balanced her A Level work with representing us at events both in school and in the local community.

My favourite thing about A Level Chemistry is the range of topics covered. Physical, organic and inorganic chemistry are all very different to each other which keeps it interesting.
At the start of Year 12, I wish I had known that everyone would find Chemistry difficult at the start of Year 12! It takes some getting used to compared with GCSE Chemistry, but if you stick with it then it will be worth it. I would definitely recommend making sure you understand everything as you go along and ask your teacher for help if needed. Some topics are difficult and link together, so speaking to your teacher is important if you are stuck.
My other subjects were Biology and Physics, I also did an EPQ looking at proton beam therapy and its use in paediatric cancer treatment. In September I’m going to study Medicine at uni. A Level Chemistry is a compulsory subject to apply for Medicine, but I hope that my A Level knowledge will be a good foundation for what I will learn.

My favourite thing about studying Chemistry was being able to see and learn about the real life applications of the topics we were studying. It really helped me to make sense of things and made it feel almost more real than some of the other subjects I studied. There was also a much wider variety of topics than I was expecting, some of which incorporated the other sciences as well so there was something for everyone.

At the start of Year 12, I wish I knew just how many calculation questions I was letting myself in for! There were a lot more maths-based questions than I was expecting and I learned quite quickly that past paper questions are your best friend in Chemistry.

I would advise all Year 12 students to ask any questions you have even if you think they sound stupid, and don’t just ask your teachers but ask friends and other students too. It’s so much easier to get a proper understanding of a topic from the beginning rather than discovering gaps in your knowledge later and trying to fill them in, especially when you get to some of the later topics in Year 13 that rely on sound knowledge from Year 12 topics.

Aside from Chemistry, I studied Biology and Maths – these all overlapped really well and were a good combination, especially for what I wanted to do in the future.

Since leaving Crompton House, I’ve taken a gap year before going to Vet School, and have been working at an alpaca farm. I’ve also been doing loads of online courses on topics that will be relevant to my degree, most of which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I didn’t have the knowledge that studying Chemistry at A Level has given me.

During her Gap Year before she goes to study Veterinary Science in Edinburgh Isobel has gained all kinds of work experience, including working on an alpaca farm!