AS and A Level Chemistry for 2017/18

It’s a new year and you’re part of a new cohort for AS and A Level Chemistry. If you’re reading this then you’re one of the first students to find their way to Science Above! Welcome!

I spent the last few years creating this AS and A Level Chemistry site to help students understand the principles involved in the subject through a series of tutorial videos. Over the years I’ve found that many students have been turned off Chemistry. The reasons for which are many. A major one is that schools are massively underfunded and it’s hard to find really good, well-qualified teachers, especially in subject areas like English, Maths & Science. So many students and their parents have had to turn to private tutoring to get ahead, but that’s not cheap! Science Above was designed to make that extra help affordable whilst still being effective! It also provides an alternative way of learning and revising.

Now, time for a pep talk!
If you’ve taken that first step by taking AS or A Level Chemistry, then congratulations! It’s hard, this is true. Probably one of the more demanding A Levels you can take in all honesty, but the skills you’ll pick up over the next 2 years are unequalled by any other subject! Uni’s & employers will look at your list of A Levels, see Chemistry and know for a fact that you are: ORGANISED, DEDICATED, ACCURATE, ECONOMICAL, NUMERATE, LITERATE, PROBLEM SOLVER rand above all SHARP! Experience in practical Chemistry shows that you’ll be good with your hands and your head too! Stick with it and if you work hard the pay-off in terms of your life skills will be great!

The world needs Chemists. More so now than ever before. Chemistry is old-hat though. All periodic tables, soiled benches and 50 year-old Bunsen burners!! The school system hasn’t kept up with the rest of the world. You’re not doing Chemistry, oh no. You are studying MATERIAL SCIENCE! This was pointed out to me very recently and I couldn’t agree more.

Who do you think designs and makes drugs and medicines, cosmetics and perfumes, new food products and drinks? Who do you think is creating the next generation in specialised materials that enable us to have more advanced technology, to be interactive with the digital world, to breathe cleaner air, to save lives! Every industry on the planet needs material scientists that can create the physical objects and products that can do all of these wonderful things for us!

It might not seem like it right now, but you’re doing the basics at AS and A Level, but you’ve got to start somewhere! The latest innovations in Chemistry and materials will have to wait for now. This is the first step in a long journey. By the time you get there, who knows what amazing advances we will have made.

So….. If you’re interested in Chemistry then I’m very excited for you. If not, and this is just another A Level that you’re doing to help you on your way with something else, then try to enjoy it! In either case take comfort in the fact your CV / UCAS form will have something amazing on it at the end! Also take comfort in the fact that almost EVERY topic has roots in GCSE. It’s not all completely alien. Sure, it’s more difficult, but don’t ever forget that you’ve seen most of this before!

Good luck & work hard. If you find yourself giving up, I’m here to help / make it bearable / make it easier!

Rich

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