Can I Do A Level Chemistry Without Maths?
You can definitely expect to tackle a few chemical equations in A level chemistry, including the empirical formula and working out the number of moles. But do you really need to study maths alongside chemistry? Let’s discuss this in more detail!
Why you may want to take maths
Firstly, let’s discuss why it may be recommended that you take maths with a chemistry A level. Whilst students may find the mathematics in chemistry AS level fairly straightforward, the maths gets a lot more difficult in the second academic year of college – much like it does in every science A level.
In the second year of study, you should be prepared for complex chemical formulas that A level maths might help you with: if you have strengths in maths with your problem-solving, analytical skills, and love of working with numbers, a maths A level could perfectly complement the complicated questions you could be facing in your A level chemistry exams. Despite this, a maths A level is not necessary.
Calculating moles, mass, and MR, you’ll definitely need to bring your calculator along to this class! Whilst studying A level maths alongside chemistry may help with your mathematical knowledge in applying it to the chemical formulas, you do not require maths to an A level standard in this subject.
Some things you may be asked to work out only require basic maths. Chemical formulas can be learned in your chemistry class without knowing an advanced standard of mathematics.
For example, you might be asked to work out the mass number of a chemical element, in which you would only need to add the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus together – adding simple numbers together is barely an A level standard of maths, especially when you can take a calculator into the exam! You should be given a method for each problem you could be asked to tackle – if you follow this method, you shouldn’t have too many problems.
Getting extra help and practice
If the formula questions are something you struggle with, you can always ask a chemistry teacher to help talk you through them to grasp a better understanding of them. It might be worth practising the mathematical questions on a weekly basis if you’re not studying maths as a subject – this will help keep your brain in a mathematical mindset without having to study maths as a separate subject.
Regular online chemistry tuition to guide you with these chemical equations may also be helpful – the tutor can help motivate you to work through these questions and can hopefully improve your performance in this area.
Online educational videos may also be able to aid you with understanding mathematical concepts without doing a separate A level in maths. Further still, your course chemistry textbook should give you a step-by-step guide of how to walk through each formula you’ll need to know for the exam – if you can learn these from the textbook and practise the textbook’s questions, you shouldn’t need to do maths A level to help you at all.
All in all, it might be worth considering choosing maths to complement chemistry, however, it is certainly not necessary.