How Hard Is Chemistry A Level Compared To GCSE?

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It’s no secret that studying A level is a huge step up from GCSE. Many students are shocked by how difficult the transition is, whilst other students naturally adapt to the change. There’s no set answer for how hard chemistry A level is compared to GCSE, although hopefully this bit of discussion can give you an idea.

It depends on the individual

The transition may depend on the type of student you are. If you’re incredibly hard-working, you may not find the transition of difficulty as hard as a lazy student less inclined to put the effort in.

A levels do indeed require a lot more hard work than GCSEs. So, individual students may handle the heavier workload differently, depending on what type of student they are. Furthermore, some students are just naturally more intelligent than others – there’s just no avoiding it.

Therefore, the more intelligent students may adapt easily to the complexity that AS and A level brings. With a teacher to guide them through the subject, they may find the process similar to GCSE, whilst less academic students may show weaknesses in trying to understand the complex concepts and theories.

Content and workload

Be prepared for a much heavier workload. If you thought there was a lot of content in GCSE chemistry, this is nothing to the amount of work you’ll face at A level. Be aware of this big change! It’s obvious with this that you’ll need to be committed. With the content being a lot more complex, you might have to put more time and effort into understanding these theories and scientific concepts too.

Further still, if you struggle with maths, you may struggle with A level chemistry more than GCSE chemistry since the mathematical questions get a lot harder too. There’s no doubt about it: the content gets harder, and there’s a lot more of it too.

It’s often recommended with a challenging subject like chemistry that students should revise throughout the academic year. Whilst you may have got away with cram revising for GCSE chemistry exams, this would almost be impossible at A level because it’s just so much more advanced.

You’ll need to be more prepared to ask your teachers for help if you don’t understand something. A gap in your knowledge could be made up with online a level chemistry tuition. GCSE chemistry only usually has a small number of marks available on each question whilst large marks are available on singular questions at A level.

Therefore, you really need to know your stuff on all aspects of the specification. You really can’t afford to lose large amounts of marks!

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So, chemistry A level is indeed a lot harder than chemistry GCSE although don’t let this put you off. If you’re hard-working and have a keen mind, you should be fine in getting a secure grade. However, you must be aware of the huge step up – A level is by no means easy!

If you, or your parents would like to find out more, please just get in touch via email at or call us on 0800 689 1272

If you, or your parents would like to find out more, please just get in touch via email at or call us on 0800 689 1272