Getting into medicine involves a lot of jumping through hoops: you’ve submitted your UCAS form, you’ve sat your UKCAT and BMAT, you’ve prepared for your interviews. Just one more hurdle: your exams. For most of you that will mean getting an A in A-Level Chemistry. In my experience, a lot of people looked at this as their Achilles heel (once they had offers of course) because Chemistry exams can be difficult – but below are 5 top tips for A-Level Chemistry revision to help you jump through the Chemistry hoop.
Chemistry involves a lot of concepts which are important for you to understand before you attempt to apply the information to exam questions. So, if there are any topics you find difficult to understand, try discussing it with your teacher and ask them to explain it first. You don’t want to be sat in the exam wishing you’d asked about haloalkanes or redox reactions, so ask if you’re unsure.
There is a lot of math involved in chemistry and it’s a real step up from GCSE. A lot of people can be put off by this but the key to maths is that once you understand it, make sure to get lots of practice so you can apply your knowledge to different scenarios.
Sometimes you spend so much time focusing on the difficult topics that you forget to focus on the smaller ones, where you can pick up a handful of marks, so make sure you cover all topics in your A-Level Chemistry revision. An ‘easy’ topic you think you may be confident with may have its trickier parts, so make sure you cover this.
Be it working through exam questions or explaining difficult concepts to each other (or even just quick fire questions on the ‘easy’ stuff), work with your friends. It can get very boring revising on your own all the time so why not try going to the library together? Just try to actually do some work…
I still say to this day that if it weren’t for past papers I wouldn’t be at medical school. Practice is key when it comes to A-Level Chemistry A-Level – practising the more difficult or math-based questions will give you confidence when it comes to the real thing. Once you understand how to tackle them in practice, you can apply them to questions in your actual exam.
So, good luck! Hopefully this advice will guide you as to how you can approach your A-Level Chemistry revision and get yourself into medical school. Remember that while there is a lot to do to get there, you can do it with a bit of work and determination!
Words: Ruari McGowan
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