H2 Chemistry Tuition Syllabus

Syllabus covered in our A Level Chemistry Tuition


  1. Atomic Structure
  • The nucleus of the atom: neutrons and protons, isotopes, proton and nucleon numbers
  • Electrons: electronic energy levels, ionisation energies, atomic orbitals, extranuclear structure


  1. Chemical Bonding
  • Ionic bonding, metallic bonding, covalent bonding and co-ordinate (dative covalent) bonding
  • Shapes of simple molecules and bond angles
  • Bond polarities and polarity of molecules
  • Intermolecular forces, including hydrogen bonding
  • Bond energies and bond lengths
  • Lattice structure of solids
  • Bonding and physical properties
  1. The Gaseous State
  • Ideal gas behaviour and deviations from it
  • pV = nRT and its use in determining a value for Mr
  • Dalton’s Law and its use in determining the partial pressures of gases in a mixture
  1. Theories of Acids and Bases
  • Arrhenius, Brønsted-Lowry and Lewis theories of acids and bases
  1. The Periodic Table
  • Periodicity of atomic and physical properties of the elements: variation with proton number across the third period (sodium to chlorine) and down the group (Group 2 and Group 17) of:
    • electronic configuration
    • atomic radius and ionic radius
    • ionisation energy (here is a sneak peek on interpreting ionisation energy graphs)
    • electronegativity
    • melting point
    • electrical conductivity
  • Periodicity of chemical properties of the elements in the third period:
    • variation in oxidation number and bonding of the oxides (sodium to sulfur only) and of the chlorides (sodium to phosphorus only)
    • reactions of these oxides and chlorides with water
    • acid/base behaviour of these oxides and the corresponding hydroxides
  • Periodicity of chemical properties of the elements down the group (Group 2 and Group 17):
    • as reducing agents (Group 2) and oxidising agents (Group 17)
    • thermal stability of Group 2 carbonates and Group 17 hydrides


  1. The Mole Concept and Stoichiometry
  • Relative masses of atoms and molecules
  • The mole, the Avogadro constant
  • The calculation of empirical and molecular formulae
  • Reacting masses and volumes (of solutions and gases)
  1. Chemical Energetics: Thermochemistry and Thermodynamics (Gibbs Free Energy and Entropy)
  • Enthalpy changes: ∆H, of formation; combustion; hydration; solution; neutralisation; atomisation; bond energy; lattice energy; electron affinity
  • Hess’ Law, including Born-Haber cycles
  • Entropy and Free Energy
  1. Reaction Kinetics
  • Simple rate equations; orders of reaction; rate constants
  • Concept of activation energy
  • Effect of concentration, temperature, and catalysts on reaction rate
  • Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis
  • Enzymes as biological catalysts
  1. Chemical Equilibria
  • Chemical equilibria: reversible reactions; dynamic equilibrium
    • factors affecting chemical equilibria
    • equilibrium constants
    • the Haber process
  1. Chemistry of Aqueous Solutions

10.1 Acid-base Equilibria: This topic deals with acid-base equilibria in aqueous solution. Hence the Brønsted-Lowry definitions of acid/base are primarily used in the understanding of pH of solutions.

  • Acid dissociation constants, Ka and the use of pKa
  • Base dissociation constants, Kb and the use of pKb
  • The ionic product of water, Kw
  • pH: choice of pH indicators
  • Buffer solutions

10.2 Solubility Equilibria 

  • Solubility product; the common ion effect and complex ion formation
  1. Organic Chemistry

11.1 Introduction 

  • Empirical, molecular and structural formulae
  • Functional groups and the naming of organic compounds
  • Common terms for organic reactions and reactivities
  • Shapes of organic molecules; σ and π bonds

11.2 Isomerism 

  • Isomerism: constitutional (structural); cis-trans; enantiomerism

11.3 Hydrocarbons 

  • Alkanes (exemplified by ethane)
    • free-radical substitution reactions
    • here is a sneak peek on Alkanes.
  • Alkenes (exemplified by ethene)
    • electrophilic addition, including Markovnikov’s rule
    • reduction and oxidation reactions
  • Arenes (exemplified by benzene and methylbenzene)
    • influence of delocalised π electrons on structure and properties
    • electrophilic substitution reactions
    • oxidation of side-chain
  • Hydrocarbons as fuels

11.4 Halogen Derivatives 

  • Halogenoalkanes
    • nucleophilic substitution
    • elimination
  • Relative strength of the C-Hal bond
  • Unreactivity of halogenoarenes

   11.5 Hydroxy Compounds 

  • Alcohols (exemplified by ethanol)
    • formation of halogenoalkanes
    • reaction with sodium; oxidation; dehydration
    • the tri-iodomethane test
  • Phenol
    • its acidity; reaction with bases and sodium
    • nitration of, and bromination of, the aromatic ring

11.6 Carbonyl Compounds 

  • Aldehydes (exemplified by ethanal)
    • oxidation to carboxylic acid
    • nucleophilic addition with hydrogen cyanide
    • characteristic tests for aldehydes
  • Ketones (exemplified by propanone and phenylethanone)
    • nucleophilic addition with hydrogen cyanide
    • characteristic tests for ketones

11.7 Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives 

  • Carboxylic acids (exemplified by ethanoic acid and benzoic acid)
    • formation from primary alcohols and nitriles
    • salt, ester and acyl chloride formation
  • Acyl chlorides (exemplified by ethanoyl chloride)
    • ease of hydrolysis compared with alkyl and aryl chlorides
    • reaction with alcohols, phenols and primary amines
  • Esters (exemplified by ethyl ethanoate and phenyl benzoate)
    • formation from carboxylic acids and from acyl chlorides
    • hydrolysis (under acidic and under basic conditions)

11.8 Nitrogen Compounds 

  • Amines (exemplified by ethylamine and phenylamine)
    • their formation
    • salt formation
    • other reactions of phenylamine
  • Amides (exemplified by ethanamide)
    • formation from acyl chlorides
    • neutrality of amides
    • hydrolysis (under acidic and under basic conditions)
  • Amino acids (exemplified by aminoethanoic acid)
    • their acid and base properties
    • zwitterion formation
  • Proteins
    • formation of proteins
    • hydrolysis of proteins
  1. Electrochemistry
  • Redox processes: electron transfer and changes in oxidation number (oxidation state)
  • Electrode potentials
    • standard electrode (redox) potentials, E⦵; the redox series
    • standard cell potentials, E⦵ cell, and their uses
    • batteries and fuel cells
  • Electrolysis
    • factors affecting the amount of substance liberated during electrolysis
    • the Faraday constant; the Avogadro constant; their relationship
    • industrial uses of electrolysis
  1. An Introduction to the Chemistry of Transition Elements
  • General physical and characteristic chemical properties of the first set of transition elements, titanium to copper
  • Colour of complexes
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