A Level chemistry revision planner for 2024

It has arrived! At time of writing it is 102 days until Chemistry A Level Paper 1 – this is good news, as it means you have plenty of time to plan your revision effectively. I’ve put together a free A Level chemistry revision planner to help, along with some tips below on how to use it and how to revise effectively.

Revision planning can be a chore, and it can be hard to know what to focus on and where to start. It can be tempting to dive into lots of past papers before you give yourself time to actually practice your basic understanding and recall. With three months to go, you’ll burn out quickly if you only work on full exams. Instead, you should be mixing up your revision activities.

Keep using retrieval practice activities

Retrieval practice works best if you are doing it little and often, so hopefully you’ve been using resources like my retrieval practice quizzes to keep on top of your knowledge. However, you should keep going right up until your last exam with this idea of ‘low stakes’ self-testing: quizzes, simple practice questions, mind maps and ‘brain dumps’ are all good ways to keep bringing key facts to mind.

The thing is, colours of transition metal complexes and organic reaction conditions are intrinsically pretty dull things to learn, so you’re not going to remember them without lots of regular ‘knowledge topups’. As well as the retrieval practice quizzes on my website, you’ll find links to useful Quizlet sets in the A Level chemistry revision planner too!

Practice questions are not past papers!

Practising questions by topic is a good skill. When you’ve spent time going through a topic it is of course important to try applying it to the sorts of questions that appear in exams. However, you shouldn’t confuse doing a set of past exam questions (for example, on the kinetics topic) with actual exam practice. Doing lots of questions on the same topic is important because you get to see the most common examples and how marks are applied, but it’s easier than doing a whole exam because your brain is already primed for the topic you’ve been studying.

Exam practice is a separate skill that you should give time to as you get closer to the exams – my A Level chemistry revision planner will help with this as it makes sure you’ve covered the relevant content and practice questions before you try timed full paper practice.

Feedback is important

When planning your revision, make sure you leave time for ‘feedback activities’. Exam practice is not very helpful if you don’t learn from mistakes or use it to find out how to improve next time. When reading through mark schemes, check out for words like ‘ignore’, ‘allow’ ‘reject’ etc, as it gives clues on what examiners find most important and what mistakes will cost you marks. Examiner’s reports are also available to download from exam board websites, and they summarise the most common issues students have and are useful for students to see the mistakes to avoid.

As well as mark schemes, look for practice questions, exam papers and predicted papers that have video walkthroughs – there are links to these in the A level chemistry revision planner too!

Claire Costello-Kelly

Claire Costello-Kelly

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