Chemistry A Level Revision Questions – up your retrieval practice game with the ‘CramNow’ website

A while ago I published what I thought was my definitive list of the best online resources for A Level Chemistry students. As with so many things, this list is already out of date and I plan to publish a definitive definitive ‘top ten’ in the near future.

In the mean time, I really want to shout about the ‘CramNow’ revision website. It’s just a brilliant resource for any student wanting to improve their retention and understanding of A Level Chemistry content.

Have I mentioned I think retrieval practice is important?

Of course I have. It’s a huge determinant in the success of students and its impact is often underestimated. My students often get so caught up in the perceived difficulties of chemistry (the calculations, the mechanisms, the reaction conditions – the list of woes is extensive) that they really don’t appreciate the value of good, old-fashioned, practice questions.

So is this just another practice question website? I think it’s a much more useful resource than spending yet another afternoon on Physics and Maths Tutor, and I’ll explain why below.

You get the answers… But not immediately

In an online world, we’re all used to getting what we want, when we want it. This can be a bit of a challenge when students go online to complete practice questions, as the temptation to sneak a peek at the mark scheme is very strong when it’s just a click away.

On the CramNow website, you get a huge choice of multiple choice quizzes – and I mean good quality, proofread quizzes, not the sort of thing you find on some other websites – for free. Each quiz is between 10-20 questions, so is not a massive time commitment – but you don’t get the answers until you have completed and submitted the whole quiz. I think it strikes a really good balance between wanting to know what you got (i.e. not waiting for a teacher to mark your work) and wanting to know so bad that you self-sabotage by looking up the answer before really giving it a go.

Topics are easy to find

The site is pleasingly well organised, and even though it is targeted at the OCR exam board, the titles of the quizzes make it really easy to work out whether or not each topic applies to your course or not (spoiler – there really isn’t that much difference between the major exam boards).

The topic lists are logically arranged and the layout is simple to use.

You can choose random retrieval quizzes

This is where it really ticks all my chemistry teacher boxes. A lot of students really get caught out when it comes to mock exams – or the real thing – because they underestimate the importance of testing their brain on random questions, rather than covering each topic separately in their revision. The website generates a seemingly endless selection of random questions either from Year 12 or Year 13, allowing students to test themselves more reliably and to also spot important knowledge gaps.

As well as the quizzes, there are sections to help with particular calculations and techniques in the ‘tools’ menu and there are also now some more extended questions for when you are confident with the multiple choice.

Why are you still here? Go and try it!

As a disclaimer, I have nothing to do with the CramNow website myself. I wish I did, because I think it’s great. Try it and see the difference it will make to your confidence in A Level Chemistry.

Claire Costello-Kelly

Claire Costello-Kelly

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