How hard is A-Level Chemistry when compared to GCSE?

Chemistry is a tough subject to study. You will need to study various complex topics like organic chemistry, periodic tables, etc. This is one of the toughest branches of science. It has a strong connection with biology. Thus it is important for you to know how hard A-level Chemistry is than the GCSE level so that you could understand how much effort you will need to do for your A-levels.

If you find GCSE chemistry challenging then you must not choose to do A-level chemistry. Your GCSE is just a base for your A-level. Your A-level will involve the various branches of Chemistry that you will need to recall and remember during your exam times. Though we have discussed more it, let us first learn more about A-level chemistry.

What is A-level Chemistry?

A-level Chemistry covers a large number of various basic concepts like the structure of the atom, controlling reactions, carbon-based molecules, etc. Physical sciences and applied sciences are interlinked through chemistry. You’ll take two exams for chemistry at the A-level level. Physical, organic, and inorganic chemistry are divided into these categories. While Organic and Inorganic Chemistry only appears in one paper each, Physical Chemistry appears in both. Because you have to understand three distinct sciences, each with a large list of subtopics, A-level chemistry becomes challenging.

How hard is A-level Chemistry?

One of the most difficult and complex courses at the A-level is chemistry. Students find it difficult to create enough revision materials for the course content in A-level chemistry. Because of its vast syllabus, challenging lab assessments, and complex concepts, you may consider A-level Chemistry challenging.

Chemistry at the A-level covers a vast syllabus. It covers subjects in physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry. Additionally, the tests are longer and have more points. There are three different exams that you need to give in A-Level chemistry. Half of the topic will be covered in Paper One and the other half in Paper 2. The third paper will include questions from all areas of the course. If you may want to become a psychologist, you may think of taking A-level Psychology or A-level business studies.

How hard is GCSE chemistry? 

Even the smartest students frequently fail to understand the GCSE Chemistry course’s complex material. If you don’t put in the time and effort necessary, you’ll lag behind in this topic. Although the material is more challenging if you take triple science. It is because it allows you to spend extra hours to advance your understanding of GCSE Chemistry. All you have to do is decide how much science is appropriate for you if you are taking GCSE science.

How hard is A-Level Chemistry when compared to GCSE?

A-levels are extremely harder than the GCSE. It’s challenging because you might understand one subject more easily while having trouble with another, which can seriously affect your grade. If you find GCSE chemistry challenging then you must not choose to do A-level chemistry. Your GCSE is just a base that prepares you for your A-level. A-level chemistry, as already discussed, will involve various advanced concepts that you will be studying.

Your A-level will involve the various branches of Chemistry that you will need to recall and remember during your exam times. Thus if you love to study Chemistry then you can choose A-level chemistry. Furthermore, you must know the difference between GCSE and A-level. For GCSE you will need to give only two exams and for A-level, as already discussed you will be giving three exams. However, if you fail any one of the exams, you can always retake it. It is also important to know how hard it is to A-level Further Maths when compared to GCSE.

How much independent study do you need to do during your A-level Chemistry compared to GCSE?

Your A-level chemistry is much harder than your GCSE. You do not need to do a lot of independent study during your GCSE compared to your A-level. A-levels are tough and you will need to give extra time to your independent study despite having taken proper classes. If you think that doing homework or revising what has been studied in class is enough, then you are wrong.

50% of your marks will be based on your independent study. Therefore study hard at your independent level. Try to get extra books and online material for studying. You must be sure that you are studying every day to get higher grades in A-level chemistry. If you are finding difficulty finding the course material try to talk to your friends who are studying the same A-level. 

What is the passing rate of A-level chemistry compared to GCSE?

Well, the interesting fact about A-levels and GCSEs is that the passing percentage of A-levels is much higher than the GCSEs, despite being tougher. This is a similar case for A-level chemistry and GCSE Chemistry. The passing rate of the students is higher at A-level than at the GCSE. It is because the passing grade for GCSE is A*-C whereas for A-level it is A*-E. Also, the reason for it is that the students choose A-levels due to their choice which is not the same case for GCSE. 

Is A-level Chemistry worth it?

Like A-Level math, it is highly valued, and some professions, like medicine, are nearly impossible to enter without having an A-Level in chemistry. This is due to the fact that chemistry calls for a broad variety of abilities that are extremely beneficial for any STEM topic. It is one such A-level that can increase the chances of you getting selected for a particular job. Having A-level in chemistry also shows your ability to deal with difficult subjects. 


Chemistry is a subject that is not easy. There are a lot of sub-branches in Chemistry that make it an even tougher subject. Thus both the GCSE and A-level exam in chemistry is challenging and hard for many students. If we compare the level of the hardship of GCSE and the A-level in chemistry, A-level chemistry is much tougher as it involves more advanced topics in chemistry. 

William Christie

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