Thursday, November 12, 2015

A-Levels to MCAT - Chemistry Guide (part 1)

  • A-Levels to MCAT - Chemistry Guide (part 1)


This is the Chemistry section for the A-Level to MCAT transition. Again, it is divided into 2 parts.
Expected duration: 10 days
From the syllabus, go to page 22 first:
There are 3 major areas of Chemistry. In part I, only Physical Chemistry is covered. So let's get right into it.


1. FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS
Chapter # 1
Questions: 02

Simple basic topic with a lot of figures and values you have to learn. You do not need to learn the names of scientists and the year they were born or died. This is science. Not history.

• Point (a) is on page 3 - 4, 10. You should learn the number of isotopes in the table on page 4, but you need not learn the masses.
• Point (b) is covered on page 11 - 13
• Point (c) is covered on page 4 - 6.
• Point (d), just READ pages 6 -10. Although you already know how to calculate them since O-levels.
• Point (e), again just practice questions you have already done in your O-, A-levels regarding stoichiometry.


2. STATES OF MATTER
Chapter # 3 & # 4
Questions: 02

This is a long chapter, with a lot of text in it that you have to learn. It's easy but it's long. I'd suggest reading the entire chapter, even though it's not all included.

• Point (a) (i) are covered on pages 60 - 67
                 (ii) is covered on page 67 - 69
                (iii) is on pages 62 -63
                (iv) is on page 68
• Point (b) is covered in the next chapter on pages 84 - 92.
• Point (c) is on pages 101 - 108. The classification of crystals (Cubic, Tetragonal, etc) are NOT included.
• Point (d) is covered on pages 84 - 87
• Point (e) is simply the application of the knowledge you have already gained from the above points.


3. ATOMIC STRUCTURE
Chapter # 5 & # 6
Questions: 02

Again, a very straight forward and basic chapter. Many things in the chapter aren't included in the MCAT syllabus.

•Point (a) & (b) are covered on pages 118 - 122
• Point (c), (d) & (e) are topics you already have strong concepts of before.
• Point (f) & (g) ... mow this is a relatively new and detailed concept. It is VERY important so pay good attention to it. These points are covered on pages 141 -147
• Point (h) is again the application of the previous knowledge.
• Point (i) is covered in Chapter # 6 on pages 159 - 160


4. CHEMICAL BONDING
Chapter # 6
Questions: 02

This chapter is long and tiresome, and has only TWO freaking questions. But you still have to do everything in it.

• Point (a) is covered on pages 162 - 163
• Point (b) is something you already know from O-levels. From the book, refer to pages 164 - 166
• Point (c) is extremely crucial (especially the table 6.4 on page 168), and is covered on pages 167 - 170
• Point (d) & (e) isn't exactly in the chapter so you will have to read through pages from 170 -177. Even though hybridization is not in the syllabus, you should still know what it is and the basics since it has been asked before.
• Point (e), for Ethene refer to page 177. For Benzene and ethane, ask a teacher or Google because I honestly forgot where I did it from.
• Point (f) is again on hydrogen bonding, already covered in the last chapter.
• Point (g) is on pages 183 - 186
• Point (h) is not in the chapter but regarding dipoles, dipole moment is NOT in the syllabus. However, they still ask basic questions on it so read it and LEARN the bond angles given on page 188, and which molecules have dipole moment and which don't.
• Point (i) & (j) are again a repetition from the last chapter.
• Point (k) is the application of your knowledge.

The pages left out aren't included but if you have time give them a read. I also learned the text from pages 189 -190, just to stay on the safe side.


5. CHEMICAL ENERGETICS
Chapter # 7
Questions: 02

Isn't so bad in FSC. We have studied a lot more details in A-levels than we have here.

• Point (a) is covered on pages 195 - 198
• Point (b) is covered on pages 200 -205
• Point (c) isn't in the chapter exactly but you know how to apply H = mcT from you’re a-levels.
• Point (d) has already been covered in the previous chapters.
• Point (e) is on pages 206 - 208. Even though Hess' s law and Born-Habers was very detailed and conceptual in A-levels, it isn't so in FSC. But I would still recommend, going through Hess's law from Jim Clark's notes on www.chemguide.co.uk


6. SOLUTIONS
Chapter # 9
Questions: 02

This is an entirely new chapter that we haven't studied at all in A-levels. But it is basically only definitions and formulas that you must absolutely learn and apply in questions. Practice the example questions along the way to get the hang of it.

• Point (a) is covered on pages 251 - 256
• Point (b) is covered on pages 267 - 275

Nothing else is important in this chapter but if you want to, you can always read through the whole chapter but don't waste your time learning everything.


7. ELECTROCHEMISTRY
Chapter # 10
Questions: 02

For this topic, first revise the A-2 Jim Clark's notes that available on his website. Once you have revised, move to FSC. I'm not going to write the individual pages because the WHOLE chapter is included. The only thing that isn't included is 'Modern Batteries' from page 300 -302. Fuel cells are included though.


8. CHEMICAL EQUILIBRIUM
Chapter # 8
Questions: 02

Revise Jim Clark's notes first.

• Point (a) is covered on page 214 -215. I also read and learned the 'Law of Mass Action' on page 216 just because I thought it was important. It is also on page 222 - 226. But the details of Quantitative effects are not required.
• Point (b) is something you have already done in O-levels.
• Point (c) is a small paragraph on page 226.
• Point (d) is covered from page 217 - 221. Try and cram the Kc expressions for NH3, N2O4 & PCl5.
• Point (e) & (f) are the application of point (d) in mathematics problems.
• Point (g) is on page 227
• Point (i) is not directly in the book. You have studied it already in you’re A-levels.
• Point (j) & (k) is on page 228 - 232
• Point (l) & (m) on page 237 - 242
• Point (n) & (o) is on page 242 - 245
• Point (p) is on page 236 - 237


9. REACTION KINETICS
Chapter # 11
Questions: 02

This was my favourite topic in A-levels too. First revise the A-levels Reactions Kinetic from www.chemguide.co.uk. Now open up the FSC Part I book. Again, like Electrochemistry, the entire chapter is your goal. The things that are NOT included are topic 11.4 & 11.5 on page 318 - 322.

Even though it isn't mentioned in the syllabus, 11.5.6 i.e. Arrhenius Equation is included so learn the equation and the concept behind it as well as the graph on page 323, as it is extremely important. Page 325 (Types of Catalysis) - 327 isn't included. Enzyme catalysis is, however, included.


That's all for part I chemistry. It's longer than Physics so it should take you above a week & a half i.e. around 10 days.

For credits, go to the introduction page.

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