John O'Sullivan

How to Prepare for the Experiments Section of the Chemistry Paper

1. Diagrams
  • Not all experiments require a diagram.
  • If there is a required diagram, it is easy marks!
  • Make sure you practice it well, be precise, label the diagram clearly.
  • These are easy marks so don’t neglect.

2. Procedure
  • All experiments require you to know some procedural element (what you actually do in the lab when doing the experiment, results of the experiment etc.).
  • Be precise and check the marking schemes for what specific language is required.
  • This is just information (no difficult concepts or theories) so is another place to gain easy marks.

3. Graphs 
  • A small number of experiments will require a graph (mainly rates of reactions)
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Use graph paper and a ruler.
  • Label your axis.
  • Use the full sheet of graph paper (this makes your graph-based questions e.g. instantaneous rate more accurate).
  • If you practice enough this should be more easy marks.

4. Theory
  • These questions can be tricky but will only account for a small percentage of marks.
  • Make sure you know the topic to which the experiment is linked e.g. know the rates of reaction theory for the rates of reaction experiment.
  • There are usually some theory parts in every experiment question.

5. Calculations
  • Only some experiments have a calculation aspect e.g. volumetric analysis.
  • You do not require a high level of Maths to do them but lots of practice is necessary.
  • Stoichiometry is the basis for the majority of calculations in the Chemistry course so it’s very important that you are well practiced in all aspects of stoichiometry.