Chemistry is the study of matter; atoms and molecules, and their interactions with each other. IGCSE Chemistry is designed to give a basic foundation of Chemistry for further study, to help develop theoretical and practical scientific skills, and to give an appreciation for the effect chemistry and the chemical industry has on modern life.
The two year course covers various areas of Chemistry. Pure Chemistry covers topics such as the particulate nature of matter, atomic structure and the periodic table, group properties, transition elements, noble gases, metals, sulphur, nitrogen, types of chemical bonds, stoichiometry, electrolysis, chemical energetics, speed of reaction, reversible reactions, redox reactions, acids and bases, oxides, salts, identification of ions and gases, and the Organic Chemistry of alkanes, alkenes, alcohols and acids. Applications of Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry covers production of energy, fuels, extraction and uses of metals, purification of water, composition of air, pollution, and plastics and polymers.
The aim of IGCSE Chemistry is not just for the student to know the material covered in the course, but to be able to apply that knowledge to new problems and to perform calculations and experiments using that information. The three papers described below evaluate knowledge of the course at 25%, the ability to apply that knowledge to specific questions at 25%, the ability to perform appropriate calculations at 30%, and the ability to perform an experiment and properly record and report the results at 20%.
Although calculations are common, the mathematical ability required is not high, more important is the being able to understand and use a large amount of chemical vocabulary.