1. AQA Revision Guides

New A-level 2015

The revision guides are split into physical, inorganic and organic chemistry. There are no modules. The AS only topics are labelled AS.

Physical Chemistry

1.1 revision guide Atomic Structure (AS)(updated November 2018)

1.2 revision guide Calculations (AS)(updated November 2018)

1.3 revision guide Bonding(AS) (updated November 2018)

1.4 revision guide Energetics (AS) (updated November 2018)

1.5 revision guide Reaction Kinetics (AS) (updated November 2018)

1.6 revision guide Equilibria (AS) (updated November 2018)

1.7 revision guide Redox(AS) (updated November 2018)

1.8 revision guide Thermodynamics  (updated November 2018)

1.9 revision guide Rate Equations (updated November 2018)

1.10 revision guide Equilibrium Constant Kp (updated November 2018)

1.11 revision guide Electrode Potentials (updated November 2018)

1.12 revision guide acid base equilibria (updated September 2018)

Inorganic Chemistry

2.1 revision guide periodicity (AS)

2.2 revision guide Group 2(AS) (updated November 2018)

2.3 revision guide Halogens (AS) (updated November 2018)

2.4 revision guide Period 3 (updated November 2018)

2.5 revision guide Transition metals(updated November 2018)

2.6 revision guide Reactions of Aqueous Ions  (updated April 2018)

Organic Chemistry

3.1 revision guide introduction organic (AS) (updated September 2018)

3.2 revision guide Alkanes (AS) (updated November 2018)

3.3 revision guide Halogenoalkanes(AS)  (updated November 2018)

3.4 revision guide Alkenes (AS)  (updated November 2018)

3.5 revision guide Alcohols(AS) (updated November 2018)

3.6 revision guide Organic Analysis (AS) (updated November 2018)

3.7 revision guide naming and isomerism (updated September 2018)

3.8 revision guide Aldehydes and Ketones (updated November 2018)

3.9 revision guide Carboxylic acids and derivatives (updated November 2018)

3.10 revision guide Arene Chemistry (updated November 2018)

3.11 revision guide Amines(updated November 2018)

3.12 revision guide polymers (updated February 2018)

3.13 revision guide amino acids proteins and DNA (updated September 2018)

3.14 revision guide Organic Synthesis AQA (updated November 2018)

3.15 revision guide NMR (updated February 2018)

3.16 revision guide chromatography (updated  August 2016)

AQA mechanisms summary AS(AS)  (new February 2017)

aqa-mechanisms-a-level-summary  (new February 2017)

Practical Guide AQA(updated November 2018)



453 thoughts on “1. AQA Revision Guides

  1. Emma

    For deducing rate equations, what do you do when there is an acid catalyst so H+. Do you include that in the rate equation?

  2. student101


    Firstly I would like to thank you for your contributions they have helped countless students. I am currently in a bit of tricky situation and would like your input and advise. I have sat the whole A-Level chemistry for the old specification but if I need to get the grade I want I will need to practically sit all the exams again. I am considering sitting the new specification AQA again as content is very similar I am just unsure about the 12 practicals. Could I do this while self-studying?

    1. chemrevise Post author

      The 12 practicals are pretty standard and should have been covered on the old syllabus. If you are doing it privately you could not the get the practical competency award but this is independent of the main grade

  3. Emma Holden

    There are some guides which don’t say ‘updated August 2016’ is that because you haven’t gotten around to doing it or is the syllabus simply the same as previous years for them particular sections?
    By the way- These are great

  4. zahra

    when is a platinium electrode used? and for cell represnetations which of the molecules should you include?

  5. selma

    in unit 5 redox equilibria, for Fe2+ (aq) -> Fe3+ (aq) + e- , this is oxidation so why is the cell representation | | Fe3+ (aq), Fe2+ (aq) |Pt, with the half cell on the right
    and not Pt| Fe2+, Fe3+|| with the half cell on the left , as the oxidised and more negative E half cell goes on the left

  6. Prospective medic

    Thank you for the fantastic notes Mr Goalby! Have you had the opportunity to look at the 2016 chem4 paper yet? Do you have an opinion on it if so?

    1. chemrevise Post author

      It had some tricky questions and some quite straightforward questions that were made to look tricky by unfamiliar compounds or contexts. I can understand why many students would not have liked it.

  7. lebzz

    i was wondering when are you gonna do notes on the new aqa second year of A level just finished AS level i want to start revising for second year of A levels over the summer holidays. i would really appreciate it if it was released as soon as possible.

  8. Mo

    Can I just say that these notes are absolutely awesome. They’ve been of huge help. A quick question. In the section of organic analysis on new spec-3.6(page 3) in the table of functional group tests, for the test of primary, secondary and aldehydes, it says that the reagent is sodium dichromate. Should it read potassium dichromate? Thanks

  9. Jean

    Hiya, in the transition metals booklet, the last page with the summary of chromium reactions, you put [Cr(H2O)2]+3 as a green solution but I think it should be blue.

  10. David

    Hello chemrevise!
    I would just like to thank you for your awesome notes first, it’s really amazing.
    The only question I have is that when you add excess OH- to Al(H20)3(OH)3, the notes says its Al(OH)4. But in the aqa mark scheme it’s Al(OH)6. So could you just clarify on this please? (Chem5 Jan 11 6b) thx!

  11. Nina

    Hi, firstly I wanted to say thank you so much for these notes!

    I was just wondering if this was a mistake on the 1.1 AQA revision guide

    The 160 peak has double the abundance of the other two peaks because there is double the probability of 160 Br79-Cl81 + as can be Br79-Br81 and Br81-79

    Shouldn’t it be 160 Br-79-81 and Br-81-79 only, why is it Br79-Cl81?

    Thank you! 🙂

  12. L

    Quick question regarding hydrolysis of polyamides.
    In your notes it says that HCl and a polyamide will be hydrolysed and split up into the original carboxylic acid and diamine salt. It also says it’s split up into the same thing with NaOH. Is this correct? I’m just a bit confused as to why this occurs with both HCl and NaOH with a polyamide but not with a polyester?

  13. Junaid

    Not sure if its a mistake, I may be mistaken, however in old aqa spec, A2, Transition metals you state on page 4 the general equation is M(H20)6 to M(OH)4 when making it alkaline, Shouldn’t it be M(OH)6 ?

  14. chemrevise Post author

    Not yet. Those notes are very detailed and way beyond what would be expected. How much is expected is a little unknown so I will wait to see what the first exam questions look like.

  15. Akash

    Hi, on condensation polymerization you write the product of water as 2n-1H20. On my CGP revision guide it says 2nH20. Which one is the right answer because its really confusing me, thanks!

    1. chemrevise Post author

      It’s not an important point. The ‘-1’ is taking into account that at the end of the polymer chain there will be an extra -H and -OH to finish of the chain.

  16. Art

    Quick question regarding hydrolysis of polyamides.
    In your notes it says that HCl and a polyamide will be hydrolysed and split up into the original carboxylic acid and diamine salt. It also says it’s split up into the same thing with NaOH. Is this correct? I’m just a bit confused as to why this occurs with both HCl and NaOH with a polyamide but not with a polyester?

  17. Anon

    Hi , I’m a bit unsure about complexes and when to know when they form. For example , If I add cobalt to hcl , do I get cobalt (ii) chloride or (cobalt i) chloride ( 1 chloride ligand), or maybe just insoluble cobalt with 2 chloride ligands making it neutral. It’s confusing me as these could make a big difference , you might be inclined to think cobalt chloride would conduct electricty due to separate ions , but if it forms a neutral complex with covalent bonds to the chloride ligands it wouldn’t do so, so I’m abit confused as to when a complex forms and when it’s separate ions. Thank you very much sorry for the blabbering !

  18. chemrevise Post author

    It is not a mistake – In solution Cr(III) often appears green and Fe(III) appears yellow/brown due to
    hydrolysis reactions. The ruby and violet colour is only really seen in solid hydrated salts that contain these complexes.

    AQA will accept both colours.

  19. Iqra

    Hi, in regards to mass spectrometry I was wondering whether we’re supposed to know the equation KE=1/2mv2 and the application of it for the new specification.

  20. Anon

    Hi I might be mistaken but foR equivalence points I thought that was the point at which just enough titrant had been added to neutralise the solution in the conical flask. Surely by this definition for a given temperature( and hence a given constant Kw ) , because neutrality is when [OH]=[H+] , regardless of which combination of strong or weak acid/alkali you use , neutrality is when [H+]=square root[Kw]. Hence surely the ph of the equivalence point shouldn’t change with different concentrations of acid and base strengths ,but rather stay constant at -log(sqrt(Kw)). I would appreciate some clarification on this, I might just be missing something obvious.

  21. Art

    hi, just wondering, in your synthetic routes file it says fr sub, what does this stand for? many thanks.

    1. Chris24

      free radical substitution….occurs primarily with alkanes and alkyl groups…..features homolytic fission

  22. imy

    Can i just simply thankyou for everything you have helped so many people acheive top grades in chemistry. The world needs more people like you!

  23. Dan

    Your guides were a large part of how I was able to learn both AS and A2 chemistry, in one year simultaneously, last year and achieve an A. Lots of thanks!

  24. Simon

    Hi, these notes are really great and helpful. Is there any chance you know of a physics version of this website for the new specification?

  25. fvnjkv

    hey, thanks for the notes, very helpful. is there any way you can do biology notes or direct me towards a website that has good biology notes.
    thanks in advance

  26. bsban

    hello, all of these notes seem to be for AS chemistry e.g. the equilibria has no notes on Kc..
    do you possibly have notes for AQA A2 chemistry ?
    thak you 🙂

  27. Marz

    Hello, I was looking at your updated atom notes and I noticed that you didn’t have The history of atomic model section. My CGP Text book has a page on it and I was wondering if you missed that part out on purpose? Thank you for making these great notes.

    1. chemrevise Post author

      It’s only on the syllabus in the loosest sense of knowing that different models of the atom have existed. There is no detail about any of the old models specified and there have been no exam questions on it.

  28. Commando

    are you going to change the AS modules for the new spec starting in September? If you are would it be wise for me to download the current versions as I may need to retake the AS units for the current spec, and are the changes to the spec significant?


    1. chemrevise Post author

      I will have new guides for the new course but will keep the old ones up for a year. The content is largely the same on the new spec, but there is some new material

  29. nigel

    for q1cii on june 14 i dont understand how -203+955=239+732-348+0.5E(F-F) is giving me a wrong answer?

    thanks in advance

    1. Lily

      and why isn’t the ionic equation for Al2O3 (s)+ 2OH- (aq) + 3H2O (l)2Al(OH) – (aq) Written as 2Al3+ + 2OH- at the end

  30. Farah

    Hi could you please make a revision guide for module 5 the reactions of inorganic compounds in aqueous solution (lewis acids and bases, ligand substitution reactions and acid-base substitution reactions of some metal ions). I enjoy reading through your revision guides and I couldnt thankyou enough for making and sharing these brilliant resources with students like me. Thankyou soooo much.

  31. rao

    Also for chem 5 jan 10 Q3c, the mark scheme uses a comma to separate OH- aqueous and H2O liquid species, rather than a solid vertical line, even though they’re different phases. Do we always use a comma to separate species with aqueous and liquid phases?

    1. David

      I was under the impression that in a cell statement water and aqueous solutions are considered to be the same phase. If it were however an aqueous solution and an immiscible liquid, then you would use a phase boundary.

  32. Moop

    On the mod 4 revision guide 3, why do you use the moles in calculating the ph of a buffer and not the concentrations?

    1. chemrevise Post author

      both the salt and the acid are in the same volume of solution so if you look at the maths the same volume would cancel out. So you can use moles or concentration

  33. james

    hi not sure if its been mentioned before but on the unit 2 alkenes sheet it says marknowikoffs rule is that hydrogen will be added to the carbon with the fewest hydrogens, isn’t it the other way round

  34. rao

    For june 14 chem 4 Q5bi the mark scheme says M1 for correct structure of product of 5a, but does that mean we have to draw the original product of 5a again for 5b and then the two enantiomers separated by a mirror, or would M2 for drawing the enantiomers also score M1?


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