Exam Board Subject Leader
AQA Ms L Tighe

Students at GCSE study either combined science (trilogy), worth two GCSEs, or study separate GCSEs in each of biology, chemistry and physics. Students studying three separate GCSEs cover the following subjects in chemistry:

  • Topic 1: Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Topic 2: Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • Topic 3: Quantitative chemistry
  • Topic 4: Chemical changes
  • Topic 5: Energy changes
  • Topic 6: The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Topic 7: Organic chemistry
  • Topic 8: Chemical analysis
  • Topic 9: Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Topic 10: Using resources



Students sit two papers for GCSE chemistry. Each paper assesses knowledge and understanding from different topics. Each paper is a written exam lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes. Questions can be multiple choice, structured, closed short answer or open response.

  • Paper 1 examines topics 1-5: atomic structure and the periodic table; bonding, structure and the properties of matter; quantitative chemistry; chemical changes; and energy changes.
  • Paper 2 examines topics 5-10: the rate and extent of chemical change; organic chemistry; chemical analysis; chemistry of the atmosphere; and using resources.


Progression and Complementary Studies

This GCSE provides an idea preparation for students who may wish to go on to study sciences at A-Level.