Unofficial student help for Edexcel International Advanced Chemistry

International Advanced Subsidiary (AS, 1 year)

 International Advanced Level 2018 (the full A Level, 2 years)

Links to Doc Brown's Chemistry Revision Notes

Pearson Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary in Chemistry (XCH11)

Pearson Edexcel International Advanced Level in Chemistry (YCH11)

First teaching September 2018

First examination from January 2019

First certification from August 2019 (International Advanced Subsidiary) and August 2020 (International Advanced Level)



I've analysed the specification and I'm now adding links to web pages on my site that should prove useful.

You will find other links on these pages that might also lead to useful sections relating to the specification.

There over 100 A level chemistry pages, not easy to index, but the GOOGLE] search box only searches my site, its often better then the indexes for finding things!


Unit 1: Structure, Bonding and Introduction to Organic Chemistry (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)


Unit 1 Topic 1: Formulae, Equations and Amount of Substance (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Definitions and criteria in chemistry eg atom, molecule, formula, element, compound, mixture, pure, impure etc.

Chemical Calculations - Index (lots of pages to browse through, examples and quizzes on the basics!) e.g.

Introducing moles: The connection between moles, mass and formula mass - the basis of reacting mole ratio calculations (relating reacting masses and formula mass)

What is relative atomic mass?, relative isotopic mass & calculating relative atomic mass

Calculating relative formula/molecular mass of a compound or element molecule

Molarity, volumes and solution concentrations (and diagrams of apparatus)

Using moles to calculate empirical formula and deduce molecular formula of a compound/molecule (starting with reacting masses or % composition)

Moles and the molar volume of a gas, Avogadro's Law - volumes of gases formed in reactions

PV = nRT calculations

How to write word & balance symbol equations, work out formula and name compounds


Unit 1 Topic 2: Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Atomic structure, sub-atomic particles, Bohr model and isotopes

Mass spectrometry - introduction (including determination of relative atomic mass, molecular mass, i.d. of compounds)

Introduction to s p d f orbitals and electronic energy levels and order of filling of quantum levels

Working out electron configurations for atoms, setting them out in the 'modern' periodic table (also sections on ions and oxidation state)

Hydrogen spectrum, emission/absorption spectra, ionisation energies, evidence for quantum levels

Periodic Table - Physical property trends in Period 2 including 1st ionisation energy, atomic radii, mpts, bpts

Periodic Table - Physical property trends in Period 3 including 1st ionisation energy, atomic radii, mpts, bpts

Periodic Table - Important trends down a group including 1st ionisation energy


Unit 1 Topic 3: Bonding and Structure  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)


Unit 1 Topic 3 3A: Ionic bonding  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Chemical bonding: Introduction and index

Electronegativity, bond polarity, type of chemical bonding

Chemical bonding: Ionic Bonding – compounds and properties


Unit 1 Topic 3: 3B: Covalent bonding  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Chemical bonding: Covalent Bonding – small simple molecules and their properties

More on covalent bonding - dative covalent bonding

Chemical bonding: Covalent Bonding: macromolecules and giant covalent structures and  Graphene

Electronegativity, bond polarity, type of chemical bonding

Types of Crystal Structure and their relative physical properties


Unit 1 Topic 3: 3C: Shapes of molecules  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Introduction to shapes of molecules - VSEPR theory - lots of inorganic molecule/ion examples


Unit 1 Topic 3: 3D: Metallic bonding  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Chemical bonding: Metallic Bonding - structure and properties of metals

Types of Crystal Structure and their relative physical properties


Unit 1 Topic 4: Introductory Organic Chemistry and Alkanes  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Related topics in Units 2, 4 and 5 will assume knowledge of this material.


Unit 1 Topic 4: 4A: Introduction  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Functional Groups, organic molecule structure & representation & organic homologous series

This page has links to the specific IUPAC nomenclature for all the homologous series of organic compounds you will encounter and there naming quizzes too!

Index of organic nomenclature and molecule recognition quizzes

Organic chemistry reactions & mechanisms - an introduction and technical terms explained


Unit 1 Topic 4: 4B: Alkanes  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Alkanes and Petrochemical Industry INDEX

The Molecular Structure and Nomenclature of Alkanes

Fractional distillation of crude oil and uses of products

Modification of alkanes by cracking, isomerisation and reforming

Complete and incomplete combustion of alkanes and environmental pollution

Modification of hydrocarbon fuel mixtures and alternative fuels

Chlorination and bromination of alkanes, reaction mechanisms and uses of products

Alkanes - molecular structure and naming (with quizzes)

Alkanes - Multiple choice Quiz on the structure and naming (nomenclature)

Alkanes - Type in name  Quiz on the structure & naming (nomenclature)

Alkanes - fractional distillation of crude oil & uses of fractions (the basics)

Alkanes - Cracking - a problem of supply and demand, other products (the basics)

Alkanes - complete combustion and incomplete combustion - pollution etc. (the basics)

Alkanes - free radical mechanism for cracking hydrocarbons to give shorter alkanes and alkenes

Alkanes - free radical chlorination/bromination mechanism to give halogenoalkanes


Unit 1: Topic 5: Alkenes  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Related topics in Units 2, 4 and 5 will assume knowledge of this material.

Alkenes - molecular structure and naming (with quizzes)

Alkenes - Multiple choice Quiz on their structure and naming

Alkenes - Type in name Quiz on their nomenclature

Alkenes - introduction to their chemistry and electrophilic addition reactions & polymerisation (5 linked pages)

Alkenes: Electrophilic addition of hydrogen bromide [HBr(conc. aq) and HBr(g/non-polar solvent)] to form halogenoalkanes

Alkenes: Electrophilic addition of bromine with pure bromine or in non-polar solvent (non-aqueous Br2(l/solvent)) to give dibromoalkanes AND addition using bromine water [aqueous Br2(aq)] to give bromo-alcohols

Alkenes: Electrophilic addition of sulphuric acid AND electrophilic addition of water [acid catalyst] to form alcohols

Alkenes: Free radical polymerisation to give poly(alkene) polymers e.g. ethene ==> poly(ethene)

Alkenes: Hydrogenation to give saturated alkanes

Isomerism - structural isomerism - general definition - examples of types

Isomerism - introduction to stereoisomerism and E/Z and cis/trans stereoisomerism



Unit 2: Energetics, Group Chemistry, Halogenoalkanes and Alcohols  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)


Unit 2: Topic 6: Energetics  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Energetics-Thermochemistry-Thermodynamics Notes INDEX

Advanced Introduction to enthalpy changes – enthalpies of reaction, formation, combustion

Thermochemistry – Hess's Law calculations, enthalpies of reaction, combustion, formation etc.

Bond Enthalpy Calculations

Experimental methods for determining enthalpy changes and treatment of results

Enthalpy data patterns - combustion of alkanes linear aliphatic alcohols, bond enthalpies and bond Length

Enthalpies of neutralisation, enthalpies of hydrogenation and evidence of aromatic ring structure in benzene

Energetics - basic enthalpy changes questions with worked out answers


Unit 2: Topic 7: Intermolecular Forces  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Intermolecular forces/bonding - an introduction

Intermolecular forces/bonding - some further case studies

Intermolecular forces/bonding - boiling point plots for six organic homologous series

Intermolecular forces/bonding - hydrogen bonding in molecules

Intermolecular forces/bonding - solubility of covalent compounds, miscible and immiscible liquids


Unit 2: Topic 8: Redox Chemistry and Groups 1, 2 and 7  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)


Unit 2 Topic 8: 8A: Redox chemistry  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Oxidation numbers & oxidation states and Redox reactions and ionic equations


Unit 2 Topic 8: 8B: The elements of Groups 1 and 2  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Periodic Table - s-block including detailed notes on Group 2 Alkaline Earth Metals - introduction

Oxides of s–block metals, water reaction & hydroxides, acid reaction & salts, chlorine reaction & halides

Carbonates & hydrogencarbonates, solubility trends, thermal decomposition & stability of carbonates & nitrates, uses of s–block metals and their compounds

Inorganic analysis - chemical tests for cations and chemical tests for anions (use alphabetical index)

Molarity, volumes and solution concentrations (and diagrams of apparatus)

How to do acid-alkali titration calculations, diagrams of apparatus, details of procedures

Titration Questions - acid-base (2 pages plus worked out answers)


Unit 2 Topic 8: 8C: Inorganic chemistry of Group 7 (limited to chlorine, bromine and iodine)

Periodic table - Group 7/17 Halogens - Introduction 

Halogen displacement reactions and reactivity trend

Reactions of halogens with other elements - halides

Reaction between halide salts and conc. sulfuric acid

Tests for halogens and halide ions

Oxidation & Reduction – more on redox reactions of halogens & halide ions

Chemical bonding in halogen compounds


Unit 2: Topic 9: Introduction to Kinetics and Equilibria  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)


Unit 2: Topic 9: 9A: Kinetics  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Kinetics Index lots of pages including the more advanced ideas e.g.

The Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of molecular kinetic energies

Heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis mechanisms

Obtaining rate data, interpreting data, deducing orders of reaction and rate expressions

There are lots of pages on the basics preceding the more advanced pages in the rates index


Unit 2: Topic 9: 9B: Equilibria  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Introduction - examples of reversible reactions described, dynamic equilibrium and Le Chatelier's Principle

Applying Le Chatelier's Principle and equilibrium expressions to Industrial Processes


Unit 2: Topic 10: Organic Chemistry: Halogenoalkanes, Alcohols and Spectra

Related topics in Units 4 and 5 will assume knowledge of this material.  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)


Unit 2: Topic 10: 10A: General principles  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Organic chemistry reactions & mechanisms - an introduction and technical terms explained


Unit 2: Topic 10: 10B: Halogenoalkanes  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Halogenoalkanes - naming and structure (haloalkanes = halogenoalkanes!)

Halogenoalkanes - Multiple choice Quiz on their structure and naming (nomenclature)

Halogenoalkanes - Type in name Quiz on their nomenclature

Halogenoalkanes - introduction to the chemistry of haloalkanes/alkyl halides

Halogenoalkanes - Nucleophilic substitution by water/hydroxide ion to give alcohols

Halogenoalkanes - Nucleophilic substitution by ammonia/primary amine to give primary/secondary amines etc.

Halogenoalkanes - Elimination of hydrogen bromide to form alkenes


Unit 2: Topic 10: 10C: Alcohols  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)

Alcohols (and ethers) - molecular structure and naming

Alcohols - Multiple choice Quiz on their structure and naming

Alcohols - Type in name Quiz on their nomenclature

Alcohols - oxidation to give aldehydes, ketones or carboxylic acids (sections 9.1 to 9.3)


Unit 2: Topic 10: 10D: Mass spectra and IR  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)


Unit 3: Practical Skills in Chemistry I  (Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary Chemistry)



End of the Advanced Subsidiary (AS) units for Edexcel International Advanced Chemistry (Topics 1-10)

Units 4 to 6 (Topics 11-20) below are the rest of the course for the full  Edexcel International Advanced A Level Chemistry



Unit 4: Rates, Equilibria and Further Organic Chemistry  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)


Unit 4: Topic 11: Kinetics  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

Heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis mechanisms

Obtaining rate data, interpreting data, deducing orders of reaction and rate expressions

The Arrhenius equation and calculating the activation energy Ea from kinetics–rates data

Acid catalyzed iodination of propanone (see also organic mechanisms iodination of ketones)

Halogenoalkanes - Nucleophilic substitution by water/hydroxide ion to give alcohols


Unit 4: Topic 12: Entropy and Energetics  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)


Unit 4 Topic 12: 12A: Entropy  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

Examples of entropy values and comments, entropy change for change of physical state

ΔS, entropy change and change of state

ΔS, Entropy changes and the feasibility of a chemical change

Feasibility of chemical change, ΔG, free energy change equation, calculations and applications


Unit 4 Topic 12: 12B: Lattice energy  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

The Born–Haber Cycle calculations and uses, comparing theoretical and experimental lattice enthalpies

Introducing enthalpies of ion hydration, solution, atomisation, lattice energy, electron affinity, solvation

Enthalpy cycles involving a salt dissolving


Unit 4: Topic 13: Chemical Equilibria  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

Introduction - examples of reversible reactions described, dynamic equilibrium and Le Chatelier's Principle

How to write equilibrium expressions and the effect of temperature on the equilibrium constant K

How to write Kc equilibrium expressions, units and exemplar Kc calculations including esterification

How to write Kp expressions, units, partial pressures and exemplar Kp equilibrium calculations

ΔS, Entropy changes and the feasibility of a chemical change

Feasibility of chemical change, ΔG, free energy change equation, calculations and applications


Unit 4: Topic 14: Acid-base Equilibria  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

GCSE 9-1 /IGCSE notes on acids and bases (lots of basic stuff)

Bronsted–Lowry acid–base theories

self–ionisation of water and pH scale

strong acids–examples–calculations

weak acids–examples & pH–Ka–pKa calculations

strong bases–examples–pH calculations

weak bases– examples & pH–Kb–pKb calculations

A level notes on Acids, Bases, Salts, uses of acid–base titrations – upgrade from GCSE!

Acid–base indicator theory, pH curves and titrations

Buffers – definition, formulation and action

Buffer calculations

Case studies of buffer function


Unit 4: Topic 15: Organic Chemistry: Carbonyls, Carboxylic Acids and Chirality  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)


Unit 4 Topic 15: 15A: Chirality  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

Isomerism - introduction to stereoisomerism

Isomerism - R/S Optical Isomerism

Spotting Optical Isomers (sorry, hand written!) (answers)


Unit 4 Topic 15: 15B: Carbonyl compounds  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

Aldehydes & ketones: Their structure and naming (plus quizzes)

Aldehydes & ketones: Multiple choice on their structure and naming (nomenclature)

Aldehydes & ketones: Type in name Quiz on their nomenclature

Aldehydes & ketones: Carbonyl compounds - introduction to their chemistry

Aldehydes & ketones: Nucleophilic addition of hydrogen cyanide to form a hydroxy-nitrile


Unit 4 Topic 15: 15C: Carboxylic acids  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

Carboxylic acids & derivatives: Their structure and naming (and quizzes)

Carboxylic acids & derivatives: Type in name Quiz on their structure and nomenclature

Carboxylic acids & derivatives: Type in name Quiz on their structure and  nomenclature

Carboxylic acids - formation from oxidation of Alcohols (sections 9.1 to 9.3)

Carboxylic acids & derivatives: Esters, chemistry and uses including perfumes (the basics)

Carboxylic acids & derivatives: common reactions and uses (basic stuff)


Unit 4 Topic 15: 15D: Carboxylic acid derivatives   (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

Carboxylic acids & derivatives: Hydrolysis of acid chlorides with water to give a carboxylic acid (mechanisms not required)

Carboxylic acids & derivatives: Esterification of acid chlorides with alcohols to give an ester (mechanisms not required)

Amide formation from reaction of acid chlorides with ammonia or primary amines (mechanisms not required)


Unit 4 Topic 15: 15E: Spectroscopy and chromatography  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)



Unit 5: Transition Metals and Organic Nitrogen Chemistry   (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)


Unit 5: Topic 16: Redox Equilibria   (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

Oxidation numbers & oxidation states and Redox reactions and ionic equations

Half cell equilibria, electrode potential

Simple cells, notation and construction

The hydrogen electrode and standard conditions

Half–cell potentials, Electrochemical Series and using Eθcell for reaction feasibility

Redox titrations - calculation questions and worked out answers


Unit 5: Topic 17: Transition Metals and their Chemistry   (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

There are ~26 pages of transition metal chemistry e.g.

Introduction to the 3d-block of Transition Metals, Data and general trends

3d block Transition Metals - Complexes & ligands

3d block Transition Metals - Electron configuration & colour theory

3d block Transition Metals - Redox equations, feasibility of a redox reaction, Eø

Chemistry of 3d block transition metals - Iron

Chemistry of 3d block transition metals - Vanadium

Chemistry of 3d block transition metals - Chromium

Chemistry of 3d block transition metals - Copper

3d block Transition Metals - Stability Constants and entropy changes

3d block Transition Metals - Catalysis

Chemistry of 3d block transition metals - Manganese

3d block transition metals - Hydroxide complex precipitate 'pictures', formulae and equations


Unit 5: Topic 18: Organic Chemistry – Arenes  (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)

Knowledge of the common uses of organic compounds mentioned in this topic is expected.

Enthalpies of neutralisation, enthalpies of hydrogenation and evidence of aromatic ring structure in benzene

Aromatic chemistry: Structure of molecules and nomenclature

Aromatic chemistry:  Introduction to arene structure and electrophilic substitution mechanisms

Aromatic chemistry: Nitration to give nitro-aromatics like nitrobenzene

Aromatic chemistry: Chlorination to chloro-aromatics like chlorobenzene

Aromatic chemistry: Alkylation to give alkyl-aromatics like methylbenzene [Friedel-Crafts reaction]

Aromatic chemistry: Acylation to give aromatic ketones [Friedel-Crafts reaction]

Aromatic chemistry: Sulfonation to give a sulfonic acid like benzenesulfonic acid (mechanism not needed)


Unit 5: Topic 19: Organic Nitrogen Compounds: Amines, Amides, Amino Acids and Proteins 


Unit 5: Topic 20: Organic Synthesis   (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)



Unit 6: Practical Skills in Chemistry II   (Edexcel International Advanced Level Chemistry)


Other advanced Level Chemistry Courses

AQA AS Chemistry * AQA A Level Chemistry * Edexcel AS Chemistry * Edexcel A level Chemistry

OCR AS Chemistry * OCR A Level Chemistry * Salters AS Chemistry * Salters A Level Chemistry

Cambridge pre-U chemistry

CCEA Advanced Subsidiary AS GCE in Chemistry  and  CEA-CCEA Advanced A2 GCE in Chemistry

WJEC Advanced Subsidiary AS GCE in Chemistry  and  WJEC Advanced A2 GCE in Chemistry

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme of Chemistry (IB) (2009 my syllabus help links)

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE 9701 Chemistry (my syllabus help links)


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