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Chemistry help links for the Cambridge CIE O level combined science course

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Doc Brown's Chemistry  Cambridge O Level Combined Science CIE Syllabus 5129

Helps the biology, chemistry and physics of the Syllabus-Specification code 5129 For CIE Combined science examinations in June & November

All my GCSE/IGCSE level biology revision notes

All my GCSE/IGCSE level chemistry revision notes

All my GCSE/IGCSE level physics revision notes

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Other Cambridge IGCSE/O Level International Syllabuses: 0620 * 0652 * 0653 * 0654 * 5070


Units and significant figures Candidates should be aware that misuse of units and/or significant figures, i.e. failure to quote units where necessary, the inclusion of units in quantities defined as ratios or quoting answers to an inappropriate number of significant figures, is liable to be penalised.


Curriculum Content PHYSICS of the Cambridge O level syllabus code 5129 Combined Science

Candidates are expected to have adequate mathematical skills to cope with the curriculum. Throughout the course, attention should be paid to showing the relevance of concepts to the candidates’ everyday life and to the natural and man-made world.


Biology (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification)

1 Cells

2 Enzymes

3 Plant nutrition and transport

4 Human nutrition

5 Human gas exchange

6 Respiration

7 Transport in humans

8 Drugs and their effects

9 Coordination and control

10 Development of organisms and continuity of life

11 Biotechnology and genetic modification

12 Relationships of organisms with one another and with the environment


Chemistry (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification)

13 States of matter

14 Atoms, elements and compounds

15 Stoichiometry

16 Chemical energetics

17 Chemical reactions

18 Acids, bases and salts

19 The Periodic Table

20 Metals

21 Chemistry of the environment

22 Organic chemistry


Physics  (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification)

23 Motion, forces and energy

24 Thermal physics

25 Waves

26 Electricity

27 Nuclear physics


Biology (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

1 Cells (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

Introduction to plant and animal cell structure and function - comparison of subcellular structures

Microscopy - the development and use of microscopes in biology - optical and electron

Diffusion - including demonstration, factors & Fick's Law, osmosis investigation and active transport

Examples of surfaces for the exchange of substances in animal organisms

Plant cells - transport, gas exchange, transpiration & experiments, absorption of nutrients, leaf & root structure


2 Enzymes  (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

Enzymes - structure, functions, optimum conditions, investigation experiments, human digestion system

See also Enzymes and Biotechnology (gcse/igcse chemistry notes)


3 Plant nutrition and transport  (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

Photosynthesis, importance explained, limiting factors affecting rate, leaf adaptations

Introduction to plant and animal cell structure and function - comparison of subcellular structures

Plant cells - transport, gas exchange, transpiration & experiments, absorption of nutrients, leaf & root structure


4 Human nutrition  (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

Keeping healthy - diet and exercise, diabetes, body/mass/hip indexes

Food tests for reducing sugars, starch, proteins and lipids

Enzymes - section on human digestion, metabolism and synthesis

Examples of surfaces for the exchange of substances in animal organisms (includes small intestine)


5 Human gas exchange  (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

Examples of surfaces for the exchange of substances in animal organisms


6 Respiration (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

Respiration - aerobic and anaerobic in plants and animals, investigations


7 Transport in humans (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

The human circulatory system - heart, lungs, blood, blood cells/vessels, causes/treatment of cardiovascular disease


8 Drugs and their effects (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

Keeping healthy - defence against pathogens, infections, treating diseases, vaccination, new drugs and testing, monoclonal antibodies, detecting diseases and development of new drugs and medicines

Keeping healthy - non-communicable diseases - risk factors for e.g. CVD, cancers, obesity, diabetes, body/mass/hip indexes


9 Coordination and control (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

The brain - what the different parts do and the dangers if damaged

An introduction to the nervous system including the reflex arc

Homeostasis - introduction to how it functions (negative feedback systems explained) 

Homeostasis - control of blood sugar level - insulin and diabetes


10 Development of organisms and continuity of life (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

Cell division - cell cycle - mitosis, meiosis, sexual/asexual reproduction, binary fission, cancer cells 

Hormone systems - menstrual cycle, contraception, fertility treatments


11 Biotechnology and genetic modification (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

Genetic engineering: Uses including GM crops & food security

Genetic engineering: uses - making insulin, medical applications, GM crops & food security


12 Relationships of organisms with one another and with the environment (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification biology)

Carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, water cycle, decomposition - decay investigation, biogas

Food chains, food webs, trophic levels, pyramids of biomass, transfer efficiency, pyramids of numbers

Ecosystems - biotic & abiotic factors - interactions between organisms - interdependency

Biodiversity, land management, waste management, maintaining ecosystems - conservation


Chemistry (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

13 States of matter (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

States of Matter Part 1 - particle theory - gas, liquid & solid GCSE study revision notes

Quizzes-Worksheets section 16. (opens in new window for convenience)


14 Atoms, elements and compounds (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

Some important ideas and definitions in Chemistry, what is a chemical change-reaction?

Paper & thin layer chromatography (tlc)

Atomic Structure with reference to Periodic Table

The Periodic Table - overview and summary

and Quizzes-Worksheets section 3. (opens in new window for convenience)

Ionic Bonding - compounds and properties

Covalent Bonding -small simple molecules and properties


15 Stoichiometry (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

How to write and interpret chemical equations, work out formula and name compounds

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

Law of Conservation of Mass and simple reacting mass calculations

Reacting mass ratio calculations of reactants and products (NOT using moles and brief mention of actual percent % yield and theoretical yield, atom economy and formula mass determination

Volumes and solution concentrations (and diagrams of apparatus) (ignore molarity stuff)


16 Chemical energetics (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

Heat changes in chemical/physical changes - exothermic and endothermic


17 Chemical reactions (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

Some important ideas and definitions in Chemistry, what is a chemical change-reaction?

Factors affecting the rates-speeds of chemical reactions GCSE revision study notes

What do we mean by the rate/speed of reaction? Examples, How do we measure rate? Experimental methods

Collision theory of chemical reactions and activation energy

Effect of changing concentration on rate

Effect of changing pressure on rate

Effect of changing particle size/surface area & stirring of a solid reactant on rate

Effect of changing temperature on rate

Effect of using a catalyst on rate

More examples of graphs and their interpretation

Quizzes-Worksheets section 2. (opens in new window for convenience)


18 Acids, bases and salts (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

INDEX of pH scale, acids, alkalis, salts

Everyday examples of acid-alkali chemistry and hazard warning symbols

pH scale, indicators, ionic theory of acids, alkalis (bases) & neutralisation

Acid reactions with metals, oxides, hydroxides, carbonates and neutralisation reactions

Reactions of bases-alkalis like sodium hydroxide

Methods of making salts, summary of tests for common ions

Making a salt by neutralising a soluble acid with a soluble base (alkali) - neutralisation reaction

Preparing a salt by reacting an acid with a metal or with an insoluble base - oxide, hydroxide or carbonate

Preparing an insoluble salt by mixing solutions of two soluble compounds

Important formulae, salt solubility and water of crystallisation

More on Acid-Base Theory of Weak and Strong Acids, examples explained

Volumetric titration analysis calculations, acid-alkali titrations (methods and diagrams of apparatus).

Summary of tests for some common ions and gases


19 The Periodic Table (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

The Periodic Table - overview and summary (many sections of relevant sub-topics)

and Quizzes-Worksheets section 3. (opens in new window for convenience)

Group 1 The Alkali Metals, physical & chemical properties, uses

and Quizzes-Worksheets section 4. (opens in new window for convenience)

Group 7 The Halogens, physical & chemical properties

See also Salt NaCl extraction, electrolysis products, uses of halogens

and Quizzes-Worksheets section 8. (opens in new window for convenience)

Summary of tests for GCSE of some common ions, including flame colours

Tests for metal cations (positive ions) and ammonium ion


20 Metals (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

How can metals be made more useful? (alloys of Al, Fe, steel etc.)

Transition Metals - focus on uses sections

The Reactivity Series of Metals

Metal Reactivity Series Experiments-Observations and explanations


21 Chemistry of the environment (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

Water cycle, treatment including filtration and chlorination, pollution

Pollution, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, climate change-global warming (3 relevant pages)

Simple batteries and hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell


22 Organic chemistry (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification chemistry)

INDEX Chemistry Oil & Organic Chemistry Pages

ALKANES - saturated hydrocarbons, physical and chemical properties - combustion

ALKENES - unsaturated hydrocarbons, physical and chemical properties

Fossil Fuels and Carbon Cycle

Fractional distillation of crude oil & uses of fractions, What makes a good fuel?


Physics (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification physics)

23 Motion, forces and energy (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification physics)

Speed and velocity - the relationship between distance and time, distance-time graphs

Acceleration, velocity-time graph interpretation and calculations, problem solving

Mass and the effect of gravity force on it - weight, (mention of work done, GPE and circular motion)

The density of materials and the particle model of matter

What are contact forces & non-contact forces?, scalar & vector quantities, free body force diagrams

Acceleration, friction, drag effects and terminal velocity experiments

Elasticity and energy stored in a spring, experimental investigations and calculations

Turning forces & moments - spanners to wheelbarrows, levers, gears & equilibrium situations

Types of energy & stores - examples compared/explained, calculations of mechanical work done & power

Chemical energy stores  * Elastic potential energy stores and calculations 

Electrical & electrostatic energy stores  *  Gravitational potential energy and calculations 

Kinetic energy stores and calculations  *  Nuclear energy store  *  Thermal energy stores


24 Thermal physics (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification physics)

Particle theory models: gases, liquid, solid, internal energy, heat transfer in state changes, latent heat

Introduction to heat transfer - conduction (and thermal conductivity), convection and radiation

Energy transfer and efficiency - calculations and Sankey diagrams

More on reducing heat transfer eg in a house and investigating insulating properties of materials


25 Waves (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification physics)

General introduction to the types and properties of waves, ripple tank expts, how to do wave calculations

Illuminated & self-luminous objects, reflection, visible light, ray box experiments, ray diagrams, mirror uses

Refraction and diffraction, the visible light spectrum, prism investigations, ray diagrams explained

Electromagnetic spectrum, sources, types, properties, uses (including medical) and dangers


26 Electricity (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification physics)

Usefulness of electricity, safety-fuses, energy transfer, cost & power calculations, P = IV = I2R, E = Pt, E=IVt

Electrical circuits and how to draw them, circuit symbols, parallel circuits and series circuits explained

3. Ohm's Law, experimental investigations of resistance, I-V graphs, calculations V = IR, Q = It, E = QV


27 Nuclear physics (Cambridge O level syllabus 5129 Combined Science specification physics)

Atomic structure and fundamental particle knowledge needed to understand radioactivity

What is Radioactivity? Why does it happen? Three types of atomic-nuclear-ionising radiation

Detection of radioactivity, its measurement and radiation dose units, ionising radiation sources - radioactive materials, background radiation

Alpha, beta & gamma radiation - properties of 3 types of radioactive nuclear emission & symbols ,dangers of radioactive emissions - health and safety issues and ionising radiation

Uses of radioactive isotopes emitting alpha, beta (+/–) or gamma radiation in industry and medicine

The half-life of a radioisotope - how long does material remain radioactive? implications!, uses of decay data and half-life values - archaeological radiocarbon dating, dating ancient rocks


For PAST PAPERS

See https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-o-level-science-combined-5129/past-papers/

AND https://pastpapers.papacambridge.com/papers/caie/cambridge-upper-secondary-gce-international-o-level-science-combined-5129-

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