OCR A-Level Chemistry: Aiming for Grades A/A* in the 2023 Exams

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Achievement in OCR A-Level Chemistry requires students to overcome some key challenges in order to secure a top A/A* grades in the upcoming OCR A Level Chemistry 2023 exam. Students need to be able to recall a wealth of knowledge across the varied disciplines of chemistry study and apply this knowledge in familiar and unfamiliar situations. Chemistry students have a variety of strengths and weaknesses so a range of techniques are needed to ensure they can achieve the best possible mark over the 3 main subject areas: physical, organic and inorganic chemistry; as well as the practical component.

This intensive new course will demonstrate how to guide your students to achieve their maximise possible grades in future OCR A Level Chemistry examinations. The course is designed for teachers of OCR A-Level Chemistry, but would be of benefit to teachers of other exam boards as well.


  • Develop the use of retrieval practice to promote student recall, supporting the teaching of the most challenging A-Level topics.
  • Increase awareness of what we should aim to achieve with the most able Chemists
  • Take away fresh ideas, approaches and methods that challenge A/A* students and support their further development
  • Develop greater understanding of the precision and detail that examiners are looking for in A/A* students
  • Find out more about the barriers to progress and ways to support highly able students to overcome them


Focus on assessment demands for A/A* students

10.00 – 10.45am
  • Examine the assessment demands of all components for the highest grades
  • Review characteristics of A and A* A-Level students
  • Consider feedback from the most recent examination series for Grade A and A* students
  • Share experiences, successes and failures, frustrations from the 2022 examinations


10.45 – 11.00am

The key topics A/A* students find most challenging

11.00 – 12.00pm
  • Dealing with the maths – a look at some of the challenging areas of physical chemistry including: challenging titration questions, graphs and related questions, pH and buffers
  • Mechanisms – A look at the more challenging areas of organic chemistry and how to get students to identify the correct mechanism and then draw it accurately.
  • Memory and explanations – A look at some of the more challenging areas for inorganic chemistry
  • Avoiding potential hazards – what can cost a top student their A/A* grade?

Using the required Practicals to access the top grades in the Practicals Questions

12.00 – 1.00pm
  • Fresh ideas, approaches and methods that challenge A/A* students and support their further development
  • How to integrate the practicals with the theoretical aspects of the course.
  • Explaining the practicals. Strategies to get the students to think about the methods rather than just blindly carrying them out.
  • Making the practicals real. Linking the practicals to the real world to promote engagement and understanding.
  • Where are marks lost? – what does an A-Level Chemistry student need to do to obtain maximum marks on practical questions.
  • Integrating practical skills and theoretical content – evaluating conclusions made by other scientists – why students don’t seem to get it?


1.00 – 2.00pm

Stretching and challenging A/A* Chemistry students

2.00 – 2.45pm
  • RSC Olympiad resources and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge – using questions over and above recommended reading, preparing for Oxbridge – signposting, pushing and probing
  • Embedding RSC Olympiad resources and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge resources into schemes of work and lessons to stretch the most able students in Chemistry.
  • Strategies for stretching A/A* students in a mixed-ability classroom and challenging complacent high-achievers. Embedding example Oxbridge interview questions in lessons to increase depth and breadth of student understanding.


2.45 – 2.55pm

The Exams – Techniques and Tactics

2.55 – 3.35pm
  • Techniques for memory retrieval and recall and application to examination questions
  • Dissecting examination questions- vocabulary & command words
  • Increase student confidence by promoting good study habits
  • Develop the ‘A*/A Grade’ skills – analysis, evaluation and application
  • Strategies to improve responses to exam questions and signposting


London | Wednesday 07 December 2022

Please select your preferred date

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Dee Martin is Head of Chemistry & STEM at Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham, an Academy with a non-selective intake. She is an experienced AQA A level Chemistry examiner and currently delivers revision courses to many schools across the country guiding teachers in preparing for exams and helping to raise student grades.


  • Heads of Science
  • Heads of Chemistry
  • Teachers of OCR A-level Chemistry


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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