Wednesday 30 September 2020 – 4pm

CODE: 8021


This webinar will concentrate on recapping the mechanisms taught in the halolkanes, alkenes and alcohols topics.  The session will focus on accurate drawing of the mechanisms including the use of skeletal formula which is becoming more popular in exams.  It will also help students with techniques and tips to remember which mechanism goes with which reagents.


  • Consolidate and improve knowledge of Year 12 organic mechanisms
  • Revise what curly arrows mean in mechanisms and how to use this to avoid losing marks in exams
  • Review exemplar questions and answers, finding out how to improve exam skills
  • Work through tips and examples for approaches to organic chemistry questions
  • Set a grounding for the mechanisms found in Year 13 study (i.e. nucleophilic addition, electrophilic substitution, etc)


  • All students of A level Chemistry


4.00pm – Introduction, welcome and sound check

4.05 pm: What is the mechanism?

  • Tips to interpret the question and work out the mechanism needed
  • Why do molecules react – how to spot nucleophiles, electrophiles and where they attack
  • When conditions are important – a reminder of the reactions of haloalkanes with OH

4.20pm: What do the curly arrows mean?

  • Tips to understanding mechanisms not simply trying to recall them
  • How to draw mechanisms with skeletal formulae
  • Techniques to approach the question to help with structuring an answer
  • Pitfalls – Where do students lose marks in an exam
  • Applying the knowledge – a look at an unfamiliar mechanism for those A/A* questions

4.40pm: Trying it out

  • An opportunity for students to work through an example question
  • Modelling of the answer to show how to maximise marks
  • Practice of another unfamiliar mechanism

4.55pm: Final tips


Paul Yardley

Paul has taught AQA A Level Chemistry for 9 years and leads a highly-successful Chemistry team, supporting students to achieve outstanding value added scores. Taking students from a range of backgrounds, over 60% achieve a high grade, with most of those students continuing to study a degree at a Russell group University, many in a chemistry-related field.  Paul is a member of the Association of Colleges’ College A Level Subject Excellence Network, identifying and sharing good practice with other practitioners that has contributed to their significantly positive value added scores.