Branches of Chemistry
In Physical Chemistry, we mostly encounter formulas and calculations. There is theory but the main applications involves calculations and numerical answers. The most important thing we need to do is to practise. This is similar to Mathematics where you basically have to use the formulas to do calculations for different questions until we are proficient in it. Most students make the mistake of just reading the worked examples in their lecture notes and tutorials. Remember, if you don’t have time to practise it, you wouldn’t do well for it.
In Organic Chemistry, the most basic level is to actually memorise all the reagents and conditions for the different functional groups. A student counted and said it was well over 80. Well, just remembering these reagents and conditions is just the first step. You would need to know how does the different functional groups interchange between each other. A very helpful method is to draw up mindmaps for each of the functional group and combine them to form a massive diagram where you can draw links between each group. It is likely that A level exams requires you to apply existing knowledge of organic mechanisms to solve questions in novel context.
Lastly, for Inorganic Chemistry, you will need to understand how periodicity works, i.e. trends. The way the periodic table is arranged is in patterns. Group I elements all have one valence electron, period 2 elements all have 2 quantum shells etc. After understanding how the trends are formed, you are expected to make predictions based on these trends and state cases of anomalies.
In a nutshell, this is how i see the 3 branches of Chemistry studied at A levels 🙂