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The IGCSE chemistry syllabus aims to provide students with a good starting point for IB Chemistry. However, the depth of the topics is greatly reduced to help students get a general understanding of the subject.

Here’s a list of all the topics that the IGCSE Chemistry will touch on, and what you should be looking out for in each topic.

The Particulate Nature of Matter

Overview

This topic examines the differences in behavior between solids, liquids, and gases. The main point to be made is that the energy of the particles and the intensity of their attraction to one another determine the characteristics of solids, liquids, and gases. Students taking the core paper might devote more attention to labeling and characterising cooling curves.

Learning Objective

In this topic, students will learn about the basics of matters. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • recognise the different characteristics of solids, liquids, and gases
  • be able to explain the particle separation, arrangement, and forms of motion that make up the structure of solids, liquids, and gases.
  • understand what melting, boiling, vaporization, freezing, condensation, and sublimation imply.
  • be able to explain how temperature affects how gas particles move.
  • comprehend the principles of Brownian motion
  • know how to define and clarify diffusion.
  • be able to describe state transitions using the kinetic theory.
  • be able to define, explain, and provide proof for Brownian motion via random molecule bombardment.
  • be able to define and clarify the relationship between diffusion rate and relative molecular mass.

Subtopics Covered

  • Solids, liquids and gases
  • The kinetic theory of matter
  • Changes of state
  • Diffusion – evidence for moving particles

Elements, Compounds, Mixtures And Experimental Techniques

Overview

The three types of material that are covered in this topic are elements, compounds, and mixtures. Students will see the demonstration to learn how readily iron and sulfur may be separated before reacting to generate iron sulfide. In order to produce balanced symbol equations, students will also learn how to describe various substances using formulas and how to summarize chemical processes in the form of word equations.

Learning Objective

In this topic, students will learn about experimental chemistry. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • Distinguish elements, mixtures, and compounds apart.
  • Recognise that elements may be divided into nonmetals and metals.
  • be familiar with and adept at using the following techniques for separation and purification.
  • Comparing samples of substances, combinations, and constituents to reach qualitative findings
  • Recognise that elements are things that only contain one kind of atom.
  • Understand that compounds are objects that include chemical bonds between two or more elements.
  • Recognise that compounds containing two or more elements that are not chemically linked are called mixes.
  • Understand that molecules are made up of two or more atoms that are bound to one another.
  • Construct word equations for the reactions between iron and sulfur and the reactions between elements to generate compounds.
  • Conclude and draw findings based on qualitative research and other observations

Subtopics Covered

  • Elements
  • Compounds
  • Mixtures
  • Separating mixtures
  • Accuracy in experimental work in the laboratory
  • Gels, sols, foams and emulsions
  • Mixtures for strength

Atomic Structure and Bonding

Overview

This topic will cover ionic bonding. The fact that the creation of ions and the establishment of ionic bonds are separate processes must be emphasized. The characteristics of ionic substances will also be studied by the students. Ionic compounds only carry electricity in the aqueous or molten states and have high melting temperatures, which all students must comprehend. Students will also discover in this topic how non-metal atoms form covalent bonds. A complete outer shell is not the intended result of bonding; rather, covalently bound atoms typically share as many electrons as their shells’ capabilities permit. This is an important distinction they have to make.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will learn about bonding and structure. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • Understand that atoms give their electrons to create positive ions known as cations.
  • Take note that atoms acquire electrons to create the negative ions known as anions.
  • Show how Group I metals produce cations and how Group VII non-metals form anions using dot-and-cross diagrams.
  • cite the definition of an ionic bond as a strong electrical attraction between ions with opposing charges explain the chlorine gas test
  • Recall that ionic compounds have very high melting and boiling temperatures
  • Understand that ionic compounds do not carry electricity in the solid state, only in the molten and watery phases.
  • Recognize that atoms in covalent bonds share as many electrons as feasible, usually resulting in a complete outer shell of electrons known as the noble gas configuration.
  • Assert that an electric attraction exists between the positive nuclei and sharing electrons in a covalent bond.

Subtopics Covered

  • Inside atoms
  • The arrangement of electrons in atoms
  • Ionic bonding
  • Covalent bonding
  • Glasses and ceramics
  • Metallic bonding

Stoichiometry – Chemical Calculations

Overview

This topic contains important concepts, point-by-point breakdown of the chemical subject’s flow, techniques, and instructions to tackle various chemical problems. Students will understand the fundamentals of writing chemical equations, stoichiometry, the periodic table, titration, qualitative analysis (concept of salt), redox, and energy changes.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will learn about bonding and structure. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • Effectively solve any stoichiometry issue by using a certain approach to problem solving.
  • Using coefficients with full numbers, balance a chemical equation.
  • Based on its chemical equation, categorize a reaction as either: synthesis, breakdown, single replacement, double replacement, or combustion.
  • Define limiting and surplus reactants in a chemical reaction.
  • Given the quantity of a product or reactant, calculate the quantity of the other.
  • Apply the concept of limiting reactant to a chemical equation by using a real-world example.
  • Using lab observations, determine if a process is endothermic or exothermic.
  • Calculate the excess reactant’s mass and moles in a chemical reaction and note it down.
  • Recognize the role of a limiting reactant in a chemical process and comprehend its effects.
  • Become familiar with the idea of stoichiometry and solve problems using mole-mole, mole-mass, and mass-mass stoichiometry.
  • Recognize the significance of stoichiometry in an industrial environment.
  • Create a stoichiometric issue solution using a visual organizer.
  • Calculate stoichiometry, percent yield, and theoretical yield.
  • Validate the reaction seen, use stoichiometry.
  • Utilize particle diagrams to visualize the limiting and surplus reactants in a chemical process.

Subtopics Covered

  • Relative atomic mass
  • Reacting masses
  • Calculating moles
  • Calculating formulae
  • Moles and chemical equations

Electricity and Chemistry

Overview

This topic will introduce you to how an ionic substance is broken down through electrolysis, and the results are related to the electrolyte and electrodes that were employed. Create ionic half-equations to predict the byproducts of electrolysis of a certain halide in a concentrated or dilute aqueous solution.

While materials like rubber and plastics are poor conductors of electricity, metals like copper and aluminum are strong electrical conductors. Some liquids transmit electricity well, whereas others do not. This is true of liquids in general. Water received from taps, wells, ponds, and pumps is not clean and contains dissolved salts in large quantities. This kind of water effectively conducts electricity. While distilled water is devoid of salt and a poor electrical conductor.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will learn about bonding and structure. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • Define electrolysis as the process of breaking down an ionic substance, whether it is molten or in a solution of water.
  • Explain the electrode products and the findings from the electrolysis of:
    • molten lead(II) bromide
    • concentrated hydrochloric acid
    • concentrated aqueous sodium chloride
    • dilute sulfuric acid
  • Explain the fundamental idea that non-metals (other than hydrogen) are generated at the positive electrode (anode) and that metals or hydrogen are formed at the negative electrode (cathode) between inert electrodes (platinum or carbon) ( anode )
  • Determine what will happen when a certain binary compound is electrolyzed while it is still in the liquid form.
  • Describe the process of metal electroplating.
  • Describe the functions of electroplating.
  • Determine why plastic and ceramic are employed as insulators in addition to copper and (steel-cored) aluminum used in cables

Subtopics Covered

  • Electrolysis of lead(||) bromide
  • Electrolysis of aluminum oxide
  • Electrolysis of aqueous solutions
  • Electrolysis of concentrated hydrochloric acid
  • Electrolysis of copper(||) sulfate solution
  • Electrolysis guidelines
  • Electroplating

Chemical Energetics

Overview

This topic will talk about mass relationships, which are established by the stoichiometry of balanced processes and the respective atomic masses of the elements. Here, we will investigate the energetics of chemical reactions. This topic shall assume a conception of energy based on the science of mechanics, namely the law of conservation of energy. We will further assume our grasp of chemical bonding via valence shell electron pair sharing and molecular orbital theory in order to establish a molecular comprehension of the reaction energetics.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will learn about the energetics of chemical reactions. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • define what exothermic processes are
  • understand diagrams of energy levels for exothermic and endothermic processes
  • explain how burning fuel releases heat energy
  • understand that hydrogen is a fuel
  • know that it is possible to employ radioactive isotopes as a source of energy
  • learn that the development of bonds is an exothermic activity, whereas the breakdown of bonds is an endothermic one.
  • use the given data to create and identify energy level diagrams for exothermic and endothermic processes.
  • make use of bond energies to determine the change in energy in a reaction.
  • explain how hydrogen is used as a fuel in fuel cells.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will learn about the energetics of chemical reactions. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • define what exothermic processes are
  • understand diagrams of energy levels for exothermic and endothermic processes
  • explain how burning fuel releases heat energy
  • understand that hydrogen is a fuel
  • know that it is possible to employ radioactive isotopes as a source of energy
  • learn that the development of bonds is an exothermic activity, whereas the breakdown of bonds is an endothermic one.
  • use the given data to create and identify energy level diagrams for exothermic and endothermic processes.
  • make use of bond energies to determine the change in energy in a reaction.
  • explain how hydrogen is used as a fuel in fuel cells.

Chemical Reactions

Overview

This chapter is where the students should make sure they understand the distinctions between physical and chemical characteristics and that they are familiar with instances of both for various material kinds. This topic should also familiarise students with a useful technique for determining the rate of a reaction involving gas evolution that is included in chemical reactions. Note that redox processes involve the exchange of electrons between two species.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will recognise the differences between physical properties and chemical properties. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • recognize physical and chemical changes and understand their distinctions.
  • describe and clarify how altering aqueous solution concentration, solid particle size and surface area, gas pressure, catalysts (including enzymes), and temperature affect reaction speeds.
  • explain how the above criteria are applied to the threat of explosive combustion with fine particles and gases (such as those produced in wheat mills) (e.g. methane in mines)
  • show comprehension of a useful technique for determining the rate of a process involving gas evolution.
  • understand results from studies looking at response rates.
  • recognize that certain chemical reactions may be stopped by altering the circumstances, as in the case of hydrated copper(ii) sulfate and hydrated cobalt(ii) chloride when exposed to heat.
  • explain what oxidation and reduction are in terms of oxygen loss/gain

Subtopics Covered

  • Factors that affect the rate of a reaction
  • Enzymes
  • Activation Energy

Acids, Bases and Salts

Overview

In this topic, students will recognise how acids interact with bases, carbonates, and metals, as well as their impact on litmus. More so, they will learn how ammonium salts and litmus are affected by the bases and acids reactions. The writing of balanced chemical equations for the processes being examined will require students to draw on knowledge from earlier subjects. The reaction of acids and bases will be demonstrated through a number of hands-on exercises.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will research the properties of acids and bases and how they react to produce salts. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • enumerate the traits that make acids react with metals, bases, and carbonates, as well as how they affect litmus and methyl orange.
  • explain the distinctive characteristics of bases in their interactions with acids, ammonium salts, and their impact on litmus and methyl orange.
  • explain neutrality, relative acidity, and alkalinity using ph values obtained from universal indicator paper.
  • describe and clarify the significance of regulating soil acidity
  • determine if oxides are acidic or basic based on their metallic or non-metallic nature.
  • provide suggestions on salt processing techniques

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will research the properties of acids and bases and how they react to produce salts. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • enumerate the traits that make acids react with metals, bases, and carbonates, as well as how they affect litmus and methyl orange.
  • explain the distinctive characteristics of bases in their interactions with acids, ammonium salts, and their impact on litmus and methyl orange.
  • explain neutrality, relative acidity, and alkalinity using ph values obtained from universal indicator paper.
  • describe and clarify the significance of regulating soil acidity
  • determine if oxides are acidic or basic based on their metallic or non-metallic nature.
  • provide suggestions on salt processing techniques

Subtopics Covered

  • Acids and alkalis
  • Formation of salts
  • Crystal hydrates
  • Solubility of salts in water
  • Titration

The Periodic Table

Overview

Students will learn about the periodic table’s patterns and how to use them to anticipate an element’s behavior as well as the characteristics of the compounds it forms. To determine the chemical compound formulas, they will apply their understanding of atomic structure. Additionally, they will practice generating balanced chemical equations for simple chemical processes. There will be a number of hands-on exercises to demonstrate the concepts.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will learn how to use Periodic Table patterns to anticipate element behavior and compound traits. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • explain how the periodic table is used to categorize elements and how it might be used to anticipate the attributes of elements.
  • explain the shift in character over time from metallic to non-metallic.
  • lithium, sodium, and potassium are group I elements; explain some of their qualities and extrapolate what further group i elements will be like.
  • describe a few characteristics of the group vii elements iodine, bromine, and chlorine, as well as make predictions about the characteristics of additional group vii elements.
  • describe the group VIII or 0 noble gases as being non-reactive, monatomic gases, and explain this in terms of electronic structure.
  • know some characteristics of transitional components.

Subtopics Covered

  • Development of the Periodic Table
  • Electronic structure and the Periodic Table
  • Group I – the alkali metals
  • Group II – the alkaline earth metals
  • Group VII – the halogens
  • Group 0 – the noble gases
  • Transition elements
  • The position of hydrogen

Metals

Overview

In this topic, students will learn about the behavior of metals, non-metals, and their compounds in this course, with a focus on oxides. We’ll talk about the connection between metal reactivity and the extraction technique. The search for patterns in reactivity and behavior, and their relation to atomic structure, will be encouraged in class. We will research the chemistry of non-metal oxides and how they affect the environment.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will learn about metals, nonmetals, and their compounds, especially oxides. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • define the characteristics of metals physically.
  • explain the chemical characteristics of metals
  • recognize alloy representations from structure diagrams, and then explain why alloys are preferred to pure metals in terms of their qualities.
  • using the reactions with potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron (hydrogen), and copper, arrange the following substances according to their degree of reactivity:
    • water or steam
    • dilute hydrochloric acid and
    • the reduction of their oxides with carbon
  • determine the order of reactivity from a collection of provided experimental findings.
  • using the elements’ positions in the reactivity series, explain how simple it is to extract metals from their ores.
  • describe and list the key processes involved in removing iron from hematite.
  • describe how basic oxides and oxygen are used to turn iron into steel.
  • be aware that electrolysis is used to extract aluminum from its mineral, bauxite.
  • describe the benefits and drawbacks of recycling iron, steel, and aluminum.
  • list some applications for aluminum, copper, mild steel, and stainless steel.

Subtopics Covered

  • Metal reactions 150
  • Decomposition of metal nitrates, carbonates, oxides and hydroxides
  • Reactivity of metals and their uses
  • Identifying metal ions
  • Discovery of metals and their extraction
  • Metal waste
  • Rusting of iron
  • Alloys

Air and Water

Overview

This topic will talk about about air and water-related environmental challenges in this module. This will discuss how chemistry may be used to address problems including those caused by ozone hole development, photochemical smog, and global climate change in the framework of the physical and chemical sciences, as well as ways to secure sustainable water supplies.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will focus on how oxygen interacts with oxides and the resulting reactions. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • cite the chemical tests for water that use copper (ii) sulfate and cobalt (ii) chloride.
  • briefly discuss the filtration and chlorination processes used to treat the drinking water supply.
  • list some industrial and domestic applications for water
  • specify that the percentages of nitrogen and oxygen in clean, dry air are around 78 and 21 percent, respectively, with a combination of noble gases and carbon dioxide making up the rest.
  • list the common air pollutants, such as lead compounds, sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, and carbon monoxide, along with their origins.
  • list the negative impacts of these typical pollutants and explain why they are a worldwide problem.
  • list the conditions necessary for iron to rust.
  • describe and clarify rust-prevention coating techniques.
  • explain the importance of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen in fertilizers.
  • describe how ammonia is displaced from ammonium salts.

Subtopics Covered

  • The air
  • How do we get the useful gasses we need from the air?
  • Ammonia – an important nitrogen-containing chemical
  • Artificial fertilizers
  • Atmospheric pollution
  • Water
  • The water cycle
  • Hardness in water
  • Water pollution and treatment

Sulfur

Overview

In sulfur beds below the surface, sulfur is the impure element. It may also be found in metallic ores, primarily sulfides like zinc blende. This topic addresses sulfur levels on a global scale, its relationship to oxygen, its placement immediately below oxygen in the periodic table, and the typical inorganic and organic functional groups of sulfur that support life. Sulfur’s chemical makeup, usage, and origins will all be discussed.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will learn about important role in the chemical industry. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • identify some sources of sulfur
  • recognise that sulfur is a key ingredient in the production of sulfuric acid
  • be aware that sulfur dioxide is used as a food preservative and to bleach wood pulp used to make paper (by killing bacteria)

Subtopics Covered

  • Sulfur – the element
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Sulfuric acid

Inorganic Carbon Chemistry

Overview

Unlike organic carbon, which is found in nature in plants and other living things, inorganic carbon is carbon that has been collected from ores and minerals. Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are examples of inorganic carbon, as are polyatomic ions like cyanide, cyanate, thiocyanate, carbonate, and carbide in carbon. Inorganic chemistry concepts such as atomic structure, symmetry, orbitals, and bonding models for molecules and solids are covered in this topic. Also covered are oxidation and reduction, bioinorganic chemistry, acid and base chemistry, and biochemistry.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will explores how periodic table elements exist and respond in the physical world, particularly how metals work in biological systems. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • cite carbon dioxide and methane as examples of greenhouse gases and discuss how they could affect climate change
  • list the several reactions that result in the creation of carbon dioxide.
  • list the sources of methane, such as the decay of plants and the waste gases produced during animal digestion.
  • describe the thermal breakdown process used to create quicklime (calcium oxide) from calcium carbonate (limestone).
  • outline some applications for slaked lime and quicklime.
  • enumerate the applications for calcium carbonate.

Subtopics Covered

  • Limestone
  • Carbonates
  • Carbon dioxide

Organic Chemistry

Overview

The simplest organic chemical was methane, which we discussed before. More technically, organic chemistry is introduced in this section. The analysis of carbon-based substances is the subject of organic chemistry. Since no other chemical element possesses a chemical variety as diverse as carbon’s, it is singled out for special mention. Topics include isomerization, stereochemistry, and spectroscopy in addition to the nomenclature, structure, characteristics, reactions, and processes of hydrocarbons, alkyl halides, alcohols, and ethers.

Learning Objectives

In this topic, students will learn the identification of organic compounds and the creation of homologous sequence of molecules with similar chemical characteristics.. The topic will cover the following lesson points based on the syllabus objectives:

  • Illustrate the structures of methane, ethane, ethene, ethanol, ethanoic acid, and the products of the reactions
  • define the idea of a homologous series as a “family” of related chemicals that have the same functional group’s chemical characteristics.
  • state that alkanes’ characteristics are typically unresponsive except for burning
  • describe how alkanes are bonded.
  • identify saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons.
    • based on molecular structures
    • by a process using aqueous bromine.
  • name the following fossil fuels: petroleum, natural gas, and coal.
  • state that the primary component of natural gas is methane.
  • explain the fractional distillation process used to separate petroleum from its mixture of hydrocarbons.
  • name some applications for fractions.
  • describe the characteristics of each molecule in a fraction.

Subtopics Covered

  • Alkanes
  • The chemical behaviour of alkanes
  • A special addition reaction of alkene molecules
  • Alcohols (R—OH)
  • Biotechnology
  • Carboxylic acids
  • Soaps and detergents
  • Condensation polymers
  • Some biopolymers
  • Pharmaceuticals

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