The International Advanced Subsidiary (IAS) is the first half of the International Advanced Level qualification and consists of three IAS units – Units 1, 2 and 3. This qualification can be awarded as a discrete qualification or can contribute 50% towards the International Advanced Level qualification.
In this course you are expected to demonstrate and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills described in the content. You are also expected to analyse, interpret and evaluate a range of scientific information, ideas and evidence using their knowledge, understanding and skills.
You are expected to undertake a range of activities, including the ability to recall, describe and define, as appropriate.
You are also expected to explain ideas and use their knowledge to apply, analyse, interpret and evaluate, as appropriate. You are expected to develop the ability to apply mathematical skills to chemistry throughout the course. These skills include the ability to change the subject of an equation, substitute numerical values and solve algebraic equations using decimal and standard form, ratios, fractions and percentages. Further details of the skills that should be developed are given in Appendix 6: Mathematical skills and exemplifications. Students should also be familiar with Système Internationale d’Unités (SI) units and their prefixes, be able to estimate physical quantities and know the limits of physical measurements.
Practical work is central to any study of chemistry. For this reason, the specification includes 8 core practical activities and further suggested practicals, which form a thread linking theoretical knowledge and understanding to practical scenarios.You need to becoming confident practical chemists, handling apparatus competently and safely. Using a variety of apparatus and techniques, they should be able to design and carry out both the core practical activities and their own investigations, collecting data which can be analysed and used to draw valid conclusions.
Questions in examination papers will aim to assess the knowledge and understanding that you gain while carrying out practical activities, within the context of the 8 core practical activities, as well as in novel practical scenarios. Success in questions that indirectly assess practical skills will come more naturally to those candidates who have a solid foundation of laboratory practice and who, having carried them out, have a thorough understanding of practical techniques. Therefore, where possible, teachers should consider adding additional experiments to the core practical activities.
This unit gives you opportunities to develop the basic chemical skills of writing formulae and equations, and calculating chemical quantities.
The study of atomic structure includes a description of s, p, and d orbitals and shows how electronic configurations can account for the arrangement of elements in the Periodic Table. This leads to an appreciation of one of the central features of chemistry: the explanation of the properties of elements and the patterns in the Periodic Table in terms of atomic structure.
An understanding of the electronic structure of atoms leads to an appreciation of the three types of strong chemical bonding: ionic, covalent and metallic. Following from this, shapes of molecules can then be considered.
The basic principles of organic chemistry are covered and you will study alkanes and alkenes, and will begin to develop a mechanistic approach to organic chemistry.
The study of atomic structure gives some insight into the methods that scientists use to study the structure of atoms. This leads to the introduction of the mass spectrometer and its importance in sensitive methods of analysis in areas such as space research, medical research and diagnosis, in detecting drugs in sport and in environmental monitoring.
Chemists set up theoretical models and gain insight by comparing real and theoretical properties of chemicals. This is illustrated in the unit by considering the evidence for the different kinds of chemical bonding.
Electron-pair repulsion theory is also used to show how chemists can develop theories and use them to make predictions.
You start to use the conventions for mechanisms in organic
chemistry as a way to represent the movement of electrons in reactions.