A-level Chemistry Examination (Paper 2) from 1981

A few days ago I posted Paper 1 of the Chemistry A-level examination I took way back in 1981. Judging by the blog stats, that seemed to attract a bit of interest so I thought I’d follow it up with Paper 2 which, in contrast to the multiple-choice style of Paper 1, consists of longer questions and perhaps gives a better idea of whether anything has changed between then and now.

Anyway, as usual, ¬†any comments from people who’ve done A-level Chemistry more recently would be very welcome through the Comments Box, e.g. is there anything¬† in this paper that you wouldn’t expect to see nowadays? Is it easier, harder, or about the same as current A-level Chemistry papers?

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5 Responses to “A-level Chemistry Examination (Paper 2) from 1981”

  1. Monica Grady Says:

    Question: can you remember how to use log tables….?
    M
    x

  2. Chris Chaloner Says:

    I gave up log tables for a slide rule, which I used from before O level until well after my DPhil. I found it not only quicker but more intuitive! Mind you, it was tricky doing expenses claims on it…
    I still have it in my desk drawer…
    Chris

  3. The mark allocation in general was more generous in the past. The questions now would be more specific rather than general.

    I took my A Levels in 2004, and the format was definitely very different from yours. For each section (physical, inorganic and organic), we were required to answer 3 questions, of which 2 were compulsory questions and had to choose 1 out of 2 questions given for the final question.

    The questions were also tougher in 2004. For example, the 1981 question 2 would most likely be awarded 10 marks in the syllabus then. But it could be due to you guys having to refer to log tables and so on while the current scientific calculators could perform the job for us.

    The 1981 questions were also more general in nature while the papers then required more application. Certain content differences are also present (triple point no longer in the syllabus).

    Fast forward to 2012, H2 Chemistry (the Singapore equivalent of A Levels), has become much harder in terms of application.

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