Doc Brown's Chemistry  Cambridge IGCSE CHEMISTRY (CIE, OCR)

 2011 2102 2013 syllabus specification revision notes student exam revision help revision notes practice exam questions past papers

On-site support for the International IGCSE Level chemistry OCR code 0620 - Cambridge Extended syllabus for grades A*-C

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Other Cambridge IGCSE/O Level International Syllabuses: 0652 * 0653 * 0654 * 5070 * 5129

1. The particulate nature of matter


2. Experimental Techniques

2.1 Measurement

2.2(a) Criteria of purity

  • describe paper chromatography and how to interpret simple chromatograms including use of Rf values.

  • outline how chromatography techniques can be applied to colourless substances by exposing chromatographs to substances called locating agents (knowledge of specific locating agents is not required)

  • identify substances and assess their purity from melting point and boiling point information

  • understand the importance of purity in substance in everyday life, eg. foodstuffs and drugs

2.2(b) Methods of purification


3. Atoms, elements and compounds

3.1 Atomic structure and the Periodic Table

top3.2 Bonding : the structure of matter

3.2(a) Ions and ionic bonds

3.2(b) Molecules and covalent bonds

3.2(c) Macromolecules

  • describe the giant covalent structures of graphite and diamond
  • describe the macromolecular structure of silicon (IV) oxide (silicon dioxide)

  • relate their structures to the use of graphite as a lubricant and of diamond in cutting

  • describe the similarity in properties between diamond and silicon (IV) oxide, related to their structures

3.2(d) Metallic bonding


4. Stoichiometry

4.1 The mole concept


5. Electricity and Chemistry

  • describe the electrode products in the electrolysis of: molten lead (II) bromide; concentrated hydrochloric acid; concentrated aqueous sodium chloride - between inert electrodes (platinum or carbon)

  • relate the products of electrolysis to the electrolyte and electrodes used, exemplified by the specific examples together with aqueous copper (II) sulphate using carbon electrodes and using copper electrodes (as used in the refining of copper)

  • state the general principle that metals or hydrogen are formed at the negative electrode (cathode), and that non-metals (other than hydrogen) are formed at the positive electrode (anode)

  • describe electrolysis in terms of the ions present and reactions at the electrodes in the examples given

  • predict the products of the electrolysis of a specified binary compound in the molten state

  • predict the products of electrolysis of a specified halide in dilute or concentrated aqueous solution

  • describe, in outline, the manufacture of

    • (i) aluminium from pure aluminium oxide in molten cryolite

    • (ii) chlorine and sodium hydroxide from concentrated aqueous sodium chloride

      • (Starting materials and essential conditions should be given but no technical details or diagrams).

  • describe the electroplating of metals and name the uses of electroplating

  • describe the reasons for the use of copper and (steel-cored) aluminium in cables, and why plastics and ceramics are used as insulators


6. Chemical Changes

6.1 Energetics of a reaction

6.2 Production of energy

  • describe the production of heat energy by burning fuels (see "Fossil Fuels" & "Oil Products - burning alkanes")

  • describe the production of electrical energy from simple cells, i.e.. two electrodes in an electrolyte (This should be linked with the reactivity series in section 10.2 and redox in section 7.3) (see Metal Reactivity)

  • state the use of batteries as a convenient portable energy source

  • describe hydrogen as a fuel (in fuels cells)

  • describe radioactive isotopes, such as 235U, as a source of energy (in radioactivity and nuclear chemistry)


7. Chemical reactions

7.1 Speed of reaction

7.2 Reversible reactions

  • describe the idea that some chemical reactions can be reversed by changing the reaction conditions,

    • Limited to the effects of heat on hydrated salts including hydrated copper(II) sulfate and hydrated cobalt(II) chloride.

    • Concept of equilibrium is not required.

  • predict the effect of changing the conditions (concentration, temperature and pressure) on other reversible reactions

  • understand the concept of equilibrium

7.3 Redox

  • define oxidation and reduction in terms of oxygen loss/gain (see 10.3 extraction and corrosion of metals)

  • define redox in terms of electron transfer (Oxidation state limited to its use to name ions, eg. iron(II), iron(III), copper(II), manganate(VII) dichromate (VI).

  • identify redox reactions by changes in oxidation state and by the colour changes involved when using acidified potassium manganate(VII), and potassium iodide.

    • (Recall of equations involving KMnO4 is not required).

  • Introduction to OXIDATION and REDUCTION and their application to REDOX reactions


8. Acids, bases and salts

8.1 The characteristic properties of acids and bases

8.2 Types of oxides

  • classify oxides as either acidic or basic, related to metallic and non-metallic character

  • further classify other oxides as neutral or amphoteric

  • See Periodic Table Notes

top8.3 Preparation of salts

  • describe the preparation, separation and purification of salts as examples of some of the techniques specified in section 2.2(b) and the reaction specified in section 8.1

  • describe the preparation of insoluble salts by precipitation

  • suggest a method of making a given salt from suitable starting materials, given appropriate information

  • Methods of making salts including how to do a titration

8.4 Identification of ions and gases


9. The Periodic Table

9.1 Periodic trends

  • describe the change from metallic to non-metallic character across a Period

  • describe the relationship between Group number, number of valency electrons and metallic/non-metallic character

  • see above for links

top9.2 Group properties

9.3 Transition elements

9.4 Noble gases


10 Metals

10.1 Properties of metals

10.2 Reactivity series

  • place in order of reactivity: calcium, copper, (hydrogen), iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc by reference to the reactions, if any, of the metals with: water or steam, dilute hydrochloric acid and the reduction of their oxides with carbon

  • describe the reactivity series as related to the tendency of a metal to form its positive ion, illustrated by its reaction, if any, with the aqueous ion or the oxides of the other listed metals

  • describe the action of heat on the hydroxides and nitrates of the listed metals (in 1st section, thermal decomposition)

  • account for the apparent un-reactivity of aluminium in terms of the oxide layer which adheres to the metal

  • deduce an order of reactivity from a given set of experimental results

top10.3(a) Extraction of metals

10.3(b) Uses of metals


11. Air and water


12. Sulphur

  • name some sources of sulphur

  • name the use of sulphur in the manufacture of sulphuric acid

  • name the uses of sulphur dioxide as a bleach in the manufacture of wood pulp for paper; as a food preservative (by killing bacteria)

  • describe the manufacture of sulphuric acid by the Contact process

  • describe the properties of dilute sulphuric acid as a typical acid

  • name the uses of sulphuric acid as in the manufacture of detergents and fertilisers

13. Carbonates


14. Organic Chemistry

14.1 Names of compounds

14.2 Fuels

  • name the fuels coal, natural gas and petroleum

  • name methane as the main constituent of natural gas

  • describe petroleum as a mixture of hydrocarbons and its separation into useful fractions by fractional distillation

  • name the uses of the fractions as; petrol fraction as fuel in cars; paraffin fraction for oil stoves and aircraft fuel; diesel fraction for fuel in diesel engines, lubricating fraction for lubricants and making waxes and polishes; bitumen for main roads

top14.3 Homologous series

14.4 Alkanes

  • describe the properties of alkanes (exemplified by methane) as being generally unreactive, except in terms of burning

  • describe the bonding in alkanes

  • describe and identify structural isomerism

  • describe substitution reactions of alkanes with chlorine

14.5 Alkenes

  • describe the manufacture of alkenes and of hydrogen by cracking

  • distinguish between saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons from molecular structures and by simple chemical tests

  • describe the properties of alkenes in terms of addition reactions with bromine, hydrogen and steam

  • describe the formation of poly(ethene) as an example of addition polymerisation of monomer units

top14.6 Alcohols

  • describe the formation of ethanol by fermentation and by the catalytic addition of steam to ethene

  • describe the properties of ethanol in terms of burning

  • name the uses of ethanol; as a solvent; as a fuel; as a constituent of wine and beer

14.7 Acids

  • Describe the physical properties of aqueous ethanoic acid

  • describe the formation of ethanoic acid by the oxidation of ethanol with atmospheric oxygen and with acidified potassium dichromate (VI) (see also redox)

  • describe ethanoic acid as a typical weak acid

  • describe the reaction of ethanoic acid with ethanol to give an ester (ethyl ethanoate)

14.8 Macromolecules

top14.8(a) Synthetic polymers

  • name some typical uses of plastics and of man-made fibres

  • describe the pollution problems caused by non-biodegradable plastics

  • deduce the structure of the polymer product from a given alkene and vice versa

  • describe the formation of nylon (a polyamide) by condensation polymerisation, the structure of nylon represented as ... (the rectangles represent the rest of the carbon chains in each unit) (3 units etc.)

  •  describe the formation of Terylene (a polyester) by condensation polymerisation and the structure of Terylene represented as (3 units etc.)

  • (Details of manufacture and mechanisms of these polymerisations are not required).

14.8(b) Natural macromolecules

  • name proteins, fats and carbohydrates as the main constituents of food

  • describe proteins as possessing the same (amide) linkages as nylon but with different units

  • describe the hydrolysis of proteins to amino acids (structures and names not required)

  • describe fats as having the same ester linkages as Terylene but with different units

  • describe soap a product of hydrolysis of fats

  • describe complex carbohydrates in terms of a large number of sugar units joined together by condensation polymerisation eg the diagram shows 4 units of a natural carbohydrate polymer ... ... (the rectangles represent the rest of the carbon chains in each unit) ..... etc.

  • describe the acid hydrolysis of complex carbohydrates (eg. starch) to give simple sugars

  • describe the fermentation of simple sugars to produce ethanol (and carbon dioxide) and its importance to brewing and wine making (Candidates will not be expected to give the molecular formulae of sugars).

  • describe, in outline, the usefulness of chromatography in separating and identifying the products of hydrolysis of carbohydrates and proteins


Qualitative Analysis Tests to know