Assessment Specifications

Level 3 Chemistry 2021

General information



Method of assessment

Written examination


91390  91391  91392

Information relating to all achievement standards

The format will be the same for each achievement standard.


Calculators are permitted.

Resources or information supplied

A resource booklet will be provided. It will contain:

  • relevant chemical formulae needed for Level 3 Chemistry,
    e.g. n = cV
  • a copy of the periodic table – giving element symbols, atomic numbers, and molar masses
  • a list of nine complex ions, with their formulae.

The resource booklet for Level 3 Chemistry can be found at the following link to the Chemistry resources (PDF, 333KB) for externally assessed standards. 

Symbols, nomenclature, spelling, and formatting will follow IUPAC conventions. These are shown in the reference sheet Quantities, Units, Symbols and Nomenclature used in Chemistry (PDF, 255KB). This reference sheet will not be provided in the examination.

Special notes

In calculations, candidates will be expected to use the molar mass values given with the question, or on the periodic table provided.

All working should be shown in calculations. Numerical answers should be rounded to an appropriate number of significant figures (usually three significant figures). Correct units must be included.

The content is specified in the Explanatory Notes to each achievement standard.

Questions may be asked within a variety of appropriate contexts, some of which may be unfamiliar to the candidates. Any context-specific formulae will be provided in the examination.

Candidates should be familiar with relevant practical work.

Specific information for individual achievement standards




Demonstrate understanding of thermochemical principles and the properties of particles and substances



Number of credits


The concept of resonance, Hund’s rule and the stability of half-filled sublevels will not be assessed.

The value of the specific heat capacity of water (4.18 J g–1–1) will be provided when required.




Demonstrate understanding of the properties of organic compounds



Number of credits


Constitutional isomers are those that have the same molecular formula, but a different structural formula.

Systematic naming of amines is restricted to primary amines. Candidates will not be expected to recall the common names of amino acids.

Knowledge of principles of organic chemistry covered in Chemistry Level 2 AS 91165 will be assumed.




Demonstrate understanding of equilibrium principles in aqueous systems



Number of credits


Candidates are expected to recognise common strong acids (HCl, HBr, HNO3, H2SO4); strong bases (KOH, NaOH); weak acids (HF, CH3COOH, and NH4+); weak bases (NH3, CH3NH2, and CH3COO). Less familiar weak acids and bases may be included in the context of appropriate resource information. Values of Kb or pKb will not be provided, but may be derived and used in calculations.

Knowledge of the following complex ions will be assumed: [Ag(CN)2], [Ag(NH3)2]+, [Al(OH)4], [Cu(NH3)4]2+, [Pb(OH)4]2–, [Zn(OH)4]2–, [Zn(NH3)4]2+, [Ni(NH3)6]2+, and [Ni(CN)4]2–.  This list of complex ions (with formulae) will be given in the Resource Booklet. Less familiar complex ions may be included in the context of appropriate resource information.

Chemistry subject page

Examination timetable

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