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What is the Difference Between H1, H2, and H3 A-Level Chemistry?

What is the Difference Between H1, H2, and H3 A-Level Chemistry?

The H in H1, H2, and H3 stands for higher. The difference between the three is the depth of the content offered. Therefore, H2 and H3 are broader than H1. For H3, it is an advanced level.  Students who are capable of handling additional subject(s) on top of their H1 and H2 take H3 chemistry.

After you finish 0-level, you proceed to A-level to complete the GCE A-level curriculum. The curriculum offers you the following subject combination for the two years in Junior college;

  • Three H2 content-based subjects
  • One H1 content-based subject
  • Compulsory H1 subject
  • Mother-Tongue Language
  • General paper
  • Project work

Difference between H1, H2, and H3 Chemistry

Topics Covered in Each Level

H1 chemistry topicsH2 chemistry topicsH3 chemistry topics
Atoms Molecules & stoichiometryAtoms Molecules & StoichiometryMolecular Orbital Theory
RedoxRedoxUV—Vis spectroscopy
Atomic structureAtomic structureIR Spectroscopy
Chemical bondingChemical bondingNMR spectroscopy
Energetics (reduced)The gaseous stateMass spectrometry
Kinetics (reduced)EnergeticsAdvanced stereochemistry
Equilibrium (reduced)Entropy, Gibbs free energyKinetics and Thermodynamic controls
Acid-Base Equilibria (reduced)KineticsAdvanced Reaction Mechanisms
Nanomaterials (totally different from that of H2)Equilibrium 
Introduction to organic chemistry (reduced)Acid-Base Equilibria 
Alkane (reduced)Titration curves 
Alkene (reduced)Solubility product 
Arene (reduced)Electrochemistry 
Halogen derivatives (reduced)Introduction to Organic Chemistry 
Hydroxy compounds (reduced)Alkane 
Aldehyde & Ketone (reduced)Alkene 
Carboxylic acid & Derivatives (reduced)Arene 
Polymer chemistry (totally different from that of H2)Halogen Derivatives 
Period 3 elementsHydroxy compounds 
Group 1 elements (totally different from that of H2)Aldehyde & Ketone 
Group 17 elementsCarboxylic acid & Derivatives 
 Organic nitrogen compounds 
 Period 3 elements 
 Group 2 elements 
 Group 17 elements 
 Transition metals 

H1 Chemistry Scheme of Assessment

After covering the H1 chemistry syllabus, you sit for two exam papers.

PaperType of paperExam durationMarksWeighting (%)
1Multiple choice1h3033
2Structured questions2h8067

H1 Paper 1 has 30 compulsory multiple-choice questions. All the questions have 4 options to choose your answer from.  You have an hour to complete the exam. On the other side, paper 2 carries 80 marks. Also, it has two sections, A and B. Section A has a variable number of structured questions, and all are compulsory, whereas section B allows you to answer only one out of the two exam questions with 20 marks.

Both papers 1 and 2 have assessment objectives. First, 40% of the questions in both exams test your knowledge with understanding. Second, 60 % determines your ability to handle, apply, and evaluate information.

H2 Chemistry Scheme of Assessment

A-level H2 is broader than H1 because it has more topics that are more complex. Therefore, when you choose to take it, you will sit for four papers.

PaperPaper typeDurationMarksWeighting (%)
1Multiple choice1h3015
2Structured questions2h7530
3Free-response questions2h8035
4Practical2h 30 min5520

H2 paper 1 consists of 30 compulsory multiple-choice questions like H1 paper 1. Also, the exam questions have four options to choose answers from. In exam paper 2, you get a variable number of compulsory structured questions. You have to write the answers on the question paper.

 H2 has paper 3 whereas H1 and H3 do not have. For paper 3, you have two hours to complete the exam. The exam has both sections A and B. In section A, you have 3-4 free-response questions, and all are compulsory. Each exam question carries 15-25 marks. In section B, you have two questions but only choose one worth 20 marks.

Finally, H2 also has a practical paper but H1 and H3 lack. The exam takes 2h 30 minutes, and it is worth 55 marks. This is a platform that allows you to apply the theories, formulas, equations, and calculations that you learned in class.

Papers 1, 2, and 3 tests your knowledge with understanding plus your ability to handle, apply and evaluate information. On the other hand, paper 4 tests your experimental skills and investigation.

H3 Scheme of Assessment

A-Level H3 chemistry is not for the faint-hearted. It is taken by H2 students who want to have a deeper understanding of chemistry. This paper takes one year to complete, that is, in the second year at Junior college. Also, the syllabus is an extension of H2 chemistry.

Therefore, H3 chemistry gives you a rewarding and fulfilling chemistry experience. Also, it makes your resume look good if you performed well. In addition, it gives you more knowledge in chemistry that is relevant to chemistry-related careers.

H3 paper is a special-structured exam compared to H2 and H1. You have 2h 30 mins to sit for the H3 exam that carries 100 marks. The paper consists of two sections, that is, A and B. Section A has 60 marks, while section B has 40. In section A, you have a variable number of compulsory free-response questions. Also, there are 1 or 2 stimulus-based questions.

Section B has three free-response questions. You need to choose two exam questions containing 20 marks each. The paper assesses your knowledge with understanding. In addition, H3 chemistry gauges your ability to handle, apply, and evaluate information.

Chemistry Tuition

As you have seen above, all three papers, H1, H2, and H3 are broad and require adequate preparation. Therefore, it is necessary to find a chemistry tuition centre that helps you to have all the concepts at your fingertips.  A-level chemistry tuition that allows you to cover all the topics.

If you choose to take H2 and H3 chemistry, the commitment needed is at a higher level than in H1. This is because you will have a year studying H2 chemistry, and then in your second year, you combine H2 and H3. Therefore, it is crucial to spend an hour or two with a private H2 chemistry tutor.

The chemistry tutor helps you to undergo a learning process that will allow you to meet the assessment objectives set by the Ministry of Education. As a result, you hit the pass mark to join the university and pursue your career.

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