Unit 6 - Chemistry Laboratory Skills II

6.1 Unit description

This unit contains practical assessments that cover the content of Units 4 and 5. There is no specific content for this unit.

As with AS Unit 3 students' laboratory skills will be tested in four different ways. However there is a choice in how these can be delivered.

Activity a must be cover the three areas of physical, organic and inorganic chemistry. However, over activities b, c and d two of these areas must be covered. The types of practicals that students must complete for activities b, c and d are qualitative observations, quantitative measurements and preparations.

For this unit there is the opportunity for students to undertake a multi-stage experiment, which includes quantitative measurement and preparation in a longer assessment.

Edexcel will provide a selection of assessed practical sheets for activities b, c and d and the multi-stage experiment. Students can either complete just one assessed practical sheet for each activity, or they can complete more than one for each activity and submit the best mark. The total mark for this unit is 40.

Section ¡¥b, c and d¡¦ include practical activities (40 marks) where the teacher uses Edexcel devised practical activity sheets and mark schemes.

Teachers have the option of marking these activities or having them marked by Edexcel.


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6.2 Assessment information - Choice of pathways

In this unit students must complete activities a and b as in Unit 3 in the AS internal assessment. However, for activities c and d there will be a choice of pathways they can follow. They can follow pathway 1 with activities c and d assessed separately, as in AS. Or they can follow pathway 2, which assesses activities c and d together in a multi-stage experiment.

Controlled conditions

All these activities must be carried out under controlled conditions.

Students will be allowed to write up their practical reports in a separate lesson, but their materials must be collected at the end of the session and handed back at the beginning of the next session.

Students are not permitted to work on their practical sheets out of the lesson. Students work must be individual and they may not work with other students in groups.

Assessed practical sheets

The practical sheets for activities b, c, d and the multi-stage experiment are confidential and must not be shown to students prior to their completion of them. They will be available on a secure Edexcel website for teachers to download in preparation for delivery.

Activities Activity a: General Practical Competence (GPC)

This will confirm that the students have completed a range of practicals over the whole year and developed their laboratory skills. Students must have carried out at least five practicals in class. Students will have to complete practical activities as part of Units 1 and 2. By completing these practicals students will be able to:

There will be no separate mark awarded for these practical activities.

Verification of completion of these practicals is required as well as the core practical code, or title of an alternative practical, field of chemistry and dates on which the practicals were carried out.

Activity b: Qualitative observation

Students must complete one qualitative observation, from the selection provided by Edexcel. This activity will include a student sheet, teacher and technician notes and a mark scheme. The activity is marked out of 14.

Pathway 1 Activity c: Quantitative measurement

Students must complete one quantitative measurement, from the selection provided by Edexcel. This activity will include a student sheet, teacher and technician notes and a mark scheme. The activity is marked out of 14.

Activity d: Preparation

Students must complete one preparation (making a chemical), from the selection provided by Edexcel. This activity will include a student sheet, teacher and technician notes and a mark scheme. The activity is marked out of 12.

Pathway 2 Multi-stage experiment

Students could complete a multi-stage experiment, comprising of a quantitative measurement and a preparation. This will cover the same criteria as activities c and d, but allow students experience of a longer and different practical activity. This activity must be chosen from the selection provided by Edexcel. It will include a student sheet, teacher and technician notes and a mark scheme. The activity is marked out of 26.


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6.3 Tasks for activity b

Tasks available for activity b ¡X qualitative observation for the A2 are as follows. These tasks will change each year. Please see section 6.7 for further details.

Activity code Title Unit

A2B1 Observation exercise on two inorganic compounds

Unit 5, Topic 5.3: Redox and the chemistry of the transition metals

A2B2 Observation exercise on three transition metal ions

Unit 5, Topic 5.3: Redox and the chemistry of the transition metals

A2B3 Observation exercise on two inorganic salt solutions

Unit 5, Topic 5.3: Redox and the chemistry of the transition metals

A2B4 Observation exercise on three organic compounds

Unit 4, Topic 4.8: Further organic chemistry


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6.4 Tasks for activity c

Tasks available for activity c ¡X quantitative measurement for the A2 are as follows.

Activity code Title Unit

A2C1 pH titration ¡X finding the Ka value of a weak acid

Unit 4, Topic 4.7: Acid/base equilibria

A2C2 Following the rate of a reaction Unit 4, Topic 4.3: How fast? ¡X rates

A2C3 Potassium manganate(VII) titration Unit 5, Topic 5.3: Redox and the chemistry of the transition metals

A2C4 Finding the activation energy of a reaction Unit 4, Topic 4.3: How fast? ¡X rates


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6.5 Tasks for activity d

Tasks available for activity d ¡X preparation for the A2 are as follows.

Activity code Title Unit

A2D1 Preparation of aspirin Unit 5, Topic 5.4: Organic chemistry ¡X arenes, nitrogen compounds and synthesis

A2D2 Preparation of a transition metal complex salt Unit 5, Topic 5.3: Redox and the chemistry of the transition metals

A2D3 Preparation of an ester Unit 5, Topic 5.4: Organic chemistry ¡X arenes, nitrogen compounds and synthesis


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6.6 Task for the multi-stage experiment (c+d)

Task available for the multi-stage experiment (c+d) for the A2 are as follows.

Activity code Title Unit

A2M1 The synthesis of aspirin in two stages Unit 5, Topic 5.4: Organic chemistry ¡X arenes, nitrogen compounds and synthesis


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6.7 Activity sheets

The activity sheets for activities b, c and d will be available to download from the Edexcel website. These are securely stored so a password is required to access them. They are confidential and must not be distributed to students prior to them carrying out the task.

The tasks for activity b ¡X qualitative observation will change each year. The tasks listed in section 6.3 (A2B1, A2B2, A2B3 and A2B4) are only valid from September 2009 to August 2010. New tasks will be available for each following year, on the Edexcel website, as secure files. The new files will have different codes (eg A2B5) to make them easily identifiable.