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Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in O Level Chemistry Practical Exams

The O Level chemistry practical exam test a student’s analyzing, planning, performing, and observing skills. Students often complain that despite consistent hard work, they do not score well on the practical exam. The easy solution for this problem is to assess where you lost those precious marks. 

Mistakes that students usually make are silly and easily avoidable. Here is a list of 5 mistakes you should be cautious of in your O level chemistry practical exam.

Not Using Your Observations in Answers

The objective of the O Level Chemistry practical exam is to evaluate your ability to apply your knowledge in a practical situation. Therefore, if you base your answers solely on memory, they will not be as precise as the examiner expects.

One way to ensure your response is as accurate as possible is by basing it on what you have observed during the experiment. For example, your answers could include details of color changes and any precipitates formed. You must, therefore, be extra vigilant and pay close attention. 

Being Inaccurate

A lot of students have an understanding of what the answer will be, but they need help with answer formation. The examiner looks for certain words in the answers. Going through marking schemes and examiner reports for the O level chemistry practical exam is the perfect way to be aware of them.

To avoid losing points for not doing so, ensure you remember those and include them in your responses. For example, using the word clear for a colorless solution will cost you marks.

Be careful not to use too much chemical solution while performing your experiment. Remember that approximately 1-2 cm3 of a solution should be used for each test. Similarly, adding regents slowly and ensuring they are mixed well is also essential. While drawing diagrams, for example, you should neatly label the critical parts.

Skipping Questions 

O level chemistry practical exam constitutes 20% of your entire grade. It has a variable number of compulsory questions, which total up to 40 marks. Hence, one thing you must avoid at all costs is skipping questions. Even if you are unsure of the answer, fill it in, as writing something would at least bump up your chances of getting some marks. 

chemistry lab symbols

Not Reading the Question Paper Carefully

Most students do not read the question carefully, which causes them to lose marks and lower their grade. The O level chemistry practical exam is mainly about following the instructions. You risk making silly mistakes like misnaming a solution if you do not carefully read the instructions. 

You rarely have the time or resources to redo the experiment in chemistry practicals; ensure to set aside some of those 110 minutes to carefully read the questions and comprehend what the examiner is looking for. 

If something doesn’t click, try drawing diagrams to visualize. Students tend to write improper units without checking their compatibility, which causes them to lose marks. Many also forget to label the variables in the graph they plot, so ensure you are attentive during the exam.

Not Knowing the Basics of Experimental Chemistry

There are some widely accepted rules that you should follow to enhance the quality of your experiment. They include not using the same dropper for two separate solutions and washing a thermometer before using it. 

You should also ensure that you always heat solutions in a boiling tube, not a test tube. We advise washing the apparatus with distilled water if you have enough time. Furthermore, if you think a solution has impurities, ask your invigilator to replace it.

Ace Your O Level Chemistry Practical Exam With Us!

Having crystal clear concepts and frequent practice sessions is the key to avoiding errors in the exam. Peak Tuition is your one-stop solution to all your O Level Chemistry practical struggles. 

At Peak Tuition, we offer experienced and dedicated tutors who will help you achieve your desired grades. Enroll in our trial sessions, and when you are satisfied, fill out this form! For polishing your skills, revision classes are ideal. For further inquiries, you can contact them via WhatsApp.

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