Basic Introduction to VCE Chemistry 3/4

December 14, 2020joelleva

Chemistry is a very interesting subject, however, it can be very ‘dry’ and boring if you do not understand what is going on. It is a prerequisite for many science courses at university, and it is certainly a prerequisite for the MBBS course at Monash University.

Having a solid foundation on the key Chemistry concepts is one of the ways to succeed in Year 12 Chemistry. Therefore the focus of this article will be on those key concepts that you should have learnt in Year 11.


The mole concept was introduced in Year 11 and it is a concept that is still relevant in Year 12 Chemistry. The formulas that you learnt are still applicable to what you will be learning in Year 12. Some of the formulas, which you should already be familiar with, are:

Other Key Chemistry Concepts:

- Know how to calculate empirical and molecular formulas

- Definition of an acid and base ➔ Brønsted-Lowry Definition.

- Calculating pH and the difference between a strong acid and weak acid.

- Stoichiometry ➔ determining excess and limiting reagents.

- Redox reactions

- Oxidation and reduction ➔ what is the difference between the two?
- Writing balanced redox equations.
- Half-equations.
- Determining oxidations numbers of compounds.
- Galvanic cells ➔ What are anode and cathode? Where do oxidation and reduction occur in the cell?

- Naming organic compounds ➔ alkanes

The above list is just some of the things that I think will be beneficial to you if you revise them over the holidays before school starts. The list is by no means exhaustive!

To revise over those concepts I would read over your Year 11 notes that address these key concepts. I would then try to do some questions that relate to those concepts to see if you understand what you are reading.

The questions can be either from your Year 11 Chemistry Textbook or from the practice exams that you may have received when you did the Year 11 Chemistry Exam at school.

Understanding these concepts will help you when you begin your Year 12 Chemistry journey. These concepts will pop up one way or another during the course.

That is it from me; watch this space for more Chemistry articles in the future.

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