International GCSE Chemistry

GCSE Chemistry

This international GCSE qualification contains a broad range of topics designed to engage students in chemistry whilst providing the knowledge and understanding required for progression to A-level.

Practicals in this specification include investigating factors affecting the rate of a reaction and testing for the presence of a double bond in an unknown hydrocarbon. Exam questions will be asked on the practicals, but there is no coursework or practical exam.

This qualification is available for teaching now in Bahrain, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.


Paper 1: Any part of the specification may be assessed.

Paper 2: Any part of the specification may be assessed.


  • Linear specification; individual components may not be re-sat.
  • Candidates can re-take the whole qualification as many times as they wish.

Syllabus summary

Atomic structure and the periodic table

  • Solid, liquids and gases
  • A simple model of the atom
  • The periodic table

Structure, bonding and the properties of matter

  • Chemical bonds: ionic, covalent and metallic 
  • How bonding and structure are related to the properties of substances
  • Structure and bonding of carbon
  • Nanoparticles

Chemical changes

  • Metals
  • The reactivity series
  • Metal carbonates
  • Electrolysis

Chemical analysis

  • Purity, formulations and chromatography
  • Identification of common gases
  • Identification of ions by chemical and spectroscopic means

Acids, bases and salts

  • The properties of acids and bases
  • Preparation of salts

Quantitative chemistry

  • Conservation of mass including the quantitative interpretation of chemical equation
  • Use of amount of substance in relation to masses of pure substances
  • The mole concept
  • Using molar concentrations of solutions and amount of substance in relation to volumes of gases


  • Group properties
  • Transition metals

The rate and extent of chemical change

  • Rate of reaction
  • Reversible reactions and dynamic equilibrium
  • Redox reactions

Energy changes

  • Exothermic and endothermic reactions
  • Calculating and explaining energy change
  • Chemical cells and fuel cells

Organic chemistry

  • Carbon compounds as fuels
  • Crude oil
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Obtaining useful substances from crude oil
  • Synthetic and naturally occurring polymers
  • Organic compounds - their structure and reactions
  • Alcohols
  • Carboxylic acids
  • Esters

Download the complete Oxford AQA International GCSE Chemistry specification (PDF, 433 KB).

Resources available with this specification

Oxford International AQA Examinations provides the resources and advice you need to teach the International GCSE Chemistry specification effectively.

Scheme of Work

Plan your course with the help of a suggested pathway through the syllabus so you can be sure you are covering the essential content.

Classroom Activity Sheets

Access worksheets developed by teachers for teachers, providing a useful set of practical resources to use in the classroom.

Subject specific vocabulary

Ensure that everyone is using scientific language correctly with this list of word definitions used in our international GCSE science specifications and exam papers (based on ‘The Language of Measurement’ produced by the Association of Science Education).

Practical Handbook

Get all the help you need to undertake practicals with your class. This guide harmonises the rules and guidance for International GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics and includes teachers’ notes, technical guidance and student sheets.

Key Stage 3 AQA science syllabus

The AQA approach to teaching the NCfE Key Stage 3 programme of study provides excellent preparation for the Oxford AQA International GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Combined Sciences.

Specimen Papers and Mark Schemes

See how the International GCSE Chemistry specification will be assessed, so you can help your students prepare to sit their exams.

Command Words

Help students prepare for their exams by accessing definitions to command words used in exams and other assessed tasks.

Marked Exemplars

Prepare your students in exam technique with the help of exemplar student answers and examiner commentaries that show how examiners interpret the mark scheme. Marked Exemplars for International GCSE Chemistry will be available from the first teaching day of the 2018/19 academic year.


Exampro is an online database of AQA past paper questions mapped to the new international qualifications, enabling teachers to create their own resources and assessments.

Schools will be given an Exampro username and password when they are approved to teach our qualifications. If you have these credentials you can log in now. If your school is approved to teach our qualifications and you do not know your school’s log-in credentials, contact us.

Enhanced Results Analysis™ tool

Our free Enhanced Results Analysis tool (ERA) gives you instant analysis of your students’ results. You’ll see how students performed in each unit, topic and marks they received for each question. This allows you to see which questions proved the most challenging, or how different classes performed, so you know what areas to focus on in following years. The tool will be available following published results from the first cohort of International GCSE Chemistry students in 2018.

Download this specification

(PDF, 482 KB)

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