Mandatory laboratory components


There are no specific experiments or practicals that all students must perform. Apart from the ten hours for the Individual Scientific Investigation and the ten hours for the Group 4 project, teachers are free to devise their own practical programme to cover the remaining 20 hours (SL) or 40 hours (HL) of the allocated time for practical activities.

However the subject guide does list eleven different areas in the Applications and Skills sections where experimental procedures are required to be covered so it makes sense to devise some practicals to cover these eleven areas. The actual experiments used to cover these mandatory areas will vary from school to school. For each of the areas I have suggested possible experiments that could be used and given full practical details. Remember that questions can be asked on these mandatory areas in Section A of Paper 3 in the external examinations.

Required laboratory components

  • Topic 15.1. Perform lab experiments which could include single replacement reactions in aqueous solutions. (either here or 19.1)
    Topic 19.1. Perform lab experiments which could include single replacement reactions in aqueous solutions.

    This can be covered by using

    Enthalpy changes or voltaic cells   

In fact although there are eleven different areas listed you can see by the way that I have grouped them together that some of them are essentially the same and there are basically a total of seven areas for Standard Level and eight areas for Higher Level. The common seven areas are: quantitative determination of empirical formula, quantitative determination of the molar mass of a gas, titration involving indicators and a pH meter, the construction of 3-D models, the use of a calorimeter, reaction kinetics and the use of voltaic cells. The eighth area for Higher Level only is replacement reactions.

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