Petri dish - QCE Chemistry Unit 4

Done with Unit 3 of QCE Chemistry and are beginning to work on Unit 4?

To help you develop an understanding of what you’ll be learning in this unit, we’ll break down all of the topics you’ll be taking on and provide you with guides on how to complete your assessments for QCE Chemistry Unit 4.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

What is Unit 4 in QCE Chemistry all about?
Topic 1: Properties and Structure of Organic Material 
Topic 2: Chemical Synthesis and Design 
QCE Chemistry Unit 4 Assessments
Study Tips

What is Unit 4 in QCE Chemistry all about?

Unit 4 is the second of your two formative senior units for Chemistry. This means that the assessments you do for this unit (IA3 and EA) will count towards your ATAR.

The unit is split into two topics:

These topics cover a variety of subtopics from equilibrium constants to electrolytic cells. 

Topic 1: Properties and Structure of Organic Material

Structure of Organic Compounds 

This subtopic covers: 

Number of SubstituentsMultiplier
Number of CarbonsPrefix for Main Chain 
  1. Find and name longest continuous carbon chain (root/parent name) 
  2. Identify and name groups attached to this chain (branches/substituent groups): 1C methyl, 2C ethyl, 3C propyl 
  3. Number chain consecutively, starting at the end nearest a substituent group 
  4. Designate the location of each substituent group by an appropriate number and name 
  5. First write the names of the substituent groups in the order of <number dash name>
  6. If the same branch is present more than once, write the numbers first separated by commas and use ‘di tri tetra penta’ to describe them 
  7. If different branches are present, arrange the names in alphabetical order ‘butyl ethyl methyl propyl’
  8. Last write the ‘root name’ which is the name of the longest chain as one word 

Types of Isomers

Image sourced from Wikipedia

Physical Properties and Trends 

This subtopic covers: 

Class of CompoundIntermolecular ForcesMelting/Boiling PointPolarity & Solubility in Water
Alkane- dispersion force LowLow

Non soluble 
Alcohol- dispersion force
- hydrogen bond
- dipole-dipole

Aldehyde- dispersion force
- dipole-dipole
Ketone- dispersion force
- dipole-dipole 

Carboxylic acid - dispersion force
- dipole-dipole
- hydrogen bond
Medium/High Medium/High

Ester- dispersion force
- dipole-dipole
Amide- dispersion force
- dipole-dipole
- hydrogen bond
Amine- dispersion force
- hydrogen bond

Nitrile- dispersion force
- hydrogen bond


Organic Reactions and Reaction Pathways 

This subtopic covers: 

Organic Reactions and Reaction Pathways Part 1

Organic Reactions and Reaction Pathways Part 2

Organic Reactions and Reaction Pathways Part 3

Organic Reactions and Reaction Pathways Part 4

Organic Materials: Structure and Function 

This subtopic covers: 

Orders of Protein Structure

Image sourced from Khan Academy

The structure of isotactic syndiotactic and atactic polypropene

Image sourced from Research Gate

alpha vs beta glucose

Image sourced from TLAMJS 

Amylose- Has few glucose units per polymer and is unbranched 
- Hydrogen bonding forms between sugar units further away gains amylose final shape a coil
- Soluble in water 
Amylopectin- Has large number of glucose units per polymer bonded by α1-4 glycosidic bonds 
- It is branched by forming α1-6 glycosidic
- Because of its larger size, amylopectin does not dissolve in water and is the water insoluble part of the starch 
- Hydrogen bonding formed between sugar units 
Cellulose- Monomer is a β- glucose which forms β1-4 glycosidic bonds
- They form hydrogen bonding with glucose units forms different polymer chains

Analytical Techniques 

This subtopic covers: 

Mass Spectrometry - QCE Chemistry Unit 4Infrared Spectroscopy

Topic 2: Chemical Synthesis and Design 

Chemical Synthesis 

This subtopic covers: 

Chemical Synthesis

Green Chemistry 

This subtopic covers: 

The 12 Principles of Green Chemistry

Image sourced from Compound Interest

Macromolecules: Polymers, Proteins and Carbohydrates 

This subtopic covers: 

Plastics - QCE Chemistry Unit 4

Image sourced from Syracuse Chemistry of Artifacts Project

Introduction to proteins and amino acids

Image sourced from Khan Academy

Macromolecules Polymers, Proteins and Carbohydrates - QCE Chemistry Unit 4

Image sourced from Lumen

Molecular Manufacturing 

This subtopic covers: 

QCE Chemistry Unit 4 Assessments

#1: IA3 – Research Investigation

IA3 is the research investigation. It will assess your ability to create a scientific essay that evaluates a given claim. It constitutes 20% of your overall grade. To find out how to write your research investigation, see The Ultimate Guide to Conducting a QCE Chemistry Research Investigation So You Can Maximise Marks.

#2: EA – External Assessment

It is an exam that consists of both Unit 3 and 4 content and constitutes 50% of your overall grade. To find out how to best prepare for the external assessment, see How to Ace Your External Assessment for QCE Chemistry.

For practice questions, see:

Tips for Study 

#1: Create a revision table like the one below using the syllabus dot points to guide you 

Chemistry External Assessment Revision Table

#2: Make it visual!

Use diagrams, flowcharts and other visual forms of displaying information where you can when making your notes — this will help to make things more easy to memorise.

#3: Incorporate examples

Include examples of each concept you learn about. For example, if you’re learning about buffer solutions, make sure to include examples of a few relevant buffer solutions!

#4: Time management is essential

The syllabus has a guide on how much time should be spent on each subtopic.

While this guide is technically for teachers and their lesson planning, you as a student can also use it to help guide your study (i.e. to figure out which topics may be more important and therefore require more study time). 

Topic 1: Properties and structure of organic materials - Syllabus QCE Chemistry Unit 4

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