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Predictions and possible 'Hot Topics' (Long)
RowanHKC Leaving Cert Chemistry — 21/06/16 4

The following are the predictions given by my teacher; after, I will note a few topics which I, personally, would not be surprised to see come up in a larger-than-normal capacity, due to recent news/advancements in the world of Chemistry. Do remember that these are only predictions, and for those wanting a high grade, the whole course should be known. --- Q.1: Fe; edta (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid [usually as disodium salt]); Bleach. Fe looks to be the most likely. Q.2: Ethene; Ethyne; Steam Distillation. Steam Distillation is most likely, but not necessarily as a full question (as there's not much to it). If it does come up as a half-Q, look for it to be paired with a topic usually in Q.3, such as Chromatography. If not, Q.2 could also arise as a more general, 'waffly', question, covering tidbits from a multitude of topics. As soap has come up four times in 15 years, it's not looking as likely. Q.3: Graph Question; Cations/Anions; Heat of Neutralisation; Equilibrium. If this isn't a graph question, a graph will surely arise elsewhere on the paper. Chromatography is another possibility, but only if it doesn't come up in Q.2. Cations/Anions (& thus, Ox/Red) is probably the most likely. Equilibrium is no longer prescribed as a practical, as it was deemed too dangerous, if I'm not mistaken, so whilst it may come up, it would surely cause an uproar from teachers nationwide. Q.4: The Short Q.s. Know your definitions; the same ones come up year-after-year. If you haven't already done so, attempt all Q.4s in the past papers. You can bet your house you'll be answering parts either the exact same, or only slightly different, tomorrow, as those that've come up in years prior. Q.5: Likely to be very specific in terms of what it wants; last year was very, well, all over the place, and generally considered very easy. Look for Trends, Types of Bonding, and Molecular Geometry. Q.6: Fuels & Thermochemistry; not much to say here. Q.7: The Second Organic: Probably on Esters/Acids &/or Alcohols/Aldehydes; Alkanes/Alkenes/Chloro is seemingly always asked, so they'll probably look to diversify. Q.8: Water/pH came up a lot last year, so, because of this, it will probably be found in Q.s 10 or 11, and not as a full question in 8. Also, with all the water-related stuff going on in Ireland, it would be a bit too obvious to have Water as a full question, even if it didn't come up so much last year. Instead, look for 8 to be an Equilibrium question; do the Equilibrium past paper questions. Q.9: Assuming Cations/Anions prediction for Q.3 holds true, look for a full Q on Rates. If Q.3 is not as stated, Rates will probably be included as a half-Q later in the paper. If not Rates, look for a Graph Q/a Q on Catalysis. Q.s10&11: Gas Law; Chromatography/Instrumentation (v. likely); Ox/Red; Mole/Calc.; Radioactivity. --- Now, onto some 'hot topics', so to speak. These are my personal topics of note, based almost-solely on recent announcements/advancements in Chemistry, whilst also looking at our course/syllabus, and the likelihood of exam questions being devoted, wholly or partially, to said topics of note. First, and (probably) most importantly, is the recent announcement of the names for elements (Z=): 113 (now nihonium (Nh)), 115 (now moscovium (Mc)), 117 (now tennessine (Ts)), and 118 (now oganesson (Og)), by IUPAC themselves. The news broke on June 8th of this year (so, two weeks ago), but the confirmation of the artificial synthesis of said superheavy elements was in December of last year. Most recent announcement: http://iupac.org/iupac-is-naming-the-four-new-elements-nihonium-moscovium-tennessine-and-oganesson/ Because of this, I feel like there's a chance for a possibly larger-than-normal Radioactivity question, or maybe a Radioactivity/History question. Though it wouldn't surprise me if radioactivity remains relegated as a half-Q. Note 2009 Q.11(a) as a slight example: it discusses the death of a former Soviet agent in November of the year prior (so, similar timeframe to original announcement of confirmation of synthesis), due to radioactivity, and the student is then asked to fill in a reaction. Besides this, another piece of news released by IUPAC, even earlier than above (although not as widely-known), is the revision of the standard atomic weight of the element Ytterbium (Yb; Z=70). This could lead into a standard sort of question, asking the student to define the likes of 'relative atomic mass', to talk about isotopes/abundance of each of an element's nuclides in nature, and how they sway the element's A, etc. Those are my two biggest suspects. To briefly look at today's HL Physics Paper, we see that the Pentaquark, an exotic baryon discovered last November (I believe), and confirmed just this year, at the LHC, takes centre stage in Q.5(j), with a full radiation Q in 9 (though this is far from abnormal for those unfamiliar with the layout of the Physics paper). Even with that said, though, the questions were, in my mind, more calculation-heavy than normal; we didn't have to explain the Geiger-Marsden experiment or anything like that, nor did we have to draw an X-ray tube, or Geiger-Mueller Counter, like I would have expected. Due to this, part of me is questioning as to whether today was a slight hint, per-se, towards tomorrow; the experiments are more often asked in a chemistry radiation question, than a physics one, and perhaps they didn't want students to be able to profit from the same knowledge in multiple subjects. But then again, it may mean absolutely nothing. --- To conclude, those looking for a high mark should leave nothing out; consult the syllabus if you have any questions as to what you must know. Those not looking for such a high mark, do note that none of the above is guaranteed.

Ultimuted — 20/06/16
This is amazing. Thank you!
jdevine00 — 20/06/16
What do you mean by equilibrium was deemed too dangerous?
RowanHKC — 21/06/16
In 2011, the Department of Education took all substances containing, or related to, cobalt(II), and chromate(VI), out of schools, over health & safety concerns. The concern was brought forward by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which put these chemicals on a list 'Substances of Very High Concern' (sounds scary), following new EU Regulations that took effect mid-2007. Because of this, schools were (are) no longer able to do the practical based on le Chatelier's Principle, as it required these aforementioned, now banned, chemicals. Therefore, if equilibrium were to come up, which, technically-speaking, it very well could, it would almost undoubtedly piss-off more than a few chemistry teachers, as many would look towards the Department's nigh 14-year precedence of these experiment questions being based upon actual practicals, as set by the syllabus. And there are enough teachers that are already angry at the Department for whatever their reason, not including something like this, so it could be postulated that the Department has good reason to avoid setting this as a question tomorrow. But, as always, you never know.
Chris241197 — 21/06/16
no, only two equilibrium were taken off one is still on, I thibk
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