Chemical Bonding is one of the most important fundamental topics in O-Level Chemistry (and other equivalent Basic Chemistry

syllabus). It is linked to many other topics in Chemistry. However, many students are not aware of it and take them very lightly. Let’s check out a question that was emailed to me by one of the student that read this blog.
Hi I just want to clarify whether the explanation is correct. Q) Explain why graphite has a lower melting point than diamond. (1 mark). The answer is “Graphite has fewer covalent bonds than Diamond.” What about this answer: “Graphite has weak van der wals forces between the layers. Lesser energy is required to overcome such forces. As a result, it has a lower melting point than diamond”. Is this answer acceptable? From my own understanding, diamond has 4 covalent bonds between the carbon atoms while graphite has 3 covalent bonds between the carbon atoms and weak van der wals forces. More energy is required to break the extra covalent bond in diamond than the weak van der wals forces between the layers of atoms in graphite. Regards Weijie

The suggested answer “Graphite has fewer covalent bonds than Diamond.” is INCORRECT and is one of the common mistakes made by students batch after batch every year. Not sure where he found this suggested answer though. Weijie is correct in his own suggested answer. =) Graphite are made up of layers of hexagonal rings that are held together by weak intermolecular van der Waals’ forces of attraction. Lesser energy is required to overcome such weak forces. As a result, it has a lower melting point than diamond which is made of carbon atoms that are covalently bonded strongly together to form an extensive 3-D

network with tetrahedral arrrangement. If you find the post useful to your friends. A large amount of energy is required to break these strong covalent bonds. Tips: Covalent Bonds (an intramolecular bond) is much stronger than van der Waals’ forces (an intermolecular bond) Remember to master this topic on Chemical Bonding if you want to excel in Chemistry.Leave your comment! O-Level Chemistry: Collection of Questions from my Chemistry Students Written on October 30. : ) 0 Comments . Questions are posted in BLACK while my suggested answers / comments are posted in BLUE. Chemistry Notes & Tips 2 Comments Note: For Singapore GCE O-Level Pure Chemistry Combine Science (Chemistry) students that are taking exams this coming week Following are some quick questions that my O-Level Chemistry students asked me last two days as they revise their work and need to clarify some doubts before their exams. I thought it would be great to share with all my readers (especially if you are one of those going for the exam also). =) Questions from Elizabeth: Hi Mr Chua. I have 21 questions for you. . could you kindly respond accordingly? Thanks ((: 1) What is the precision of measuring cylinder & pipette? Measuring cylinder is to 1 cm3 accuracy. feel free to share the link with them. 2011 by sean in Chemistry Guidebooks.

Instead it is used to transfer specific volume of liquid/solution.g 10 cm3. etc. They are all ionic compound / salt. Adding nitric acid means to acidify barium nitrate solution. then barium nitrate OR -add acidified barium nitrate? Both can. E. . 7) What is the definition of ‘volatile’? It refers to liquid that easily changes to gaseous state at room temperature. magnesium sulfate. Ethanol in perfume.g.Pipette normally is not used for measurement. do I write: -add nitric acid. 2) What exactly is calcium chloride? It is an ionic compound / salt. Solid iodine sublimes to become gaseous iodine at room temperature. 50 cm3. 4) During O’s. E. It turns from blue to red and then bleached. 6) What exactly happens when liquid freezes? Liquid state changes to solid state. Metal sulfate is a general term. calcium sulfate. etc. 3) Is metal sulphate a salt? Yes. So many examples you can easily think of are: Sodium sulfate.g. Sometimes. Refer to Kinetic Particle Theory topic to understand how the ARRANGEMENT and MOVEMENT changes from L to S state. E. for the test for sulphate. 25 cm3. And you will see either form in the questions in O-Levels. 5) To test for chlorine. they apply it to solids that sublimes also. do I use damp litmus paper OR damp blue litmus paper? Given a choice. we would prefer to write damp blue litmus paper.

13) Which is the definition of catalyst? .9) Does concentration affect cations? Don’t understand this question. 1. HB-B is endo (+ve) whereas HB-M is exo (-ve). 10) For O’s. Reactants higher or lower energy than Products 2.substance which speeds up the rate of reaction . Enthalpy change is negative or positive 3. Ca(OH)2 is sparingly soluble. Presence of Activation Energy 12) In exo reactions. LiOH) as well as Ba(OH)2 for Group II metal hydroxides. You will get it. Aluminium & Potassium? We talked about this before. They give very good examples to understand. I disagree with your answer above. KOH. Zinc hydroxide and Alumnium hydroxide are INSOLUBLE! Refer to QA. Refer to the formula of: Enthalpy Changes = HB-B + HB-M Use the formula and reason out the thought process. Refer to textbook if you still dont.Provide an alternative route for the reaction with lower activation energy? . enthalpy change is NEGATIVE. We usually remember Group I metal hydroxides are soluble in water (NaOH. 11) What does energy level on the energy profile diagram represent? It shows 3 things. test for Cations.are these the only soluble hydroxides we need to knowZinc. why do products have lower energy? In EXO.

do I use titration or Excess method? Theoretically. we should write O2. when do you know it will give Carbon Monoxide/ Carbon Dioxide? I mentioned this before. 15) Is Group 1 hydroxides soluble? Answer above. for the chemical equation. It is not in syllabus. 16) For Group 1(Apart from SPA) salts. we normally write as 2[O]. do I write 2[O] or O2? If due to bacterial oxidation. 18) For reduction by carbon.Yes. they will give you alot of clues if they want you to write the product as MOLTEN IRON and CARBON MONOXIDE. use TITRATION. Forget about the carbon monoxide that your teacher told you it will happen for the prelim papers. If used acidified potassium dichromate (VI) in lab. If O-Level it comes out. 14) For the oxidation of ethanol. Check textbook to re-affirm. Thus. the products from the reduction of iron (III) oxide in Blast Furnace should be MOLTEN IRON and CARBON DIOXIDE. 17) What are found ‘free’ in the ground? The more common elements are Gold. Platinum and maybe silver. The equation required in your O-Level Pure Chemistry (code: 5072) is showing the use of carbon monoxide as the reducing agent. Combine both sentence into one answer. .

Br2(aq). then you should write Calcium Silicate. Let’s say questions ask us to compare and contrast Evaporation & Boiling process. Thanks in advance for answering (: Sent from my iPhone Questions from Lay Teng: Her questions are in fact from the Pass With Distinction book that i wrote for Shinglee Publisher. but it is not necessary. 1) When questions ask about compare & contrast. do I say it decolourise slowly OR there is no observation? I supposed you meant adding aqueous bromine. Alkanes are saturated hydrocarbons and will not react with aqueous bromine. Gold usually are found uncombined in the earth. Thus. you are required to mention the similarity and differences. You have made a spelling error. 20) Do I write ‘Calcium Sillicate’ OR ‘slag’ for my answer during O level? It is Calcium Silicate. 21) When I add bromine to an AlkAne. do we have to mention both Similarity & Differences? Yes. But if they ask for chemical name. Aqueous bromine remains reddish-brown. If they asked for Chemical Formula. Both should be fine if they asked for substance. You need to.19) Can Silver and Gold be reduced by Carbon and Hydrogen? You meant Silver oxide? They can. then you write it as CaSiO3. You can simply heat it to get Silver metal. no changes. Only alkenes will decolourised the reddish-brown aqueous bromine since they are unsaturated. .

i. When it gives away one electron. 2011 by sean in Chemistry Notes & Tips 2 Comments In the previous blog post. Below is an exam-based question send in by one of Sec 3 (2011) O-Level Pure Chemistrystudent: Question: . protons + neutrons.Leave your comment! O Level Chemistry: Question on Periodic Table & Group Trends Written on October 4.Similarity: Both involves the change of state from liquid to gas of water. Differences: A. Boiling occurs at 100 oC (BP of water) while evaporation occurs below the boiling point 2) How come the book state Caesium atom and Caesium ion has different number of shells? And why the atom and ion has the same mass? The answers given in the book is correct. Since when atom becomes ion.e. the mass will stay the same. Mass number is only determined by the sub-atomic particles present in the nucleus. Caesium atom has 6 electron shells. Today. 2 Comments . it forms Caesium ion which has only 5 electron shells. Boiling is throughout the whole liquid while evaporation only at the surface C. Boiling is fast while evaporation is slow B. we have discussed on the Group Trends of the Halogens (Group VII elements). i shall discuss with you an exam-based multiple choice question (MCQ) that test you on your concepts on Group Trends. only electrons are transferred.

i asked my teacher this qn. 2011 by sean in Chemistry Notes & Tips 2 Comments In Chemistry. On the first look.Leave your comment! O Level Chemistry: Videos on Writing Ionic Equations Written on September 23. The most stable compound must be made up of the most reactive metal and the most reactive non-metal for an ionic compound. F is more reactive than Cl As such. RbCl C.e. i have chem P2 on friday and i did my school’s past year paper. RbF (D) will be the most stable compound among the four choices. Feel free to forward this blog post to your friends if you think they can benefit from it. Rb is more reactive than Na Group VII Trend: Reactivity decreases down the Gp VII i.e. . but i don’t understand D: the ans is D but i don’t understand why (: Which is most likely to be the most stable compound? A. RbF (D) Suggested Solution: Before we start. Group I Trend: Reactivity increases down the Gp I i. and thus the stability of the ionic compound that is formed. Hope you are learning something useful here. Keep sharing =) 2 Comments . But once you realised they asked you about “stability” of the compounds. it seemed to be question on Chemical Bonding topic. NaCl B. you need to understand which topic they are testing you on. We can write an equation by using words or chemical equation (balanced). NaF D.HELLO MR CHUA. you need to know they are in fact asking about the chemical reactivity of Group I and VII elements. an equation represents what occurs in a chemical reaction.

e. let’s look at another example on writing ionic equation. Ionic Equation which is a simplified chemical equation is being used. . are soluble in water. In order to show the reaction of such substances in water. Let’s take a look at the video to see easy it is to write an ionic equation: Youtube link to video: http://youtu. Write the balanced chemical equation As you can see from the video. Write your Ionic Equation Now. For reactants or products that are in aqueous state (aq). especially ionic compounds. ion (s) that appear on both the LHS & RHS of equation 5. the general steps to write an ionic equation are: 1.Many substances. split them into their ions 4. Include the state symbols of all the reactants & products 3. Cancel out the spectator ion (s) i.

Leave your comment! O Level Chemistry: Group Trends of Halogens (Gp VII Elements) Written on September 16. If you find the video useful. Keep Learning! Subscribe to my videos on Chemistry Tips and Phenomenon here 2 Comments . i will discuss on the Group VII Elements (commonly known as the Halogens) in terms of their Physical & . 2011 by sean in Chemistry Notes & Tips 1 Comment In the previous blogpost. The Periodic Table is useful to Chemists because it can be used to predict the properties of an element based on its position in the Table. Keep Hope you are learning something here. In the YouTube video below. i have introduced to you the Periodic Table which is a table that Chemists used to help them organise information.Youtube link to video: http://youtu. feel free to forward it to your friends to benefit from it.

we will discuss a question on bonding that was sent by a Sec 4 O-Level Chemistry student. Adding a balanced chemical equation for that Halogen Displacement Reaction would show that you are cool! If you think the concepts discussed are useful to your friends.Leave your comment! O Level Chemistry: Question on Chemical Bonding Written on August 19. .Chemical Properties. Do try out the question that was posted at the end of the video. There are 3 types of Bondings: 1. Direct link to video: http://youtu. I will also highlight to you what are the possible questions that examiners like to ask in Chemistry examinations. 2011 by sean in Chemistry Notes & Tips 1 Comment Chemical Bonding is an important topic to learn for Note: Colour of Iodine Solids is commonly stated to be Purplish-Black (in the video i mentioned it is Black in colour) Hope you learned something important to UP your Chemistry grades and interests. fundamentally. Metallic Bonding Today. Covalent Bonding 3. I reckon that the question was taken from his school’s preliminary examination paper. Ionic Bonding 2. In fact. Subscribe to my videos on Chemistry Tips and Phenomenon here 1 Comment . it is one of the most important topic that is related to other topics in O-Level Chemistry (and equivalents). You can leave your comments/solutions in the Comments Section below. feel free to forward this blog post to them.

Y = Silicon and Z = Hydrogen Reasons as follows: • • Nitrogen is in Group V –> has 5 valence electrons –> 3 electrons used for covalent bonding + 2 unbonded valence electrons Silicon is in Group IV –> has 4 valence electrons –> all 4 electrons are used for covalent bonding . Answer is (B) i. meaning only covalent bonding exists in the molecule. first we need to recognise that the substance is a covalent compound.Now. The 8 electrons can be bonded and can also be unbonded. X = Nitrogen. To recap. the element that is involved in bonding can have maximum of only 8 valence electrons (exception: Hydrogen with maximum of 2 valence electrons) around itself after bonding.e.

=) 1 Comment . . feel free to forward them this website. PS: If you think this is beneficial to your friend.Leave your comment! O Level Chemistry: Isotopes Written on March 26. 2011 by sean in Chemistry Notes & Tips 10 Comments (Image by microwavedboy) It is important that O-Level Chemistry students understand the concepts about Isotopesin order to answer application questions related to it.• Hydrogen has only 1 valence electron –> electron is used for covalent bonding Hope you are learning something useful in this post.

Some of the common uses of radioactive isotopes are in medical & chemical industry. try out the following MCQ question on your own: Quick Check 2: Which of the following statements concerning the two isotopes 146C and 147N is/are correct? .Isotopes are atoms of the same element with the same number of protons butdifferent number of neutrons. 75% of naturally chlorine atoms are Cl-35 and the remaining being Cl-37. we should arrived at answer A with two sets of keywords“atoms of the same element” and “different masses”. Take chlorine as an example. you should get the average atomic mass (Ar) of chlorine to be 35. Most elements in the periodic table have isotopes.5 as shown in most Periodic Table. Now. the number of protons and electrons will be the same but the mass (nucleon) number will be different. Let’s take a look at a very common exam-based Multiple Choice Question (MCQ). Clean energy industry such as the Nuclear Plants are making use of the radioactive isotopes to produce large amount of energy in several countries. much to the disapproval by groups that are aware of the danger in radioactive substance. By simple math. Click HERE for more in-depth discussions on Isotopes in the topic of Atomic Structure. and many of these isotopes are radioactive. Quick Check 1: Isotopes are A) atoms of the same element with different masses B) atoms of different elements with different masses C) atoms of different elements with the same mass D) atoms of the same element with same mass Based on our discussion. This mean that for isotopes.

2 and 3 are correct B) 1 and 2 only are correct C) 2 and 3 only are correct D) 3 only is correct .1. Both isotopes have the same chemical properties 2. The carbon isotope has more neutrons per atom than the nitrogen isotope A) 1. Both isotopes contain 14 nucleons per atom 3.