Chemistry Unit 3 and 4


In Unit 3 you will compare and evaluate different chemical energy resources, including fossil fuels, biofuels, galvanic cells and fuel cells. You will also learn how to perform stoichiometric calculations relating to gases and the energy produced during the combustion of fuels. Skills you will develop include analysing the manufacturing processes related to factors that influence their reaction rates and the equilibrium law, and you will learn how to apply Le Chatelier’s principle to different reaction systems.

In Unit 4, you will study instrumental analyses of organic compounds to confirm or deduce structures of organic molecules. In laboratory work, you will perform volumetric analyses to determine the concentrations of organic chemicals in mixtures. Investigations of organic reaction pathways look at the role of organic chemicals. You will also study the chemical structure and hydrolytic reactions for food molecules and will explore the roles of enzymes and coenzymes in facilitating chemical reactions. You will use the calorimeter to investigate the energy released in the combustion of foods. Both Units involve the use of the language and symbols of chemistry, chemical formulas and equations. Practical tasks include the design and performance of well as collecting and evaluating experimental data.

Who is it for?

Chemistry is an ideal subject if you like Science and have fairly good maths skills. There are interesting experiments to complete, where you apply what you have learnt and explain the things you observe. Your maths skills help you to work out how much of a compound is produced, and compare it with what the amount you predicted. Chemistry also provides background for studies in health sciences, where chemical processes and calculations are a key focus.

What do you do?

Your study in Chemistry will include the following things:

  • completing five school-based assessment tasks including design and undertaking a practical investigation and development of a structured scientific poster
  • conducting investigations / practical activities that include collecting, processing, recording and analysing qualitative and quantitative data; drawing conclusions consistent with the question under investigation and the information collected; evaluating procedures and reliability of data.
  • attending compulsory practical activities, revision seminars and regular online lessons
  • keeping logbook entries, online interactives, class forum and online lesson, weekly quizzes and written exercises.

What skills do you need?

Chemistry is one of the studies in Science. You must have completed either Chemistry Unit 1 or Unit 2 as a prerequisite for Year 12 Chemistry. Mathematical skills at the level of General Mathematics are expected. This minimum background in Chemistry and mathematics is essential. You may also benefit from revision of key knowledge and skills in particular topics as the year progresses.

What skills do you develop?

By taking Chemistry you develop some very useful skills that can be applied well outside of the subject discipline, including:

  • problem solving
  • numeracy
  • practical skills
  • developing a broad scientific background.





You must have access to the internet in order to participate in this course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.

You will also need a scientific calculator to perform calculations.

We recommend that you attempt the pretest before enrolling into this subject. The pre-test provides feedback on the level of knowledge and skills assumed in Chemistry. An average study time of 7 to 8 hours per week is expected. Laboratory work occurs in each Unit and is compulsory.

You will be required to access laboratory facilities, and we conduct laboratory SACs at VSV if you are unable to use a laboratory at your school or workplace. The laboratory dates are published at the start of the year, to assist with your planning in attending.

The required textbook is Heinemann Chemistry 2 Student Book + Pearson eBook 3.0, fifth edition, Hogendoorn, Bob et al, Pearson Australia

Things to think about

Before attempting this study, students should have some knowledge of how to design, conduct and report on practical investigations including the ability to design hypotheses and analyse data.

Things you can do now

To help you understand what is expected in Year 12 Chemistry, you can attempt our pretest:

  • do the Chemistry Pretest (You can refer to chemistry notes and texts, but the test should not take more than about an hour.)

  • time how long it takes

  • see what our recommendation is.

To refresh your knowledge of Year 11, you can attempt on the following activities during the summer holiday:

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.



Things to have a look at

Chemistry Lab Day

Chemistry lab day in 2016 at VSV.

Mahjong Chem

Free game to practice your chemistry knowledge. It is available for your Apple or Android device. Download from iTunes or Google Play.

General Chemistry

Refresh your knowledge of chemistry in Year 11.