Get a taste of the Chemistry Olympiad with these accessible, Olympiad-style questions
Designed as a first step towards the Olympiad, these introductory questions are ideal for students who may be interested in taking part in the competition, but feel less confident or familiar with the topics that tend to come up. The questions feature less advanced content, but encourage students to apply their knowledge in new contexts, honing their problem-solving skills and rewarding perseverance and curiosity – just like a real Olympiad paper.
Topics covered include:
- The composition of air
- Reactions of magnesium with oxygen and nitrogen
- Bromine and its isotopes
- The transformation of propanone into ethyl ethanoate
Download the resources
The resource includes two multi-part questions, as well as an explainer and mark scheme to help students check their answers and working:
- Introductory questions (PDF)
- Explainer (PDF)
- Mark scheme (PDF)
How to use the resources
1. Attempt to answer the questions
Try to answer as many parts of the introductory questions as you can. Focus on one question at a time, and remember:
- If you get stuck, go to step 2 and check the explainer.
- When you have finished a question, go to step 3 and check your answers.
2. Read through the explainer
Refer to the explainer and read up to the part of the question where you got stuck, or until you identify a problem in your working.
- If you have not finished the question, but the way forward is now clear, return to step 1 and try to answer the remaining parts.
3. Check your answers
Use the mark scheme to check your answers.
- If some or all of your answers are incorrect, go to step 2 and check your working.
- Take a guided look at some real Olympiad questions, using the video walkthroughs in our Chemistry Olympiad worked answers.
- Get more tips and advice on how to prepare for the Chemistry Olympiad, including what to expect from a round one paper.
Chemistry Olympiad introductory questionsHandout | PDF, Size 1.39 mb
Chemistry Olympiad introductory questions - explainerHandout | PDF, Size 1.35 mb
Chemistry Olympiad introductory questions - mark schemeHandout | PDF, Size 1 mb
This resource was developed in collaboration with Up Learn. Up Learn is an all-in-one online education platform that uses AI, applied cognitive science and world-class educators to help A-level students achieve A* results.
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