Interactive science syllabus: Click on links to see the whole topic

Items in bold type are in the level 2 papers only.
Click on any link to see the main topic

The Common Entrance exam has 2 levels. Level1 is a single 60 minute paper worth 80 marks.
Level 2 is three 60 minute papers, physics, chemistry and biology, worth 40 marks each.
Students will either take the level 1 paper or the three level 2 papers. Level 1 is a mixture of physics chemistry and biology and is a little easier then level 2.
Candidates sitting the level 2 papers will not be required to take the level 1 paper.
Talk to your science teacher if you are unsure or have any worries.

Download CE revision outline-summary (Word Document)
This revision outline (with useful check-boxes) can be downloaded in a form that is easily printed.

1  The variety of materials Know the main properties of and a use for a variety of everyday substances.
2 The Bunsen Burner
How to light it, types of flame, structure, safety requirements
3 Making a solution

Know the terms solvent, solute, solution, soluble, insoluble and saturated.Know that when a solid dissolves in a liquid then a solution is formed.Knowhow to show  the effect of different temperatures and different solutes on the rate of dissolving.Know that Ethanol and propanone are alternative solvents to water
4 Separating mixtures
Knowledge of filtration, distillation, evaporation and chromatography.
Be able to draw a diagram of the apparatus used
Know how to separate two solids eg chalk from salt
Knowledge of filtration to remove insoluble solids from a suspension
Simple distillation to obtain a solvent from a solution eg fresh water from blue ink or seawater. (how to prevent suck-back when distilling) Evaporation to obtain a solute from a solution Paper chromatography to separate coloured dyes.
Fractional distillation to recover ethanol from wine or beer
5 Acids and alkalis
Knowledge of universal indicator, pH numbers and some common acids and alkalis.
Applications of neutralisation in and medicine and agriculture
Neutralization alt formation by the reaction between sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid
6 The air
That air is a mixture of gases.
the approximate percentages of nitrogen and other gases in the air;
Be able to show that oxygen is 20% of the air (by rusting experiment or heating air with copper or another metal)
That carbon dioxide is a product of respiration and a raw material for photosynthesis
Be able to show that air contains water vapour using anhydrous cobalt chloride or anhydrous copper sulphate
the uses of oxygen;
When things burn in air they react with oxygen.
Glowing splint test for oxygen. Limewater test for carbon dioxide
The effect of burning fossil fuels  (production of acid rain, carbon dioxide and solid particles)
that air is often polluted by sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide and the sources of these pollutants
Show that water and oxygen is needed for rusting to take place.
Carbon dioxide in the air dissolves in rain water to form acid rain
7 Physical change
Evaporation, sublimation, condensation, melting and boiling points.
Be able to make predictions about amount of water lost during evaporation
The applications of evaporation and condensation in the water cycle
8 Chemical change
Terms Burning, oxidation, Reduction, thermal Decomposition, Neutralization.
The use of carbon to reduce various oxides
Thermal decomposition of copper carbonate and potassium permanganate.
When copper or magnesium  is heated it oxidises and gains in mass
How to recognise that a chemical change has taken place by a change in colour or change in temperature
Change in mass when chemicals are heated (eg heating magnesium or copper in air)
Conservation of mass;   Mass of reactants = mass of products
(eg mix lead nitrate and sodium iodide to produce insoluble lead iodide)
The combustion of methane and other fuels and that they produce carbon dioxide and water as products of combustion
How to identify the products of combustion when a candle is burnt
(Water using anhydrous cobalt chloride, carbon dioxide using limewater)
9 Elements and compounds
Elements cannot be decomposed.
Elements can combine together to form a compund.
Each element is made of a single kind of atom which is represented by a symbol
Elements are organised into the periodic table
Know what happens when elements react with oxygen
(Carbon, copper, iron, magnesium, sulphur and zinc are examples for
experiments on burning the elements in air and testing the oxides.
Know that the properties of the compounds formed when elements combine are different to those of the constituent elements
Meaning of words atom and molecule
Know these symbols: H, C, O, N, S, Mg, Na, Cl, Ca, Cu, Fe and He;
Two elements can combine to form a compound.
(eg Iron and sulphur, copper and oxygen)
Differences between a metal and non-metals using various properties:
(Electrical conductivity, shininess, malleability and whether they give acidic or basic oxides)
know how to write word equations
know some simple formulae
H2O, CO2, O2, CH4, NaCl, HCl, NaOH, CaCO3
10 Activity series
Reduction and oxidation.
Displacement of one element by another  using reactions between metals and solutions of the sulphates of other metals.
Extraction of metals from their ores  using carbon eg iron from iron oxide
Metals low down in the activity series (like copper and lead) can be used for roofs. Metals even lower (silver and gold) are used for jewellery and electrical contacts.
How metals react with water, acids and other metal oxides
Reactive metals react more vigorously in air or with acids (releasing hydrogen)
The burning splint test for hydrogen
Reactive metals can replace a lower metal from its oxide
11 The Earth and its minerals
Limestone is made from calcium carbonate
Useful as a building material. Easily cut but weathers easilyWhen limestone is heated it decomposes forming carbon dioxide and leaving agricultural lime (calcium oxide)
Limestone reacts with hydrochloric acid to form carbon dioxide gas.
Carbon dioxide dissolves in rain water making the rain acidic which attacks the limestone.
12 Materials from the ground
Extraction, purification and uses for aluminium, iron and copper


1 Measurement
Measurement of and units for distance, mass and time.
The period of a pendulum as an example of measurement
Measurement of density
Density = mass  ÷ volume   unit of density = kg/m3 or g/cm3
Calculate density of solid objects (regular and irregular shape)
(use displacement of water to find volume of irregular solid)
Calculate density of liquids
That air has mass and we can calculate its density
Floating and sinking.
2 Force
Unit for force. Using a spring balance.
Measurement, advantages and disadvantages of friction
(Air resistance, streamlining, stopping distances as in highway code)
Magnetism, magnetic field lines, poles, attraction and repulsion between poles.
Springs in series and parallel.
Drawing graph plotting extension against load.
Levers: use of levers to change direction and magnitude of a force and their use in simple machines, e.g. crowbars, pliers,
Measurement of speed.  Speed  = distance ÷ time. Units for speed (m/s).
Mass, weight and gravity.
Moments about a pivot; that the unit of a moment is a newton metre (or newton centimetre)
3 Pressure
Relationship between force, pressure and area.
Pressure = force ÷ area. Units for pressure. (N/cm2)
Application of pressure [e.g. the use of skis and snowboards, the effect of sharp blades]
4 Light and sound
Reflection. Angle of incidence = angle of reflectionLight changes direction when it meets a boundary Refraction .
Dispersion. How a prism disperses white light similar to a rainbow.Comparing speed of light and sound
Amplitude, volume.  Frequency and pitch.
5 Energy
Law of Conservation of Energy.
Energy forms.
Energy conversions.  Generating electricity
Energy loss from buildings.
Energy from sun. Wind and waves. Water cycle
6 Particle theory
All matter made of particles which are always moving.
Using kinetic theory to explain solids liquid, gasses, evaporation and freezing, expansion and contraction
7 Electricity
Measurement of current through lamps.
Using an ammeter to measure current.
Series and parallel circuits.
Switches, (reed, SPST, SPDT, push) LED’s, LDR’s, relays.
AND and OR circuits (made using switches) and truth tables
8 The Earth in space
The universe, galaxy and The solar system.
 Eclipse of sun and moon
Day and night.
Satellites: moon and artificial.
Phases of the moon


1 Cells
Name and function of main structures.
that a typical animal or plant cell has a nucleus, cytoplasm, mitochondria and cell surface membrane
Nucleus contains genetic material which contains DNA
Difference between animal and plant cells.
Plant cells contain a vacuole

All plant cells have a cell wall and Some plant cells contain chloroplasts
Asexual reproduction:  budding
Using a microscope. Preparing A microscope slide using a stain like methylene blue
Cells form tissues which form organs
Main organs in a human: their function and name
2 Classification Features of main animal and plant groups.
Using a simple key.
3 Life processes
The brain and nervous system. Response to a stimulus
Energy made available through aerobic respiration. Know the equation for respration
Test exhaled air using limewater to show it contains carbon dioxide
use of energy for warmth, movement, growth, cell repair and various chemical processes
Digestion occurs when enzymes in the gut, like amylase, break down food into soluble substances that can be absorbed into the bloodstream across the villi in the small intestine.
Waste products are egested through the anus and excretion
Diet: Carbohydrate, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre water
Blood circulation.: artery, vein, capillaries, heart and lungs
4 Flowering plants
Structure. Leaves, stem, flower and roots. Roots have root hairs to increase surface area
Pollination, fertilization and fruit formation,
structure and dispersal of seed, germination.
Photosynthesis. Word equation
Formation of glucose which is converted to starch. Starch test
Importance of photosynthesis in providing food and oxygen
How to do a controlled experiment to show that light is needed for starch production. The starch can be tested for using iodine solution
Nutrition. Nitrates are needed for healthy growth and magnesium for the production of chlorophyll.
5 Microbes
Viruses, bacteria and fungi
Bacterial disease (eg cholera)  viral disease eg Flu.
Uses in industry and nature.
 Fermentation of yeast.
Importance of cleanliness and hygiene (wash hands, keep cooking surfaces clean etc)
The importance of exercise and healthy eating;( Low fat, low salt) keeps the heart healthy, improves stamina, makes you feel better.
6 Human life cycle
The structure and mechanism of the human reproductive system
The terms embryo, foetus, gamete and zygote
Fallopian tube, urethra, uterus, ovary, vagina, prostate gland, testis, penis
Fertilization occurs when sperm and egg fuse together
The relative size and numbers of the egg and sperm and how they are brought together.
The role of the egg and sperm. How the joining of egg and sperm bring genes from both parents together which gives the baby the characteristics of both parents.
Development of embryo and role of placenta.
How the foetus is protected and nourished in the uterus and how its waste materials are eliminated
Changes at puberty. Menstrual cycle
Physical and emotional changes at adolescence
7 Ecology
How to study of a habitat: measurement of animal or plant populations
Using a quadrat
Study of an animal and plant.
Energy flow along food chain.
Food webs.
Comparison between sexual and asexual reproduction
How to measure a physical factor in the environment like temperature or light intensity.
How population size is effected by predation or competition
The importance of conserving habitats
How to use a key to identify an animal or plant using its features
Environmental and inherited causes of variation
Discontinuous and continuous variation
The carbon cycle and its role in maintaining a balance between photosynthesis and respiration

1 Method
Know how to carry out a CONTROLLED experiment (Carry out two experiments, changing one and not the other [the control])
Understand how to carry out a fair test and realise the importance of a fair test. (so the results can be compared with accuracy). Change only one variable (the independent variable) and measure the dependent variables. Keep all other variables the same)
2 Apparatus Know the names on apparatus used to measure. Metre rule, stopwatch, spring balance, top pan balance, bourdon gauge, measuring cylinder, beaker
Know the units on apparatus used to take measurements
Know the names and use of apparatus used in chemistry and biology
3 Recording results Correct use of tables and graphs
Labelling graphs with correct units
Using the correct type of graph (line or bar graph)
4 Some example investigations Showing how effective an insulation is at keeping water warm.
Showing that light intensity controls the rate of photosynthesis.
Showing how the resistance of a wire increases with length
Showing how the solubility of a solvent increases with temperature
Showing the presence of starch in a leaf,.
Measuring the speed of a ball rolling down a slope

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