ASHS Coursebook: 3CHE (Level 3 Chemistry)

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Information icon.svg 3CHE
NCEA Level:
Primary Qualification:
Primary Learning Area:

What is this course about?

Through studying Chemistry you will develop the scientific literacy needed to be a critical citizen in your everyday life, and through this develop the skills, attitudes, and relevant content knowledge needed in preparation for further study and science related careers. You will come to understand that:

  • Chemistry is the study of matter. Chemistry is about understanding the properties of different substances and how these substances can change.
  • Chemical transformations happen all the time, everywhere. Chemistry goes on continuously, all around us.
  • Chemists, and students who study chemistry, use their understanding of atoms, molecules, and ions – particles that are too tiny to be seen with our eyes – to explain and predict the properties and behaviour of different materials. 

What will I learn?

All matter is made of particles

The fundamental particle from which all matter is made is the atom. There are approximately 115 different atoms which form the building blocks of the molecular and ionic structures that make up all the known substances.

The properties of materials derive from the identity and arrangement of particles

Atoms come together to form bonds during chemical reactions. The properties of the resulting materials depend on which atoms are combined and the way they are arranged.

Energy plays a key role in determining the changes that matter can undergo

Energy changes occur during physical and chemical transformations as the bonds between atoms or molecules are broken and new bonds are formed. Since energy can be neither created nor destroyed, energy will determine the changes that matter can undergo.

Chemistry is everywhere

Chemical transformations maintain the world around us. Most natural processes are based on chemistry and can be understood at a molecular level

What sorts of things will I do?

You will be involved in the active exploration of what chemistry is, and how chemists use a range of approaches and perspectives when viewing problems or issues through:

  • Connecting your new ideas to current and historical scientific knowledge and present their findings for peer review and debate
  • Developing your understanding of the relationship between investigations and scientific theories and models through investigations
  • Evaluating accounts of the natural world and considering the wider implications of the methods of communication and/or representation employed
  • Developing a coherent understanding of socio-scientific issues to identify possible responses at both personal and societal levels


Homework will be given each lesson, this will involve consolidation work and reading in preparation for the next lesson. To have the best chance of success, it is imperative that you complete the homework in a timely fashion.

These are the standards required as part of the course:


Summary of standards:
Students must check the entry requirements of any tertiary course they are considering, to ensure they are completing a programme of work that will enable their successful entry. 14 credits, including the external, are required to gain both university entrance and an endorsement.
NCEA Level Standard Number Name of standard Version Number Credits UE Lit/Num Assessment Assessment timing
3 91388 Demonstrate understanding of spectroscopic data in chemistry 2 3 N Internal Term 1 weeks 1-5


91387 Carry out an investigation in chemistry involving quantitative analysis 2 4 W Internal Planning and practical work will be carried out in Term 1 weeks 6-10, report will be due in Term 2, week 2
3 91389 Demonstrate understanding of chemical processes in the world around us 2 3 B Internal End of term 3 and into term 4
3 91392 Demonstrate the understanding of equilibrium principles in aqueous systems 2 5 N External 15th November
3 91391 Demonstrate understanding of the properties of organic compounds 2 5 N External 15th November


Total internal credits 10
Maximum number of external credits 10

University Entrance

Chemistry is a UE approved subject. This means that if a student gain 14 or more credits in the standards above then chemistry may be counted as one of their 3 UE approved subjects. It is also possible to combine credits from chemistry with other science credits to gain a science as one of the 3UE approved subjects. However, this may exclude some credits from being counted towards separate biology, chemistry and/or physics UE. Students must speak with the SSL of Science if they intend to take this option for their UE subjects.

More information about UE is avaialable here:

Course Endorsement

A merit or excellence course endorsement for Chemistry may be obtained by completing 14 credits in the above standards at merit or above for merit course endorsement, or 14 credits at excellence for excellence course endorsement. The 14 credits must include at least 3 external credits, and must be completed in the same school year. More information about NCEA course endorsements is available here:

Vocational Pathways

Vocational Pathways provide a framework for students to show how their learning and achievement is valued in the workplace by aligning learning to the skills needed for industry.

Follow this link to see the profiles for this course.

Assessment Calendar

Link to the ASHS Assessment Calendars

Impact projects

For scholarship students and other interested students the following standards are available:

Demonstrate understanding of equilibrium principles in aqueous systems  5 credits external

Frequently asked questions:

What do I need to be able to successfully complete level 2 Chemistry?

It is highly recommended that students have quality level 1 science credits including the acids and bases external.

The ability to communicate ideas clearly through both written and visual means.

An interest in the material world and science in general.

What resources are recommended?

It is highly recommended that students have their own internet and word processing capable device. Your teacher may also have a variety of texts and other resources you will be able to refer to in class as required.

There are a variety of other textbooks and revision guides available at the school library.

What stationary, do I need?

The usual basic stationary and:

a 2B8 hardcover lecture book or folder if preferred

a 20 page clearfile for collection of printed information

a scientific calculator (required throughout the year)