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AICEE - Chemistry syllabus


The knowledge related to the subject of Chemistry has undergone tremendous changes during the past one decade. Many new areas like synthetic materials, bio-molecules, natural resources, consumer chemistry, industrial chemistry are coming in a big way and deserve to be an integral part of chemistry syllabus at senior secondary stage. At international level, new formulations and nomenclature of elements and compounds, symbols and units of physical quantities floated by scientific bodies like TUPAC, IUPAC and CGPM are of immense importance and need to be incorporated in the updated syllabus. The revised syllabus takes care of all these aspects. Greater emphasis has been laid on use of new nomenclature, symbols and formulations, teaching of fundamental concepts, applications of concepts in chemistry to industry/technology, logical sequencing of units, removal of obsolete content and repetition etc.

The broad objectives of the following Chemistry syllabus for AICEE is :

  • To promote understanding of basic facts and concepts in chemistry while retaining the excitement of chemistry.
  • To make students capable of studying chemistry in academic level after AICEE entrance exam.
  • To expose the students to various emerging new areas of chemistry and apprise them with their relevance in their future studies and their application in various spheres of chemical sciences and technology.
  • To equip students to face various changes related to health, nutrition, environment, population, weather, industries and agriculture.
  • To develop problem solving skills in students.
  • To expose the students to different processes used in industries and their technological applications.
  • To apprise students with interface of chemistry with other disciplines of science such as physics, biology, geology, engineering etc.
  • To acquaint students with different aspects of chemistry used in daily life.
  • To develop an interest in students to study chemistry as a discipline.

Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry
Importance of studying Chemistry, physical quantities and their SI units, dimensional analysis, Precision and significant figures, classification of matter, laws of chemical combination, Dalton’s Atomic Theory, mole concept, atomic, molecular and molar masses. Percentage composition and molecular formula, stoichiometry of chemical reactions.

States of Matter
States of matter, Gaseous state - measurable properties, the gas law, Ideal gas equation - kinetic molecular theory, deviation of real gases from ideal behaviour; liquefaction of gases, critical temperature and its importance. Liquid state - properties of liquids, qualitative description of vapour pressure, surface tension, viscosity; Solid state - Classification of solids based on different binding forces.

Atomic Structure
Fundamental particles, Rutherford’s model of an atom, nature of electromagnetic radiation, emission spectrum of hydrogen atom, concept of energy levels (orbits), weaknesses of Bohr’s model, modern concept of structure of atom (elementary idea only), idea of shells, subshells and orbitals, the four quantum numbers, electronic configurations of elements, Aufbau principle (Pauli’s exclusion principle and Hund’s rule).

Classification of Elements and Periodicity in Properties
The need for classification; the significance of (i) Mendeleev’s periodic law, (ii) Atomic number and periodic law, present form of the periodic table, The IUPAC nomenclature for the elemts with Z > 100, electronic configuration of the elements and periodic table, types of elements : s, p, d and f blocks, periodic trends in properties; ionization energy, electron affinity, atomic radii, valency.

First Law of Thermodynamics and Chemical Energetics
Some basic concepts - systems surroundings, types of system, types of processes, intensive and extensive properties, state functions, irreversible process. Zeroth law, First Law of Thermodynamics - internal energy, enthalpy, work, heat capacity, specific heat capacity, molar heat capacity, enthalpy changes during phase transitions, Enthalpy change in chemical reactions - standard enthalpy of formation, Hess’s law of constant heat summation, bond enthalpy, measurement of enthalpy of reactions, energy of combustion reactions, sources of energy - Sun as primary source of energy, Alternative sources of energy.

Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structure
Kossel - Lewis approach to bonding, ionic bond - lattice energy, Born - Haber Cycle, covalent bond-Lewis structure of covalent bond, resonance structures, geometry of molecules, VSEPR model, Polarity of bond, Electronegativity, Valence Bond approach, concept of resonance, Directional properties of bond, hybridization (Qualitative treatment sp, sp2, sp3).

Equilibrium-I - Equilibrium processes and phase equilibria
Dynamic nature of equilibrium, Equilibrium in physical processes, Equilibrium in chemical processes, Law of chemical equilibrium, derivation of relationship between Kp and Kc, Le-Chatelier’s principle.

Equilibrium-II - Ionic Equilibrium in Solutions
Equilibria involving ions, various concepts of acids and bases - Arrhenius, Bronsted Lowery and Lewis, dissociation of acids and bases, acid-base equilibria, ionization of water, pH scale, hydrolysis of salts, pH calculation of salt solutions, acid-base titration using indicator. Solubility Equilibria - solubility of sparingly soluble salts, solubility equilibrium and solubility product, common ion effect, elementary idea of buffer solutions.

Redox Reactions
Oxidation and Reduction - electron transfer concept, redox reactions in aqueous solution, oxidation number, balancing of chemical equations in redox reactions by oxidation number methods and ion-electron method or half equation method, simple idea of electrode potential, standard electrode potential, stoichiometry of redox reactions in solutions.

Principles and Processes of extraction of Elements
Modes of occurrence, chemical principles underlying - concentration of ores, reduction/oxidation (electronation/de-electronation), refining of metals.

Unique position in Periodic Table, occurrence, isotopes, dihydrogen - preparation (including commercial preparation), properties, reactions and uses, Hydrides - molecular, saline and interstitial. Water : structure and aggregation of water molecules, physical and chemical properties, hard and soft water, water softner. heavy water, hydrogen peroxide, hydrogen economy, use of liquid hydrogen as a fuel.

s-Block Elements
General introduction to s-block elements - abundance, occurrences, anomalous properties of the first elements in each group, diagonal relationship. Alkali metals - occurrence, electronic configuration, trend in atomic and physical properties (including IE, atomic and ionic radii), reactivity and electrode potential, reactions with oxygen, hydrogen, halogens and liquid ammonia. Basic nature of oxides and hydroxides, halides, Li and Na - occurrence, extraction, properties and uses, Na2CO3. The Alkaline Earth Metals - occurrence, electronic configuration, trends in atomic and physical properties (including IE, atomic and ionic radii), Reactivity and electrode potential, reactions with non-metals, oxides, hydroxides and halides. Solubility and thermal stability of their oxo salts. Magnesium - occurrence, extraction, properties and uses. Compounds of alkaline earth metals - CaO Ca(OH)2, Plaster of Paris and MgSO4, industrial uses of lime and limestone, cement.

Some p-Block elements

  • Boron - occurrence, isolation, physical and chemical properties, borax, boric acid, boron hydrides, halides (elementary idea of boranes, diborane, borates). Uses of boron and its compounds.
  • Carbon - terrestrial abundance and distribution, allotropes (graphite, diamond, elementary idea of fullerenes). Atomic and physical properties, chemical properties, oxides, carbides, halides, sulphides, uses of carbon.
  • Nitrogen - terrestrial abundance and distribution, dinitrogen - isolation, atomic and physical properties, chemical reactivity, fixation of nitrogen - industrial and biological.
  • Ammonia - industrial preparation, Haber’s process only, important properties and reactions.
  • Oxides of nitrogen - preparation, structure (skeletal only) -pp-pp bonding. Nitric acid, industrial production (Ostwald process). Uses of nitrogen, and its compounds.
  • Oxygen - terrestrial abundance and distribution; dioxygen, isolation, atomic and physical properties, chemical reactivity, oxides, acidic, basic and amphoteric.
  • Ozone - preparation, structure and some oxidizing properties.

Organic Chemistry - some Basic Principles

  • Tetravalency of carbon, hybridization, (p and s) bonds, shapes of simple molecules, functional groups: -C = C, –C = C– and functional groups containing halogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur, homologous series, isomerism (structural).
  • General introduction to naming organic compounds - trivial names and IUPAC nomenclature, Illustration with simple examples.
  • Electronic displacement in a covalent bond; inductive effect, electrometric effect, resonance and hyperconjugation. Fission of a covalent bond; free radicals, electrophiles, nucleophiles, carbocations and carbanions.
  • Common types of organic reactions : substitution, addition, elimination and rearrangement reactions, Illustrations with examples.


  • Classification of hydrocarbons, alkanes and cycloalkanes. Nomenclature, conformations of alkanes and cycloalkanes (ethane, propane, butane and cyclohexane), 3D structures and 2D projections (Sawhorse and Newmann).
  • Alkenes and alkynes - nomenclature, geometrical isomerism in alkenes, stability of alkenes, general methods of preparation, physical properties, chemical reactions - reactivity, mechanism of electrophilic addition, reactions in alkenes, Markownikoff’s rule, peroxide effect, acidic character of alkynes, polymerization reactions - dienes, concept of delocalisation of electrons, addition reactions in dienes (1, 2 and 1,4 addition).
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons - Benzene and its homologues, isomerism, nomenclature, sources of aromatic hydrocarbons (coal and petroleum), structure of benzene, resonance, delocalisation, concept of aromaticity - an elementary idea. Chemical reactions of benzene - mechanism of electrophilic substitution reaction. Directive influence of substituents and their effect on reactivity, poly-nuclear hydrocarbons and their toxicity.
  • Petroleum and petrochemicals - Composition of crude oil, fractionation, uses of different fractions, quality of gasoline, LPG and CNG. Cracking and reforming, petro-chemicals.

Purification and Characterisation of Carbon Compounds

  • Purification of carbon compounds, filtration, crystallisation, sublimation, distillation, differential extraction, chromatography.
  • Qualitative analysis, detection of nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus and halogens.
  • Quantitative Analysis - estimation of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, halogen, sulphur and phosphorus (basic principles only).
  • Determination of molecular mass - silver salt method, chloroplatinate salt method, use of mass spectrometer for determining accurate molecular mass (elementary idea only), Calculations of empirical and molecular formulae.

Organic Compounds with Functional Group Containing Halogens

(Haloalkanes and Haloarenes)

  • Nature of C-X bond in haloalkanes and haloaranes, nomenclature, physical properties, chemical reactions with emphasis on mechanism of substitution reactions, difference in reactivity of C-X bond in haloalkanes and haloarenes.
  • Some commercially important compounds - names and structures of some compounds with simple structures and their uses.

Environmental Chemistry
Environmental pollutants; soil, water and air pollution; chemical reactions in atmosphere, kind of smog, major atmospheric pollutants; acid rain, Ozone and its reactions, effects of the depletion of ozone layer, Green house effect and global warming - industrial air pollution, green chemistry as an alternative tool for reducing pollution.

Atomic Structure and Chemical Bonding
Dual nature of matter and radiation, de-Broglie relation, Uncertainty Principle, Wavemechanical treatment of hydrogem atom (elementary), Wave functions and quantum numbers, Atomic orbitals and their shapes, Spin Quantum Number, Electronic configuration and atoms, Molecular-orbital method (homonuclear diatomic molecules only), Concept of bond order, Metallic bond, (simple qualitative treatment w.r.t. bond theory), Hybridisation involving s.p. and d-orbitals, Intermolecular forces.

The Solid State
Space lattice, unit cells, cubic crystal system, Close packing in crystals, X-ray studies of crystals. Structure of simple ionic compounds (AB and AB2 type only), Imperfection in solids, Properties of solids, (electrical, magnetic and dielectric), Amorphous solids (elementary idea only).

Units of concentration, solubility of gases, Solubility of solids, Vapour pressure of a solution, Colligative properties (Relative lowering of vapour pressure, elevation of boiling point, depression in freezing point, osmotic pressure), Determination of molecular mass, Abnormal molecular mass.

First law (brief), Second Law of Thermodynamics, Entropy (criterion of spontaneous and non-spontaneous processes), Gibb’s free energy (criterion for spontaneity of a process), Standard entropies and free energy of formation, Free energy change and Chemical Equilibrium, Free energy change and non-mechanical work, Third Law of Thermodynamics.

Electrolytic and Galvanic cells, Electrolysis and laws of electrolysis, Electrolytic conduction - conductance, conductivity, molar conductivity, Kolhrausch’s law and its application, Galvanic Cells - electrode potential, electromotive force, Nernst’s equations, electrode potential and electrolysis, Primary and secondary cells including fuel cells, Corrosion and its Prevention, Commercial production of chemicals - examples only, manufacture of NaOH, Na, Al, Cl2 and F2.

Chemical Kinetics
Average and instantaneous rate of a reaction, rate expression and order of a reaction, Integrated rate expressions of zero and first order reactions and their derivations, half life period, determination of rate constant/order of reaction (graphical method and Ostwald Isolation method only), Temperature dependence of rate constant - Arrhenius equation, activation energy, Mechanism of reaction - elementary and complex reactions, reactions involving 2-3 steps only.

Surface Chemistry
Adsorption - physical and chemical adsorption, Factors affecting adsorption - effect of pressure (Freundlich and Langmuir Isotherm) and effect of temperature (qualitative only), Catalysis - enzymes, zeolites, Colloids - distinction between true solution, colloids and suspensions, classification based on dispersion medium and dispersed phase. Types of Colloids - Lyophilic and lyophobic, multimolecular, macromolecular and associated colloids (micelles), Methods of preparation of colloids and their properties, Emulsions - Types of emulsions oil/water and water/oil emulsifiers.

P-Block Elements

  • Group 13 Elements : Introduction, occurrence and uses, Atomic and physical properties, Oxidation state, trends in chemical reactivity, Aluminium : Extraction from bauxite, reaction of Al with acid and alkali.
  • Group 14 Elements : Introduction, occurrence and uses, Atomic and physical properties, Oxidation State, Trends in Chemical Reactivity, Forms of silica : uses and structure, Silicates (preliminary treatment), Silicones : Structures and uses, Tin and Lead : extraction, halides and oxides (Preparation, properties and uses).
  • Group 15 Elements : Introduction, occurrence and uses, Atomic and physical properties, oxidation states, trends in chemical reactivity, hydrides, oxides and halides, Phosphorus Production - allotropes. Phosphine : preparation, structure, PCl3, PCl5, P4O6, P4O10 and oxoacids of Phosphorus (structure only).
  • Group 16 Elements : General introduction, occurrence and uses, Atomic and physical properties, oxidation states, trends in chemical reactivity of the elements. Some important compound : oxides - oxoacids, hydrides and halides (structure and properties), Sulphur - production, allotropes, oxides, sulphuric acid - manufacture and uses.
  • Group 17 Elements : General introduction, occurrence and uses, Atomic and physical properties, oxidation states, trends in chemical reactivity of the element and compounds. Hydrides, oxides and oxoacids of chlorine. Bleaching powder - preparation and properties, Interhalogen compounds (types, formulae and shapes (Ax, AX2, AX3, AX4).
  • Group 18 Elements : Introduction, Isolation and uses, Atomic and physical properties. Componds of xenon - xenon fluorides, oxides and oxoacids (preparation, structure reaction with water).

d and f-Block Elements

  • d-block elements : Electronic configuration and characteristics of the transition elements, General trends in the chemistry of first row transition elements (metallic character, IE, electrode potential, oxidation state, ionic radii, catalytic properties, coloured ions, complex formation, magnetic properties, interstitial compounds, alloy formation).
  • Occurrence and principles of extraction : Iron, copper, silver, zinc and mercury. Steel and some important alloys.
  • Compounds : preparation, properties of CuSO4, AgNO3, silver and mercury halides, K2Cr2O7 and KMnO4.
  • Photography (Chemistry of developing, fixing and printing).
  • f-block elements : Lanthanides - Introduction, oxidation state - Chemical reactivity, Lanthanide contraction, Uses.
  • Actinides - Introduction, Electronic configuration, brief comparison with lanthanides.

Coordination Compounds and Organometallics

  • Coordination Compounds - introduction, ligands and coordination number.
  • IUPAC formulation and nomenclature of mono-nuclear coordination compounds.
  • Isomerism including stereoisomerisms. Bonding - V.B. Approach, shapes, colour, magnetic properties, crystal field theory (qualitative idea only).
  • Idea of stability of coordination compounds (a brief idea of stability constant of coordination compounds).
  • Importance of coordination compounds in qualitative analysis, extraction of metals and biological systems chlorophyll, Vitamin B12 and haemoglobin).

Nuclear Chemistry
Natural and artificial radioactivity, nuclear reactions, artificial transmutation of elements, Nuclear energy - nuclear fission and fusion, nuclear reactors, Radioactive isotopes and their uses, half-life period, radiochemical dating; Synthetic elements including transactinides (elementary idea only).

Stereo Chemistry
Introduction of isomerism and recapitulation of geometrical isomerism and conformations, optical activity - discovery, determination using a polarimeter, specific rotation, chirality - chiral objects, chiral molecules, configuration and Fischer projections, asymmetric carbon, elements of symmetry, compounds containing one chiral centre, enantiomers, DL and R-S nomenclature, racemic forms, racemisation. Compounds containing two chiral centers, diastereoisomers, mesoform, resolution, importance of stereochemistry.

Organic Compounds with Functional Groups Containing Oxygen-I
(Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers)

  • Alcohols and Phenols : Electronic structure of functional groups, nomenclature, important methods of preparation, physical properties, chemical reactions - mechanism of dehydration of alcohols, acidity of phenols, reactivity of phenols in electrophilic substitution.
  • Ethers : Electronic structure of functional group, nomenclature, important methods of preparation, physical and chemical properties
  • Some commercially important compounds.

Organic Compounds with Functional Groups containing Oxygen-II
Aldehydes, Ketones, Carboxylic acids and their derivatives)

  • Aldehydes and Ketones : Electronic structure of carbonyl group, nomenclature, important methods of preparation, physical properties, chemical reactions - reactivity of aldehydic and ketonic groups, acidity of a-hydrogen, aldol condensation, cross aldol condensation, cannizzarro reaction, Mechanism of nucleophilic addition reaction to C = O group.
  • Carboxylic Acids : Electronic structure of -COOH, nomenclature, important methods of preparation, Physical properties and effect of substituents on a-carbon on acid strength, Chemical reactions - mechanism of esterification.
  • Derivatives of Carboxylic Acids : Electronic structure of acid chloride, acid anhydride, ester and amide groups, nomenclature, important methods of preparation, comparative reactivity of acid derivatives.
  • Some commercially important compounds.

Organic Compounds with Functional Group Containing Nitrogen
(Nitro, Amino, Cyano and Diazo Compounds)

  • Nitro Compounds : Electronic Structure of NO2 group, nomenclature, important method of preparation, physical properties, Chemical reactions.
  • Amines : Structure of amino groups (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary), nomenclature, important methods of preparation, physical properties - basic character of amines, Chemical reactions - separation of primary, secondary and tertiary amines.
  • Cyanides and Isocyanides : Structures of cyanide and isocyanide groups, nomenclature, preparation, physical properties and chemical reactions.
  • Diazonium Salts : Preparation and chemical reactions of benzene diazonium chloride, importance of diazonium salts in synthetic organic chemistry.
  • Some commercially important compounds.


  • Classification of polymers, General methods of polymerization - Addition and condensation : addition - free radical, cationic and anionic polymerization, Copolymerisation, natural rubber, vulcanization of rubber, synthetic rubbers.
  • Condensation polymers, Molecular mass of polymers (highlighting level of complexity only), Biopolymers and biodegradable polymers.
  • Some commercially important polymers.


  • The cell, energy cycle.
  • Carbohydrates : Classification, monosaccharides, Structures of pentoses and hexoses, anomeric carbon, mutarotation, simple chemical reactions of glucose, Disaccharides : reducing and non-reducing sugars - sucrose, maltose and lactose, Polysaccharides; Elementary idea of structures of starch and cellulose.
  • Proteins : a-amino acids : peptide bond, polypeptides, primary structure of proteins, Simple idea of secondary and tertiary structures of proteins, Denaturation of proteins and enzymes.
  • Nucleic Acids : Types of nucleic acids, primary building blocks of nucleic acids (chemical composition - DNA and RNA), primary structure of DNA and its double helix. Replication, transcription and Protein synthesis, Genetic Code.
  • Lipids : Classification, structure, functions in biosystems.
  • Hormones : Classification, structural features and functions in biosystems.
  • Vitamins : Classification, functions of vitamins in biosystems.

Chemistry in Everyday Life

  • Chemicals in medicine and health-care - Analgesics, Tranquillisers, antiseptics, disinfectants, anti-microbials, anti-fertility drugs, antihistamines, antibiotics, antacids.
  • Dyes - classification with examples - Indigo, methyl orange, aniline yellow, alizarin, malachite green.
  • Chemicals in cosmetics (creams, perfumes, talcum powder, deodorants).
  • Advanced materials - carbon fibres, ceramics, micro alloys.
  • Chemicals in food - preservatives, artificial sweetening agents, antioxidants, and edible colours.
  • Detergents - classification, some important examples.
  • Insect repellents - Pheromones, sex attractants.
  • Rocket Propellants - characteristics, chemicals used.

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