GCSE Chemistry: Oxidation & Reduction

5th April 2017

Revising GCSE Chemistry the easy way

GCSE Science - what is oxidation and reduction?


To succeed in your GCSE examinations this Summer, it is really important that you understand the very many chemical reactions that take place. We have created lots of songs to help you do this and you can find them here ……. To revise oxidation and reduction we are going to help you understand the key information. However, the learning doesn’t stop there. The next step is to listen to the song, watch the video and do the multiple choice quiz. If you follow this pattern, then revision won’t seem like such a bore.

So what is oxidation?

Oxidation occurs when a substance gains oxygen.

During this process, the substance loses electrons.

For example: when iron is oxidised it loses 3 electrons which gives it a positive charge of 3. This makes iron very brittle, which is why we must limit iron exposure to oxygen and water.

So what is reduction?

Reduction occurs when a substance loses oxygen and often happens in tandem with oxidation. When this happens it is called a redox reaction.

During this process a substance gains one or more electrons.

Many metals can be extracted from their ores, for useful purposes, using reduction reactions. This is because many metals contain metal oxides. The less reactive the metal, the more likely that a reduction method will be used. The more reactive the metal, the more likely that the process of electrolysis will be used.


Now that you have the key facts, keep listening to the song and this is information is sure to stick in your head for your GCSE exam!



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