chemistry suuuuucks!

I actually took a vacation day today to stay home and study. I have taken both practice exams, worked with my flash cards, written reaction mechanisms OVER AND OVER AND OVER, and have identified only four more things to study tomorrow night after work to be ready for Friday’s exam.
Claisen condensations, ester synthesis, a fast review of ester and anhydride nomenclature, and DOING A LOT MORE SYNTHESIS. In one evening. I’m in great shape.
Acutally, I’d be looking at a pretty solid B if the prof showed up at my house with the exam in his hand right this minute. I’m just greedy.

It sounds like a great plan staying home and studying chem. Sometimes it takes a day of studying to get better prepared for a test. I would sometimes take off for a weekend and go to a motel to study so I didn’t have any kids and hubby distractions.

Good luck with the test.

You’ll do great, I bet!

Good luck on your exam! Sounds like you were perfectly on track with your studying anyway.
I definitely know the feeling. Had my 3rd orgo exam last nite - stereochemistry, solvent/nucleophile issues (will it go Sn2,Sn1,E1,or E2), alkyne nomenclature, mechanisms, and synthesis. Think I did ok on it, but I forgot to go over the mechanisms again and kind of blanked on the two mechanism questions so hopefully I’ll get some points for those lol.
Only 3 more homeworks, 1 more quiz, and the final left for this semester anyway for me
–Jessica, UCCS

I think I hit the high 80s or high 90s (there are 110 points available, but only the first 100 count), depending on how my guesses went. Now lunch with a buddy, and then work, and then…I know there’s a new ballgown with my name on it at the 92nd St. Goodwill.

Yay for you!

As one of the sick and twisted who actually likes organic chemistry, I have a suggestion. There is a series of books (or booklets, depending on your perspective) called the Oxford Chemistry Primers. Each book looks at one topic. You can buy them on Amazon and the secondary market. Retrosynthesis was the only area I had problems wrapping my brain around and the textbooks I looked at didn’t explain it well for me. Anyway I found this 100 page primer exclusively about synthesis.Saved my hide!

Well, I got an 81. The class high was a 96, and the average as a 56, but it’s still not a great grade. The instructor is giving a quiz on Friday to allow us to add up to ten points to our grade. Fortunately for me, it’s on aldol mechanisms, which happens to be one of the parts of the exam I knocked out of the park. I’ll still re-study it, but it’s nice.
I think my revised study plan, based on my weaknesses on this exam, is to make flash cards for the older chapters (getting ready for the final, and review those and the current chapters twice a day. Do two hours of homework problems (especially synthesis) three nights a week plus weekends.
Set aside some time THIS VERY WEEKEND to create a summary sheet of the main points of NMR, IR, and mass spec to review for the final. I did very well on those on the first exam but, although I remember the principles, I’ve forgotten the details, and the details are essential.
If I get an A on the final, I’ll get an A for the course. But a score as high as a 94 can be an A-, and I don’t want one of those. So, The Plan.

I just have to add how much I think chem sucks. It really does!

Yep, chemistry sucks LOL

Okay let me get this straight. You scored 25 points over the mean on a chem exam and you are beating yourself up? There is always one student in these difficult classes whose grade is in the stratosphere. A stealth genius. His/her grade skewed the curve in his direction. That means compared to most others in the class, you my dear are kickin’ ass. That is an incredible score. Give yourself some credit. Ok that was a complete stranger turning into your mother for 30 seconds…You did good.

Oh, it’s not so much that I’m beating myself up (though I’m certainly capable of doing that). It’s just that this prof is not is not going to curve away the pain. I don’t just have to outrun the slowest students; I have to outrun the bear if I want my A.
The test did its job; it showed me what I did and didn’t know. If I set up the proper strategy and carry it out, I can fill in those gaps, knock the final out of the park, show what I know, and get the grade I want.

Calvin, so what you are saying is that chemistry sucks?

You have a strong work ethic. That will carry you a long way towards that A. You mentioned flash cards. Are you memorizing the material or are you reasoning your way through? Remember in the end its all about Coulomb’s Law.
Good luck.

I’m memorizing reagents. I can push the electrons around like nobody’s business, but I found I leaned too heavily on that and I need to be able to rattle off, say, Br2, NaOH, then H3O+ for Hofmann elimination if I’m going to finish synthesis problems in any kind of time.
I don’t ever quite live up to my work schedule, but I sure plan to scare it good. We’ll all make it, somehow.

sounds like a plan…

Oh yes. It is my official opinion that chemistry sucks. Orgo is painful.

LOL…I’m the opposite of all of your chemistry haters. I used to be a chemistry hater - had an awful teacher and an even worse book back in high school; would have failed the course if it wasn’t for a biochemist figure skater friend of mine who helped me study for the midterm and final and actually taught me the stuff I needed to know. Went to college the first time and didn’t have the discipline for gen chem then either - didn’t finish the class. Came to chemistry the third time expecting to continue hating it but had an awesome prof and turned into a chemistry liker. Had the opportunity to take an honors gen chem II section where our lab was more like a research project/orgo lab than a gen chem lab and we got guest lectures from the entire chem dept about their research interests and I became a chem lover and dual bio and chem major.
Orgo is a pain in the behind…I definitely will not miss orgo exams…but I actually like organic chemistry a lot. It’s “cool” to learn about the different reactions and why they do what they do, it’s just not fun trying to keep them all straight lol.
At this point I think I’m going to avoid the pain of physical chem and calculus II tho (phew). I only needed to add 4 classes to get the double major so I’ve chosen analytical chem + lab, clinical chem, biochem II + lab (biochem I goes toward the bio degree), and then molecular genetics (which for some odd reason is cross-listed at my school). If, as I get closer to graduation, I’m thinking of doing a full masters program I may go back and do the calc II and pchem so that I can get into a biochem masters or something, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it hehe.
I like my bio classes still, but they’ve ended up being harder than my chem classes to get a good grade in (partially cuz of the difference in grade cutoffs lol; bio classes have a 93 as an A and a 90 as an A-, all of my chem classes so far have had a 90 as an A and an 85 as an A-), but I’m not sure that I’d want to do a masters in genetics or something like I used to think I would want to do if med school didn’t work out.
Anyway the point is to just keep an open mind. Some of you that are disliking gen chem may really like orgo chem, and if you don’t like orgo either well at least you’re almost done - only biochem left in med school and that’s sure to be more interesting anyway lol.
Hang in there!
–Jessica, UCCS

Jessica, it was really funny to open this thread and see your post, because every time I saw the title of the thread with a new post, I would think, ya know, I really liked it.
I’m not arguing with those of you who find it just awful - quite honestly, that was my expectation when I went back and took gen-chem again after so many years, and it was a VERY pleasant surprise to find that I enjoyed it. And even more of a shock to discover that I really liked o-chem, honest. (especially labs, which were so cool)
It’s okay NOT to like chemistry, of course. I just want those who still have chemistry ahead of them to know that it IS enjoyable for some people - try not to decide ahead of time that it’s going to be painful!


Orgo is a pain in the behind…I definitely will not miss orgo exams…but I actually like organic chemistry a lot. It’s “cool” to learn about the different reactions and why they do what they do, it’s just not fun trying to keep them all straight lol.

I agree. I’d enjoy chemistry a lot more if it weren’t for the darn exams. I love pushing the little electrons around. I love seeing molecules I know about. Look! Acetate! That’s taffeta! Look! Aniline! That’s in dyes! (Okay, very toxic dyes that mostly aren’t used anymore. But damn, were they colorfast.)
It’s just that two or three reagents fall out of my head before the exam, and one reaction that I knew yesterday is gone today. However, I just figured out that the intermittent headache I’ve had for the last few weeks is probably a low-level sinus infection. I’ll be calling my doc today and hopefully getting my head cleared out by the end of the week so I can think better.
Well, it COULD happen!