General chemistry study tips

Since I just wrapped up my year of general chemistry, I thought I would start a thread for tips that helped me make it through. In particular, little tricks for remembering equations, rules, etc.

Perhaps others can start up similar threads for biology, genetics, ochem, etc.?

My one lifesaver that helped me in both semesters of chem and biology came from my chem I professor, a young part-time physics instructor from a local CC that was hired to teach the class three days before it started (summer session).

How to remember what happens to electrons during oxidation-reduction reactions:




Loses electrons



Gains electrons

My favorite:

All: Allose

Altruists: Altrose

Gladly: Glucose

Make: Mannose

Gum: Gulose

In: Idose

Gallon: Galactose

Tanks: Talose

I have a few others I developed to survive Orgo but they are a bit R-rated

How about this for the biochemical synthesis pathway for a couple of amino acids:

Only A Baby Likes Human Milk

Oxaloacetate–Aspartate-- Aspartate BETA semialdehyde–Lysine, or Homoserine–Methionine

It worked for me. (Hard to explain when it’s not written out with arrows.) The B in Baby is for Beta.

Oh and sorry, that’s not general chem, it’s biochem. I could never remember anything in general chem!

An alternative to OIL RIG is:

LEO the lion says GER.

Loss of electron = oxidation

Gain of electron = reduction