Ok I just need to vent and I figured this would be the place to do it. I am just in my second week of OCHEM2 and I am feeling overwhelmed. I feel so behind. I don’t know where to start. I took OCHEM summer 09 but I guess I forgot basic concepts cause it’s just not clicking. I got an A in my OCHEm1 so I thought going on to 2 would just flow. Does it ever ‘flow’ or is it this hard for everyone? I am going to do everything in my power to get an A on this one also, BUT right now I’m just feeling discouraged and even thinking I didn’t deserve that A and maybe that OChem1 teacher made it too easy and didn’t really teach me the ‘good hard stuff’ I really needed to know. Man! talk about going through major doubt! OK i’m done but plz let me know how you got through OCHEM

You OChem series could be laid out that OChem 2 does seem like an entirely new class. You hay have touched on reactions in OChem I but they will more than likely be the entire basis of OChem II. So succes is going to depend on mastering them, the best way I found was to make note cards of the reactions and review them and review them some more. REview test I reactions for test II and so on. The other thing is to do as many practice problems as you can. More than likely your test reactions will come from the homework, so doing them once or twice will help.

This is what I think got my A in OChem I & II (aside from the grace of God). I made sure I had read the lecture material before class. And by read I mean I sat at my desk and read the chapter and did the example problems from the book as I went along. I also made my notecards as I went through the chapter. Then I did the problems at the end of the chapter especially the ones the prof assigned. Finally, the sunday before the test I spent 6 hours in the library studying for the test, problems, notes and notecards.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but really it is no more than what you will be doing in Med-school and maybe that is why OChem is the weedout class.

Agree with all Bailey said.

The Second Language books for Orgo were also great. I redid the entire Orgo I 2nd Language book at the start of Orgo II–helped a lot.

You may also want to check out online video courses, like KhanAcademy and Coursesaver. Sometimes a different teaching style can help material stick in your head.

Cant concur enough with the above comments.

write all out the reactions

write out all the mechanisms

write note cards

do all the problems and again

(I mean do them, not just review them).

Get one of the many guides available

When I tutor/advise younger students I often see them using too many sources, not deeply enough, having no “process” to study, do problems, and organize notes for exams. On that last factor, I often suggest students they need take the view that all this will be needed for the final exam. You cant possibly review/redo all the course work for that, so review for every exam must be set up to be used for the final as well.

In any course, you are basically taking information,techniques, knowledge, etc , synthesizing and integrating that info into smaller pieces from multiple sources (classroom notes, textbooks, problem solving, study guides).

My suggestion to them is develop a process where you create one SMALL set of notes from each of these sources, for each chapter or course organization, then combine these into a small set of notes for each test, which I call exam sheets. (BTW, on my exam sheets, always list my 10 rules for taking exams, starting with Rule 1: take a breath)

Oh one other resource, that I found helpful was the solutions manual for the OChem problems. I never looked at a problem in the sol manual until I had done it, but it is nice to have the answers there to check.

  • BaileyPup Said:
Oh one other resource, that I found helpful was the solutions manual for the OChem problems. I never looked at a problem in the sol manual until I had done it, but it is nice to have the answers there to check.

This is fantastic advice! It will help you sort out your nucleophiles and your electrophiles, and I ended up finding out that the difference is really the key to O-chem -- the electron flows happen from the interplay between the two.

Good luck with the class -- it's going to be a fun ride!

My organic professor had two rules - practice problems every night, and keep practicing each one until you can get it 100% correct.

For each reaction in your book or on assigned work we tend to make a minor mistake, look at the answer and say “Oh, I get that.” But unless you try it again 1-3 days later and actually get it 100% correct then you didn’t “get it” and you need more practice.

When I stuck with that system I did really well on his exams, and when I slacked off I did really, really bad.

Do as much as you can every day, even if you only do one or two organic problems. Every day!

Good luck!

I tutored OChem as an undergrad and the best Ochem reference book ever is/was by Fesseden/Fesseden WITH the solutions manual!

I’d add to all the above (which I agree with), that I simply had a really hard time with problems on the test where I was given the products and told to synthesize them from X reactants.

I wrote out the reactions “forward” and “backward”, with notation of the SOLVANT and any needed conditions over the arrow of the reaction. Did each one, on a white board, till could do perfectly from memory.

Also, for me, my memory is both visual and auditory. But I really have a hard time remembering or identifying sets of letters and numbers (IE formulas). So I wrote out names under each part of the reaction. Then I said the reaction out-loud… “Nucleophilic substitution” …“nucleophile comes in”…etc…

I found I could recall the words, which then linked to the compounds in my head, and greatly improved my recall. Didn’t figure this out till second semester but it saved me.


U all are great! thanks for all the recommended books and study tips. Feeling much better today. Gonna A’s this class ;)!