What tips can you give me for being sucessful in my Organic Chemistry class. I was not at all prepared for this class. Does anyone have any tips?
Thanks a bunch!!!
repetition, repetition, repetition.
Get a white board, write down each step and erase. Repeat.
Next look at each part of the reactive species that are involved in the reaction and try to make sens as to why the reaction works that way. Once you understand it, you will be able to do any problems.
In addition to what Gabe said, get your hands on a copy of Organic Chemistry as a Second Language this book helped me a lot.
here’s a link for the newest edition, but Im sure an older (cheaper) edition would be fine too.
I wonder why you say you were “not at all prepared” for this class?
Did you not take chem 1 and chem 2?
Those classes should have well prepared you for org chem.
If not, I strongly suggest staying AHEAD of the material and maybe even checking out your local Barnes and Nobles or Borders bookstores and buying an Org Chem For Dummies book. Those help.
Best of luck, but you should have been generally prepared based on your gen chem 1 and 2 classes.
I have to say that I disagree with the previous poster, Inorganic Chemistry I and II usually does very little to prepare people for what is to come in Orgo.
In fact at the school where I took my post-bac classes, the curriculum was set up so that the chemistry sequence was Inorganic I, Orgo I then II, followed by Inorganic II. Their thinking was that these classes had less to do with each other than they did with the Bio and physics classes we took concurrently.
Most people I know always felt like Orgo was like a punch in the gut
As the previous poster said, GChem 1 and 2 do very little to prepare you for OChem.
I say little because GChem 2 usually gets into acid base chemistry and reaction equilibria which does come in handy.
However the OChem material is very different than any of your other pre-reqs.
To briefly answer the original question though, make sure you understand the ‘why’ of the reaction. If you understand why the reaction is occurring you will start understanding the other reactions as well and everything will make sense.
NEVER EVER memorize reactions just to do well on the exam. It’ll bite you in the butt real hard, both when you take OChem 2, which has tons more reactions, and the MCAT.
Thank you soo much! I did take Gen Chem 1 & 2 or else I would not be able to take OChem now. The reason why I say that I was not at all prepared for this is because I don’t have a science backround. I am a Psychology major with a PreMed concentration, so while it may not be as hard for some, it is for me. I’m going to use these suggestions to be successful. Great website as well.
- ajajenna Said:
Jenn, ochem is a real monster and many if not most students struggle to get through it. Some good suggestions already made, and I would add that a study group may help you stay oriented and on track. Go to all extra help sessions and, if possible, help other students with concepts that you have mastered. In general, teaching a concept helps you to cement it in your own mind, and there are a ton of difficult concepts in ochem.
If possible, get old copies of exams and work the problems over and over until they start to feel familiar. Work the problems at the end of chapters, too, but the problems your prof gives you are most likely to resemble the exams. Do synthesis problems in the bathroom and on the bus. Dedicate your life to ochem for the next few months and your work will pay off (and also give you a taste of what med school will be like!).
Best of luck,
Trust me. We know how you feel. I was originally an English major (BA and MA), and to say this class is a struggle is the understatement of the year. I was feeling discouraged from staying up until 1 and 2 am studying for our weekly quizzes and homework assignments only to get C’s and D’s. I formed a study group, bought extra study materials, and meet regularly with a tutor so I imagine things will have to turn around soon.
(On the flip side, our prof recently posted everyone’s grade to date and I found out that I have the 4th highest grade in the class…if only she graded on a curve or believed in partial credit. haha. This just goes to show that those pre-reqs that I took 10 years ago aren’t as big a factor as I had imagined. The people who took gen chem 2 last semester are having just as tough a time. Many of them are having an even tougher time)
Hang in there and check out this website that I found very useful. You can download Dr. Thomas Poon’s ochem lectures to an ipod: www.ochem.com
oh my god! I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that other people are struggling as well. Thank you so much for all the great advice and congratulations on having the 4th highest score in the class. That is an accomplishment! Keep up the good work. I’ll keep everyone posted on my accomplishments…
For what it’s worth, the median score on our first exam this year was 41/100. That was even skewed high because the instructor’s lab assistant from a previous ochem class scored 79.
I’m debating sticking it out and risking a C or worse, or taking a tactical retreat with a W until the regular ochem professor is back…the reason I took the class now. He’s out on medical leave for the semester.
If you must, W > C.