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organic chem..help!!

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by misty124, 07.06.11.


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  1. misty124

    misty124

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    So I won't be taking organic chem until this fall. But I am taking the pcat on July 20th. I am studying the kaplan book to learn as much ochem as I can. Do you think that I should study an ochem book? As in the "organic chemistry for dummies" or am I wasting my time trying to learn ochem on my own? I did very well in gen chem. I will be taking the pcat again in Sept.
  2. sanode

    sanode

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    Hi Misty, Welcome to SDN. Sounds like you are on the right track - many took & did well on PCAT org. section before taking the class. Can you sit it in an Org. Chem 1 class at a nearby college ? Or check out Org. Chem as Second language book (google it) - it is really helpful.
  3. chemguy79

    chemguy79 New Member Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes ... You MUST study and Organic Chemistry book. At the very least, you must know reactions (especially alkene) and nomenclature.

    As the previous poster, I strongly recommend Organic Chemistry as a Second Language. I would recommend it for students that I tutored and it made things much easier to grasp since you'll eventually have to take the class.
  4. mbpuffer

    mbpuffer Future pharmacist

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    The Kaplan PCAT book BARELY covers OChem.
  5. sanode

    sanode

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    Thanks Chemguy79 - I'm surprised that book is not touted enough

  6. Timbo

    Timbo

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    Just don't worry about mechanisms or NMR.
  7. misty124

    misty124

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I purchased the organic chemistry as a second language book. It was only $40 including 1 day shipping- on a saturday! Since i dont have much time before the pcat, what parts do you think would be the most beneficial to study? Thanks!
  8. chemguy79

    chemguy79 New Member Moderator Emeritus

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    Nomenclature and Alkene reactions.

    Honestly, you'll be missing out on a lot of material, but to hedge your bets, you'll definitely get questions covering those topics on the PCAT.

    Be VERY familiar with Markovnikov!
  9. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    Without the intentions of hijacking the thread, does the Organic Chemistry as a Second Language book also cover ORG 2 material?
  10. JonPrePharmD

    JonPrePharmD

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    No, there is another book for that.

    http://www.amazon.com/Organic-Chemistry-II-Second-Language/dp/0471738085

    Who knew, right? If you want a grasp of understanding and you're trying to cram for the PCAT, I'd stick with the first book and hope the few Orgo 2 questions don't throw you off too much.

    Here's the Table of Contents for the second book:
    ELECTROPHILIC AROMATIC SUBSTITUTION 22
    NUCLEOPHILIC AROMATIC SUBSTITUTION 83
    KETONES AND ALDEHYDES 98
    CARBOXYLIC ACID DERIVATIVES 160
    ENOLS AND EN PLATES 203
    AMINES 253

    And some "terms" found on the amazon site:

    • ketone
    • acyl halide
    • enolate
    • carboxylic acid
    • leaving group
    • ketal
    • aldehyde
    • alkyl
    • electrophilic aromatic substitution
    • resonance structures
    • lone pair
    • Sn2 reaction
    • Grignard reagent
    • Lewis acid
    • ylide
    • Claisen condensation
    • enamine
    • sulfuric acid
    • Friedel-Crafts Acylation
    • deprotonate
    Last edited: 07.16.11
  11. pharm313

    pharm313

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    I came across this question on Pearson's Practice PCAT exam and didn't understand it's answer:

    In Hydrocarbons, carbon atoms usually form
    a. two covalent bonds
    b. ions with a charge of -2
    c. four covalent bonds
    d. ions with a charge of +4

    The answer is C because it says "Hydrocarbons are organic compounds that consist only of hydrogen and carbon. The carbon molecule in a hydrocarbon has an incomplete outer shell with four elections that are available for covalent bonding."

    When I read this question, I visualized a C-H molecule which can only make 3 remaining bonds.

    Why didn't they just ask how many bonds a Carbon tends to make, rather than a hydrocarbon?
  12. JonPrePharmD

    JonPrePharmD

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    Because since a hydrocarbon consists of only hydrogen and carbon, it can bond as either C-C or C-H, but carbon in a hydrocarbon must have 4 bonds.

    Worded weirdly but that's how I understand it.
  13. mbpuffer

    mbpuffer Future pharmacist

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    They want to make sure we know what a 'hydrocarbon' is.
  14. pharm313

    pharm313

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    Ok I guess if I see a question like this on the exam I'll have to do my best to not complicate it. It's an easy question that's just worded in a weird way.

    Thanks for your replies!
  15. luongo321

    luongo321

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    Hi,

    I'm just wondering what reactions are most necessary to know for the pcat. (i haven't taken the pearson practice tests yet, but i'm going to very soon).

    I've taken o-chem and understand it, but if someone could give me a rough cutoff of up to what reactions are normally covered. Obviously the more reactions I understand the better, but I'd just like to get an idea so I don't concentrate on more complex reactions that won't be covered on the pcat. Thanks.
  16. Aestatis

    Aestatis

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    I would focus on SN1/2 and E1/2 reactions, reactions with alkenes, alcohols and carboxylic acids and their derivatives. If you have the ability to analyze the functional groups on a compound and look at the reagent, you should be able to figure out your product.
  17. NickW9682

    NickW9682

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    I just took the PCAT this past tuesday. The Chem section is pretty basic even without having ochem. I only had a few questions involving formulas and maybe 4 ochem related questions. Ochem gets such a bad name but its really not that difficult, i thought the second gen chem was harder.
  18. Coded

    Coded Hopeful and Determined

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    Cool. I just looked up the books you guys recommend for Organic Class.

    How about Gen Chemistry? Is David Klein's book for it as good as Organic Chem or would you recommend a different one? I have yet to take the classes so I want to prepare early. :D
  19. xtsukiyox

    xtsukiyox Moderator Emeritus

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    :laugh: I remember narrowing down 3 questions to the Markovnikov solution or the anti-Markovnikov solution, then I blanked on which one it should be. Oh well, 50/50 is better than nothing.

    If I understand (and can remember enough proper terms), they're trying to get you to recognize that they're talking about sp bonds. If they didn't specify a hydrocarbon, they wouldn't be telling you what carbon would be bonded to, so you wouldn't necessarily have enough information. The answer would be different (or at least more complicated) if the carbon was bonded to an oxygen, right?

    Also, when you deal with O Chem, you never (to my recollection) deal with CH as an independent unit. I'd never say a CH bonds to 3 more H. I'd say a C bonds to 4 H.
  20. chemguy79

    chemguy79 New Member Moderator Emeritus

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    If the reaction uses peroxides, the answer is usually Anti-Markovnikov. :D
  21. rei1088

    rei1088

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    I don't remember the PCATs very well but I think you're right (took it Sept 2011). Ochem didn't seem so bad...
  22. xtsukiyox

    xtsukiyox Moderator Emeritus

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    I took O Chem in the evenings. I have to admit - after working all day, by the time we got to Markovnikov / Anti-Markovnikov, the professor was sounding something like an adult out of Peanuts. :(

    I think I can remember peroxides = (usu) Anti-Markovnikov though. :D
  23. Solar de riokos

    Solar de riokos

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    They started to put more orgo reactions on the Chemistry sections started from last cycle so I think definitely know the materials on Orgo 1 to do well on the exam.
  24. NickW9682

    NickW9682

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    As others have stated OChem as a second language is an exceptional study guide. Its expensive but its definitely worth it. It provides plenty of practice problems as well as explaining the reasoning behing each. I took the pcat in Jan and honestly dont really recall all that many ochem questions, but apparently this is changing for the 2012 pcat? I recommend buying the 2nd language 1st semester topics (get an older edition used off amazon) and it will cover pretty much every ochem topic on the pcat.

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