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Organic Chem

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by ianna, Apr 2, 2012.

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  1. ianna

    ianna

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    Hello,

    I am currently a freshman in a University and am taking general chemistry. I have shadowed doctors and volunteered at health institutions during high school and college, and I am interested in applying for Medical School later on ( in 2 years).

    I have heard that Organic Chemistry is really a killer. Therefore, I was wondering if I could take organic chemistry in community college in the summer to acquaint myself before I re-take it at a university during my second year? If I do choose that route, will the Med School admissions look down upon it?

    Any help and guidance will be really appreciated.

    -Anna
  2. LazyElemental

    LazyElemental

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    Just sit in on the summer course offered by your university. Cheaper and you don't have to explain anything
  3. DVolle

    DVolle

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    Instead of spending the money and the headache of taking two semesters of orgo in one summer (possible GPA killer), buy Organic Chemistry For Dummies the summer before you take orgo at university and study up.

    http://www.amazon.com/Organic-Chemistry-I-For-Dummies/dp/0764569023
  4. twizzlers713

    twizzlers713

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    organic is too much for summer imo. take it once, work at it, do well. it's overhyped
  5. xroc

    xroc

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    No, just take it and man/woman up. There will always be hard classes, be it in undergrad, med school, etc. You can't just shy away from all challenges in life; these classes are difficult and weed out people for a reason (that reason usually tends to be that people don't take them seriously enough/apply themselves; if they do, then maybe science as a career should be reconsidered)
  6. Praefectus

    Praefectus MS-0

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    It's not as bad when you look back on it. You just have to work harder than you ever have and you need to learn how to mentally visualize the reactions. Don't take it at a CC or you'll have some explaining to do.
  7. torshi

    torshi

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    gen chem 1 < ochem < gen chem 2 in my opinion
  8. Dan1804

    Dan1804

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  9. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136

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    Ochem being a hard class is a myth.
  10. xXIDaShizIXx

    xXIDaShizIXx Clinical Psychology Psy.D. Candidate

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    I'd have to agree with this on difficulty level. I actually enjoyed Organic Chemistry (the first more so than the second part). But anyways, do not take organic chemistry over the summer. At my school we will have people take it over the summer and out of the 15-20 that do, only a few are able to pull a B. Its not that its extremely hard, its just that its extremely labor intensive.
  11. dmf2682

    dmf2682

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    I'd say its difficulty depends on who is teaching it. Take it when you're supposed to but do your homework on the professors who teach it. Also second the pre reading. Organic chemistry as a second language gave me a leg up.
  12. xXIDaShizIXx

    xXIDaShizIXx Clinical Psychology Psy.D. Candidate

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    This as well. I ended up getting the hardest professor in which you had to struggle to get an A (if you worked hard) where the other professor that taught it had full multiple choice (is that even right?) tests.
  13. COMedic2Doc

    COMedic2Doc

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    Highly recommend not taking Organic I in the summer. Try taking it in the Fall or Spring, it's completely your choice. Personally, I found that taking it in the Spring I was able to obtain a prof who doesn't normally teach O. Chem and is passionate about students' learning (so ask around at your University).

    Definitely consider getting the O. Chem for Dummies at the same time or visiting office hours frequently (no one will fault you for seeking help and it shows academic maturity) and try to find some students in class that understand Chemistry better than you do, if Chem is a weaker subject for you (no worries here, we're seeking Medical School not Pharmacy School so as such we tend to be more Biology oriented as a whole).

    After all that, spend an hour or so a day and you will find it much easier than cramming right before a quiz or an exam as Organic is a foreign language and requires work. As some have already stated it is a weeder course, but don't allow that to become an obstacle instead realize that Organic is a language that you've never been exposed too just as most of Medical School will be foreign at first.

    Work at it, and you will succeed. Cram, put it off to the last moment, don't seek help when needed and you will ultimately fail. Good luck.
  14. sweet d

    sweet d

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    I believe the general consensus is that you should not retake prerequisites that you do well in. And obviously, you should try to do well in every class you take. So taking the course over the summer, with the intention of retaking it later, is probably not a good idea. If you're looking to do a summer prep, I would recommend working your way through Organic Chemistry as a Second Language. It won't teach you everything you'll need to know for the class, but if you can get comfortable with nomenclature, resonance, stereochemistry, and drawing mechanisms ahead of time you'll be in good shape.

    I don't think ochem is really any harder than the other sciences, but it is very different from other subjects and I think people often struggle to form effective study habits for this class. Studying a little bit every day helps, because you need the repetition. A lot of the things that people struggle to memorize and then subsequently screw up on tests (steps in mechanisms and reaction conditions, especially) can become second nature if you practice enough. Getting to this point will save you a lot of grief, so get a whiteboard and write out reactions until you start seeing them in your sleep. The number of reactions increases tenfold in second semester, but you can learn them fairly quickly if you have a solid foundation.
  15. Dan1804

    Dan1804

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    This. Made a big difference for me--together with color coded reaction-name tabs for easy reference in my notebooks and text-book, making good flash cards (reaction with question marks over arrows on one side, and solutions over arrows on the other, as well as notes regarding ideal condions and page number reference to the textbook), and having a dedicated table with room enough to lay all the cards out and go through them over and over again.

    As with the MCAT, make your goal to only take orgo once.
  16. littlefurrybugs

    littlefurrybugs

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    I had the harder professor for O-Chem as well. The tests from the other professor basically came straight out of the book, while my professor was really creative with his problems. In the end, I think I was better of with the harder professor anyway. I developed some good study habits because of his class.

    In general, I thought O-Chem was really fun, and 2nd semester is definitely one of my favorite classes that I've taken so far. I can assure you that it is definitely not for everyone, but it really is not as hard as people make it seem like. In a way, it could be easier than Biology classes, simply because you don't have to memorize a lot of information. You just have to know how to apply them in certain situations.
  17. Dwan

    Dwan

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    It's highly dependent on the teacher/ student body. I took honors organic chem and the tests were ridiculously hard (you would have to be able to derive concepts/mechanisms learned later in Chem II despite the class being the first introductory series). No one got an "A" raw score on any test even though students in the class were on average smarter than those in the normal series, and the curve wasn't that great. When I switched to normal, I studied less than 1/2 as much and breezed through pretty easily; the means were still pretty low thanks to the different student makeup. Keep in mind challenging yourself isn't necessarily a bad thing though, it can help you in the future (and the MCAT o-chem will seem a lot easier).
  18. Tatiana3325

    Tatiana3325 Removed

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    I completely agree! It was one of my favorite classes as well. :)
  19. Ub3rmensch

    Ub3rmensch Zamboni Driver

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    That's good to know, gen chem 2 is a killer right now.
  20. Praefectus

    Praefectus MS-0

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    If you're able to understand all of the thermo stuff in gen chem, the PS on the MCAT will be a bit easier.
  21. torshi

    torshi

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    ochem is easier then gen chem!
  22. coyotelime

    coyotelime

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    Orgo is different for EVERYONE. That being said, hard work and determination should get you a B if not better. Have confidence in yourself and don't give up. Good luck!
  23. shoehornlettuce

    shoehornlettuce

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    It's school specific. Ochem at my school was a nightmare and I can't imagine a single person regardless of how math-illiterate they may be, could find ochem easier. People don't seem to understand that any one of your professors be it gen chem, orgo or physics, could write an exam that would bring you to your knees if they wanted to. Some choose to do this.
  24. torshi

    torshi

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    Well yea any class can be difficult due to the professor. But material wise it's doable.

    Bad professor + Gen chem 2 = disaster.
    Bad professor + ochem 1 = Doable IMO, because I rarely studied in that class, and almost 50% of the class dropped.

    Physics can def be a disaster
  25. torshi

    torshi

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    :thumbup:
  26. circulus vitios

    circulus vitios

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    Like he said, it depends entirely on the professor and how the professor is feeling that particular semester. When I took o-chem I, the average final exam grade was a 35-40%. The professor changed his teaching methods the following year and it became much easier with averages in the 60% range (or so I've heard.)
  27. StraightShooter

    StraightShooter

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    Not to thread jack, but...

    Would you take O-Chem 1 and 2 and Lab over Summer? With known alright professors, or take it in fall with a completely new professor?

    Normally the class is roughly 3 months, and it will be only 1 month per course.
  28. shoehornlettuce

    shoehornlettuce

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    If you don't have any other commitments during the summer then it might be nice to get those courses out of the way. Be prepared to work your tail off though.
  29. Palam

    Palam

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    Community course credits are not recommended, they know they're usually easier. In all honestly, I might be in an "easier" organic chemistry course, but I find calculus way harder and I'm taking the business calc. Organic chemistry requires a fair amount of studying but it's at least interesting. Numbers are not interesting to me.

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