Jul 31, 2014
So I took my SA Ochem last night and scored a 68% which was actually higher than what I expected since I have always been weak at Ochem. I made several educated guesses and most of it turned out right but there were several, I had no idea how to really answer.

With 3 weeks left, I would like to get an opinion on what you have been doing and what has helped you improve. Unlike the other sciences, Ochem is not something I can understand "properly" even after studying. With the Bio passages, even if I don't have all the content down to heart, it was easier to figure out some of the answers by extrapolating info from the passages..something I found not easily done for ochem passages.

Is it possible to do well on the ochem passages if you have the listed reactions memorized? Do you really need to know the little things here and there or if you have an idea of what reactants go in and what products you get, will that be sufficient? Will reviewing the AAMC ochem passages and TPR SW ochem passages and having those down be sufficient to do well..pretty much, I would like to raise my ochem to ~80% within 3 weeks (if that's even possible)?

Thanks for your help!


5+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2013
I sort of have the same problem where I score relatively low on the ochem sections on TBR/GS exams but score well enough on the bio exams that if I get all the ochem questions right, I would break 11-13. Honestly, a lot of people have not encountered THAT many ochem problems on the real deal (1 passage usually and at max 2 passages with a few basic discretes) and theyre usually easy questions. Usually you can narrow down the answer though. But my plan for the next 2 weeks (my test date is on 10/21) is to do TPRSW ochem discretes and the AAMC ochem SA/AAMC FLs. Honestly if you do these and review them you should be good imo.
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Next Step Test Prep Tutor
2+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2014
I'd recommend going back to basics. As you mentioned, OChem is bit different than the other sciences in that simply the explanations to the questions may not be enough.
What I would do is skim some important chapters in OChem (carboxylic acid reactions, carbohydrates) looking for specifics as well as general. An example of this is know the Wolff-Kishner reaction, but also know what an acid catalyzed reaction mechanism looks like. If you learn the basics (the general stuff) you can apply it to reactions that you haven't seen and that should help you tremendously.
Then do a bunch of practice and avoid losing the info you learned with note cards (lots and lots for Ochem).

Good luck!


5+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2012
3 weeks is plenty of enough time to study for ochem on the mcat (assuming you took ochem i and ii in college)
look up chad's videos and watch all of them (maybe two times each) and do some problems in ek1001 (keyword: some...) and it should be sufficient...
or at least it was for me. good luck!