oran berry

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Hi everyone.

I took AP Chemistry in High School (top of the class) but I never took the AP test. I'm a second-year now and I haven't touched any chemistry since that period. I still intend to take GChem I and II at my university.

Background: I'm rescheduling some classes for next semester and it seems like everything would move much much smoother if I took Organic Chemistry I before I had the chance to take General Chemistry I and II (and OChem II after these three classes) at my university.

So my question is: Given my circumstances, should I just hold off on taking OChem I until I finish GChem I and II?

I can just look over a GenChem textbook and relearn concepts over the break, and it won't be a problem, right? I'm a math/chem major, so I find the material fascinating.
 

transfec

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Hi everyone.

I took AP Chemistry in High School (top of the class) but I never took the AP test. I'm a second-year now and I haven't touched any chemistry since that period. I still intend to take GChem I and II at my university.

Background: I'm rescheduling some classes for next semester and it seems like everything would move much much smoother if I took Organic Chemistry I before I had the chance to take General Chemistry I and II (and OChem II after these three classes) at my university.

So my question is: Given my circumstances, should I just hold off on taking OChem I until I finish GChem I and II?

I can just look over a GenChem textbook and relearn concepts over the break, and it won't be a problem, right? I'm a math/chem major, so I find the material fascinating.
I would definitely recommend still taking Gen Chem, as you plan to.

I wouldn't worry about taking Ochem first. The two subjects relate well, but you could easily excel in Ochem without taking Gen Chem first. The first several weeks of Ochem are review of Gen Chem, covering all you'll need to excel in the class.

Any studying you do, in advance, will still help- whatever it takes for you to be comfortable with the course material. I would also recommend meeting with the professor during any office hours.

Hope that helps!
 

Astarael

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Does your school actually allow you to take OChem without having gen chem done? If you can do this, it probably wouldn't hurt you, but most schools have gen chem as a pre-req for taking OChem.
 
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oran berry

oran berry

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@transfec: Thanks, that's just what I wanted to hear =)

@Astarael: Well, I'm not really supposed to take OChem I before GChem I and II, but if I explain the situation to the professor I might be able to make this work. Alternatively, I think I can just sign up for the class and hope that no one really notices or cares (worked for me before). If they find out I haven't taken the prerequisites, but I'm excelling in the class, would they kick me out or remove my credit? >< Maybe I should play it safe and just wait..
 

apumic

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Hi everyone.

I took AP Chemistry in High School (top of the class) but I never took the AP test. I'm a second-year now and I haven't touched any chemistry since that period. I still intend to take GChem I and II at my university.

Background: I'm rescheduling some classes for next semester and it seems like everything would move much much smoother if I took Organic Chemistry I before I had the chance to take General Chemistry I and II (and OChem II after these three classes) at my university.

So my question is: Given my circumstances, should I just hold off on taking OChem I until I finish GChem I and II?

I can just look over a GenChem textbook and relearn concepts over the break, and it won't be a problem, right? I'm a math/chem major, so I find the material fascinating.
Splitting OChem I & OChem II is probably pretty unwise. Many schools require the comprehensive ACS OChem final at the end of OChem II, which will require you to remember all of the mechanistic details from OChem I. Additionally, OChem II relies VERY heavily on OChem I material (i.e., concepts, syntheses, etc.), meaning you may have difficulty remembering some of those details. Additionally, while OChem I starts w/ a review of GChem (at most schools), not having a solid base in GChem prior to beginning OChem I is just asking for punishment. I think people tend to way underestimate the relevance of GChem concepts to OChem. Sure, there are VERY few calculations, but the concepts remain the same. I'd really consider just how much "smoother" your schedule would be. If it's just a matter of avoiding an 8am class or something, take them in order.
 
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OChem 1's foundation is mostly made up of things you learned in the second semester of GChem. The first semester of GChem, is like the introduction to college-level chemistry. But I say going OChem without GChem is pretty doable, a lot of what you study is really heavy on Ochem specific topics, as in it is really not that often that you will find yourself going, "Oh crap, that is the stuff we learned in GChem!"

OChem is like in a world of it's own. GChem can help, but it does not make OChem significantly much easier.
 

apumic

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@transfec: Thanks, that's just what I wanted to hear =)

@Astarael: Well, I'm not really supposed to take OChem I before GChem I and II, but if I explain the situation to the professor I might be able to make this work. Alternatively, I think I can just sign up for the class and hope that no one really notices or cares (worked for me before). If they find out I haven't taken the prerequisites, but I'm excelling in the class, would they kick me out or remove my credit? >< Maybe I should play it safe and just wait..

This is school-specific. Some ignore it, others administratively withdraw students, some let profs decide, and some actually auto-fail (as in assign an "F" and remove) students who are found to be taking a course w/o a prereq. It all depends on the institution. Personally, I am not a fan of prereqs. I think students should receive guidance and then live with their decisions. I believe this has the highest chance of teaching young adults personal responsibility, but the reality is all too many college students are basically overgrown 2-year-olds that have very "un-grownup" temper tantrums about professors being too hard when they don't get their way or when they weren't prepared for a course or lack the will to try harder, etc. (see this post for a recent example).
 
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oran berry

oran berry

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Hm..yeah, I understand. Thanks, apumic.

I'll just hold off on taking OChem I for now. I don't want to chance anything here.
 

transfec

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Hm..yeah, I understand. Thanks, apumic.

I'll just hold off on taking OChem I for now. I don't want to chance anything here.
Talk to your advisor! Easy fix.
 

TTigers70

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I wouldn't enroll before speaking to someone if you don't have the pre-reqs on paper. Orgo and gen chem are quite different. Some gen chem concepts are built on but again those concepts are at least briefly reviewed before the orgo kicks in.

Now if you plan to take orgo lab before you've taken your gen chem lab... I might be a bit concerned. Seems like a move like that would put you at a decent disadvantage unless you are very confident with your lab technique and ability to do pre-labs, etc with the correct format (never forget the carbon paper..)
 

Envix

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My school's listed curriculum actually uses the order: genchem1, orgo1, orgo2, genchem2("inorganic"), and I really liked it. So ya, out of order is fine :)
 

TTigers70

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My school's listed curriculum actually uses the order: genchem1, orgo1, orgo2, genchem2("inorganic"), and I really liked it. So ya, out of order is fine :)
Inorganic chemistry and general chemistry 2 are generally regarded as different classes. Is your program only one semester of "general chemistry"?
 

whimsical

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My school's listed curriculum actually uses the order: genchem1, orgo1, orgo2, genchem2("inorganic"), and I really liked it. So ya, out of order is fine :)
My school's curriculum is like this too, except that Gen Chem 2 is called Gen Chem 2 (not inorganic), and there is a separate upper-level Inorganic class.