eteshoe

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Lol. But in all seriousness it's not that difficult of a class with the proper plan of attack. Plus there's tons of free resources online
 
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I'm thinking of taking 1 semester of organic chem. Is that enough to take 1 semester or does taking 2 semesters help?
 

cabinbuilder

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Medical school requires 2 semesters of organic chem with lab. I will say that I thought it was THE WORST CLASS EVER. I actually took it 4 times before passing but that was 25 years ago. I hear it's a lot different beast these days.
 
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Can you just jump into organic chemistry without having taken inorganic chemistry in a while - or does one really feed into the other?
 

cabinbuilder

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Can you just jump into organic chemistry without having taken inorganic chemistry in a while - or does one really feed into the other?
Usually the first year of chem is the pre-req for organic.
 

cabinbuilder

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yeah I took chem in 2004-2005 ... not sure how strong my chem has to be to ace organic chem .... and I don't have a pre-med adviser or anything so wasn't sure
Organic chem is pure memorization of the reactions and how the electrons move to create one compound from another using a specific reagent. It is very spatial with 3-D models etc.
 
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QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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....I hear it's giving people alkynes of trouble.
Speaking from the instructor perspective, you do hear a lot of whining about how people are "sulfuring" through the course and it's killing them. To which I say, "No, you're not actually diene. You just have to not give up and keep triene." :D

On a more serious note, I loved organic chemistry so much in college that I dropped my premed plans (which were kind of theoretical anyway) and went to grad school. Got an MS and a PhD in organic chem, did some teaching. Realized I didn't want to be a PI (which is a whole 'nother story), but actually being in the lab and learning about the chemistry of life was pretty awesome. I still love organic chemistry in a way that I have never loved any kind of biological science for its sheer beauty and amazingness.

On a more practical note, if you go to the MCAT Study Questions Q&A subforum, I wrote a post in there a long time ago about how to succeed in organic chem. In a nutshell, the best students do two things: 1) study the subject every day (the idea of treating it like learning a foreign language is actually pretty apt), and 2) buy (and use) a model kit. Seriously, unless you are the rare spatial genius who can manipulate 3D objects in your mind with the greatest of ease, you can't learn stereochemistry properly without one.
 
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it all depends on the instructor...how s/he teaches the course and how difficult the exams s/he gives out.
 
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Speaking from the instructor perspective, you do hear a lot of whining about how people are "sulfuring" through the course and it's killing them. To which I say, "No, you're not actually diene. You just have to not give up and keep triene." :D

On a more serious note, I loved organic chemistry so much in college that I dropped my premed plans (which were kind of theoretical anyway) and went to grad school. Got an MS and a PhD in organic chem, did some teaching. Realized I didn't want to be a PI (which is a whole 'nother story), but actually being in the lab and learning about the chemistry of life was pretty awesome. I still love organic chemistry in a way that I have never loved any kind of biological science for its sheer beauty and amazingness.

On a more practical note, if you go to the MCAT Study Questions Q&A subforum, I wrote a post in there a long time ago about how to succeed in organic chem. In a nutshell, the best students do two things: 1) study the subject every day (the idea of treating it like learning a foreign language is actually pretty apt), and 2) buy (and use) a model kit. Seriously, unless you are the rare spatial genius who can manipulate 3D objects in your mind with the greatest of ease, you can't learn stereochemistry properly without one.
thanks for the feedback. it does seem like learning Chinese to me a little bit, in the sense you have to memorize every single character and brush stroke.

do you have any advice on which model to buy? there are a few out there - are they all the same basically
 

QofQuimica

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thanks for the feedback. it does seem like learning Chinese to me a little bit, in the sense you have to memorize every single character and brush stroke.

do you have any advice on which model to buy? there are a few out there - are they all the same basically
The cheapest one. As long as it's 3D and you can hold it in your hands to study chirality.
 
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ehhhh ok I might consider taking org1 this semester ... I might not even get in though because the prereq is chem110/111 and I took the easier chem 101/102 over a decade ago from a different school (my alma mater) so have to see if I qualify ... or can if I get a dean's override ... I don't know

not sure if I can get in (classes start soon) ... seems like one thing after another to get into these programs :)

in some way though I'm looking forward to a classroom setting as this self-study method has been very difficult.
 

TheTao

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Medical school requires 2 semesters of organic chem with lab. I will say that I thought it was THE WORST CLASS EVER. I actually took it 4 times before passing but that was 25 years ago. I hear it's a lot different beast these days.
I teach Orgo and it's STILL a bee-oytch!
 

mw18

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ehhhh ok I might consider taking org1 this semester ... I might not even get in though because the prereq is chem110/111 and I took the easier chem 101/102 over a decade ago from a different school (my alma mater) so have to see if I qualify ... or can if I get a dean's override ... I don't know

not sure if I can get in (classes start soon) ... seems like one thing after another to get into these programs :)

in some way though I'm looking forward to a classroom setting as this self-study method has been very difficult.
Some schools may not accept courses that are too old. I've seen 10 years thrown around. You're probably better off retaking gen chem anyway, just to be sure. Unless you're a chem major and will end up taking advanced courses.
 
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trev5150

Some schools may not accept courses that are too old. I've seen 10 years thrown around. You're probably better off retaking gen chem anyway, just to be sure. Unless you're a chem major and will end up taking advanced courses.
I would LOVE for them to throw out the 10+ year old stuff.
 
T

trev5150

I teach Orgo and it's STILL a bee-oytch!
Not a feel-good statement going into this semester, gotta tell ya...

Threads like this make me think "Hey dude, you can just go back to IRQ. They'll take you back". But eff all that noise.
 

libahli

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Eh, I bought a model kit and used it approximately one time before realizing it didn't help me at all.

Got As in both orgo I and II with a notoriously difficult professor. My best advice is to buy both of David Klein's second language books. You're welcome in advance :)

Other than that, the biggest thing for me was rewriting my notes after class (something I never did with any other class) and doing as many practice problems as possible. There are professors (not mine) who create class websites with questions/solutions and I would do those along with my assigned work.

And don't get behind!!!!!!! It all builds so if you're struggling in the beginning, seek help immediately.
 

betterfuture

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I'd say it is pretty tough.

You just have to get your basics down first. Acids/Bases - Lewis acid/Lewis Bases, structures, bonding, hybridization, functional groups, etc. It is so much easier to get your foundation down first before jumping to the hard stuff. It makes a world of difference. You just have to recognize patterns and look to see where electrons are at and where they want to go.
 
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Coltuna

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Practice problems, Practice problems, Practice problems
 
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Ad2b

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Medical school requires 2 semesters of organic chem with lab.
Not true. that changed for most schools to 1 semester orgo, 1 semester biochem at most. some schools don't even have specific requirements anymore.

Orgo is like a puzzle. What goes on the outside, what can play on the inside and what helps make that all work. It's not hard, it's just a lot of work for so few credits. Think in terms of 20+ hours for 3 credits OUTSIDE of class.
 

cabinbuilder

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Not true. that changed for most schools to 1 semester orgo, 1 semester biochem at most. some schools don't even have specific requirements anymore.

Orgo is like a puzzle. What goes on the outside, what can play on the inside and what helps make that all work. It's not hard, it's just a lot of work for so few credits. Think in terms of 20+ hours for 3 credits OUTSIDE of class.
lucky dogs.
 

Ad2b

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lucky dogs.
Haha - unless you had my biochem class which, this is his quote:

"I teach at the medical school here and this course is a derivative of that. Rest assured, you'll be well ready for that course should you need it but don't worry, it's a bit watered down."

Last day of class:

"So, as you might have suspected, I lied. Congrats on finishing the medical school biochem course; the only difference between it and yours was the length of time to take it. Congrats to all of you, I wish you the best."

Ask me to draw you the pathways and intermediates in molecular form and WHY it's important and the implication on disease states. Give me some orgo 2 please with a fancy Strecker :)
 
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aromatic substitution

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Organic is a very difficult class, but if you do a lot of practice problems you'll do fine. Also I have to recommend Klein's orgo as a second language. It breaks the material down really well. With that said organic chem has been my favorite class I've taken so far in undergrad.
 

cabinbuilder

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Haha - unless you had my biochem class which, this is his quote:

"I teach at the medical school here and this course is a derivative of that. Rest assured, you'll be well ready for that course should you need it but don't worry, it's a bit watered down."

Last day of class:

"So, as you might have suspected, I lied. Congrats on finishing the medical school biochem course; the only difference between it and yours was the length of time to take it. Congrats to all of you, I wish you the best."

Ask me to draw you the pathways and intermediates in molecular form and WHY it's important and the implication on disease states. Give me some orgo 2 please with a fancy Strecker :)
I hear ya. Biochem was a bitch for me too. I think I took it 4 times as well before I got it. Sigh........ Do not envy any of you.
 

willow84

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I bought a model kit and used it once before never touching it again. I reviewed my notes after class, did every practice problem possible, and went to every office hour my professor had. I echo the sentiment of not falling behind. I put orgo aside to study for another class for a few days and really regretted that come finals time. I did end up with a high A in the class at the end, however.
 
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daivimarga

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LOL you guyyyyys they were jokes! "Alkynes" of trouble! the books "Argon"!
harharhar

but yes i have heard orgo as a second language is vital.

are there really a lot of schools not requiring orgo 2? everyone says its not necessary for the mcat. I was thinking of possibly taking the mcat prior to it.
happy friday!
 
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Can you just jump into organic chemistry without having taken inorganic chemistry in a while - or does one really feed into the other?
I think this depends on the school. In my undergrad, you had the option of starting in ochem if you tested out in (which I did). So my freshman course ended up being ochem 1 and 2.
 

WhittyPsyche

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I think it depends on the individual. At my school people found Orgo a killer, I thought it was a cakewalk. I found physics impossible to do well, many others preferred it over Orgo.
I enjoyed the class and really liked the professor, so there's that.


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daivimarga

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Speaking from the instructor perspective, you do hear a lot of whining about how people are "sulfuring" through the course and it's killing them. To which I say, "No, you're not actually diene. You just have to not give up and keep triene." :D

On a more serious note, I loved organic chemistry so much in college that I dropped my premed plans (which were kind of theoretical anyway) and went to grad school. Got an MS and a PhD in organic chem, did some teaching. Realized I didn't want to be a PI (which is a whole 'nother story), but actually being in the lab and learning about the chemistry of life was pretty awesome. I still love organic chemistry in a way that I have never loved any kind of biological science for its sheer beauty and amazingness.

On a more practical note, if you go to the MCAT Study Questions Q&A subforum, I wrote a post in there a long time ago about how to succeed in organic chem. In a nutshell, the best students do two things: 1) study the subject every day (the idea of treating it like learning a foreign language is actually pretty apt), and 2) buy (and use) a model kit. Seriously, unless you are the rare spatial genius who can manipulate 3D objects in your mind with the greatest of ease, you can't learn stereochemistry properly without one.
I would love to be your student! It's so valuable to have a professor who truly truly loves what they teach. I hope fall in as in love with it as you are.
 

QofQuimica

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I would love to be your student! It's so valuable to have a professor who truly truly loves what they teach. I hope fall in as in love with it as you are.
I don't teach organic any more. It's been a decade - in the interim, I went to medical school, did residency, and have been out working as an academic doc for the past couple of years.
 

OnStrings

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I loved ochem and honestly found my 3 quarters of ochem to be some of my favorite classes of undergrad
Granted I was a biochem major and breathed chem like it was air
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Eh, I bought a model kit and used it approximately one time before realizing it didn't help me at all.

Got As in both orgo I and II with a notoriously difficult professor. My best advice is to buy both of David Klein's second language books. You're welcome in advance :)

Other than that, the biggest thing for me was rewriting my notes after class (something I never did with any other class) and doing as many practice problems as possible. There are professors (not mine) who create class websites with questions/solutions and I would do those along with my assigned work.

And don't get behind!!!!!!! It all builds so if you're struggling in the beginning, seek help immediately.
This is great advice but I would further recommend Klein's full length textbook. It is everything the second language books are and a lot more. It is built around the same problem solving model with a set of problems everytime a new idea is introduced (as opposed to just at the end of the chapter) and written with a degree of clarity absent in other texts. Finally, it's dirt cheap if you buy the used first edition (you'll also need the answer guide - also dirt cheap used).
 

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It is the most intensive class Ive ever taken. You have to live it and love it, and once you get into that mindset, it really isn't too bad. Even if you dread it, fake being in love with it!

People usually wig out about it because its the first real college class that they haven't had in high school. Everyone gets some exposure to general chem and physics in high school, Organic Chemistry is completely foreign to them. It can be equated to learning a new, difficult language.

One needs a really good teacher, but it really helps you put into perspective chemistry. It really helps for Biochem. Its been a year out since I've taken it, and I still know about cis vs trans, how to make an E2 reaction, how Nucleophilic attacks work, etc. I dare say, once you know and internalize the concepts, it actually becomes fun to do reactions on paper!

Oh, and if your school offers Supplemental Instruction, GO TO IT. It is the reason I got an A in the class.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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People usually wig out about it because its the first real college class that they haven't had in high school. Everyone gets some exposure to general chem and physics in high school, Organic Chemistry is completely foreign to them. It can be equated to learning a new, difficult language.
Not if you went to my high school. The vast majority of students where I went to school never took physics or chemistry. Our "earth science" class had an extremely small gen chem component, but was mostly very basic biology and some geology.
 
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Ok, I got excited so I wanted to brag here. Just got my grades back for OChem I + Lab over the accelerated summer session and got the highest score in the class (97% before the curve)!

I was so nervous going into this class since I came from a completely non-science background, but I actually found it a lot more fun and intuitive than, for example, physics. Klein's book was helpful, but the most helpful resource has been YouTube and Leah4Sci's videos on first semester organic topics. I watched all of her videos at 1.25x speed while studying.