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How to ensure an A in Organic Chemistry and Physics?

HopefulDr201

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2+ Year Member
Aug 19, 2015
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  1. Pre-Dental
    Hey everyone,

    I'll be returning to school to complete my remaining pre-requisites as a non-matriculant student to finally get the ball rolling and apply for dental school. So my Fall and Spring semester will look like this:

    Fall Semester
    Orgo I
    Orgo I Lab
    Physics I
    Physics I Lab

    Spring Semester
    Orgo II
    Orgo II Lab
    Physics II
    Physics II Lab

    I have a 2.9 overall GPA w/ a science GPA of 2.26, which is absolutely horrendous (I know). So basically, I need to ensure an A in each of these courses to improve my chances. As for additional context, it will be 3 years since I've been out of school when I start school again. Honestly, I'm a bit overwhelmed to take these courses, let alone retake Orgo (my worst nightmare).

    My question is:
    1. Given my position, what would you guys do to ace all these courses?
    2. What resources (books, videos) should I take advantage of in the time frame between now and school?
    3. What are your top studying tips?

    Are there any pre-dental or non-traditional students who might be able to help me out? I would much appreciate your insights

    **Edit: Man thank you all so much for your replies! So pumped now to buckle down and grind..
     
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    Tofu lover

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    2+ Year Member
    Jul 15, 2016
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    1. Pre-Dental
      Hey everyone,

      I'll be returning to school to complete my remaining pre-requisites as a non-matriculant student to finally get the ball rolling and apply for dental school. So my Fall and Spring semester will look like this:

      Fall Semester
      Orgo I
      Orgo I Lab
      Physics I
      Physics I Lab

      Spring Semester
      Orgo II
      Orgo II Lab
      Physics II
      Physics II Lab

      I have a 2.9 overall GPA w/ a science GPA of 2.26, which is absolutely horrendous (I know). So basically, I need to ensure an A in each of these courses to improve my chances. As for additional context, it will be 3 years since I've been out of school when I start school again. Honestly, I'm a bit overwhelmed to take these courses, let alone retake Orgo (my worst nightmare).

      My question is:
      1. Given my position, what would you guys do to ace all these courses?
      2. What resources (books, videos) should I take advantage of in the time frame between now and school?
      3. What are your top studying tips?

      Are there any pre-dental or non-traditional students who might be able to help me out? I would much appreciate your insights

      There's this book called, "Organic chemistry as a second language". There's volume 1 and 2. It breaks down orgo into easier to understand steps. I believe you can download a free PDF somewhere online.

      I hated physics so I can't help much there. I just practiced a lot lol. Good luck! :happy:
       
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      asdf99

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      Aug 1, 2014
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      1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
        Only took Organic Chemistry 1 so can't comment on the second semester. As far as resources go, any textbook SHOULD be fine, as I'm pretty sure organic chemistry concepts are fairly standard from book to book. If whatever book your prof is using sucks, maybe try Chad's Videos like people above mentioned.

        What I think really separates people in organic is doing practice problems. Read over your notes once to learn the content, and then just go through practice exams and practice problems. For every step of every question, ask yourself "why?". Why am I protonating this, why did I use this reagent, why did I use this reaction and not another one. Don't just go through the motions memorizing the answer key

        In doing so, you'll actually understand the content and will be able to apply the fundamentals to whatever crazy **** your professor gives you.
         

        Faux

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        Jan 26, 2013
        1,983
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        1. Dentist
          chad and 2nd language for organic.

          Physics, my school used giancoli. And I some how found some brave soul that created video explanations for every single problem on google. Physics is all about doing problems over and over, same with organic. One thing to know, another thing to apply. Don't go in with a biology mindset.
           

          Domonu

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          May 16, 2016
          50
          20
          1. Pre-Dental
            Organic requires you to essentially learn a new language. You really need to have a solid foundation of the concepts before you can apply them to more complex situations. Practice problems are absolutely your best friend here. Spend the extra time to go through the problems you missed and actually understand why you missed them. Most people get a light-bulb moment when the basics click and they can start to apply them well. Chad's videos can be a good resource but I would put in some legwork before you go use those otherwise you're going to get random bits out of them. If you have some ideas formed on your own, Chad's videos really can help you stitch those together. If you learn better in person when you can ask questions, get a tutor or attach yourself to a TA. Hit the ground running from day 1 by doing a little bit every day and really work on nailing down those basic concepts.

            Physics sucks, but if you can take algebra based physics then all you need to do is figure out the correct variables to plug into your equation. I liked calculus but it wasn't my strongest area so I took the algebra based physics and did my best to break every problem down into pieces and ended up with As in all my physics courses. As long as you have the right equation it's pretty simple until you get to the more conceptual stuff like circuits and magnetism. Since you've been out of school for so long, I would utilize Khan academy or similar and do some practice algebra problems so you can relearn the rules. Good luck!
             

            Cranjis McBasketball

            Full Member
            5+ Year Member
            Jul 20, 2015
            1,620
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            1. Medical Student
              Hey everyone,

              I'll be returning to school to complete my remaining pre-requisites as a non-matriculant student to finally get the ball rolling and apply for dental school. So my Fall and Spring semester will look like this:

              Fall Semester
              Orgo I
              Orgo I Lab
              Physics I
              Physics I Lab

              Spring Semester
              Orgo II
              Orgo II Lab
              Physics II
              Physics II Lab

              I have a 2.9 overall GPA w/ a science GPA of 2.26, which is absolutely horrendous (I know). So basically, I need to ensure an A in each of these courses to improve my chances. As for additional context, it will be 3 years since I've been out of school when I start school again. Honestly, I'm a bit overwhelmed to take these courses, let alone retake Orgo (my worst nightmare).

              My question is:
              1. Given my position, what would you guys do to ace all these courses?
              2. What resources (books, videos) should I take advantage of in the time frame between now and school?
              3. What are your top studying tips?

              Are there any pre-dental or non-traditional students who might be able to help me out? I would much appreciate your insights
              Study 2 hours for every one hour of class. Pay strict attention to whatever the teacher says. Get tutored. Books and Chads Videos are great, but O-chem and physics teachers all over have their style of teaching and different things they focus on/skip over. If I would have used Chad's or Organic Chemistry as a 2nd language, I would have been somewhat lost because my teacher had a specific way of teaching o-chem. Best way to GET AN A, is do what I said. Best way to FULL UNDERSTAND IT, is to do what I said AND get the books that have been recommended.

              Side note: if you can really grasp O-chem 1 and do really well and understand everything conceptually, then o-chem 2 will be a breeze. O-chem 1 is the big learning curve
               
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              californiway21

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              Jul 11, 2016
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              1. Dental Student
                The summer before I took the o-Chem series at my 4-year university, I watched crackOchem which can be purchased on google. I aced the entire series and a lot of what went over in those videos helped me with the courses and my DAT
                 

                DATanimelover

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                Mar 26, 2016
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                1. Dental Student
                  Organic as a second language 1st and 2nd semester<--- It's gonna save your life.
                  Our assigned textbook was (Wade) but in orgo 2 we found out that the (Klein) organic book was a lot better in understanding material and explaining the material.
                  ..and I put in 1 hr each day studying over the material I learned in class( I started off 1st time studying orgo was 45 mins then it went up to 1 hour ), making sure to understand the material before practice questions ! practice practice practice was key for me (and also had a buttload of flashcards for the mechanisms for orgo 1 which I saved and kinda used in orgo 2).
                  Luckily for me I like orgo so it was easier to learn than general chemistry, so you may need to adjust your study time each day to meet your needs.
                  But my advice to you is don't go into organic already scared of it, just go in like I'm gonna make it my B***h. I think thats what messed some people up in my class also, they were already stressed from the class before starting it.

                  Physics.. I got nothing for you. but one word. Chegg --> saved my life, literally.
                   
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                  doktorinprogres

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                  Sep 18, 2013
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                  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
                    For Ochem there's a book called Pushing Electrons by David Weeks, it's in workbook format and really gets you comfortable with the basics of electrophile/nucleophile and how a reaction works.

                    Everyone's advice is spot on and I'd encourage as many practice problems as you can.
                     

                    rolltide15

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                    5+ Year Member
                    May 10, 2015
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                    1. Pre-Dental
                      This might have been said before but I am just gonna go ahead and write what worked for me in Organic and Physics. Organic I dedicated my life to basically. I would study every chance I got and I had a ton of notecards. My teachers were really big into naming compounds and drawing structures that were talked about in lecture. So our first whole page was just us drawing structures (i.e. Structure of TMS) I would make a ton of notecards and tape them to a whiteboard and not take them down until I got everything on the card correct. You really have to be disciplined with yourself because I wouldn't take it down until I got everything on the other side of the card including hydrogens. I would re-write my notes and go through and do every practice problem the teacher assigned because sometimes they were on the exam (he wanted to see if you went through and did them). For physics I did a lot of reading of the textbook and I even went out and purchased Physics for Dummies. I thought Physics 2 was a lot easier than Physics 1 but thats just my opinion. Work a lot of practice problems for both its going to be a rough semester with both of those classes not gonna lie but you can do it, you might just have to give up other things. I know I did when I took those classes. But mainly for physics I would go through and re-do all of my homework problems. I would type them up on a word document and print out like 2-3 copies and work the problems until I got them all right. You start to see how you manipulate the equations to get the equation you need and when you get to test time you know what steps to take to find the answer!

                      I hope this helps and good luck!
                       

                      WheatLom

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                      Jul 6, 2016
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                      1. Pre-Dental
                        I wanted to also add besides practice. Don't put pressure on getting an A, but genuinely learning the material. The grades will come with the learning.

                        One thing I did was, I did all the practice problems in my book. Some while studying it the first time, like the in chapter ones. Then I did all the end of chapter ones. This obviously helps reinforce the material, because you are practicing. For these classes, you have to be able to not only understand the logic, but the actual real application. Both classes are application classes. It will make your life easier to generally understand it.


                        Also, I think you shouldn't be intimidated by this "heavy" load. Be confident in yourself and again the rest will come!! You can be surprised what you can accomplish with a changed mindset. If you think you can't do it, fake it. Tell yourself out loud you can do it, and eventually you will believe it!!!!


                        Plus these at least to me are fun classes. Try to relate to it and it makes it fun and less school like.
                         

                        Panis et Circenses

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                          All you need to do is read the book before class, do all the practice problems, then reread the book and redo all the problems a few days before the test. You don't need a tutor, you don't need any extra books, just the one your professor will use. I got A's in both semesters of both of those classes with this formula.
                           

                          WheatLom

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                            All you need to do is read the book before class, do all the practice problems, then reread the book and redo all the problems a few days before the test. You don't need a tutor, you don't need any extra books, just the one your professor will use. I got A's in both semesters of both of those classes with this formula.


                            Same thing for me. I didn't go to a single OChem 2 lecture and got an A
                             
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                            FutureDDS_11

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                            1. Pre-Dental
                              Yep. Keep it simple guys.

                              Chad's videos are good for the DAT, but they won't be enough for your lecture class.

                              I was going to say the same thing. However, I would still recommend Chad's videos because he does a great covering most of the important things you need. I also recommend Khan Academy. It is very specific but does a great job of making you understand a mechanism so you won't forget it. (There are 2 people that make the orgo videos for Khan academy: Khan and Jay. I prefer Jay when I had the choice but Khan is still awesome)

                              I was able to take the DAT before taking my orgo 2 class. Now that I'm the class and it's a breeze.

                              For physics, I would say the number one mistake to stay away from is viewing as a typical science class where you have to memorize things. Look at it more as a math class in that you need practice, practice, and practice. Try to understand how to approach all the problems without looking at the solution. Go to office hours, help rooms if there is anything you don't understand.

                              Hope this helps
                               
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