How To Study For Organic Chemistry Coming From a Weak Background ?

Dec 29, 2013
83
6
I'm going to start studying for the MCAT next week, planning to take it sometime in May (hopefully May 8th). I'm only taking one course this semester but volunteering+working for ~25 hours.

When it comes to Organic Chemistry, I basically don't have a clue (coming from a super weak background) I was wondering if anyone here studied for Orgo independently coming from a weak background like me..

How difficult is the Orgo on the MCAT relative to the other sciences? How should I approach Organic? I think the consensus here is to use TBR. Do you guys think I can do well studying by myself?

Thanks,
 

Odi

Jan 8, 2014
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The perceived difficulty of Organic Chemistry on the MCAT will depend on the person and their familiarity with the subject. You should approach it like you would any of the other sciences even though the amount of organic chemistry tested on the BS seems to vary. Besides, studying for Orgo will reinforce certain aspects of GenChem (bonding, polarity, electronegativity trends, free energy, kinetics & thermodynamics, resonance, etc).

From what I've read on SDN, TBR seems to be very in depth and that seems to be more suited to your needs.
 
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OneDoctor
Dec 29, 2013
83
6
The perceived difficulty of Organic Chemistry on the MCAT will depend on the person and their familiarity with the subject. You should approach it like you would any of the other sciences even though the amount of organic chemistry tested on the BS seems to vary. Besides, studying for Orgo will reinforce certain aspects of GenChem (bonding, polarity, electronegativity trends, free energy, kinetics & thermodynamics, resonance, etc).

From what I've read on SDN, TBR seems to be very in depth and that seems to be more suited to your needs.
Thank you for your reply.

I'm reading mixed reviews, some people say TBR is great for those who already have a strong background and some people are saying TBR are good for those who are not strong and need to learn.

I hope I can read and understand TBR..
 

Czarcasm

Hakuna matata, no worries.
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Jun 22, 2013
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I'm going to start studying for the MCAT next week, planning to take it sometime in May (hopefully May 8th). I'm only taking one course this semester but volunteering+working for ~25 hours.

When it comes to Organic Chemistry, I basically don't have a clue (coming from a super weak background) I was wondering if anyone here studied for Orgo independently coming from a weak background like me..

How difficult is the Orgo on the MCAT relative to the other sciences? How should I approach Organic? I think the consensus here is to use TBR. Do you guys think I can do well studying by myself?

Thanks,
*raises hand* I studied Organic I and II independently, and it's definitely possible but it was NOT easy. The amount of information you need to know can be overwhelming. A lot of people brush Organic off thinking that it's not highly tested and therefore not really worth the time, but I think a significant part of doing well in Biological Sciences, which requires a deep understanding of some core Organic concepts. You could substantially improve your BS score with a solid understanding of Organic. Obviously there's still a lot I feel I can improve, even after 1.5 months of studying (1 chapter a day from a textbook + problems), but I have a significantly better understanding than I did before. If you ever need any help, just drop me a message and I'll try my best.

As far as using TBR, it's a really great book, but they too require you have atleast some familiarity with certain topics and so you may actually struggle with it. That's why I opted to use a textbook for initial review -- it made understanding TBR so much more understandable.
 
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OneDoctor
Dec 29, 2013
83
6
*raises hand* I studied Organic I and II independently, and it's definitely possible but it was NOT easy. The amount of information you need to know can be overwhelming. A lot of people brush Organic off thinking that it's not highly tested and therefore not really worth the time, but I think a significant part of doing well in Biological Sciences, which requires a deep understanding of some core Organic concepts. You could substantially improve your BS score with a solid understanding of Organic. Obviously there's still a lot I feel I can improve, even after 1.5 months of studying (1 chapter a day from a textbook + problems), but I have a significantly better understanding than I did before. If you ever need any help, just drop me a message and I'll try my best.

As far as using TBR, it's a really great book, but they too require you have atleast some familiarity with certain topics and so you may actually struggle with it. That's why I opted to use a textbook for initial review -- it made understanding TBR so much more understandable.
Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it buddy.

I will definitely add you on skype, great stuff, thanks a lot !
 
Nov 13, 2012
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Bay Area
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Thank you for your reply.

I'm reading mixed reviews, some people say TBR is great for those who already have a strong background and some people are saying TBR are good for those who are not strong and need to learn.

I hope I can read and understand TBR..
I have no knowledge of ochem and tried starting with TBR -- not good. I barely got through half of chapter 1 my first day and didn't understand a good amount. I've resorted to an ochem textbook until my ochem 1 class starts later this month and this seems to be a much better situation because I'm learning the basics.
 

southpawcannon

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Dec 14, 2006
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I have no knowledge of ochem and tried starting with TBR -- not good. I barely got through half of chapter 1 my first day and didn't understand a good amount. I've resorted to an ochem textbook until my ochem 1 class starts later this month and this seems to be a much better situation because I'm learning the basics.
If the opportunity for is available, do what I'm doing and ask a professor if you can sit in on their class, explaining you are preparing for the MCAT and could use a refresher. I'm doing that both with ochem I and ii now
 
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Odi

Jan 8, 2014
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I literally just started the Kaplan Organic Chemistry book review and after looking this stuff over again I can definitely see how someone with no prior knowledge of Ochem will get lost in 5 minutes within the densely convoluted 1st chapter on nomenclature.

I remember back in class we worked on straight chain alkanes for a whole lecture for Orgo 1 and within 5 minutes into KA's book they've tossed in alcohols, ethers, acyl halides, thiols... practically every functional group on complex and highly substituted organic molecules.

Definitely try to sit in on lectures and use a text book lol.
 
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Nov 13, 2012
116
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Bay Area
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If the opportunity for is available, do what I'm doing and ask a professor if you can sit in on their class, explaining you are preparing for the MCAT and could use a refresher. I'm doing that both with ochem I and ii now
My ochem 1 starts in 2 weeks, but I'm planning to ghost some physics :sneaky:
 
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OneDoctor
Dec 29, 2013
83
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Thanks a lot guys. to be honest I don't think I will have the chance to attend lectures etc, but I guess will have to read a textbook.

Have you guys heard about Organic Chemistry as a second language by David Klein?
 

Czarcasm

Hakuna matata, no worries.
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Jun 22, 2013
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Thanks a lot guys. to be honest I don't think I will have the chance to attend lectures etc, but I guess will have to read a textbook.

Have you guys heard about Organic Chemistry as a second language by David Klein?
Pretty much the bible for Organic Chemistry. Definitely recommended if you can get ahold of it.
 
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