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How To Study for Orgo 2? (digesting all the reagents)

studpremed

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    Hi, I just want to know some tips on how I can memorize and apply reagents. Flash cards don't really help me because I feel I spend more time trying to write out the cards then the memorization itself. Also any study tips (i.e. study music, tricks etc.) would be greatly appreciated!
     

    prettyNURSEtoMD

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      I used a white board with colored markers. Each color represented something else. It helped thing stand out for me. Practice rewriting certain things and how they would look. I had a lot of mnemonics. I practiced naming using random NMRs I found online. I know flash cards didn't work for you but I really find visualization to be the best for orgo 2. I did always study with music but I don't believe this had anything to do with my success in this course as I always study with music.
       
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      mrh125

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        flashcards, lots of drilling, repetition. If you can put everything on flashcards and drill them every day that helps. Also with orgo the key is to do active learning and constant drilling. if you can do old practice tests and make a list of problems covered in class on a piece of paper and drill yourself on them (write them out) frequently that'd really help. that really helped me. NMR - you can find lots of different packets online for it. the key with nmr is to know that the shifts can very quite a bit from the numbers you memorized and to draw out all the pieces and numbers of hydrogens attached to neighboring groups. Also do any synthesis practice your instructor provides you (my class had huge packets). In honesty I overstudied for everything except NMR because it's a wild-card, even if you know all the details you can still get the wrong answer really easily, and usually if you write down the fragments you get a lot of the points anyway. I've had nmrs where I got the exact right answer but it wasn't right because of some cheap technicality that wasn't taught.
         
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        mrh125

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          also know the mechanisms, most of them are very predictable and are themed and if you get tested on mechanism's they're easy points. not to mention they provide you an additional way to obtain products. finally dont believe the hype about o-chem being hard. it's time-consuming, not hard. it takes time to do well but its not entirely gibberish or some arcane facts that nobody can understand.
           

          studpremed

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            flashcards, lots of drilling, repetition. If you can put everything on flashcards and drill them every day that helps. Also with orgo the key is to do active learning and constant drilling. if you can do old practice tests and make a list of problems covered in class on a piece of paper and drill yourself on them (write them out) frequently that'd really help. that really helped me. NMR - you can find lots of different packets online for it. the key with nmr is to know that the shifts can very quite a bit from the numbers you memorized and to draw out all the pieces and numbers of hydrogens attached to neighboring groups. Also do any synthesis practice your instructor provides you (my class had huge packets). In honesty I overstudied for everything except NMR because it's a wild-card, even if you know all the details you can still get the wrong answer really easily, and usually if you write down the fragments you get a lot of the points anyway. I've had nmrs where I got the exact right answer but it wasn't right because of some cheap technicality that wasn't taught.
            I learned nmr in orgo 1 (weird I know), and it was a pain in the ***. And you are right, you need tons of experience to get those nmr questions right.
             
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            WhippleWhileWeWork

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              Hi, I just want to know some tips on how I can memorize and apply reagents. Flash cards don't really help me because I feel I spend more time trying to write out the cards then the memorization itself. Also any study tips (i.e. study music, tricks etc.) would be greatly appreciated!

              Brute Force worked for me, work as many problems as you can possibly work out of your textbook. Then find another textbook and do the same. If you work enough problems, you'll have mechanisms, reagents, and reactions down cold. Plus you'll then understand the material and not just have it memorized.
               
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              studpremed

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                Brute Force worked for me, work as many problems as you can possibly work out of your textbook. Then find another textbook and do the same. If you work enough problems, you'll have mechanisms, reagents, and reactions down cold. Plus you'll then understand the material and not just have it memorized.
                Cramming for orgo 2 right now and I'm using your "brute force" method. Lol I feel like I die a little every time I get something wrong.
                 
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                clocks123

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                  Make a flow chart with a molecule as the center piece. Ex. "How to make acid chlorides", "How to make Amides"..etc and write all the reactions that are related to the central part of the flow chart. Make one chart for synthesis and one chart for reactions with the central molecule. You will eventually see a lot of overlap between all the reactions and, as said above, the only way to really get through orgo II is to do problem after problem in your textbook. Also keep writing mechanisms until you almost don't have to think about it.
                   
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                  Dare2Dream

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                    Dedicate a day to each of the main reactions, after learning it you should be able to write out all the steps again and again without looking. If not, look back and start over. Every main reaction you learn this way, go back to it every few days and be able to write it out without looking. Flash cards help with quick reviews.
                     

                    GolfUSA

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                      I tutor Organic and honest note cards should not take very long to make if you're doing them right (usually blank arrow with reactant/product on front and reagent/rxn details on back). However, if you prefer writing each reaction out a bunch of times that may work as well. Here is a website with some good practice once you get the basics down : http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/chemistry/courses/chem212/problem_sets/
                       
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                      Mel Belle

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                        I don't like flashcards either. So what I would do is first write all the reactions out on a piece of paper (this is your key). Then repeatedly try to reproduce them by memory on a blank sheet of paper. You can give yourself the reactants and products if it's pure mechanism. Only give the reactants if it's a non-mechanism reaction. When you get one right twice, make a marking on the key (checkmark, whatever) to denote that you can successfully do that mechanism.

                        But that's just drilling. You may also want to try to learn them by understanding, which you should be able to glean from your textbook. But I would organize each reaction different ways on cheat sheets. One I have is "this reactant yields this kind of product". Another I have is "you can make this functional group with these reactants". And so on. I also color-coded it all nice, which made it really helpful for when I would use it for reference while doing homework problems.
                         

                        Long Way to Go

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                          Well, I recommend not ingesting any of them to start with; that gets bad real quick.

                          But seriously, Mel Belle gives good advice as one potential option. I personally never liked that method--the issue is that you have to write out every permutation of the reagents and mechanisms, which is no fun. I was always a big fan of reading the book twice and then doing practice problems. I would always allow myself to look back and get the right answer if I couldn't figure it out right away--I figured it was more productive to get the muscle memory of writing the compounds down in a manner than to spend ages thinking it over or skipping it and coming back to it after you've done other problems and confused them up.
                           
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                          WhippleWhileWeWork

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                            Also, the prof at my school said, "write every mechanism 20 times each and you will get an A in this course". I wrote each one 10 times. Between that and brute force working 100s of problems I went into the final with 107%. I had heard horror stories about organic and took it to heart.
                             
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                            asigna

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                              After every class just memorize the rxns on notecards and any mechanisms for that day. Makes the class much easier. Nomenclature you could learn in class pretty much. Basically get involved in the material and enjoy it. Turns out to be one of the best classes if you really appreciate it. Just keep up and you'll be good!
                               

                              studpremed

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                                  Make a flow chart with a molecule as the center piece. Ex. "How to make acid chlorides", "How to make Amides"..etc and write all the reactions that are related to the central part of the flow chart. Make one chart for synthesis and one chart for reactions with the central molecule. You will eventually see a lot of overlap between all the reactions and, as said above, the only way to really get through orgo II is to do problem after problem in your textbook. Also keep writing mechanisms until you almost don't have to think about it.

                                  Totally agree with this. There is so much overlap in orgo 2 that the more problems you do the more comfortable and "automatic" you become. When I took orgo 2, I did the entire chapter and problems before the professor covered it. I know it sounds insane, but this type of routine made the lectures that much better. Also, I would focus on multiple pathways rather than just randomly memorizing everything en bloc (as mentioned above). ie using FC acylation and a grignard to synthesize the same compound) This made it easier for me to tackle these problems during exams.
                                  Good luck!
                                   
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