Shrike

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It's been discussed before, but I can't glean a clear answer from the posts I've seen. Hence:

Those of you who know organic, try to put yourself in the position of one who does not, and wants to self-teach (for the MCAT, and just to know the stuff), and is never planning on taking any course in the subject. What is the best book, or maybe combination of books, with which to make a reasonable attempt? I'm not sure I have the patience (or the funds) for an actual textbook, so if it's reasonable I'd prefer something slimmer.

Among those I've seen or heard lauded are Pushing Electrons, Electron Flow in Organic Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry as a Second Language. Which of these, if any, would be reasonable for someone with no other o-chem? Are there better sources to consider? Do I need a full-blown textbook? (BTW, my general chemistry background consists of AP chemistry back in high school, before some of you were born. The last o-chem passage I tried I worked out most of the answers, but stumbled on one question because I didn't know what acetone was [other than being nail polish remover].)

Please don't tell me it's impossible; there's got to be a way. I'm not bad at this stuff, having pulled a 12 in biological sciences in August with no o-chem (other than an unsuccesful foray into TPR's materials) and no bio beyond AP biology (in antedeluvian times) plus some time with TPR's book. But I can't seem to get a handle on organic.

In case it's not clear, medical school does not ride on this: I ain't goin'. I just want to learn (and to crack 40 along the way, with only one attempt left), and am willing to go to reasonable but not extraordinary lengths.

Thanks for your help.

Shrike
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tigress

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hey sorry I don't have an answer to your question; I'm sure somebody will. I'm just curious as to why you'd take the MCAT if you aren't going to med school. Don't you have to sign something saying you are planning to go to med school in order to take the test in the first place (meaning you aren't supposed to take it if you aren't going)? Not that I care, I'm just curious.
Anyway good luck with orgo. I never had a good book or a good teacher but I hear they're out there...
 
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Shrike

Shrike

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I have followed a winding path, and continue to do so. It is thus not impossible that I could change my mind about med school; I'm already wasting three years of top-ten law school education, so it's clear I haven't settled down yet. Anyway, with that in mind I say on the application that it's for medical school applications, as that's all it's good for. In any case, I have no other good reason to do it (I presume nobody thinks ego is a good reason). If I get a 45, I promise to apply.
 

stoleyerscrubz

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Get the Kelin-Organic Chemistry As A Second Language. The Pushing electrons book is great but the book by klein covers the same material and a bit more.

I had to "self-teach" myself ochem in about 3 weeks before my final exam for Ochem I in December and I pulled it off. I did continue to study it during winter break though. You really need to do a lot of problems and write out the reactions.

EK has a good Ochem book and their 1001 questions will help you out as well.

Make sure you read the AAMC announcement on the subjects that will be covered on the MCAT. some Ochem material has been dropped.
 

Lindyhopper

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As you are obviously a good test taker, I think the most efficient way is to do EK's 1001 questions in O-chem. (TPR may have something similiar.) The questions are sequenced so that you can do them surprisingly quickly. They isolate & teach every factoid wrinkle. The application is up to you.
I hadn't taken O-chem in 10 years, but I'm a good test taker. I found the crisp, focused, but active learning to be sufficient & quick.
 

medicomel

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The wonderful thing about organic chemistry is that it DOES NOT CHANGE like biology. You can get a book from the 60s and still learn all you need to know.

Therefore, if I were you I would go to a used bookstore and get an old textbook. It will not be more than $10, and it will provide problems within the chapters for you to do as you learn it. I would go by what AAMC lists as topics for organic and learn it that way. You'll cover what you need to know and nothing more.

Pushing Electrons doesn't cut the mustard, in my opinion. It's a refresher for those who have had it.

case in point:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=2228&item=4524018272&rd=1&ssPageName=WD1V
 

La Miraflorina

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Have you looked at Kaplan's Organic Edge?

It goes over the basics and teaches you the principles behind the millions of possible reactions to give you a better handle on solving problems you've never encountered before. It's not for everyone, but it couldn't hurt to go down to Borders and check it out.

I took orgo almost 6 years ago and had forgotten nearly everything. It's helped me a lot...
 

Aladdin Sane

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the best new textbook is Wade's organic chemistry. i use it with my other orgo textbook (mcmurry, which i loathe) and wade's is pretty sweet and explains concepts clearer and has the best mechanism diagrams!
 

RayhanS1282

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Aladdin Sane said:
the best new textbook is Wade's organic chemistry. i use it with my other orgo textbook (mcmurry, which i loathe) and wade's is pretty sweet and explains concepts clearer and has the best mechanism diagrams!

Ditto for Wade's Organic Chem book. If you look at the EK Orgo book you can see that they basically summarized a lot of the stuff from Wade. Happy Hunting.
 
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Shrike

Shrike

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Thank you all for the advice. I am obtaining Second Language, and an old copy of Wade. Doubt I'll wind up liking the subject, but I should have the materials to learn it, without expending a fortune.