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O-Chem -- how to "get 'er done"?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by dentintraining, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. dentintraining

    dentintraining Junior Member
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    Ok,

    So I'm registered for O-chem I and II (Fall, and Spring), I really need a good grade here, and I'm willing to put in the time. I was hoping some of you who were able to snag a good grade (A or B), could tell me how you did it?

    My gen. chem professor told me, it is very systematic and if you can find a system that works for you, it will be easier than gen chem (I might have to call BS -- but it gives me some wishful thinking nonetheless). I was just hoping someone could give me a few pointers, so I am a little "ahead of the game," so to speak.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. DMD to Be

    DMD to Be not luffin' this weather.
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    Tip #1: Go in with confidence. Know that you can do well, and then...do well.

    Tip #2: Prepare your brain for memorization. There are TONS of reactions, functional groups, reagents, etc. that you will need to memorize.

    Tip #3: Go to class every single day. Do not miss one lecture!!

    Tip #4: Study every single night. Even if you think you know it, study anyway. After you've read your notes 10 times, read them again, and then...again. While studying for tests, study one more hour after you think you can study no longer.

    I did all of these things, except sometimes got lazy with #4. I got a B in OChem I, and pulled an A in OChemII (basically only b/c I aced the final).

    Yes, it's nerdy...but think of it this way -- Not only will you get great grades, but you will be better prepared for the Ochem section of the DAT...
     
  4. ConfusedOne

    ConfusedOne Member
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    make flashcards of every single reaction and mechanism, and carry them with you at all times. Worked for me. And I agree, I thought ochem was easier than gchem. Good luck :)
     
  5. dentintraining

    dentintraining Junior Member
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    Thanks guys. Really appreciate it!
     
  6. PChemGrad

    PChemGrad I am a banana.
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    I found it helped to study as much as possible, and to take a MUCH different approach from gen chem, physics, biology, etc. O-Chem is a lot of memorization but also a lot of understanding the reactions, there are only a few key reactions you have to know and everything else is based off of those. Also dont get behind, everything is based off what you just learned.
     
  7. reapply2007

    reapply2007 Senior Member
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    buy the answer book and do the problems. While studying for the DAT it occurred to me that it would have been nice to use the review materials (schaums or Kaplan or Topscore) during the class. However, I personally didn't have the review materials during the class. I agree with the idea that the orgo theory isn't very deep, it's just very detailed and then in the second semester you need to memorize loads.
     
  8. jpollei

    jpollei Senior Member
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    best way to "get 'er done" is to study over some Carolina BBQ...makes your head bigger (or at least adds weight to your cranial arteries).
     
  9. _veo_

    _veo_ Member
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    Study study study! Don't get lazy.. Even though sometimes it seems that it doesn't matter how much you study, don't give up!.. For O-chem I, I got the "easy" teacher, but he was new and very disorganized so I don't think it helped me, I wish I got the "hard" teacher because I seem to work better under pressure. I got a B at the end because I did study, but not as much as I would if I had the hard teacher.. For the second O-chem, I got a really bad teacher and my grades weren't good at all during the first tests, so I got very discouraged and I thought I was going to fail.. However I busted my ass for the final and I ended up with an A (his policy was that if you did better in the final, you got to replaced your grade for each section.. So I ended up replacing most of my 70s to 90s.. that save my ass)
    These classes are very doable, you just need to work hard for it!
    Good luck!
     
  10. SirShagaLot

    SirShagaLot Move Maker Extraordinaire
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    its always very helpful to read the assigned text before each lecture
     
  11. biocmp

    biocmp I'm a computer
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    Ochem I is just memorization and learning. Some things must be memorized while many others can be reasoned. Ochem II is definately memorization. For me, I took every reaction and wrote it out around 20 times before the test. Be sure to do plenty of synthesis problems. If you know how to take things off and add things back on to get a certain product then you are golden.

    Many people like Bruice, Wade, Carey etc. I learned from both Bruice and Carey. I have heard that Organic Chemistry as a 2nd language is a really good book. There is one for both semesters.

    And just remember this is considered a weed-out class for some. That gave me all of the motivation I needed. It's really not all that hard. Just commit the time and approach it with an open mind. It's sort of a new way to learn, because you are constantly referring to 3-dimensional analysis in space and such.

    Remember Physical Chemistry is 1000 times harder than O chem. Plenty have conquered it before you and plenty will after you, so decide now if you want to conquer it and do it!
     
  12. busdent

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    Although many say ochem is just memorization, I would have to disagree. To some extent you have to know the basics which can be memorized but when you get in to mechanisms it is all about applying the basic concepts over and over with little changes here and there. First OCHEM may be hard but if I were you, I would know the first chapter in and out before you semester even starts...usually the first chapter is about molecular orbital theory and hybridization, resonance structures etc. If you can master resonance structures, it would make your life very easy in both classes.

    I took OCHEM I and II in six weeks so it was like 3hr lectures, 5 days a week and I thought to myself how am I ever gonna get through this class but I went in knowing the first Chapter because it keeps coming back through the course and got an A in both classes.

    Also be sure to go back on the weekends and review what you learned that week because Ochem is something you know today and you'll easily forget it by tomorrow...goodluck
     
  13. pearlywhite

    pearlywhite I'm going to be a DENTIST
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    This is the way my o-chem teacher taught us to study (and she was the best teacher I ever had):
    Make sure that you can not only recognize the material but be able pull out a sheet of blank paper and write all the reactions and mechinisms by heart. Once you can do that you should be golden for the tests. Another great way is to be able to teach somebody else the material. Find a couple of classmates and form a informal study group.
     
  14. SFPredent

    SFPredent Member
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    I had Dr. Bruice for Ochem who emphasizes learning and understanding and not memorizing. If you can get a hold of her books they are fantastic...the best. I used them for my DAT studying and it made everything Kaplan stated 100 times easier, because you understand the why. Ochem is all about problems, do all the practice probs in your books and hopefully Bruce's book and you will be set. I got A's in all 3 quarters, and think that Ochem is far better than GenChem. Good luck!
     
  15. WhistlesgoWOO

    WhistlesgoWOO Junior Member

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    or you could skip class and totally ignore organic for about 4 weeks, then bust your ass the whole week before the test....

    yeah that last weeks sucks, but you have a lot more fun the first 4 weeks :)

    worked for me anyway
     
  16. reapply2007

    reapply2007 Senior Member
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    I would show up to the first class having read the first four chapters and having started working problems in the first chapter. Falling behind is very hard to recover from.
     
  17. dentintraining

    dentintraining Junior Member
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    I have tried reading chapters ahead in Bio I, and noticed I was completely lost, i felt as though I didn't get anything from the reading (granted I took a class requiring a high school prereq, that I didn't attend once in high school), and didn't understand it until reading it a second time after having the lecture. Is Ochem "language" even close to Gen Chem "language?"
     

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