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O-Chem survival tips, please

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by r_salis, Jun 6, 2002.

  1. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2002
    In a dark room
    I'm taking organic chemistry II over the summer, and I could seriously use some encouragement! I just barely made it out of organic I and promised myself that I'd do well and try to enjoy organic II since I have the luxury of concentrating on it fully this summer. I have to admit that organic is the toughest class I've ever taken -- maybe I just need to spend more time with it, but I just can't seem to get the material (reaction mechanisms and synthesis problems, mainly) to "stick", if you know what I mean.

    How did you guys do in o-chem? How did you study for it? Did anyone think it was fun?
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  3. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny
    do the problems/mechanisms/reactions over and over...then make up sheets on your own and test yourself...if you're not getting them, keep doing them over and over...I think practice is the only thing that really helped me in this class...get your hands on as much material as you can...class notes, old tests, practice tests, text problems....only after you know your stuff...then go study w/someone else, talking about the chemistry helps also...Oh, and be able to RECOGNIZE the problem you're doing (what type of reaction it is, are there certain reagents involved, is it a name rxn (i.e. Wittig rxn, grignard rxn)...

    oh, and GOOD LUCK!!! Study hard and it'll pay off!! :)
  4. christie

    christie Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2001
    Organic II is challenging, but it is very doable. Since you are taking it over the summer, I would recommend not letting a day go by without studying your notes. Do a lot of reactions over & over again.

    Get to know your professor very well, after class ask questions, let the professor see that you are trying your best.

    Good Luck!
  5. Kung Foo

    Kung Foo Mad Scientist... 7+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2002
    the edge of decay
    I agree with Vixen - know what general type of reaction you're learning then you'll at least be able to guess where the electrons should be going if you have to write out a tricky mechanism. Practice makes perfect in this class, especially since i'm guessing your summer course is crammed into even less time than a regular semester. I don't know how your class is structured, but personally my lab work saved my overall chem 2 grade - so it's worth it to really learn your NMR and GC/MS stuff, particularly if you'll be working with unknowns in the lab.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. Bikini Princess

    Bikini Princess 7+ Year Member

    May 26, 2002
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by r_salis:
    How did you guys do in o-chem? How did you study for it? Did anyone think it was fun?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">The students who do well in ochem are the ones who devote plenty of time to it.

    I'm not talking about studying the night before the exam, I'm talking about going to office hours, rewriting notes, etc. And above all, do the professors' old exams. Test material doesn't change.
  7. Toejam

    Toejam Terminal Student 7+ Year Member

    May 12, 2002
    35 miles from Pomona
    I'm beginning to think that my two B-'s in O-chem taken over the summer in 10 weeks is actually not too bad!
  8. 161

    161 Maharishi 7+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2002
    New York
    Here's your encouragement:

    Most of Organic Chemistry is shifting electrons (drawing arrows) and rationalizing that shift. For each chapter, you should summarize it in your OWN words. You can internalize this information rather efficiently and easily if you did. So many people believe Organic chemistry is tough. Not me.

    I have had other ball-busters that I would love to use this graemlin for. <img border="0" alt="[Pissy]" title="" src="graemlins/pissy.gif" /> :p

    Taking Organic chemistry in the summer is a very hard feat. The material is relatively simple, but you get innundated with it. How many times a week do you have lab? 4?
  9. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Bikini Princess:
    <strong>And above all, do the professors' old exams. Test material doesn't change.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">That is an EXCELLENT piece of advice. She is absolutely right--the old exams will look very similar to the ones that you will be given.

    Plus it gives you some idea of the level of difficulty at which the professor plans to test you.
  10. doc227

    doc227 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 26, 2000
    New Haven
    Bikini Princess is right, you have to spend a lot of time on o-chem. You should make an effort to do some problems everyday. Study your notes frequently, and PRACTICE DOING PROBLEMS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. I got a C+ the first semster, and than a B+ in o-chem II. I thought that o-chem II was easier, but I think that it was because I learned how to study (by doing practice problems.Looking back, I dont think that o-chem was that difficult, you just have to learn how to study. I just regret the fact that I didn't learn that my first semster.
  11. Pursuing MD

    Pursuing MD Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    O.Chem is not too difficult if you do your best to keep up with the material as the professor goes over it in lecture. Basically, do not leave it for the day before the exam and definitely do not cram for O.Chem. I would suggest buying lots of white paper and doing the problems assigned to you (or those in the back of your book) several times over. If you can do this with a few friends, you will find O.Chem interesting...I did!

  12. ItsGavinC

    ItsGavinC Dentist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I didn't find O-Chem to be very challenging or difficult at all, with the exception of a couple of chapters here and there.

    Practice will increase your understanding of the material. I received an A and an A- in Organic and didn't have to devote my entire life to studying it. The semester I had Organic 1 I had 18 credit hours, and I had 21 credit hours the following semester when taking Organic 2.

    I'm a big believer in studying effectively -- which meant studying for 30-45 minutes each day rather than studying for 3-4 hours. Besides, just remember that the by-products of reactions are H20, or a common acid/base. :)


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