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Organic Chemistry approaches...... *help*

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Sparkles, Aug 10, 2001.

  1. Sparkles

    Sparkles To and Fro
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    Hey all. I am a sophomore undergrad this year and my first organic chemistry class is about a week and a half away. Let me just say that I am SCARED TO DEATH of the class already!! All I have heard is horror stories. Will someone please help me calm down and/or give me pointers on the class? I am really quite terrified. :eek:
     
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  3. moo

    moo 1K Member
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    Do a search and you will find a lot of help on organic chemistry.

    I personally liked the material, hated the profs cuz of the way they taught it. Let me tell you, I got my two worst science grades in these classes so don't take them lightly. I reviewed every night, even if it was just to do a few problems. The key is problems!! Do as many as you can.
     
  4. Drako

    Drako Senior Member
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    Ah! The OChem beast! Or so they said...
    There is NOTHING to be scared about OKem. All you need to do is to read the material (before lecture is good, after lecture will do if you are like the average premed peep == me). Do the questions, as many as you could...for OKem, practice does make for perfection! The horor stories I heard about OKem turned out to be a bunch of bull**** that some idiots started up long ago, before I even started college.

    I had really cool "professies" though. One guy was only 28 years old, while the other was 70+. Once again, the word is practice!!! Oh, did I mention Memorization? But I would op for the word Understanding. Yep, I would. Work hard and you will be just fine!
     
  5. Sm00th13

    Sm00th13 Senior Member
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    When it comes to orgo, it's the weeding process of death. It's a class that requires understanding as oppose to memory. Also its involves materials from gen chem., like physical properties of bonds and acid and base. So make sure you understand your gen. chem as a foundation. After that, understand each of the different kinds of functional groups (e.g. alcohols, carboxylic acids, ketones, aldehydes, etc.) And like the couple of messages above, DO THE PROBLEMS!!! But don't just go through motion when your doing the problems, analyze why reactions and/or synthesis go the way they do. For example, a carbonyl group is a C=O where resonance (movement of e-) can occur. C=O ----> +C-O-. At this point if you have a weak nucleophile, the "O" has to be protonated in order for the weak nucleophile to attack the "C". So you would acid in hopes of protonation and then add the weak nucleophile. If you had a strong nucleophile, then isn't necessary to protonate the "O". I'm sure there are other way, e.g., solvents and/or reagents to get to the final product that you want in a reaction or synthesis. BTW, if you can, find some students to do study sessions with and toss questions at each other. Example: How would you get _________ by using _______ and ___________ ? I'm sure this and the other tips that you're getting from this website will be sufficent. :cool: :cool:
     
  6. kreno

    kreno Candy Man
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    Look, dude... there is *nothing* to worry about. It's perfectly within any normal person's limits to handle. In fact, I suspect a lot of people do bad in it BECAUSE of all the rumors, etc... not the difficulty itself.

    Make sure to learn about why things are happening as much as you can as opposed to memorizing 'cuz that's what the MCAT will test you on. Unfortunately, at the college level orgo course, some brut memorization is often necessary.....

    biochemisty is a lot more demanding, i think. look, don't worry, i'm not some brilliant arrogant kid who thinks that every class out there is a breeze - hardly. but orgo... seriously, it's nothing like what people make it out to be. leon
     
  7. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member
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    here's a summary of orgo (i don't call it ochem sorry!)

    logical...it just makes sense when you're all done.

    but...

    it takes time...make sure you carve out at least one hour of extra study time everyday just to go over it and you'll ace the class...practice, practice, practice...and find an empty classroom where you and a friend can write out mechanisms, etc. on the board...get in test mode right away cuz it's that kind of material...

    and most of all...

    don't sweat it...a million other people have done it before you and the horror stories, i'm willing to bet, are mostly untrue.
     
  8. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Your first step in organic chemistry is to call it O-Chem. People that hate it call it orgo. ;)

    The second step, is to first know your functional groups. Then, it's all about memorization. But it's capable memorization becuase if you just think of 'pushing electrons' all the reaction mechanisms will make sense. It's practice practice and practice. If you learn a new mechanism, write it out, push the electrons til you know the reaction cold. After doing them enough times, you'll begin to understand the bigger picture better.

    Your horror stories are unfounded. It's just premeds sketching you out.

    Andrew
     
  9. star23

    star23 Senior Member
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    I did think organic was a tough course, but it isn't impossible. I think success in organic directly corelates with how much time you put in. So, work hard and it should turn out alright. Good luck.
     
  10. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
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    Ochem was personally one of my favorite classes and much easier than general chem. If you are a type of learner who is visual and loves concepts and working through problems step by step...this class will be simple for you as long as you work hard. Don't listen to people who say it is going to kill you, they are full of $hit. I remember this one girl at my school, she was going around talking all this crap and then said "I don't know anyone who didn't get an A in General Chem...Ochem is just so much harder"...every one of us at the table with her just looked at her one by one told her we didn't get A's in Gen. Chem. It's all up to your method of learning. Some people do great in Pchem and Gchem. I personally didn't and I hated those classes. However, go figure, I did great on that part of the MCAT....So basically, get a grip on how you learn. Maybe the class will come easy for you, maybe it will be hard. If it's hard, do a little extra work and just hold on. If it comes easy, welcome to the wonderful world of ochem!!! :D :D :D :D :D
     
  11. Sparkles

    Sparkles To and Fro
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    Thank you soooo much for all the replies. You have definetly made me feel much better about starting organic chemistry (a.k.a. O-Chem, Orgo, organic, etc.). You alll are so sweet! I will take all your advice and hopefully USE it!! Thank you!!! :D :D :D
     
  12. JenniferC15

    JenniferC15 Member
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    The key to doing well in O-Chem is keeping up! It's not one of those classes that you can cram for just at the midterm and final. If you understand the concepts, it'll be a hundred times easier than just memorizing it because there is a lot of info to remember. Just keep doing tons of practice problems, constantly review your notes and you'll do fine. I was worried too because of all the horror stories, so I worked really hard and got an A both semesters. It's actually a pretty interesting course.
     
  13. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
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    Don't tell her not to cram if that is her style!
    I got so sick of people telling me "this is the year that you will realize cramming will not work...it may have worked in the past, but it won't work now.."
    That's such Bull$hit! I crammed for every single class and it worked for me every time. Basically, I would pull all nighters the night before the exam and that worked great for me all through college. Sometimes 3 nights in a row if I had to. Many of my friends did the same...all did great. Finding your style in college is the key to doing well. Keeping up is overused and while yea, it can work..sometimes we just don't have the time for it. Also, sometimes things don't make sense until you have enough info to really go over it many times. But yea, keeping up is a relative term...Make sure you go to lecture or get notes if you miss lectures...
     
  14. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member
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    hey, I call it ORGO and I love it...does that mean i subconsciously hate it? very interesting!!

    i'd also say to get to know your functional groups...by the end of "O-chem" (man, i feel dumb saying that!) you should know functional groups so well that you can dope out a mechanism without the benefit of instruction...and not to get ahead of myself, but knowing functional groups for the MCAT will allow you to weed through a huge, crappy passage and see it for what it is...usually a stupid alcohol surrounded by a bunch of noise meant to throw ya off!

    good luck, you really won't need it if you care to do well already.

    ORGO, ORGO, ORGO!
     
  15. dude7

    dude7 Senior Member
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    ive said it before and i will say it again..it all depends on the prof. he can make or break [email protected]!
     

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