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Organic Chemistry over the summer (tips and advice)

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northernlights15

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Hi all!

I am retaking Orgo 1 over the summer. I received a C the first time around and to be honest, I don't remember anything at all.

I have around 2ish weeks before it starts and was wondering if any of you had any advice going into the class? Any tips and advice welcome. It would be great to hear from anyone who has taken Orgo Chem at any time of the year and done well but if anyone has experience taking it over the summer, please share your experience!

I am mentally bracing myself.
 

hoffen

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I am taking it now, so I cant tell you about the results. I can tell you that its hard so start early. 50% of my class doesnt get a C-.

I can tell you that resonating structures is where the money is at. It will mess you up if you dont dwell on it, and there isnt much time to dwell in summer. Surely you must remember something, so use that long-term memory to at least start practicing resonating the structures of some of the polyatomic ions (also nitric acid comes to mind, and the benzene rings with a -CH2+ protruding off one carbon come to mind). Literally doing resonance right now.
And nothing says you cant start practicing the naming of the structures using IUPAC.

IUPAC and resonating. That will be a big chunk of the cookie to bite into before the class. It will make it much easier.
 

onyisraw

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You said on another thread that your cGPA was 3.6ish. I personally would not have retaken with that kind of GPA. MCAT orgo is nothing you can't reinforce by doing some light studying and recollection from your actual o chem 1&2 pre-req courses.

To answer your question though, the pace would be slightly faster I would assume. It'll be like any other class; study smart and you'll be fine.
 

northernlights15

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I am taking it now, so I cant tell you about the results. I can tell you that its hard so start early. 50% of my class doesnt get a C-.

I can tell you that resonating structures is where the money is at. It will mess you up if you dont dwell on it, and there isnt much time to dwell in summer. Surely you must remember something, so use that long-term memory to at least start practicing resonating the structures of some of the polyatomic ions (also nitric acid comes to mind, and the benzene rings with a -CH2+ protruding off one carbon come to mind). Literally doing resonance right now.
And nothing says you cant start practicing the naming of the structures using IUPAC.

IUPAC and resonating. That will be a big chunk of the cookie to bite into before the class. It will make it much easier.
You said on another thread that your cGPA was 3.6ish. I personally would not have retaken with that kind of GPA. MCAT orgo is nothing you can't reinforce by doing some light studying and recollection from your actual o chem 1&2 pre-req courses.

To answer your question though, the pace would be slightly faster I would assume. It'll be like any other class; study smart and you'll be fine.

Did you guys use any supplemental material? Any books or websites you found helpful? Did you guys largely just do practice questions?

Also…as I said, I did Orgo 1 totally wrong and I can't remember this but do you think I should brush up on Gen Chem as well?

And @onyisraw my sGPA is much lower and I feel like it would really help if I retook it.
 

UNMedGa

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Don't just memorize raw stuff, learn the patterns and trends that govern how molecules react. You need to be able to generally identify which molecules perform which roles in the reaction.
 

gonnif

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You said on another thread that your cGPA was 3.6ish. I personally would not have retaken with that kind of GPA. MCAT orgo is nothing you can't reinforce by doing some light studying and recollection from your actual o chem 1&2 pre-req courses.

To answer your question though, the pace would be slightly faster I would assume. It'll be like any other class; study smart and you'll be fine.

1) Retaking any course with C or better for MD application is, frankly, ridiculous. You would be better off taking an additional advance bio or chem course and doing well.
2) If your sGPA is 3.5 or higher, then it is even more ridiculous to do so.
3) if you need it for MCAT, you may be better off with direct MCAT prep

4) as for taking it in the summer, stay on top of it. You are doing 15 weeks of schooling in 5 weeks. I did one summer years ago and did not have time for anything else. It took me 2 full days to thoroughly understand a chapter and we did a chapter a day. So with 8 days a week it would have worked. we had 3 exams and a comprehensive final in 5 weeks and I did both semesters. More than half the class dropped out by the end
 

SpicyFalafel

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I have around 2ish weeks before it starts and was wondering if any of you had any advice going into the class? Any tips and advice welcome. It would be great to hear from anyone who has taken Orgo Chem at any time of the year and done well but if anyone has experience taking it over the summer, please share your experience!

I would say do not take a weed out course like Ochem over the summer. one of my classmates has an 87 in the class spring semester and she was praying that she would make a C on final to maintain her B+. There are a lot of materials to cover over the course of 8 weeks. Be rational and consider alternative options as the above poster stated. As far as brushing up on Gen chem, I know about a lot of resources that can help you from scratch.

here is one http://www.bozemanscience.com/
 

hoffen

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My professor and a whole lot of reviews said that the book "Organic Chemistry: as a second language" is very helpful. I have gone through some of it, and its just another perspective. IT tells you the "why" so you get a better grip on the material.

I dont have to take the ACS exam over summer and its not part of my grade (a big reason I wanted to do it over summer), but the ACS Organic Chemistry study guide I ordered, because it gives a lot of great practice problems.

These two websites are great for Lewis Structures:

http://janetcoonce.com/2012/12/19/polyatomic-ion-structures/

http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/PeriodicProperties/Ions/ions.html#Table1

More than likely you will be resonating some of these. Or if you can see how they resonate, you can derive other structures of similar difficulty.

My book is terrible. I wouldnt recommend it. It jumps around so much and has no clear direction. We also have class notes that are particular to my professor so those help.

Best of luck !! :cat:
 

AGSIII

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Klein, "organic chemistry as a second language", is a great resource. You can easily do the book and practice problems in two weeks.
 

VlLLVGE

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I took organic I, II, and lab over the summer in an 8-week period. There was an up-side to this - it wasn't over a full semester, so I wasn't being tested on things I learned months ago, which was a real advantage for myself and others I took the course with. The obvious downside is the quantity of information and concepts to be learned in such a short amount of time. I took the approach of memorizing many reactions, and found it easier to apply the concepts that dictate the outcome of reactions after having memorized them (i.e. resonance and reaction intermediates).

I also found tackling the volume of information was easiest by studying each day up until the recent day, briefly, before beginning review of recent material. i.e. week 2 day 1, recall week 1 days 1-5 for ~30 minutes, then begin my current material.

Another strategy I used was making these 2' x 3' posters of reactions and labeling them, so I could just stare at them... good times.

From what I heard from students re-taking, they found taking the course once was a clear advantage to other summer students taking the course for the first time. Good luck!
 

Okazaki Frag Grenade

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Something I found helpful was to read through the ACS study guide. Granted, I was reading through it for the final, but if you work through the chapters in that, it gives some good basic info (e.g. acidity vs basicity, nucleophiles vs electrophiles) that helped me kind of see some trends that I hadn't picked up on before.
 

JessebenBenjamin

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I took orgo during the summer as well, after not doing so hot the first time.
I dedicated 90% of my soul to that class.
Treat the book as your bible and you should be fine.
 
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onyisraw

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1) Retaking any course with C or better for MD application is, frankly, ridiculous. You would be better off taking an additional advance bio or chem course and doing well.
2) If your sGPA is 3.5 or higher, then it is even more ridiculous to do so.
3) if you need it for MCAT, you may be better off with direct MCAT prep

4) as for taking it in the summer, stay on top of it. You are doing 15 weeks of schooling in 5 weeks. I did one summer years ago and did not have time for anything else. It took me 2 full days to thoroughly understand a chapter and we did a chapter a day. So with 8 days a week it would have worked. we had 3 exams and a comprehensive final in 5 weeks and I did both semesters. More than half the class dropped out by the end
Wow, I respect that! Our classes are like 7.5 weeks a piece if you do both!
 

Siroucity

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Hi all!

I am retaking Orgo 1 over the summer. I received a C the first time around and to be honest, I don't remember anything at all.

I have around 2ish weeks before it starts and was wondering if any of you had any advice going into the class? Any tips and advice welcome. It would be great to hear from anyone who has taken Orgo Chem at any time of the year and done well but if anyone has experience taking it over the summer, please share your experience!

I am mentally bracing myself.

What I found most helpful when taking organic chemistry was memorizing the reactions first. Once you have the reactions memorized, understand why the reaction makes sense. For example, a reaction taking place on the carbon of a carbonyl takes place because of the resonance structure that make the carbon more nucleophilic (http://www.chem.ucalgary.ca/courses/350/Carey5th/Ch18/c=ores.gif). If you have the reactions memorized as well as an understanding of how the electrons move throughout the molecule will ensure your success in the class.

Another tip would be to understand the reagents for the reactions. It's common for professors to put a reagent you've never been exposed to before on the exam and would expect you to know how it would react with your reactants.

You won't have much time to slack off, summer classes will go by in a blink of an eye. I wouldn't expect to have much of a social life unless your class is easy or you understand the material fast.

Good luck!
 
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