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Orgo 1 and 2 in two months?

vitanuova

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    My school offers the entire year long sequence of orgo 1 and 2 in eight weeks over the summer. Labs are included. Is that too much coursework to cram into 8 weeks?
    I am considering taking the course because I have had a difficult time registering for orgo classes for the fall semester and because it would be great to get so much done over the summer. However, I don't want to set myself up for failure (ie a B or less) in the classes.
    What do you guys think? Is it too risky to attempt? Is orgo really the most difficult of the prereqs?
     

    NuttyEngDude

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      My school offers the entire year long sequence of orgo 1 and 2 in eight weeks over the summer. Labs are included. Is that too much coursework to cram into 8 weeks?
      I am considering taking the course because I have had a difficult time registering for orgo classes for the fall semester and because it would be great to get so much done over the summer. However, I don't want to set myself up for failure (ie a B or less) in the classes.
      What do you guys think? Is it too risky to attempt? Is orgo really the most difficult of the prereqs?

      Yeah it's too much. This class is not your typical plug and chug class, it is supposed to teach you a new way to think. That is assuming it is approached in the best way possible, if not then it's a ton of seemingly disparate facts to absorb.
       
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      TerrapinAndrew

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        I will be taking both orgo 1 and 2 over the summer (5 wks each) with labs. Yes it will be a lot of work and intense- but as long as you have no other commitments, all you have to think about (academics wise) is orgo and I hear its really important to stay on top of everything and do practice problems. It will be over quick enough and I'm sure there will be some free time on weekends....right? :eek: lol
         

        dbizzy

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          It's do-able. I know people who have taken it at my school and have gotten A's. I also know people who either didn't do so well, or had to drop the course because it was too intense. You *should* be able to get the grade you'd normally get in the school year, assuming you have little to zero other commitments, but actually absorbing and understanding the information for the MCAT may be a different story.
           

          Lord Osis

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            i would not recommend, either.

            no matter how genius you are, there are things that require time... orgo's one of them. lots to memorize and lots to understand and ruminate. especially, orgo 2.

            give up other aspects of your life for 8 weeks and perhaps you will achieve two shiny A's on the two courses. here i doubt the information you crammed in will be stored in the long-term memory area in your brain.

            i'm not saying getting good grades are impossible in 8 weeks. it will be just difficult and the memory will be volatile.
             

            curt656

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              Everyone is different and all, but I sure wouldn't recommend it! I guess it all depends on the professor. I am currently finishing Orgo 1 and my professor walked in the first day of class and said that it was her job to make it hard on us and that she was going to do her best to trick us on every test. She did not lie as on the last test, the class average was 11 correct out of 24. I feel violated after every test. I couldn't imagine doing it in 6 weeks, much less both in 12.

              The horror...the horror...
               

              augeremt

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                I think it depends on how you think and study, and if you are willing to give up all other commitments for organic chemistry.

                Organic chemistry requires my exact way of thinking so it made sense to me. I still had to do a ton of practice problems to have a solid understanding of the subject, so there's no way around that. But it wasn't too far of a stretch to understand. My professor was also absolutely amazing, which helped immensely.

                Ochem lab during the summer is a beast, though. It's just a lot of time spent in lab either trying to get your experiments to work or writing up lab reports. But most of the things we did reinforced the concepts required for the class so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

                The good thing about summer ochem is that it is the only class you have to focus on so you don't muddle your brain with other concepts. Also, it's harder to forget the things you learned earlier in the "semester" come finals time since only four weeks have passed since the class started.

                Having said all that, it is still possible to have some semblance of a summer. My friend and I did Happy Hour hard after our weekly exams and I even found time to go camping and white-water rafting during the summer. I just had to bust my butt during the week to have those weekends off. However, I did bring my ochem book on the white-water rafting trip. Yes, I was the nerd at the picnic table practicing mechanisms while everyone else was playing flip-cup. But I was able to join them after an hour of geeking out, so it wasn't too bad.

                Long story short, think about how you think, about the quality of the professor, and how hard you are willing to work during the summer.

                My brain was fried after that and it took me all of fall semester to recover from the burn-out. But I was also going for a high A because I needed a letter of rec from the prof so I didn't really take it easy.
                 

                augeremt

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                  To offer another perspective on summer orgo, here's a story from my undisciplined college past. I attempted to take it during the summer as an undergrad 7 years ago and had to withdraw because I was failing.

                  My downfall was slacking off the first couple of days and then not being able to catch up. You really have to be on your game from Day 1 otherwise you're screwed.

                  Even with that college slacker mentality, I ended up with a B+ in lab. So don't worry about your lab grade as much. That is not hard; it's just insanely time consuming.

                  My best advice is to practice your mechanisms daily til you can do them in your sleep and do as many practice problems as you possibly can. With that, you should be fine.
                   

                  Sol Rosenberg

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                    I took Organic Chem I and II (with labs,) over the summer and got As. They are not easy classes but, if you put in the time, you can do well. IIRC, we had class for around 3 hours per day, so each day was approx. 1 week of lectures. So, basically you need to study each day what you would normally study each week (give or take -- there are still the weekends to use to catch up/review.)
                     
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                    shamwowzer

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                      Orgo 2 is just as easy, possibly even easier than orgo 1. It requires time and patience but not much more than that. The ones who complain are the ones who are busy bitching about every other semi-difficult class in any undergrad institution.

                      Don't take a class if you don't have the time to master the concepts of a rudimentary class that may be essential for your education further down the road or you will be sure to fail

                      Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk
                       

                      dmf2682

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                        i would not recommend, either.

                        no matter how genius you are, there are things that require time... orgo's one of them. lots to memorize and lots to understand and ruminate. especially, orgo 2.

                        give up other aspects of your life for 8 weeks and perhaps you will achieve two shiny A's on the two courses. here i doubt the information you crammed in will be stored in the long-term memory area in your brain.

                        i'm not saying getting good grades are impossible in 8 weeks. it will be just difficult and the memory will be volatile.

                        I would point out that if you study the right things and the right way organic is about 10% memorizing and 90% understanding concepts. It's only as hard as you make it to be.
                         
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                        vitanuova

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                          Thanks for all the input.
                          I like the idea of taking Orgo 1 over the summer and orgo 2 in the fall, but orgo 2 is completely full and I would be running the risk of not being able to register for it. (I'm a non-degree seeking student and basically have to fight with the other non-degree seeking students for all the leftover spots in classes after all the normal students have already registered)
                          Another option I could pursue would be to take Orgo 1 and 2 over the summer but take the labs during the semester.

                          From what I have read and heard about orgo, there seem to be two groups of students: 1) Those to whom it comes fairly easily and naturally 2) Those who seem to struggle the entire time and claim that it is torture. Is there any way for me to ascertain how difficult organic chemistry will be for me before I dive into an intense summer course?
                           

                          scarshapedstar

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                            I liken Orgo to integral calculus, where you have to memorize dozens of elementary integrals but that's just scratching the surface, because when you face actual test questions it won't always be clear which ones to use, and you may have to do some work just to put the function in a form you recognize. You must be able to think several steps ahead, know when to integrate by parts or u-sub, etc.

                            If that stuff drove you crazy then Orgo will almost certainly drive you crazy, because it's another class that's all about Your Mental Toolbox. I sucked at it because I just tried to memorize my way through it and it's simply not possible to get an A that way.

                            That said, Orgo II has about 10 times as much material as Orgo I, so you could conceivably do Orgo I in a month. Run down to your local Barnes and Noble and pick up Organic Chemistry for Dummies and see what you think first.
                             

                            Matt In The Hat

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                              Orgo in the summer is definitely doable.

                              I took them both in summer (5 weeks each), and was working 60+ hours a week and prepping for the MCAT. My MCAT score suffered (I had to retake it a year later), but I made A's in both classes and still got my work done.

                              You have to basically give up sleep, but if you want to go to med school, it's good practice.

                              Organic Chemistry is like trying to learn a complicated card game. There are lots of rules, but once you learn the rules, the game makes complete sense. For example, primary alcohols will behave a specific way if you put them in an acid, another way if you put them in a base. Secondary alcohols will have their behaviors as well. Once you figure those rules out, it won't matter what you see, you'll be able to predict what will happen.

                              If you like puzzles, you'll probably like Orgo. But, you have to have the right mindset. If you go into the class scared of it, it can eat you alive.
                               

                              swalkercpa

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                                I think it is very difficult to do in that short term. I suffered on my MCAT because I crammed Chem II (a class which I actually liked) into a one month term. Some subject matter is inevitably rushed through to get through in that term. In my school, you have to register for the lab and class at the same time. This meant I was in class all morning and needed to put in probably 4-5 hours a day making sure I digested the material and was ready to build on it the next day.

                                That being said, I just finished Organic II today and I hated the class. I had a good professor, but it's still like walking into a wind tunnel every day...and my class was only 50 minutes. The MCAT covered a lot of material from both semesters. If it doesn't go into long term memory, that may affect your Bio score. I took the MCAT in January when I was one month into Organic II and really didn't study much other than having gone through the class. The material was fresh. I did minimal prep work for the test in this area.
                                 

                                ShoTyme

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                                  I absolutely would not do it even though I did for chem 1 and 2. It's a ton of information to absorb and be able to integrate. If you do, just make sure you understand that a TON of work outside the classroom will need to be done. You will need to study EVERYDAY. Work tons of synthesis problems. You will feel overwhelmed most of the time for two straight months. Good luck and let us know what you decide and how it goes.

                                  Sho-
                                   

                                  vitanuova

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                                    Thanks again for all the different opinions.
                                    I've decided to sign up for the four week Orgo 1 course. If that goes well, I'm planning on enrolling in the four week Orgo 2 class.
                                    The labs all filled up before I could make up my mind, but if a spot opens a plan to enroll in that too.
                                    I'm ready to work my butt off and I'll let you all know how it goes.
                                     

                                    iCY

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                                      you either suck @ orgo or you don't. Theres people who could take orgo in a month & still get A+, & people who would still fail it if they had an entire year. It all depends on how well you're able to adapt to the class. Its VERY problem solving intensive, so if you're into that sort of thing, you will do very well. I personally did both orgos while taking other science courses, working 2 jobs & volunteering, so my time was stretched about as thin as taking an intensive summer course, & I was able to do well.
                                       

                                      wholeheartedly

                                      Epi Geek
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                                        I think the opinions of people at YOUR school who've taken if from YOUR instructor will probably be more helpful to you than ours. As others have noted, some instructors just cherish the thought of making life hell for people and think that's their job as opposed to actually teaching. On the other hand I enjoyed the summer session classes I took as they were a bit smaller class sizes and a bit more laid back (not necessarily easier, just more low key).


                                        One thing to note, when you start, make sure you know your drop deadlines in case you do find yourself in a situation where you need to bail.
                                         

                                        startingover84

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                                          My school used the quarter system, so I took ochem B in the summer. I took A and C during the regular quarters. Honestly, I'm so glad I took it over the summer. At my school, there was a reputation of ochem being easier over the summer. It turned out to be accurate. I know, because I dropped it twice during the year and was forced to take it over the summer in order to not fall behind.
                                           

                                          The_Sunny_Doc

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                                            you either suck @ orgo or you don't. Theres people who could take orgo in a month & still get A+
                                            this it's so true, i took them both over summer and honestly it was the best idea ever, I was able to soley focus on Orgo, but don't get behind cause the work will pile up fast.

                                            Were you able to learn it well enough to be prepared for the MCAT? Obviously if you're a medical student you were, but I'd like to hear more about that specific aspect of taking it over the summer.
                                             

                                            iCY

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                                              you either suck @ orgo or you don't. Theres people who could take orgo in a month & still get A+

                                              Were you able to learn it well enough to be prepared for the MCAT? Obviously if you're a medical student you were, but I'd like to hear more about that specific aspect of taking it over the summer.

                                              i don't recall orgo being a big portion on the MCAT. Even if you suck @ it, i'm pretty sure they only tested the basic points (& not the entire 1 year course). Infact, I remember being overly confident with orgo when I went to take the MCAT so I didn't really study for it (since I was an A+ student in both orgo I & II), & I ended up screwing up alot on orgo section haha. In the end my physical sciences section got me a good score (14) whereas my bio was only a 10.

                                              Long story short, don't worry about it, take it whenever its more convenient & make sure to dedicate time every day to study orgo & you'll do fine. As for the MCAT, a decent review course will be able to teach you everything you may not have gotten from your class, & even if you still suck @ orgo, its a smaller section than the other ones!

                                              I think the easiest place to rake in points is in the physics/general chem sections.
                                               

                                              startingover84

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                                                The ochem on the MCAT is very easy compared to the one-year course. I struggled with and learned pretty much no ochem in college, but I got a 13 on PS and 11 on BS. I think there were maybe one or two questions that touched on some easy ochem.
                                                 

                                                LegendaryPunk

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                                                  I'm currently signed up to take Orgo I & II this summer. It's going to be tough, and pretty much eats up my entire summer (bleh), but I weighed the potential advantages vs. disadvantages and think I'll be coming out ahead. Hopefully.

                                                  Best of luck to both of us!
                                                   
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