Physics & Organic Chemistry Study Advice

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YLFounder

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Hey guys,

This summer, I plan on taking Physics I and Organic Chemistry II together. Chemistry and I do not seem to get along very well, so I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to approach these classes? I'm looking for study tips and what worked best for you guys.

Thanks!

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With OChem II…just write those mechanisms out, over and over again. Know what specifically happens as well.
But practice is essential.
 
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do practice problems at least 3 times.
KNOW HOW ELECTRONS FLOW. this way you won't need to memorize every mechanism, but can instead, figure it out on the te st.
 
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do practice problems at least 3 times.
KNOW HOW ELECTRONS FLOW. this way you won't need to memorize every mechanism, but can instead, figure it out on the te st.

God damn, I love Robinson annulations (and aldols, Claisens, acetoacetic/malonic ester syntheses, etc....) They're fun, and they definitely teach you how electrons flow. :p
 
Physics: MIT OCW, be able to prove every major equation/theory to yourself by either logic or mathematics. Understanding the concepts and being able to solve problems without any numbers is key. After that point everything else can be figured out on its own. Practice practice practice for more tedious question types in mechanics and e/m.
 
Hey guys,

This summer, I plan on taking Physics I and Organic Chemistry II together. Chemistry and I do not seem to get along very well, so I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to approach these classes? I'm looking for study tips and what worked best for you guys.

Thanks!

Don't expect the same thing as gen chem. I was never a huge fan of chemistry but I LOVED organic chemistry. I was pleasantly surprised. You might feel the same. You just never know. =) The trick is to do a certain amount of memorization like other posters have said, and then it's easy. Once you have those mechanisms memorized, it's just like construction (one of my hobbies). I would like to emphasize that you need to memorize the mechanisms, not the equations. When you are studying, make sure that you draw out the mechanism of the reaction in full rather than just the memorize the equation. This way you follow the electrons and understand the concepts.

For what it's worth, I also have some general advice about memorization. I have an MA in education, so I have been able to apply my knowledge of learning to studying science courses. The main idea is that you will always remember something that you have "created" more easily than something you have simply read. By drawing the mechanisms over and over, they will be glued to the inside of your forehead for the exam. You will remember these mechanisms because you have "created" drawings. This also worked in biology for me. For example, I would draw out the electron transport chain and the citric acid cycle over and over. By creating those drawings, I cemented the knowledge in my brain. Don't worry about the quality of the pictures, you are not likely to see my sketches hanging on anybody's wall. =) Another example of this principle is in the clinical setting (I am a nurse). When I am working in a team with a physician, he/she may tell me about a patient. If this physician tells me about X number of patients in a day, I will only remember so much about each patient. However, if I see the patients on my own, I will read the chart, consult notes, labs, x-ray reports, and examine the patient myself. After I have done all of this, I will write a note in the patients chart. By writing this note, I have to synthesize and organize my thoughts. If I see the same patient and do everything the same but do not write a note in the chart, I will not remember them in as much detail. Of course, I will remember the important things, but just not all of the finer details. I will just never know a patient as well as when I write a note in their chart. If you ask physicians, they will likely also tell you that they never know a patient as well as after they have written out a consult.

The idea with studying is the same. When you are creating something, you are using a much higher level of cognitive function and "working" with the knowledge on a much deeper level. It will always be easier to remember things when you do so. So, to sum up my advice, draw out the mechanisms over and over and try to solve as many practice problems as possible. Simple rote memorization will likely not yield as good results. I hope this helps. =)

Best of luck.
 
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I am planning on taking Organic a Chemistry this summer, and upperclassmen who have taken the course before me swear by the textbook Organic Chemistry as a Second Language. They said it made the concepts a lot simpler and easier to understand. Maybe you could check it out from the library and see how you like it :) Good luck in both classes!
 
Cahn-Ingold-Prelog.
 
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