lychee3

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Dec 1, 2008
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Seems like an awfully complex mechanism. Do you think it's a good idea to know the mechanism, or just know that the reaction results in a primary amine with one less carbon?
 

plsfoldthx

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Mar 9, 2009
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Hey, I just studied that yesterday and honestly, I don't see them asking mechanism questions at all on the MCAT. I mean, at this point, the basic elimination/substitution mechanisms should be intuitive for you, but for Hofmann degradation I would just know that you need a base to start, you lose the carbonyl as CO2, and you form a primary amine from an amide.

Start doing some practice tests even if you know you're going to bomb it. Then you will know it's pointless to memorize mechanisms like this one.
 

Oncoloman

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Mar 29, 2010
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Seems like an awfully complex mechanism. Do you think it's a good idea to know the mechanism, or just know that the reaction results in a primary amine with one less carbon?
Come on man! This is one of the coolest mechanisms in organic. J/K. I'm sure if they do ask a question they'll give some variant of an amide; then they'll say..."Where/how does this end up?". Or they could use a carbon isotope and ask "where/how does it end up?"...yada yada.. Either way, the MCAT always will give you the complete mechanism or will just ask for products or reactants. If you were taking the Chem GRE then you would need to memorize it all. :thumbup: