Studying for Organic Chemistry

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Jul 20, 2013
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I am in Organic Chem II and in Organic Chem I, I got a B. However, I want an A in Organic Chem II, and I wanted to know what I could do to improve my chances of getting a A. I usually study by reading the chapter and doing practice problems, and my organic drill has a manual, so I then proceed to do the module for that week. However , every time I take a drill I don't make an A, and I do focus when I am studying. My last exam was a 68, and I studied by reviewing all the modules, doing practice problems, and doing 2 practice tests. That was the first exam. I have another exam coming up in two weeks. Could someone tell what their experiences were with Organic and how they studied for quizzes and exams?

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I'm currently in Organic II and I've found that the best way to study is, like most technical classes, working practice problems. It helps to compartmentalize the reactions for the sake of simplicity. For example, "these are aldehydes/ketones, this is how you make them, this is how they react," "these are carboxylic acids, this is how you make them, this is how they react."

Once you have a slimmed down version (on paper) of all your relevant reactions/mechanisms, then you can begin to do your practice problems and review homework assignments while referring back to your summaries.

Also, as far as practice problems go in Organic, synthesis problems will give you the most bang for your buck. They are very high yield in terms of amount of time spent vs. information learned. This is simply because they force you to think of reactions forwards and backwards and multiple steps ahead.

A solid foundational knowledge of acid/base chemistry is also very helpful, if not essential to understanding the concepts.
Do you have a molecular kit? If not I really suggest investing in one. Organic chemistry is a lot easier when you can visualize whats going on
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I do practice problem and things but I don't feel like its working.
Organic Chemistry As A Second Language by David Klein....has been a lifesaver for me. I also use Chad's Videos as he has a college organic chemistry section along with MCAT chem. Good Luck