Taking Org Chem next fall 09. When should I buy the review books?

CluelessAsian

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Hey everyone,

I'm finishing up general chemistry I this semester. I'll be taking general chemistry II this spring but I'm not worried about it. I'm worried about organic chemistry that I'm gonna take in fall 09. Should I get the review books now or should I get it after I finish general chemistry II? If I get it now without gen chem 2, would I be able to understand it?

The review books I'm considering based on the reviews on this site are: Pushing Electrons, Organic Chemistry as a Second Language, or Organic Chemistry for Dummies. I'm just gonna get one from those because I can't afford all of it. So is Pushing Electrons > Organic Chemistry 2nd Lang. > Org Chem for dummies?

Thanks.
 

biophysicianai

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focus on your current classes before studying for your future ones

that said, it is good that you're planning ahead. maybe if you have spare time over the summer of 2009 - in between whatever activities you take up - you can study a little bit of orgo to get ahead. You'll be able to understand an orgo book pretty easily even without having finished gen chem. The subjects are VERY different. However, do not let your ambitions for tomorrow tarnish your objectives for today.

Right now, if you have spare time - enough to be study for a class you're not even taking :rolleyes: - you should get involved in some activities that you enjoy, get some clinical experience, do some research (if you can find a post at this early stage), and take it easy to avoid burning out.

As far as which book to chose, I can't help too much. I've only ever seen orgo for dummies, and that was after I'd already completed both semesters. It actually looked pretty helpful, but I can't compare it to the others.
 

TexanGirl

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Review books can be helpful, but aren't necessary. I've waded through both Organic Chemistry for Dummies and Organic Chemistry as a Second Language and neither of them covered the mechanisms/reactions we've done in class in significant detail. It was just general info that I could've gleaned easily from reading the assigned text. Review books are designed to provide only introductory, cursory material -- not to replace or even supplement the class text.

So, if you're short on funds, instead of a review book, I would purchase whatever solutions student manual accompanies your organic chemistry text. You'll want lots of practice problems (and explanations!) for organic chemistry, not lots of general text.

Also, I borrowed the aforementioned review books from my school's library. Have you checked out your's school selection because usually they're bound to carry a few organic chemistry review books. Little known secret: your school library almost always has ALL of the books you're looking for, and if they don't, there's something called the "interloan library system," in which a library can just borrow the requested text from another library to give to you! You really don't need to go through the hassle of purchasing books in college. :smuggrin:
 
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Twiigg

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From experience, I have found that the best way to get the grade I want in a specific class is to do what the instructor wants to a tee. As stated above, focusing on the here and now is the way to success. This seems to work just fine most of the time.

For individual chapters/lectures:

  1. Complete a thorough pre-lecture reading of material to be covered
  2. Go to lecture and pay careful attention
  3. Go over the reading once again focusing on what the professor emphasized as well as what you don't quite understand yet
  4. Do the homework by yourself without the help of the book
  5. Use your TA/office hours when necessary
Test prep:

  1. Reread/skim all the chapters
  2. Then do all the homework/lecture problems w/o any help from anyone or the book
  3. If 2 goes well, you're generally ready to go for the test
 

HeatherMD

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Organic Chemistry as a 2nd Language is AWESOME. It came with my textbook and was a great resource.

I also own O-chem for dummies, but it's not as valuable (oddly enough, it proved much more useful in advanced ochem rather than intro).

I wouldn't buy the books until you start the course.
 

suizyme09

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why do you need to buy review books to prepare for a course? The object of the course is to teach you the subject matter so why not just focus on the course and learn it from your instructor?
 

GoldShadow

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why do you need to buy review books to prepare for a course? The object of the course is to teach you the subject matter so why not just focus on the course and learn it from your instructor?

Do not get caught up in the hype of orgo. When you get to the class you may very well go: "Hmm, this was too hyped up. Why did I worry?"
Agreed and agreed.
 

Kevin911

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There are far better things you could be doing with your time than reading a prep book for a class u will not be taking for awhile. O-chem is not as difficult as people make it out to be. The key to doing well in o-chem is doing as many problems as u can, which u should do when u actually start taking the class.

If you aren't going to take my advice and will buy a book, you'd be able to do well in o-chem without having taken gen chem II.
 

CluelessAsian

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Thanks everyone. I guess I shouldn't worry too much on ochem. Maybe it's just hyped just like how everyone told me calc was oh-so-hard, heh.

Thanks again.
 
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