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Taking Organic Chemistry Fall 2018

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by JavariPharmD23, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. JavariPharmD23

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    Hello,
    My name is Javari. I'm a pre-pharmacy student and I'm taking O.Chem I in the fall. I was hoping that someone on here who has already taken the course could give me some major pointers on how to get at least a "B" in this course. I've heard some horror stories and I really want to come out on top. If you know of any special tactics or interesting resources that you or someone you know has used for this class please let me know I'm open to any suggestions.
     
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  3. NextStepTutor_4

    NextStepTutor_4 Next Step PCAT Expert

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    Hi @JavariPharmD23! Here are some tips that may help you navigate through organic chemistry.
    • Organic chemistry is simply a different type of science course. It's almost like a different form of a language because you will learn nomenclature, bonding, different types of functional groups, and molecular reactions.
    • One way that may help is to buy an organic chemistry kit that may help you visualize how molecules are oriented in 3-dimensional space.
    • Pay attention to class especially in the first few weeks. This will establish the fundamentals to work off of as you get through organic chemistry I and II.
    • I wouldn't worry too much about those "horror stories". I took organic chemistry and loved the class. Yes, it was quite a bit of material but it was fun for me to look at molecules in a different way and think about certain reactions would work. Like any other course, if you have questions, your friends, textbook, professor, and teaching assistants are great resources.
    • If you need additional help, tutoring could be an option too. Be sure to check with your school to see if that service is provided.
    I hope this helps!
     
    JavariPharmD23 likes this.
  4. JavariPharmD23

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    Thank you so much for the response I really appreciate it. I already checked with my school and no one wants to tutor Organic Chemistry students ( mind you I'm at a community college and not a 4 year university) isn't that ridiculous? What would you suggest I do if I can't find a tutor at school?
     
  5. Saisri_PharmStdnt

    Saisri_PharmStdnt Class of 2023

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    I also had taken OChem 1 at the community college (as does a lot of the University students nearby). I loved my class. It's a lot of work, yes, but it is very doable if you stay on top of it. Like Sophia said, it is indeed like learning a new language.

    Here's what helped me (and what I plan on continuing to do in OChem II this Fall):

    • Flash Cards: I used these for new terms, functional groups, and nomenclature studying.
    • Ask Questions!: Get to know your professor. Learn his/her office hours. USE the office hours when ever possible - especially if they won't have an O-chem tutor around.
    • Use another source: In addition to all that our professor gave us and the book, sometimes I needed to hear/read it another way to make sure I had the concept down. Here are 2 books that were actually really helpful :
      • (Buy these used, cheap as possible! :) Edition doesn't really matter for how you're using them.)
      • If the Professor suggests additional materials, get those, too. Also used and as cheap as possible. No need to spend a fortune, that way you can get them all.
    • Study Groups: Find another student (s) that is as focused to learning the material as you are, if not more.
    • Choose your lab partner wisely!: There's a lot happening in the lab. Try and choose someone who is going to compliment you and help you, and not make you do the majority of the work.
     
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  6. JavariPharmD23

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    Thank you for the advise I will definitely use these resources. Side Note: You guys have lab partners for O.Chem?
     
  7. Saisri_PharmStdnt

    Saisri_PharmStdnt Class of 2023

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    We did for the lab, yes.. at my school, they have 2 labs per lecture, approx 18 people each, and we divided into pairs for all the actual experiments. Each person was responsible for their own lab notebook and lab report though.
     
  8. Joleybear

    Classifieds Approved

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    Don't freak out! I love Organic Chemistry I! What you need is a good professor. I checked out ratemyprofessor.com before I signed up for the course. It worked out because my teacher is amazing. He wants us all to do well and to actually learn vs rushing us to instantly retain everything. We are on track but at the same time we are given space to study and time to retain the information given. I am taking it as an 8 week course so he understands it is a lot of information to fit in to a small time period. I was worried, but the part I struggled most with in General Chemistry was math and there is virtually none in Organic Chemistry. If you can understand structures and bonding types and if you memorize things well then you should be fine. Also, Khan academy online has videos that are life-savers to me. :) Absolutely free.
     
  9. postcolor

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    I did not have a lab partner for any of the labs and I thought that was the hardest part about the class. Before lab every week I would make sure I knew the experiment protocol nearly by memory. I would write it down several times making sure if there was anything I was uncertain about I would ask ahead of time. You work with some serious chemicals and glassware so it’s important to know exactly how everything works together.

    As for the lecture portion itself, my school provided tutoring which was a huge lifesaver for me. However, reading every single page of the textbook and working through every single practice problem helped a lot too. I wouldn’t go to lecture expecting to learn something new, I would go to lecture knowing the material and the lecture was just a way to clarify difficult concepts.

    Also, I know you didn’t ask but I went to my professor’s office hours every week for clarification and to get to know him. He ended up writing me a letter of rec for my applications.
     
  10. atross

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    I was able to get an A+ both semesters in Organic Chemistry. I used our textbook, Organic Chemistry as a Second Language, and I used ClutchPrep. All of which I believe definitely prepared me. An A+ was not easy to obtain, I put in over 20 hours a week in studying for the class.
     
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  11. lalaland33

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    Study at least 30 minutes a day and go over what you learned in lecture. Mechanisms are what will take the longest to learn but if you rewrite everything a few times, you will remember it. If you are willing to put in the time and a little effort, this class will not be difficult.
     
  12. Joleybear

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    20hrs a week OUTSIDE of class??? :oops: Wow. I study like.... 4-8hrs once every few weeks for exams. lol You're dedicated. I don't have time for 20hrs a week + class with my kids though...
     
  13. thenarcisist

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    hey, Please i have a quick one for you, i've seen your other thread that you mentioned you have submitted your application.
    in the Academic history section & program materials section, was your transcript complete? did you have all the pre-requisites ready? because i'm in your position too, taking org chem 1 this fall and org chem 2 in the spring. was your transcript section filled? or you could submit without having completed the pre-requisities.
     
  14. thenarcisist

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    hey please could you send a link for the O chem textbook you used?
     
  15. Saisri_PharmStdnt

    Saisri_PharmStdnt Class of 2023

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  16. JavariPharmD23

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    No it wasn’t filled. I was trying to add classes on the transcript as I go instead of doing it all at once. I started but didn’t finish
     
  17. chemphysicsinstructor

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    My advice: Use the summer to study for the course so that when you come into the course in the fall, you already know the basics such as SN1/SN2, alkane nomenclature, etc.. I recommend reading the text and listening to lectures in the summer. Remember that proper prior planning prevents poor performance.

    I will point out that you that the "horror stories" come from people that do not "pre-study" courses like organic chemistry and physics.
     

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