Tips for Organic Chemistry

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Ichigo

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Hello everyone, I was just wondering if anyone had specific tips for organic chemistry since I will be taking it this semester. I have done a bit of learning through the Learning Organic Chemistry As A Second Language through in the summer so I have somewhat of a base. But, my gen chem grades were not cute at all so I would really like some tips to do well in this course specfically. Thanks!

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Apart from lectures (which you may have to supplement with online theory videos if your professor isn't stellar), you'll learn a lot more through practice problems *that have detailed explanations* than anything else, imo. Absolutely hammer the fundamentals in the beginning (line drawings, hybridization, electronegativity & its impact on surrounding atoms, resonance) and keep practicing them, because a lot of students think they can avoid it after exams 1-2, when in reality it's the foundation you use to do like, all of ochem2 lol. Maybe get a little whiteboard to do doodles on.

Apart from that, just think about as a bunch of fun puzzles :) do a little bit every day, and when you get something wrong, always ask yourself why the right answer is what it is! good luck & don't forget to have fun this semester :^) !
 
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Apart from lectures (which you may have to supplement with online theory videos if your professor isn't stellar), you'll learn a lot more through practice problems *that have detailed explanations* than anything else, imo. Absolutely hammer the fundamentals in the beginning (line drawings, hybridization, electronegativity & its impact on surrounding atoms, resonance) and keep practicing them, because a lot of students think they can avoid it after exams 1-2, when in reality it's the foundation you use to do like, all of ochem2 lol. Maybe get a little whiteboard to do doodles on.

Apart from that, just think about as a bunch of fun puzzles :) do a little bit every day, and when you get something wrong, always ask yourself why the right answer is what it is! good luck & don't forget to have fun this semester :^) !
I apperciate this reply, I'll try my best to apply your strategies. Thanks!
 
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Stick with the OChem as a Second Language. It really is a great aid. A good deal of first semester is a learning the names and then learning to pay attention to the electrons, and second language does a pretty good job with those topics. Memorize the electronegativity chart and that will help a lot once you start trying to figure out what kind of bonds will be formed and which direction the electrons will flow.
 
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1. Do a search. This question has been asked before.
2. Buy a chemical model kit. Chemistry is 3D, so you want to be able to visualize everything in 3D, not just in 2D like Newman projections. You need to be able to switch back and forth in your head and the 3D part will help you do that.
3. Buy the books Pushing Electrons and Organic Chemistry as a Second Language. I read the first book the summer before ochem and took notes + did the practice problems. I used the second book to supplement the text throughout ochem I and II (but it's more helpful for ochem I). Organic is all about learning how electrons behave and being able to predict where they are going to go. These books will help you do that.
4. Go to your prof's office hours. The better you get to know him or her, the better you will be able to predict what kind of test questions they will ask. I didn't do this much, but it's a good idea for college in general.
5. Get ahead--preview the lecture before you go to class, and review it the night after. Get in the habit of reviewing everything you learned the previous week on the weekends; this should only take you an hour.
6. I had a mechanisms folder and a reactions folder. Keep track of all the mechanisms and reactions that you learn; you will see similarities if you look closely and get better at predicting how those damn electrons behave.

Source: A+ in ochem I & II lecture and lab
 
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