GI Joe

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I'm finishing up Chem 2 this week, and 4.00ed both Chem 1 and 2 and thought both have been straight forward so far. How would I manage with Orgo this fall? Chem 2 is a lot of math and I heard Orgo is no math but just conceptual questions so whats the best strategy to 4.00 it? I have bio2 and genetics and a health science class that I'm taking alongside orgo 1 this fall.
 

JustAPhD

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When you're looking at mechanisms, don't just try to brute force memorize it. Focus on why each step is happening and why the electrons are flowing the way they are. Eventually you should be able to take related compounds that you've never seen before and reason through plausible mechanisms.
 
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DBC03

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I recommend three things. First, you want to thoroughly understand the elements and their electronegativity and how they interact. You will be taught quite a bit of this in Organic Chemistry, but you could get a leg up by going to the Khan Academy and find the videos on trends in the periodic table. By understanding the physical nature of the atoms and how they interact together, you will be able to predict how reactions will proceed.

The second thing is to do as many practice problems as possible. Do whatever you can get your hands on. The third thing goes with this - Organic Chemistry as a Second Language will explain the concepts behind the mechanisms and provide you with plenty of practice.

You will have to memorize a few things, but you want to *understand* the physical properties behind the mechanisms and use your understanding to predict what may happen in other reactions.
 

Ad2b

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Orgo, to me, was like a huge puzzle. You start off with kiddie puzzles, then it grows up and you're doing 1000 piece Ravensburger puzzles.

Learn the base molecules and names. DRAW. Really, DRAW the electrons and where they move. To me, it looked like electrons trying to have different dancing partners; figure who likes who.

Orgo is not bad unless you try to mass force your way into getting an A.
 

GCS-15

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If you haven't already, buy a whiteboard and PRACTICE EVERY DAY! Also, someone already mentioned this, but I'm seconding the notion: buy the book - organic chemistry as a second language
 
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Yeah I disagree that there was much math in either semester of orgo. Math was like chem 2. Orgo 1 to me was significantly easier. It really comes down to studying for any other course IMO - nothing too special. Read over notes/text. Practice mechanisms/syntheses. Some things were so common sense that they didn't require much additional review.

I looked into Klein's books but didn't end up needing to use either of them. It's too time consuming to review class materials in addition to something else.
 

DrHart

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Do practice questions every day. It doesn't have to be a lot, but you've got to stick with it. Some mechanisms you'll just need to memorize... others will be very logical and you can reason it out. I enjoyed O Chem 2 more than O Chem 1.. but maybe I just got accustomed to it. Practice practice practice!
 
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mistafab

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The magic bullet for ochem is 1 hour a day, every day, the whole semester. I would also use flashcards as you approach exam day.

I got A+ in Ochem I and A in II.
 

TheBiologist

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The magic bullet for ochem is 1 hour a day, every day, the whole semester. I would also use flashcards as you approach exam day.

I got A+ in Ochem I and A in II.
this might be a matter of personal preference... I stayed away from flashcards for orgo and took a very conceptual approach to the class (frankly, despite people who say "so much memorization" it's actually a conceptual subject). got A's in both
 
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AttemptingScholar

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The magic bullet for ochem is 1 hour a day, every day, the whole semester. I would also use flashcards as you approach exam day.

I got A+ in Ochem I and A in II.
Oh thank God. My teacher last year told us to expect four hours a day for an A in OChem. I don't think he was joking, either.
 

vm26

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I'm finishing up Chem 2 this week, and 4.00ed both Chem 1 and 2 and thought both have been straight forward so far. How would I manage with Orgo this fall? Chem 2 is a lot of math and I heard Orgo is no math but just conceptual questions so whats the best strategy to 4.00 it? I have bio2 and genetics and a health science class that I'm taking alongside orgo 1 this fall.
Brute force. Give it a lot of time/energy. Flashcards, record/transcribe class notes and re-write etc. Lighten your coursework if need be (I'm assuming that Orgo is still the make or break course)
 

ChymeofPassion

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Review the lecture beforehand. Understand it. Solidify your skills during the lecture. Review after the lecture. Barely study for tests you already understand everything.

The best analogy Ive heard, is that in
In organic 1, you learn the language.
In organic 2, you are expected to translate victorian english novels into that language.
 
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drlemons

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Lots of practice problems! I just took organic 1 over the summer in a 5 week course and finished with an A+. Organic is fun if you put in the time to understand the reaction mechanisms. You'll be a pro at the chair conformation in no time.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

Govols22

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Organic Chemistry is hard for students who spend time memorizing rather than learning and understanding the "why" behind it.

The first couple months of Orgo 1 will be crucial and everything afterward that point will be relatively straightforward if you grasp the fundamentals on how electrons behave.

Practice is great of course, but I have tutored so many students who grasp one mechanism but then freak out when they see one that is slightly different, even if it's an addition of a group that bears no effect on the reaction. You aren't going to get the same compounds on your test, so that is why understanding the fundamentals and understanding the behavior is going to lead to more success than trying to whip out every possible reaction there is.
 

RYost234

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Sorry to bump an old thread...

Has anyone used Chad's Ultimate Organic Chemistry Review (ChemistryPrep) while taking Orgo?

If so, what are your thoughts on it?

I loved his review for Gen Chem 1 & 2.
 

Prometheus123

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I'm finishing up Chem 2 this week, and 4.00ed both Chem 1 and 2 and thought both have been straight forward so far. How would I manage with Orgo this fall? Chem 2 is a lot of math and I heard Orgo is no math but just conceptual questions so whats the best strategy to 4.00 it? I have bio2 and genetics and a health science class that I'm taking alongside orgo 1 this fall.
1. Understand first principles like electronegativity, energy level and stability deeply. This will help you understand and remember the massive amount of reactions you have to eventually master.

2. Do as many practice problems as possible. Start practicing early, not the weekend before the exam. There is no way around this. Do all the assigned practice problems, multiple times if possible. Do not look at the answer until you've answered the problem. Draw out the final product (as well as key intermediates and ideally the mechanism) every single time.

I got all As in all three quarters of Ochem and both Ochem labs by doing this.
 
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