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rythmatical

what is the best way to study organic chemistry?

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should i be focusing more on the textbook or just rely on the lecture notes?

how do i handle the workload, or i rewrite the lecture notes after class or just make my own textbook notes / do practice problems

 

confused, please help :(

 

Go to all classes. REVIEW NOTES RIGHT AFTER CLASS..takes 10 mintues (As opposed to an hour if you wait a few weeks).

 

You'll fail organic chem if you memorize. It's about how many questions you do. If there are assigned questions do them.

 

What I did was go through each chapter and finish the IN-chapter problems as I read and if I didn't feel comfortable with chapter material yet I would do extra questions at the end of the chapter.

 

Try to read the chapters before class.

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Practice. Practice. and Practice some more.

 

I spent a week doing problem sets assigned by my prof (they were really long and sometimes tedious) for each midterm and guess what? The exam felt like a review (and I did really good). :)

 

Well, you did really well.:)

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Three words:

 

Brute force memorization.

 

Disagree strongly.

 

To do well in organic chemistry, you need to understand why the electrons are doing the things that they are doing and when and why they are doing it. That requires a lot of sample problems and a bit of reading the textbook. Brute-force memorization in organic chem is a guaranteed C.

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I think it depends on how far you get into it. What makes organic hard is that there are a lot of mechanisms to remember and then as you get to more advanced levels you have to problem solve based on your knowledge of them.

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First semester, read it, learned it, understood it by doing practice problems on my own.

 

Second semester sat down and memorized a list of a couple hundred factoids over 2 days before the exam.

 

So it depends on what you're learning. And whether you have a good memory.

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Dont just do problems. Make sure you can write out ALL of the mechanisms by heart by doing so over and over again (well this applies more for second semester, but...). The only way to be able to do them perfectly by heart is to actually understand what is happening, so that it seems logical. So by writing them out again and again, you are learning the deeper basis of the material. Once you have these tools down, and knowing how and why electrons etc are moving, problems seem like a piece of cake.

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Dont just do problems. Make sure you can write out ALL of the mechanisms by heart by doing so over and over again (well this applies more for second semester, but...). The only way to be able to do them perfectly by heart is to actually understand what is happening, so that it seems logical. So by writing them out again and again, you are learning the deeper basis of the material. Once you have these tools down, and knowing how and why electrons etc are moving, problems seem like a piece of cake.

 

benefit of doing it this way is that you are actually learning in a way that can apply to new (to you) reactions are on the test... and even more important your understanding is easier to maintain and then apply in biochem, and other classes and throughout life (in science)... haven't had any use for almost any chemistry in medicine outside of basic concepts... Most doctors can't diagnose or treat on that level haha

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Dont just do problems. Make sure you can write out ALL of the mechanisms by heart by doing so over and over again (well this applies more for second semester, but...). The only way to be able to do them perfectly by heart is to actually understand what is happening, so that it seems logical. So by writing them out again and again, you are learning the deeper basis of the material. Once you have these tools down, and knowing how and why electrons etc are moving, problems seem like a piece of cake.

 

X2 on this. You have to understand what is going on. You have to not only know what the product of the reaction is but how you get there and why the reactants interact as they do. If you know that you can get 90% and kill the MCAT orgo sections.

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Practice synthesis problems. Again and again.Memorization is just the first step.

Reading about synthesis in literature (Journals) is good: JOC, for instance.

What can you make with X

How do you make Y

Start with reagents, start with products. So, apply the knowledge you memorize to problem solving.

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Organic chemistry was the hardest lesson for me, I couldn’t memorize those formulas at once. So I repeated them again and again. However now it is not hard because lots of online tutorials are available in the internet, so visit to this link learnerstv.com.

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1) To memorize reactions/mechanisms, try drawing them out (don't just look at them in your notes). Get out some scrap paper, and scribble all over it with reactions/mechanisms.

There may be a scientific explanation behind this (which I don't know), but the action of drawing things out will speed up the memorization process. Sometimes it's quite scary how much stuff can be memorized like this.

 

2) There are many levels of "memorization"

a) Some people can look at a reaction/mechanism and say "Oh right, I know that one." This isn't enough. This is just recognition, not memorization.

B) Some people can look at a prompt like "conversion of alcohols to alkyl halides" and from that, recall all the relevant reactions/mechanisms. This is still not enough.

c) Some people can wake up in the morning, and off the top of their head, recall the list of reactions/mechanisms they know. They don't need something to trigger their memory. Aim for this level of memorization.

As an analogy, imagine the difference between: a) being able to recognize your classmates' faces, B) being able to recognize your classmates' names, and c) being able to close your eyes and list out your classmates' names & visualize their faces.

 

3) For the mechanisms, memorize them well, but also try to infuse as much "logic" into them as you can. Won't always find that logic, but do your best.

 

As a final test, get out a piece of paper and teach the material back to yourself, without looking at the course syllabus. You might miss a reaction here or there, despite "knowing" them--that means you didn't memorize it well enough. I might know very well about reaction X when somebody asks me to draw it out, but if I'm teaching the course back to myself and forgot to mention reaction X, then obviously I didn't "memorize" it truly, because I didn't recall it from scratch--I needed somebody to trigger that memory for me.

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1) To memorize reactions/mechanisms, try drawing them out (don't just look at them in your notes). Get out some scrap paper, and scribble all over it with reactions/mechanisms.

There may be a scientific explanation behind this (which I don't know), but the action of drawing things out will speed up the memorization process. Sometimes it's quite scary how much stuff can be memorized like this.

 

2) There are many levels of "memorization"

a) Some people can look at a reaction/mechanism and say "Oh right, I know that one." This isn't enough. This is just recognition, not memorization.

B) Some people can look at a prompt like "conversion of alcohols to alkyl halides" and from that, recall all the relevant reactions/mechanisms. This is still not enough.

c) Some people can wake up in the morning, and off the top of their head, recall the list of reactions/mechanisms they know. They don't need something to trigger their memory. Aim for this level of memorization.

 

As an analogy, imagine the difference between: a) being able to recognize your classmates' faces, B) being able to recognize your classmates' names, and c) being able to close your eyes and list out your classmates' names & visualize their faces.

 

3) For the mechanisms, memorize them well, but also try to infuse as much "logic" into them as you can. Won't always find that logic, but do your best.

 

 

As a final test, get out a piece of paper and teach the material back to yourself, without looking at the course syllabus. You might miss a reaction here or there, despite "knowing" them--that means you didn't memorize it well enough. I might know very well about reaction X when somebody asks me to draw it out, but if I'm teaching the course back to myself and forgot to mention reaction X, then obviously I didn't "memorize" it truly, because I didn't recall it from scratch--I needed somebody to trigger that memory for me.

 

You give great advice, welcome aboard m'kind fellow.

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Three words:

 

Brute force memorization.

 

lolno

 

 

Understand basic principles. Why are the electrons moving where they are. Attacks on carbonyls occur where they do because the antibonding orbital of the C-O pi bond is there and because carbon takes on a slightly positive character. Halogens are electron withdrawing substituents on a ring but direct o,p because their inductive effect is strong enough to actually beat their resonance effect. That sort of stuff.

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1) To memorize reactions/mechanisms, try drawing them out (don't just look at them in your notes). Get out some scrap paper, and scribble all over it with reactions/mechanisms.

There may be a scientific explanation behind this (which I don't know), but the action of drawing things out will speed up the memorization process. Sometimes it's quite scary how much stuff can be memorized like this.

 

2) There are many levels of "memorization"

a) Some people can look at a reaction/mechanism and say "Oh right, I know that one." This isn't enough. This is just recognition, not memorization.

B) Some people can look at a prompt like "conversion of alcohols to alkyl halides" and from that, recall all the relevant reactions/mechanisms. This is still not enough.

c) Some people can wake up in the morning, and off the top of their head, recall the list of reactions/mechanisms they know. They don't need something to trigger their memory. Aim for this level of memorization.

As an analogy, imagine the difference between: a) being able to recognize your classmates' faces, B) being able to recognize your classmates' names, and c) being able to close your eyes and list out your classmates' names & visualize their faces.

 

3) For the mechanisms, memorize them well, but also try to infuse as much "logic" into them as you can. Won't always find that logic, but do your best.

 

As a final test, get out a piece of paper and teach the material back to yourself, without looking at the course syllabus. You might miss a reaction here or there, despite "knowing" them--that means you didn't memorize it well enough. I might know very well about reaction X when somebody asks me to draw it out, but if I'm teaching the course back to myself and forgot to mention reaction X, then obviously I didn't "memorize" it truly, because I didn't recall it from scratch--I needed somebody to trigger that memory for me.

 

^^ this!

10chats

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