ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Get an A in Organic Chemistry

Updated on May 23, 2012

Which Organic Chemistry Class Was Harder For You?

See results

Organic chemistry: the bane of many college students' existences. However, fear not! It is possible to succeed in this difficult course and its sequel. With a little hard work and dedication, you can rise from your battle with organic chemistry as the victor. Here I will share with you a few tricks and techniques that really work and can aid you on your way to success.

Organic Chemistry I

The best advice I can give you to tackle Organic Chemistry I is to get your hands on a copy of Organic Chemistry I As a Second Language: First Semester Topics by David R. Klein. This book contains clear explanations of nearly everything taught in Orgo I, as well as practice problems and answers. Plus it isn't an enormous textbook, making it much easier to read! This book nearly guarantees an A in Orgo I, without the need for excessive studying or long nights spent reading an incomprehensible textbook.

Distillation apparatus
Distillation apparatus

Organic Chemistry II

Organic Chemistry II was much more difficult for me than Orgo I, but it was not unmanageable. I did not purchase the Organic Chemistry II As a Second Language book, so I am unable to tell you if that would have helped. If it was as useful as the first one, I suspect it would have been useful. In any case, there are other ways to approach Orgo that can still lead to an A. It is very important to attend class every day. The textbook is often incapable of matching the teaching ability of a trained professional, not to mention the professor knows the material that will be on exams. Take copious notes, which isn't hard to do since the whole class is about memorizing reactions. It helps if you take the time to determine how the reactions work because a large number are very similar. There are always going to be those that you will have to straight up memorize, but many can be more easily remembered if you take the time to figure out general techniques and mechanisms. It can also be very helpful to work through previous exams if you can obtain these because it shows the types of problems the professor typically uses and allows for extra practice.

My flashcards for both semesters of Organic Chemistry (Orgo I on the left and Orgo II on the right); notice that there are many, many more flashcards for Orgo II
My flashcards for both semesters of Organic Chemistry (Orgo I on the left and Orgo II on the right); notice that there are many, many more flashcards for Orgo II


Making flashcards is a must. It is best to make flashcards as you go along so you are not overwhelmed by the number you need to create near the end. The act of writing the flashcards is helpful in itself in the memorizing process, but going over the cards a few times can be exceptionally useful for remembering the material later on. The pile of flashcards by the end of the course can look a bit overwhelming, so try working through sections instead of the whole pile at once.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      3 years ago from Ljubljana

      It's interesting to see how many students find Organic Chemistry I harder than II (more than half), but there is logic behind that. It brings many new ideas and if the approach of the professor or the reader doesn't suit you, you will be in trouble. I also had MUCH more problems with first installment of Organic Chemistry, but despite that fact I decided to continue studies with specialization in this area, not in Inorganic, Analytical or Biochemistry which were other options (o.k., there was Physical Chemistry too, but this was out of the question for me).

      I never regretted this decision. Organic Chemistry is in my opinion the most creative part of natural sciences and when you master the basic ideas, whole universe of opportunities opens for you. I learned them by Super Memo method which helped me to memorize thousands of reactions in few weeks and flash cards were among my best friends for months, until everything clicked.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)