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How to Get an A in Organic Chemistry
Which Organic Chemistry Class Was Harder For You?
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.
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.
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.