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Top Five Books To Help You Master Organic Chemistry

Updated on May 25, 2010

Best Guides For Organic Chemistry Help

Millions of college students struggle each year with organic chemistry. The class is required for nearly all science majors, including pre-medicine, pre-pharmacy, pre-dental, biology, and of course, chemistry. I too struggled with it, but luckily my amigos and I got through it with the help of some supplemental texts we ordered!

Why Get An Organic Chemistry Study Guide?

Well the answer is really quite simple. Sometimes the professor fails to explain the material well enough, and a busy college student just doesn't have the time to absorb so much knowledge without any aid!!!  That is why I've compiled this list of the best organic chemistry books and learning resources to help you master this challenging course!

So without further ado, here are the...

Top Five Books To Help You Learn Organic Chemistry

Pushing Electrons: A Guide for Students of Organic Chemistry, 3rd
Pushing Electrons: A Guide for Students of Organic Chemistry, 3rd
Pushing Electrons is recommended by professors all over as THE workbook for learning organic mechanisms.

1. Pushing Electrons: A Guide for Students of Organic Chemistry

Pushing Electrons is the recommended supplement to learning the complex methods behind the subject. This book will take you through the basics of drawing organic structures: it will explain the steps behind chair flipping (aka cyclohexane conformations) and help you understand how electrons move through resonance structures.

2. Organic Chemistry I as a Second Language: Translating the Basic Concepts

Organic Chemistry as a Second Language breaks the subject up into key principles and explains them in language that "makes perfect sense."  The book also includes tips on studying more effectively and efficiently, and even provides tips for getting better grades on your next test.

Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Repeatedly ranked as one of the top textbooks on the subject by students and professors alike. This is the textbook I used.

3. Organic Chemistry Textbook by Janice Smith

Smith's textbook is one of the clearest and well written texts on the market. It has received raving reviews from bost customers on Amazon, and students in my very class. Smith provided great diagrams and lucid explanations that were incredibly helpful in explaining our professor's muddled and confusing lectures.

4. Arrow-Pushing in Organic Chemistry: An Easy Approach to Understanding Reaction Mechanisms

This book is very similar to the first, but it's a little different.  Like Pushing Electrons, Arrow-Pushing deals with resonance structures, chair conformations, and the like and it includes example problems as well.  But what is really helpful, are the many solved examples that Dr. Levy provides.  These example problems should give you an idea what to expect on your tests and quizzes, and with enough practice, you should see an improvement in your grades!

Pearson Molecular Model Set for General and Organic Chemistry
Pearson Molecular Model Set for General and Organic Chemistry
A molecular modeling kit will help you visualize complex organic structures and better understand complicated techniques.

5. A Molecular Modeling Kit

Yeah I know that this isn't a book or a study guide, but a molecular modeling kit really comes in handy when trying to learn complex organic structures, such as chair conformations.  While reading a text, a student can build and manipulate the molecular structures with their hands.  For many it is much easier to visualize a complex 3-D structure with models than it is with some 2-D drawings on paper.


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    • profile image

      Uttam Kashyap 

      4 years ago

      Really a great and splendid subject to get yourself devoted completely without any loss of concentration.... this is organic

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Molecule editor for iPad "3D Molecules Edit & Test"

      Reviewed by Ciara Ní Dhrisceoil:

      " Education in Chemistry." (Royal Society of Chemistry,)

      "As a chemistry teacher of 16-18 year olds who use iPads in the

      classroom, I'm always looking for apps that allow students to

      construct molecules with 3D visualisation. 3D molecules edit&test is

      a very effective app for this purpose ...."

      This application allows to build and manipulate 3D molecular models of

      organic and inorganic compounds. The key feature of «3D Molecules Edit

      & Test» is the "Test yourself" mode that allows learners to check

      their knowledge of the 3D structure of molecules.

      This application allows to build and manipulate 3D molecular models of

      organic and inorganic compounds. The key feature of «3D Molecules Edit

      & Test» is the "Test yourself" mode that allows learners to check

      their knowledge of the 3D structure of molecules.

      The app is also great for any high school or college student in

      chemistry courses. Professionals will also find it very useful.

      One of the key feature of 3D Molecules Edit&Test is the "Test

      yourself" mode that allows learners to check their knowledge of

      chemistry and chemical compounds. For this mode you can create your

      own correct model of molecule and send it to students. Students can

      download this molecule verification file and use it for "Test

      yourself" mode.

      3D Molecules Edit&Test allows the users to open and view molecules in

      SDF or PDB format files, for example, from NCBI's PubChem

      (, a public database of compounds or

      from RCSB Protein Data Bank (

      When you have finished building your molecule you can either open and

      save it in cloud services, like Dropbox, and third-party programs or

      sent by e-mail.


      • Building molecule model of any organic or inorganic compound using

      most of periodic table elements.

      • “Test yourself” mode to build the target chemical compounds.

      • Support of single, double and triple bonds.

      • Building molecule models of cyclic compounds.

      • Hints which provide information about what's going wrong with the

      builded molecule.

      • Visualization of Wireframe style, Stick style, Ball and Stick,

      Spacefill (CPK) models.

      • Visualization of atomic orbitals and electron effects.

      • T-shaped and «seesaw» molecular geometries support.

      • Availability of information about the bond length and chemical

      element symbols in the molecule.

      • Bond-angle optimization.

      • Saving and sending the created model by e-mail.

      • Loading, editing and saving molecule in SDF file format.

      • Loading, editing and saving molecule in PDB file format.

      • Creating, sending and opening molecule verification file.

      • Export to VRML format for builded molecule.

      • Opening the molecule file attachments directly from Mail.

      • Opening and saving created molecules in cloud services and

      third-party applications.

      The app includes tutorial how to create and delete models.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      j d march is best

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i am mad of organic chemistry...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i do no about organic chemistry

    • profile image

      pankaj verma 

      8 years ago

      Add Your chemistry is my best friend.................................i love organic chemistry......................................... it never hurts me.

    • profile image

      Andrew joke 

      8 years ago

      organic chemistry needs more concentration love it then u will know it better

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i love to sudy organic

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i like organic chemistry the most.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      my life has no meaning without organic

    • jamesbondsmate profile image


      9 years ago

      i love organic chemistry. Enjoyed it much better at university than school. Also see a organic chemistry text book by clayden..

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      When I was in college, I also encountered difficulties on reaction mechanisms, whew! It's so nice to reminisce!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Good stuff - I (strangely) enjoyed orgo in college, and after I practiced reaction mechanisms for hours, I got pretty decent at it!


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