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OH NO, I am not allowed a calculator on the MCAT!!! If you reading this you have probably completed all the general requirements to take the MCAT. Thinking back over your semesters of chemistry you would of used your calculator a lot to complete the math problems ranging from the basics of stoichiometry to the complex problems of solving the pH of a weak acid. You may be wondering how on Earth are you expected to solve logs and square roots without a calculator. Bear in mind its a multiple choice exam so the math is actually done for you, so all you have to do is approximate and pick the best answer. As a chemistry tutor I would like to offer some of my tips for getting through the mathematical problems of the exam. If you have not studied general chemistry for several years I suggest you get really familiar with the different types of calculation problems. The easiest way of doing this is to pick up a text book and work through the different types of problems. Initially... read more

Congratulations, you have made it through two semesters of general chemistry, next stop organic chemistry. You are worried, you have heard that organic chemistry is really hard and you are wondering what you really need to know from general chemistry to make things easier. The good news for some is most of the math is not required in o-chem. There are many concepts that carry forward from general chemistry to organic chemistry, unfortunately most of these concepts were introduced in the first semester of general chemistry and many students have forgotten them by the time they take O-chem. Since very little time will be spent on these topics I feel it is important that all students refresh themselves on them before entering the course. This will help you understand what your Professor is talking about when he/she is introducing more difficult topics. These are the areas I recommend you review: 1. Lewis structures. These are the diagrams that show the bonding between... read more

Students often ask why is Organic Chemistry so hard? Often they have friends who, although are usually all round A students, have failed organic chemistry. This is a subject like no other, it is not a subject that a student can simply learn the facts and quote them back in an exam. Students often think if they memorize all the facts they can not go wrong. I also get asked why is there so much to remember? The reality is different, if you want to do well in Organic Chemistry, you will have to learn to become a problem solver. Yes, there are rules to learn to solve the problems but simply learning the rules will not guarantee success. Organic Chemistry is a difficult subject that needs to be practised. To make topics even more challenging you very often have to think backwards to solve problems. For example, you may be given a final product and asked for reagents and reactions to get to that product. Other times, you may be given analysis and asked how to interpret... read more

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