Starting Early in Organic Chemistry

I think, by far, the most important part of being successful in organic chemistry is the ability to stay on top of the material. I'll start with this piece of advice for those you who are planning on completing both sections.
Make flashcards.
I know, I know, it's advice that everyone gives for every type of memorization, but I think that it especially helps with the amount of new reactions that you will see, especially in orgo II.
My recipe for the cards is to make cards that have the reactant(s) and the reagent(s) with a question mark where the product(s) would be.
e.g. CH3CHCHCH3 -----Br2----->  ?  
This way will help you to recognize which reagents do what.
The other style is to leave out the reagents.
e.g. CH3CHCHCH3 -----?-----> CH3CHBrCHBrCH3
(You'll want to draw them out probably, but this software doesn't allow that)
If you look at these each morning and evening for 3 minutes, I GUARANTEE you will have them memorized by the end of the year. The way that I go through them is that if I get it right on the first try, then I lay that card off to the side, and if I get it wrong, I put it somewhere into the pile, not the end though, you have to mix them up. If one is giving you special trouble, Wikipedia it and try to really understand it (I would suggest that for all reactions, but I am realistic in the amount of time you have to dedicate to the subject).
Remember to shuffle the deck of cards each day, so you are not just memorizing them in relation to each other. Also, to lighten the load, if you get one right for like 5 days in a row, you can set it aside and maybe just refresh once per week!
Best of luck with your studies!


Robert S.

Enthusiastic 3M Organic Chemistry PhD Who Wants to Help You Succeed!

200+ hours
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