The study of the structure, characteristics, composition, reactions, and production of carbon-containing molecules is known as organic chemistry. Carbon and hydrogen are the primary components of the vast majority of organic molecules; however, these compounds can also contain a wide variety of additional elements (e.g., nitrogen, oxygen, halogens, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur).
Organic chemistry was once restricted to the study of molecules and reaction mechanism created by living creatures; however, it has now been expanded with new concepts to encompass the study of substances manufactured by humans (e.g., plastics).
Organic chemistry is a very creative branch of chemistry that gives researchers the opportunity to generate and investigate a wide variety of compounds and molecules. Organic chemists devote the majority of their time to the creation of new compounds and the investigation of improved methods for the synthesis of existing ones.
Organic compounds can be found virtually everywhere. They are present in many modern materials thanks to their widespread use. Also, they have an essential role in the expansion of the economy and are essential to the advancement of the disciplines of biochemistry, biotechnology, and medicine.
Agricultural chemicals, coatings, cosmetics, detergents, dyestuff, food, fuel, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and rubber are just some of the products that contain organic compounds. Other places organic compounds can be found include preservatives and perfumes.
Studying organic chemistry could be quite challenging but also very interesting. Now, let look at how to pass organic chemistry courses.
How To Pass Organic Chemistry Courses
To ace organic chemistry courses, there are many steps to take. Adopting the right state of mind, finding working solution with other students, taking advantage of study groups, trying out practice questions and many other factors will enable you do well in organic chemistry.
You can watch this Tbhstudying video Tips for studying organic chemistry on YouTube to learn more.
Let's take a look at them one after the other.
Maintain a Positive Frame of Mind
You need to enter the organic chemistry class with a positive attitude even if the notion of taking it isn't something that particularly excites you, and even if you don't believe that the information will ever be relevant to the line of work that you intend to pursue. It will be much easier for you to study if you make the decision to pay attention during class time and try to absorb as much information as you can.
If you go into organic chemistry with the right mindset, you might find that it's actually quite enjoyable. If that's the case, it'll be much easier to motivate yourself to sit down and put in the effort required to learn the material and prepare ahead of exam time. You can read up on the publication What Motivates the Top-Scoring Students in Organic Chemistry? by Orgo Made Simple.
On the other hand, if you have a negative mind set, studying for organic chemistry class will be as difficult as persuading a 10-year-old child to remain still so they may get a booster shot.
Attend Class and Join A Study Group
Your professor is there to assist you in passing the course; yet, he or she is unable to do so if you are not ready the same way. You need to make sure that you are on time for your o chem class and that you take good notes, making sure to document any terms that are written on the board.
Additionally, during classroom time, you will have the opportunity to ask your instructor any questions that you might have.
In order for you to pass organic chemistry, you will need to devote some time to studying every single day either in study groups or solving practice problems. Spend some time going through your notes so that you don't forget the central concepts that were presented in the early parts of the class.
You can confirm this tip and other suggestions in Learning Tips for Students of Organic Chemistry by the Newnan Academic Advising Center University of Michigan.
You should also focus on finding solutions to as many practice questions and problems relevant to organic chemistry as you possibly can. Don't give up after you've gone through the homework and class time practice that your teacher gave you to solve! You'll discover more questions to solve in your textbook.
Participating in a study group can also assist you in developing your abilities in organic chemistry. To better understand content that you may find particularly challenging, it is recommended that you consult with your classmates. Create flashcards with your study group and test each other on fundamental concepts and the mechanisms underlying chemical reactions and functional groups.
Similarly, several educational institutions provide additional review sessions, particularly in the weeks leading up to midterms and finals. These will provide you the opportunities to further brush up your knowledge on organic chemistry, and some professors grant extra credit for attending, which could be exactly what you need in your endeavors on how to pass organic chemistry.
Don't Fall Behind
As an undergraduate, o chem will likely be the class with the most rigorous workload for you to manage.
If you fall behind, it will be quite difficult for you to catch up. Make a plan for yourself and do some organic chemistry each day, and stick to it.
Making effective use of your most valuable resource—time—is an essential component of avoiding getting behind. You would have sufficient time to comprehend and become an expert in each and every topic and idea that is covered in organic chemistry in an ideal world.
Time is the most valuable resource at your disposal. Make smart use of it by applying this principle of prioritization.
For instance, if you have a short amount of time left before your exams, rather than spending three hours trying to memorize the periodic table that might only be represented by one problem on the exam, you should use that time to master the important concepts in organic synthesis that will be represented on half of the exams.
To put it another way, try to apply what you learn in your studies to real life concepts.
After a successful first test, many students make the mistake of letting their accomplishments cause them to become complacent.
Don't let yourself get tricked by this ruse. The first exam you take is almost always going to be the easiest exam you take the whole semester.
The study of organic chemistry is more like a marathon than a sprint.
Put More Emphasis on Comprehending Rather Than Learning By Rote
In your organic chemistry classes, you will probably observe hundreds of different chemical reactions. It is quite unlikely that you will ever be able to remember all of them, therefore you shouldn't waste your time trying to commit any of them other than the most significant ones to memory.
Instead, you should be concentrating on the fundamental ideas that underlie the most typical reactions. Because the majority of reactions correspond to one of only a few patterns, having a solid understanding of these patterns and being able to apply them effectively is a significantly more effective method for getting problems right.
If, on the other hand, you have a good memory, you can still make use of this information to your benefit. You can try learning the reactions by heart by utilizing flashcards on which you have written the basic reaction processes.
You will still need to be able to modify your knowledge whenever you come across reactions that you haven't seen before, but you can utilize the fundamental principles to direct you in the direction of the correct mechanism.
It is via repetition that one can significantly improve their understanding of organic chemistry. While you are studying, get a whiteboard and keep drawing the same things over and again.
Don't believe the bunk that says asking a question would make you appear ignorant in front of other people. To say that organic chemistry is a difficult field to study is something of an understatement. After a couple of weeks, more than half of the students in your class will be completely confused and will have no idea what the professors are talking about.
Therefore, the fact that you do not comprehend a concept here or there is a relatively minor problem, and there is certainly no reason for you to feel bad about it.
It may come as a surprise to hear this, but professors appreciate it when their pupils ask questions. The answers that students give to their instructors' questions help them determine which subjects require additional clarification and how they may improve their classes.
Again, asking questions lets your professor know that you're actively engaged in the class. If, at the end of the semester, your grade is hovering near a grade cutoff, your instructor may decide to give you the old heave-ho to the higher rung because you demonstrated in class that you put in some effort. This is because you showed your professor that you were actively engaged in the class, you enjoyed their teachings and you also asked questions.
You can learn how to and why you should ask questions during lectures in The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom by Edutopia.
Prepare Ahead of Exam
Exams can be worked through in a straightforward and orderly fashion if you just begin with the first question and move on to the next one in the list. However, unlike other subjects, time is frequently a matter of concern in organic chemistry.
Students in organic chemistry often leave exams feeling defeated since they couldn't complete the topic. If you want to maximize your time, rapidly skim the test when you first get it and then knock through the simple questions. Once you've finished with the simple ones, you can move on to the more difficult ones. Don't spend 20 minutes struggling with that mountain of a question on page two, just to have time run out with easy questions on the last page left unsolved.
You can read more on these assertions in How to survive organic chemistry and not fail o-chem exams by CPP.edu.
Having done so many practice problems should have prepared you to work quickly and effectively throughout the exam. Still, test-takers with little experience might do themselves no favors by developing bad habits. Review the test thoroughly before beginning, and devote extra time to the questions you know how to solve.
Our blog How To Do Homework Faster may also help you.
If you become stuck or encounter a particularly challenging problem, it's okay to move on. Be sure to finish the exam first, and then double-check your work if you have time. Don't waste time answering questions that aren't asked by properly reading the instructions beforehand. Keep your answer short and move on if you are asked for an explanation.
You may always go back and fill in the blanks if time permits, but solving every issue at hand should take precedence over crafting the perfect sentence.
You should study the exam questions carefully. Don't presume that you understand a professor's instructions. Although this piece of advice may seem obvious, many students fail to read the questions attentively and hence either do not answer all or part of the question, resulting in a lower grade. You need every possible point, so don't waste them on an oversight like failing to read the question.
Read Outside of Class
Getting a good grade in organic chemistry requires consistent, daily study. It's crucial to review your notes so you don't forget the course material. You should put in as much time as possible addressing organic chemistry problems. Keep going after you've finished the problems your teacher gave you! Your textbook likely has supplementary questions.
You can improve your grasp of organic chemistry by participating in a study group. Collaborate with your classmates to better understand material that is proving challenging. Construct a deck of flashcards to test one another's knowledge of chemical jargon and reaction mechanisms.
Midterm and final review sessions are common times for schools to hold extra review sessions. If you're struggling to get a passing grade in organic chemistry, taking advantage of the additional credit offered by some of your professors might be the best option.
Use the Internet to Your Advantage and Look for Advice
Use the internet as a supplement to your current efforts to complete organic chemistry course material. Check out online organic chemistry lectures videos or course materials to expand your memory on key principles you should be able to apply throughout the semester.
These classes not only feature short, illustrated films, but also interactive quizzes that may be used to test your comprehension. Furthermore, you will have access to professional organic chemists that can assist you.
You can download this course material Freshman Organic Chemistry I by Yale University for a start.
Ultiblog lists the best organic chemistry textbooks for beginners in the Best Products category The Best Ten Organic For Dummies Products.
Why Is Organic Chemistry So Hard?
Many of the most important classes in college and even senior year of high school focus on teaching students how to generalize the knowledge they gain to new contexts. Extending general rules from one context to another is the basis for prediction in many scientific disciplines, including organic chemistry. Even if that's a simplification of a complex issue, it serves its purpose.
Understanding processes, reactions, nomenclature, and molecular theory are crucial to the study of organic chem. There is an overwhelming quantity of information like this to take in. It's true that there are general principles that apply to these interactions, but there aren't that many formulas that can be employed to account for them all.
The focus is on imagining organic molecules in three dimensions. Flip the molecule in the box and see if you can visualize it in the same orientation. This substance (acetone, with the hydrogens removed) can help you visualize the molecule in three dimensions. Please don't feel isolated. That's a problem for the majority of people, too.
These are a few of the many reasons why organic chemistry as confirmed by The Cold Wire in Why Is Organic Chemistry So Hard? (Top 10 Reasons):
- Different from any other introductory science course
- Symbols and visuals play an important role in its functioning (rather than language).
- It's tough to wrap one's head around (with many reaction mechanisms similar and challenging to differentiate).
- The amount of uncertainty is little (most tests are not multiple choice in format).
Organic chemistry is not rocket science. With the right mindset, practice, and private studies, you'll be able to learn it effectively and excel in the exams.
Is organic chemistry difficult?
Although organic chemistry may seem a bit complicated, it isn't impossible to pass. Constant practice will enable you to succeed in the course.