June 10, 2005

Organic Study Guide

Below are some basic tips I gave my clients when I tutored organic chemistry in graduate school.

  • Make flash cards with reactions (named and types), reactants, etc.
  • Study the flash cards backwards, forwards, and shuffled. This is to help you know the reactions by their names, know the products formed from the reagents and starting materials involved.
  • Do the homework problems at least 3 to 5 times, successively.
  • Write out the mechanisms of all of the reactions in each chapter at least 3 to 5 times.
  • Whenever you come across a homework problem that doesn’t ask for the mechanism, do it anyway.
  • Study for 30 minute periods with 5 minute breaks, keeping well hydrated and nourished.
  • Go over all previous chapters (at the very least, the chapter summaries) and work on any mechanisms and/or reactions that are unclear.