Organic Chem Study Tips

How Esther Bounced Back From a “C” To Get A’s In Organic Chemistry 1 And 2

October 8, 2014

The importance of attitude The student who is the subject of today’s success story, Esther,  didn’t start off doing well in organic chemistry. Actually, she says that the first time she took organic, she got a C. This is because she believed that her NOT doing well was almost inevitable. Esther: “I am not going to [...]

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How Concepts Build Up In Org 2

September 9, 2014

OK. Having looked at the Org 1 Concept Map, let’s ask the next logical question: what does a typical Org 2 course look like? One general observation: the way functional groups are covered in your typical two-semester organic chemistry course generally follows the oxidation ladder. Look at the progression:  alkanes (low oxidation state) first, then [...]

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How Helena Aced Organic Chemistry

How Helena Aced Organic Chemistry

August 28, 2014

How Helena Got 93 In Organic Chemistry An Australian reader, Helena, recently wrote to say she’d earned a 93 in her organic chemistry class as part of her course requirements as a biology major.  Here’s how she described her background: I’m a “mature age” student. The last time I studied chemistry was in high school twenty [...]

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How To Apply Memory Techniques In Learning Organic Chemistry

How To Apply Memory Techniques In Learning Organic Chemistry

March 10, 2014

In the last post we talked about how having a great memory is no guarantee of doing well on many types of organic chemistry exams. As an example I shared the story of one reader, Hussain, who’s developed the ability to memorize an entire deck of cards in just a few minutes, but got a [...]

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How Much Does Having A Great Memory Matter?

How Much Does Having A Great Memory Matter?

February 28, 2014

I recently heard from a reader, Hussain, who told me that he’d been working on memory techniques that allowed him to memorize a deck of 52 cards in just a few minutes. Inspired by this awesome story,  last week I asked my readers how much would it mean to them to have a great memory. [...]

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Success Stories: How Corina Got The The “Hard” Professor – And Got An A+ Anyway

Success Stories: How Corina Got The The “Hard” Professor – And Got An A+ Anyway

February 5, 2014

Does your school have that one “hard” organic chemistry instructor that most students try to avoid? Today’s success story comes from Corina, a student in Texas who got assigned the most challenging instructor and made the best of it – getting an A+ in her class. I asked her to explain some of the details [...]

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Success Stories: How Kari Went From C– to B+

Success Stories: How Kari Went From C– to B+

January 22, 2014

In this week’s success story, reader Kari writes in from a large university in Minnesota, saying, “I really underestimated the power of group study until the end of the semester. I could not figure out what I was doing wrong in studying during the bulk of the semester, until I found out how much getting [...]

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Success Stories: How Zach Aced Organic Chemistry 1

Success Stories: How Zach Aced Organic Chemistry 1

January 16, 2014

With the first semester over, I recently asked my readers if they could share their stories of how they succeeded [or even failed in] organic chemistry. In the first of a series of posts, I’ll share the response from Zach, who reports earning an A in organic chemistry 1 at a prestigious Ivy League university [...]

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The Best Way To Spend Your First Two Weeks In Organic Chem

September 4, 2013

  Advice on some topics on the internet can be so laughably bad. One example that immediately comes to mind is finding a job. How many times have you heard people say the same old tired advice –  “Network!” “Update your resume!” “Use social media!”    Another, I’m sorry to say, is organic chemistry. Here’s [...]

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Organic Chemistry For the MCAT

Organic Chemistry For the MCAT

August 28, 2013

Many students taking organic chemistry one day plan to write the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). A common question students have for me is what type of thinking is required in order to do well on this exam. I plead ignorance, so to help educate myself and others I am happy to present an expert [...]

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