Online Organic Chemistry Tutoring

by James

One-on-One  Coaching Sessions Will Help You Master Organic Chemistry

NOTE – I am not currently accepting new students.  I can possibly refer you to other online organic chemistry tutors if you are interested, use the Feedback page above or the form below:

Interested in organic chemistry tutoring? Click here to fill out my form.

Maybe you’ve been thinking that  you need to talk to someone about your organic chemistry course. You need it for your degree, or need to do well on it for applying to medical or dental school.

Ideally, you’d like to talk to your professor to clear some concepts up, but so would the other 300 students in your class who show up during his office hours. And it’s not like your TA has a lot of time for you either.

Sound like your situation?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just call up your professor at a time of your convenience, from your comfortable chair at home, while drinking coffee, and ask your prof whatever question is on your mind? That’s probably not going to happen,  but you can have the next best thing. You can set up a meeting on Skype with me.

I am a Ph.D. organic chemist with over 10 years of hard-core lab experience (Bio).  I trained as an organic chemist with some of the best in the world, taught the course at a university level, and over the past year I’ve spent almost 2000 hours coaching organic chemistry online, to students in your exact situation – from community colleges up through graduate school.

How it works (quick version)

  • download Skype, if you haven’t already. Use your computer as a telephone, make free phone calls. 500+ million users worldwide.
  • fill out one of the contact forms (above or below) and tell me about your goals for the course – we can set up a time.
  •  I’ll send you a Paypal invoice you can pay before the session using either Paypal or credit card. My rate is $150/hr. 
  • add me as a contact – I’m “writechem”
  • have the session! I’ve started using a Bamboo writing tablet instead of the hand-held whiteboard – with screen sharing, you’ll see everything I draw on your computer. After the session I’ll email you the files.

From failing to “getting by”

Jessica needed to pass organic chemistry to get into her master’s program, but was doing poorly on her exams. We had some marathon sessions that helped her recognize the key reactions and concepts:

  ”I took an accelerated organic chemistry class that was really tough. James was flexible and available at odd hours when I needed him and he easily and simply explained complex problems for me to understand much more easily. He helped me to pass my course! Thanks, James! Now I’m accepted into my program for my Masters!” - JN, Los Angeles.

 Keenan needed to pass organic chemistry for his laboratory technician college program. We met every two days for several weeks, condensing and summarizing the course material. This made his mom happy.

 ”Hi James. I just want to let you know that Keenan received an 85.5% on his final exam and received a B- for the final class grade. I consider that a good success and thank you for helping him obtain it. He would never have passed the class without your huge assistance.” – MB, Washington

 Eileen just wanted to pass. She ended up doing better than that.

“I got a B! I got a B! I got a B!!!!!!! :-) Thank you so much for all of your help. This would not have happened without you!!!” – EO, NJ

 Sally wanted a B too. And she got it!

“So I got back my test and got a 58% on it, but the average was a 53%….so in the end…wait for it…..I GOT A B IN ORGO!!!  I am oh so happy and am so thankful for your tutoring. It really helped me understand the material in a different way that my teacher couldn’t provide for me. I definitely am planning on doing this with you next semester (but earlier) for orgo 2. ” SK, Maryland

Lauren was in trouble: she’d failed her previous organic chemistry exam and needed to pass it in order to get her degree. She worked really hard on learning the material, and we had sessions a few times a week for a month:

“I needed to re-take my organic chemistry exam and only had a month to study. James taught me all the material for my course I needed to know. He made everything very clear for me to understand, and because of all his help I ended up getting a 97 on my exam! I would highly recommend!!!”  - LK, Israel.

Jake had a funny way of expressing his gratitude:

“Thank you for all the help, I would have been more lost than Chuck Norris showing up for a physical therapy session had it not been for you.”  - JK, TN.

PK had a good grasp of the key concepts but they weren’t reflected in her grades. A few sessions (and a LOT of work on her end) turned her semester around:

“I just thought I’d let you know that I received an 85 as a final mark in Organic Chemistry II. I want to thank you sincerely for all the help you gave me in our tutoring sessions…I still can’t quite believe I went from a mark of 61 to an 85, but I know a big part of it is due to your help. Thank you!!” – PK, Toronto

Maria went from being totally lost to pretty much not needing me anymore. By the end of our sessions she could navigate tough problems on her own.

“After being away from school for about 4 years, I had forgotten basic organic chemistry concepts. I contacted  James to help me to do mechanism problems for an advance organic chemistry class. Each section we worked the problems together and the next day James sent me a review with the main points covered.   I found very helpful to use the reviews to do the assignments and to study for the exams.  With James’ tutorial sections I was able to pass the course.”  - MS, Delaware.

From “getting by” to excelling

Michael was in a tough program at NYU and wanted A’s for applying to med school. He worked really hard by himself, but I helped him navigate the rough parts.

“I was seriously struggling with some of the earlier material.   James was able to really help me breakdown the course into smaller more manageable pieces. With James’ help I was able to raise my first semester grade to an A- and get an A second semester.  I couldn’t have done it without him.”  - MD, NYC

 Anne was taking a course from a legendarily tough prof in New York and her grades weren’t where she wanted them to be, even though she was studying harder than ever.

“THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Honestly, I really can’t thank you enough. I got a 77 on my exam which ends up being an A minus. It’s only 5 points from an A AND it’s 4 points higher than my last exam. Although that might not seem like a lot, this exam was considered by many supposed to be the hardest one!!! I really really really could not have done this without your help. I felt so much more confident going into the exam than I have in a long time. ” – AT, NYC

 Rachel got a 54 on her previous Org 2 exam and knew she needed to turn things around. She did a lot of work on her own, and we went over a ton of course material – mostly old exams from the same professor (the best way to prepare, bar none)

 ”I just got my grade back from my final. I got a 166/200 which is equivalent to an 83 without a curve.  Thank you for all your help. I could not have done it without you!”-RM, Maryland

 Tiffany was so focused  and disciplined that she barely needed me, but she’d call from time to time when she wanted to go over some of the tougher questions in her challenging Org 2 course:

“Great news! I talked to the prof today and he said that I didn’t even need a regrade. turns out i was underestimating my grade anyways.  Got a solid A in the class. Thank you for your help this semester!!” – TC, Los Angeles

 Matt worked his BUTT off doing problems on his own, but I helped show him a few useful tricks.

 ”I got my test back and i got a 97!!! We are well through our next chapter now and i was wondering when you would be available to meet up again. Thank you for everything i couldn’t have done it without you” – Matt, NY

Matt got a 100 on his subsequent exam and 95 on the next one. These results are NOT typical, and I can’t take credit for them… but they always make a coach feel good.

Logan worked hard too!

Dr. James is a great teacher. He helped me achieve my highest grade in my undergraduate studies (100/A top grade out of 200 students!!!!!) The skype tutoring sessions were awesome and very interactive. Dr. James would stop what he was doing while on vacation and help me out via skype. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher. If you have troubles with organic chemistry, most do, I would not hesitate to ask for Dr. James help! – Logan Sobiesk

I also work with chemistry majors and graduate students on advanced material. From going over journal articles, through experimental design and troubleshooting, to NMR analysis… if it involves organic chemistry, we can talk about it!

Mastering organic chemistry


Warning:  there is no magic secret. 

All the students I quoted had one thing in common: they worked a TON off on their own, doing problems, writing out mechanisms, and reading. And to be honest, there are other students I’ve had who’ve worked hard but haven’t been able to get that elusive grade. To use a football analogy:  I’m a coach. I can help you improve your game, develop your skills, and help you get unstuck, but at the end of the day, you have the ball, and it’s ultimately up to you to drive it down the field to score. 

How it works (longer version)

Online tutoring might not be the first tutoring option that comes to mind, but both myself and the students I work with find it works surprisingly well and is very convenient. You can “meet” with me wherever your computer is, and at any time that is convenient for you. The students I work with seem to really appreciate that they don’t have to go anywhere to meet with me and that I am easy to get ahold of. I tutor using a webcam and my tablet, and besides Skype there is no extra fussy software for you to download. You don’t need a web cam either.

As your personal organic chemistry coach, you’ll get the feedback, guidance, and accountability you’ll find extremely valuable in helping to get the most out of your course. You’ll also have access to my collection of useful supplementary materials (study sheets, summaries, exam collections) and even custom-made practice exams and study sheets if you wish. Depending on your preference, we can spend time engaged in activities such as:

  • going over your tests/quizzes and assess your strengths and weaknesses
  • developing a study program to master the core skills you need for success in the course.
  • solidifying your understanding of key concepts
  • preparing for important exams

After each session, you’ll get files (JPEGs) of the whiteboard slides. Here’s a montage of 4 different sample slides:

You don’t need a webcam. It’s fine to do one-way video chat if you like. You’ll receive a video feed from me, and you’ll see the drawings through the whiteboard. If you want to work on specific problems from your course, just send a PDF or even a picture from your phone. My goal will be to help you progress from being terrified of organic chemistry to seeing the underlying logic, and to reach a level where you approach your exams with quiet confidence instead of dread.

Group sessions are OK: I can work with 2 or more people at once, my only request is that one person be solely responsible for payment. The rate is the same.

What it costs

I only tutor organic chemistry, so you can be confident that I will be able to answer any question you come to me with. Given that, there’s a higher level of service you get with me as opposed to a peer or part-time tutor. I have extensive experience in helping students obtain results (thousands of hours) and my rate is accordingly high ($150/hr). However,  if there are problems with bandwidth or if something goes wrong I will refund your purchase.

At the end of each session, I will email a copy of all the files we work on to you as JPGs.

“Working with James was a true pleasure. He was instrumental in helping me conquer Organic Chemistry and appreciate the material. I work full-time and was taking the course at night, thus the flexibility of the online tutoring was extremely convenient. I would highly recommend James – he certainly taught me more about Organic than my class instructor.” -Mike D., Virginia

Interested in organic chemistry tutoring? Please fill out my form.

Wait! Interested in General Chemistry Tutoring Instead? Fill out this form!

Note: For the record, I don’t do graded homework (e.g. OWL’s), I don’t do graded assignments, and I definitely don’t do  take-home exams. Don’t waste your time by asking about these items. 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rockeven Desir January 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I need to pass this class for med school, I just took my first organic chemisty II quiz about subsittuiton and I got a 6/10, and this unacceptable for me. I was wondering if I can get a tutor session about elimination reactions, I want to know it inside and out..


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