Organic Chemistry Practice Problems at Michigan State University

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Organic chemistry | Science | Khan Academy

Going to class is also an efficient use of your time, because a good professor does a better job of explaining organic chemistry than a textbook can. In other words, an hour in class is worth two on your own. Of course, the time you spend in class will be much more fruitful if you’ve read the textbook going to class. Sitting in class and brainlessly copying notes off the chalkboard without having a clue of what your professor is talking about is a waste of your time. So, reading your textbook beforehand will allow you to get the most out of your time in class. Class time is also a good time to ask questions about concepts you had difficulty understanding when you read the book.

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One trap that many students fall into is getting comfortable after they do well on the first exam. Don’t fall for this trap. The first exam is quite often the easiest exam you’ll take all semester. Organic chemistry is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to pace yourself, so set aside a little bit of time each day when you do organic chemistry come rain, shine, or big frat party — and don’t let up.

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For access to the full system content, please get in touch with your local Wiley representative or sign up through as they are currently the exclusive distributor of Reaction Explorer for higher-education organic chemistry courses.

Methods in Organic Synthesis - Royal Society of Chemistry


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Organic chemistry has a reputation for being a challenging course. But here’s the thing that’s often not mentioned: Organic chemistry is a subject that anyone can ace. Doing well, though, requires working not only hard but also efficiently. Here are ten practical tips on how to study as efficiently as possible so you can do well in the class.

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Learning organic chemistry is not a passive task. You can’t just read the book and expect to soak up the material, like water into a sponge (although some students have tried using the textbook as a pillow, just in case). You have to actively engage yourself, working the problems in the text of the chapters as you go along, underlining key passages (don’t worry about marring your book), and working the problems at the ends of the chapters. Some students outline the chapter as they putter through it, emphasizing all the critical ideas that can be used while simultaneously making a crib sheet for when they prep for an exam.

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Don’t fall for that claptrap that says you’ll look stupid by asking a question. Organic chemistry is not an obvious subject (and that’s an understatement). After a couple weeks, over half the students in your class will be utterly lost and will have absolutely idea what the professor is jabbering on about (you, of course, will understand because you read the chapter before you went to class). So, for you not to understand an idea here or there is a minor issue, and it’s certainly nothing to be ashamed about.

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Cramming organic chemistry is an exercise in futility. It just won’t work. You have to practice it a little every day to master it. Plus, you need a fresh brain to take an organic exam, not one fatigued from caffeine-fueled all-nighters when you pored despairingly over your piles of textbooks, notes, and homework, cursing Friedrich Wöhler’s name for laying the foundation that is modern organic chemistry.