Advice for success in organic chemistry ....

In summary, a good organic chemist is someone who is passionate about the subject and works as a team.
  • #1
Mayhem
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... with the intention of going into novel drug synthesis.

It might be a bit of a reach to ask this on a physics forum, but I see chemists among us, so I guess this is as good as any.

To those of you with experience in the field, what makes a good organic chemist? What makes a good medicinal chemist? Are there areas that a student only in undergraduate chemistry should focus on in their free time (outside of organic chemistry) which would aid them greatly? Hard work is a given, I'm looking for extra advice.

Thank you.
 
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  • #2
I'm not a chemist, but I took organic chemistry. It was a challenging class! Something that helped me a lot was note cards. I had all sorts of them with definitions and functional groups. I'm very bad at memorizing things, which was not very good for that class... I remember doing those note cards really saved me in the class and I'd take them everywhere with me to sneak in a study... even up to the minute before the exams. Practice drawing a lot of the structures too...
 
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The two most renowned chemistry students in my graduating class were super intense and absolutely obsessed with organic chemistry. One of them was accepted to Cornell University. They also lived in the lab. I remember one of them showing me his sleeping bag that he would use to sleep on the floor of his office. I never really understood those guys, tbh. However, one thing was for sure. They loved organic chemistry.

They also worked as a team and partitioned their school work. This is something that I never did, but I think a lot of people have benefited from it.
 
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  • #4
Zap said:
The two most renowned chemistry students in my graduating class were super intense and absolutely obsessed with organic chemistry. One of them was accepted to Cornell University. They also lived in the lab. I remember one of them showing me his sleeping bag that he would use to sleep on the floor of his office. I never really understood those guys, tbh. However, one thing was for sure. They loved organic chemistry.

They also worked as a team and partitioned their school work. This is something that I never did, but I think a lot of people have benefited from it.
I really like this! Shows the importance of passion and dedication rather than just possessing pure wits.
 

What is the best way to study for organic chemistry?

The best way to study for organic chemistry is to actively engage with the material. This includes attending lectures, taking thorough notes, practicing problems and mechanisms, and seeking help from professors or tutors when needed. It is also important to review material regularly and not wait until the last minute to study.

What are some tips for understanding organic chemistry reactions?

One tip for understanding organic chemistry reactions is to focus on the underlying principles and mechanisms rather than just memorizing specific reactions. It is also helpful to draw out reaction mechanisms and use models or visualization tools to better understand the spatial arrangement of molecules. Practice is key in developing a deeper understanding of organic chemistry reactions.

How can I improve my problem-solving skills in organic chemistry?

Improving problem-solving skills in organic chemistry requires practice and familiarity with different types of problems. It is also helpful to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts and to think critically about each step in the problem-solving process. Seeking feedback from professors or peers can also aid in improving problem-solving skills.

What are some common mistakes students make in organic chemistry?

Some common mistakes students make in organic chemistry include not understanding the underlying principles and mechanisms, relying too heavily on memorization, and not seeking help when needed. It is also important to stay organized and keep up with the material throughout the course rather than cramming before exams.

What are some resources for additional help in organic chemistry?

There are many resources available for additional help in organic chemistry, such as textbooks, online tutorials and videos, study groups, and tutoring services. It is also helpful to utilize office hours and seek help from professors or teaching assistants. Additionally, practicing problems and reviewing material regularly can also aid in understanding and mastering organic chemistry concepts.

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