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Does chemistry (both general and orgo) suck at U of M?

yosupyosup Posts: 1,851Registered User Senior Member
I read somewhere that these courses are extremely hard (to weed out pre-med students who wanna be doctors cause they watch House or Scrubs or w/e). I plan on doing pre-med, and I'm really worried about these courses. How hard are these courses in your opinion? If you guys don't mind saying, how much did you have to study/do HW each night, and what grade did you end up getting?

I'm talking about General Chem I and II, and Orgo I and II. I was planning on taking General Chem I first sem freshman year, taking both orgos each semester soph year, and finishing Chem Junior year. Is this a good idea?

Thanks for the info!
Post edited by yosup on

Replies to: Does chemistry (both general and orgo) suck at U of M?

  • MI2014MI2014 Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
    sucks sooooooooo bad~~~~~ my bro took it....it was helllllllll.
  • yosupyosup Posts: 1,851Registered User Senior Member
    dang, seriously? can you elaborate o_O
  • collegebound_guycollegebound_guy Posts: 583Registered User Member
    yeah most of my friends at U of M who take organic chemistry say its a nightmare. Pages and pages of memorizing **** that no one cares about. They have to make it a weed out course, its understandable I guess. We can't have everyone trying out for med school when they aren't cut for it.
  • blackpen2008blackpen2008 Posts: 1,362Registered User Senior Member
    Gen chem is a piece of cake (almost)
    Orgo 1 is almost zero memorization, but a difficult class. Enjoy it while you can because
    Orgo 2...... just sucks. Lots of memorization

    Both Orgos have a B- average. idk about gen chem., but prolly a B- average as well.
    In orgo 2 it's harder to get a good grade because only students who survived orgo 1 take orgo 2, but the average still needs to be a B-.
  • squaresquare Posts: 1,169Registered User Senior Member
    what the hecks gen chem II?
    gen chem (chem 130) is easy(can't call it a joke cuz i bombed one midterm lol), anyway i have no chem knowledge at all before i took this class, and slept thru most of the lectures(9 am class *cough cough*), still rocked the exams.
    Do all the online homework, there will be some extra credit as well. The online homework taught me more chem than anything else, so do that, dont cram.
    Pray that your GSI is good, i had a b**** giving us hard quizzes, which was 20% of our grade, lost a letter grade cuz of this.
    you should be fine.
    Oh and remember, don't get cocky :)

    edit, gen chem 's avg is a B
  • QwertyKeyQwertyKey Posts: 4,590Registered User Senior Member
    Orgo I sucks because...

    1. Discussion GSIs (or atleast mine) come from China where they use different notations than are used in the class.

    2. Doesn't really follow the book, only useful way to study is to do the course pack.

    3. The course pack is organized in a way that requires you do the whole section a week before the test. Can't follow with the class.

    4. 90% of the course pack doesn't have answers.

    5. Grading is a *****. Most of the points you'll lose are for trivial mistakes. 90% of the people understand everything, but most of that 90% will make some stupid mistakes on the test.

    6. They make you learn reactions for which they don't tell you the mechanisms (like seriously... what the hell?).

    Gen Chem 2 is P-Chem, Chem 260.
  • pancakespancakes Posts: 435Registered User Member
    Ok, time for an alternate opinion of organic chemistry here...

    I didn't think it was that bad. Aside from attending all lectures and most office hours, I studied the book or lectures notes in the 10-minute period before class started. Occasionally (e.g. for the amino acids and sugars on orgo 2 exam 3), I would study flashcards on the bus. Then I reviewed the book and my notes once (~2 hours combined) and did the coursepack twice (~3 hours each time).

    I never attended discussions as I found it useless--people just asked me to do coursepack problems the whole time, so I said "No," and left. I have no problems with helping people study, understand concepts, or do a difficult problem that they have already tried and failed, but that was ridiculous (they hadn't even looked at the coursepack when they asked me... they just said things like, "do page 57." It almost seemed like cheating or unpaid child labor -.- ... and I was obviously being taken advantage of, which is why I said no). I got A+s for both semesters. I also was friends with the other 2 people that got A+s (If I remember correctly, there were only 3 A+s total, but I'm not sure) and we all had the same study habits and outlook on orgo. We really helped each other a lot and collaborated on the difficult coursepack questions to make sure that we all understood how to do it correctly.

    "90% of the people understand everything, but most of that 90% will make some stupid mistakes on the test."

    I think that this is a huge overestimation, unless you're talking about this year. Last year, Dr. Gottfried's and Dr. Sanford's exams indicated that far less than 90% of the class truly understood the material. Leaving entire pages blank, in my opinion, does not constitute a 'stupid mistake' in the trivial sense. And based on the people I've tutored... um... let's just say I would cap it at a much lower percentage. Maybe we just have different opinions on what it means to 'understand everything...', but I usually equate it with mastery of the material presented and differentiate it from the capability to understand the material presented.
  • pancakespancakes Posts: 435Registered User Member
    Oh, and I should definitely add that all of the organic chemistry professors I had were amazing. They were obviously very well-prepared and very helpful.
  • QwertyKeyQwertyKey Posts: 4,590Registered User Senior Member
    "I think that this is a huge overestimation, unless you're talking about this year."

    Both I guess. 90% is probably high, but I think most people understood everything, and I was talking about this year.
  • yosupyosup Posts: 1,851Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks everyone! Also, what teachers would you recommend for General Chem I? I think all of the labs have the same teachers, but not the discussion/lecture.

    And if I take the classes in the order I said in the OP, will I be OK for the MCAT?
  • QwertyKeyQwertyKey Posts: 4,590Registered User Senior Member
    At U of M, that's an unusual order. Generally the order is Gen Chem I (130), Orgo I (210), Orgo II (215), Gen Chem II/P-Chem (260). You probably could take 130-260-210-215 if you really wanted, but there's probably a reason why they don't want people to do that.

    There's always different professors for all the intro level classes. People teaching it now (or who just finished teaching it this past semester) are different than last fall, and will be different than in the fall. I had Kiste for Orgo I, and he was good. Anyway, if you signup for a bad professor, you can just go to a different lecture. They all cover the same material.
  • Pro28Pro28 Posts: 380Registered User Member
    Orgo isn't that difficult. It only has a terrible reputation because premeds cry about everything.
  • yosupyosup Posts: 1,851Registered User Senior Member
    Yea QwertyKey, that's the order I meant (sorry it was kinda messy in the OP). But it'll be OK to take General Chem I first sem freshman year, and take Orgo Sophomore year (after a big gap)?

    And you can just sign up for one professor and go to a different lecture?! What about tests and assignments and stuff? Won't the prof you sign up for be doing your grades and everything?!
  • pancakespancakes Posts: 435Registered User Member
    All people in orgo take the same tests. There are no quizzes or homework assignments; just 3 tests and a final.

    All people in honors orgo take the same tests (which are different from non-honors orgo tests) and have extra things... like quizzes... -.-
  • blackpen2008blackpen2008 Posts: 1,362Registered User Senior Member
    If you want to do well in Orgo make sure, that you get a good professor.
    For coursepack answers, this is where upperclassmen friends save you.
    I had Sanford for orgo 1, but got screwed in Orgo 2 last/this semester with a terrible/sub-average instructor.
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