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How hard is Organic Chemistry?

grapefulgrapeful Registered User Posts: 174 Junior Member
edited June 2012 in College Life
Chemistry has always been one of my better subjects. I did well in General Chemistry and well on the organic chemistry portions we had in it, as well as the ones we had in high school. And I have an actual interest in chemistry.

I am definitely taking organic chemistry this fall. I am just wondering how difficult it is. It's been said that it's the "weed-out" for pre-med students and so many people at my university have failed it. However, the majority of people at my state university are idiots so to speak so I know their opinion isn't accurate.

To those who've taken it, does it involve a lot of reading? or more figuring out?

I am debating on whether or not I should take a general biology class also in the same semester. This biology class is your average biology class -- easy but a lot of time required to read and memorize facts.

So would you guys think it'd be better to take "easier" classes like psychology and other general ed requirements or is it unnecessary to think o-chem will take up so much time?
Post edited by grapeful on

Replies to: How hard is Organic Chemistry?

  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 9,635 Senior Member
    o-chem. Place a 300 page book in your hand, filled with formulas and diagrams. Now, memorize everything in it. That's o-chem.
  • dreamingdreaming Registered User Posts: 563 Member
    you might get a better help if you tell us which scholl u'r attending
  • soccerguy315soccerguy315 Registered User Posts: 7,245 Senior Member
    it's 99% memorization, and a lot of memorization.

    Some people can memorize things like it's their job, some people suck at it. The better you are, the easier it'll be.
  • dreamingdreaming Registered User Posts: 563 Member
    is organic chem sooo different from general chem??
  • grapefulgrapeful Registered User Posts: 174 Junior Member
    Oh wow. That much memorization? Ok, thanks for the head ups. I'll definitely clear my dockets for this class.

    dreaming, I go to the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Nevada's public school system for k-12 was second to the last in the nation a few years ago, we could very well be in last place now. Our public school system for college isn't of much different caliber, if that says anything.
  • impactangelimpactangel Registered User Posts: 380 Member
    It's a lot of memorization and also a lot of thinking.

    I know some students make the mistake of trying to commit every single reaction to memory. But the instant the teacher changes anything, students are stumped. It's good to memorize the reactions but you should also know what electrons are being moved, why they are being moved, what functional group is being alterred, etc... etc...

    It's definitely a very nasty course and if possible, I would try to clear that semester of anything hard!
  • texas137texas137 Registered User Posts: 2,143 Senior Member
    I agree with everyone who says that it's really the memorization that makes it hard. If you are one of the fortunate people who are good at that, it won't be too bad.
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 9,635 Senior Member
    go the the websites of a few o-chem courses such as this..
    They don't pull any punches ..
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 9,635 Senior Member
    go the the websites of a few o-chem courses such as this..
    They don't pull any punches.

    A summary of what students said is here
  • cangelcangel Registered User Posts: 4,127 Senior Member
    Organic used to be the most important single class used by med school admissions committees to judge whether or not a person would do well in med school. It involves tremendous amounts of memorization, then applying that knowledge in feats of deductive reasoning (not problems like in regular chem where you learn one way of doing something, and there is generally one right answer) - very much like learning in med school, and then applying that knowledge to assessing patients.

    Its kind of like learning Japanese, both foreign language and foreign alphabet, then trying to do crosswords or other word puzzles in Japanese.
  • notnerdynotnerdy Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    its easy peasy lemon squezzy man....dude o-chem was like the EASIEST CLASS I TOOK!!! i actually had so mucho fun....no joke....im pretty sure ull like totally rule it..:)
  • spectasticspectastic - Posts: 847 Member
    There is a lot of memorizing of reactions and reaction mechanisms that you will never, ever use in your life ever again, even if you do a phd that deals with a lot of chemistry.

    That being said, the thing that worked for me was to see patterns. I did study for o-chem a more than most other classes. But once you look at enough reactions and mechanisms, it will be easy to memorize what reactants produce what product, vice versa, and the movement of electrons within a resonating free radical.

    Once you figure out the electrophile, nucleophile, steric hindrance, resonance, and how electrons hate and avoid each other like me and my current roommates. it will be a lot easier to memorize the reactions and mechanisms because the content will make a lot more sense.

    Brute force memorization works too, but I'd rather shoot myself (kidding, just kidding...^^).
  • Writer1992Writer1992 Registered User Posts: 1,072 Senior Member
    haha, this thread is 7 years old.
  • andrewexdandrewexd Registered User Posts: 921 Member
    did you really bump a 7 year old thread to gloat?
  • spectasticspectastic - Posts: 847 Member
    oh snap i didn't even see that.

    thanks nerd
This discussion has been closed.