How to Study Organic Chemistry?

Organic Chemistry is a challenging subject. It uses its own language and employs many very precise concepts yet without referring mathematical tools or aspects. Within first few hours of study you will be able to use the basic concepts to understand a lot about the molecular world around you.

The first difficulty a student encounters is the amount of study material available about organic molecules and their reactions any standard text book is not less then 1400 pages long, a student cannot expect to learn all this material without investing a considerable time and effort in studying it and if he does so he disproportionate his time allocations with other subjects eventually bringing him under pressure to leave organic chemistry or compromise at other subjects.

The solution of above problem is that someone should work on your part to extract all relevant important matter and concept for you, this someone is your teacher. Most of standard text book (like I L Finar Morison boyd) available in market are not oriented for JEE preparation, rather these are among the best books available for college students all over the world. The sequence of chapters or 100% content may not return you for the time you have invested. You need not follow line to line of the text but choose the desired component from the word index given at the back of book.

In many ways, learning organic is like learning another language. Make sure you are familiar with basic terms like electrophile, nucleophile, base, substrate, carbocations, free radical electron releasing groups etc.

You should understand the nature of organic chemistry when a reaction occurs one must first know what reagents are the starting materials and what the final products are? The conversion of starting materials to the products will involve either breaking bonds, making bonds or both. The detailed sequence of which bonds are broken and formed, in what order, and the stereochemical relationships of these bonds is called a mechanism for the reaction.

Your text book is organized primarily by types of compounds which contain a specified functional group, eg. collection of all compounds where – OH group is connected to a carbon chain or structure are called alcohols.

When you study each type of functional group you will find that each reacts by only a few mechanistic paths and hence has a chemical personality of its own. Do not treat mechanism as just another thing to memorize, remember working organic chemist do not just repeat what is known. They use that knowledge to solve problems and discover new chemistry.

Understanding mechanism is the key to modern organic chemistry although we will be studying hundreds or thousands of reactions, these reactions occur via only a few fundamental mechanistic path ways. It is the recognition of the mechanistic similarities between different reactions that allow organic chemistry to be readily understood. Understanding mechanism will help make sense of thousand of facts that comprise organic chemistry.

IIT-JEE question appears as if it is newly framed for you but you will find at least some what related what you have done in mastering the mechanism the only challenge these questions pose is that you have to identify an appropriate mechanism component which operates there.

Anticipate what will be on the exam. Notice what the teacher spends time on in class. If you teacher assigns a specific problems make sure you know how to work every one of these problems. Your teacher know important concepts, mechanism or part of subject from which a question of JEE level can be framed, so they will even say “This problem will be on exam”. If your teacher says this, believe it !.

When you analyze your minor tests you should understand what you did wrong. You will need to know had to do it right next time because chemistry builds up from the base of knowledge, everything you learn at the beginning will be needed later for something more complicated. If you miss a concept on the first test it will be trouble for all coming minor tests.

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