OChem is one of the most difficult subjects that students will learn throughout their academic journey, but this can be overcome with the right preparation.
These are some effective study tips that can help you better study for your OChem class:
1. Use drawings to help you better understand the material
Since Organic Chemistry involves a large number of diagrams and complex information that needs to be recalled almost instantaneously, it can be extremely helpful for you to look at diagrams as pictured below, and try to replicate them while studying for your next OChem exam. Visual learning can provide many benefits and can help you understand a specific concept quicker and more effectively.
2. Learn to spot connections easily
Organic chemistry is all about making connections. Once you’ve identified some basic reactions and functional groups, try piecing them together into separate groups to see how they’re related.
Look up diagrams of basic conversions, and become knowledgeable about the reagents and byproducts involved. Soon, you will be able to spot connections much easier, which will allow you to excel greatly in the classroom.
3. Take Handwritten Notes
Many students are asked to take notes during in-person discussions and class lectures. For some, this is a very simple task, but for others, this can seem overwhelming. People learn information in different ways, so not everyone can take notes efficiently. Some people think better when they write things down and take notes using pen and paper, while others think better when they type their notes. Despite the method you choose, it’s still difficult to learn if you aren’t taking good notes. By following the few simple tips below, anyone will be able to understand key Organic Chemistry concepts.
- Draw Pictures: Pictures are much easier to remember than words, and take much less time to write down
- Use Your Own Words: If possible, try to summarize your professor’s lecture using your own words. This will make it much easier for you to recall in the future
- Limit What You Write Down: If you try to write everything down, you will get distracted and will often write down irrelevant information. Stick to writing down key concepts that your professor keeps coming back to
4. Practice questions on “Conversions” daily.
Conversions are important in all sciences, but they may appear to be more critical in chemistry due to the fact that many calculations use different units of measurement. Every measurement should be reported in the appropriate units. While it may take some time for you to fully grasp how conversions work, this step is critical to your long-term success.
5. Form Your Own Study Group
Working by yourself can often get tedious and overwhelming. Working with a study group is extremely beneficial for any student, but is especially important for Organic Chemistry students. Since math is often viewed as being very difficult to understand, it is a common occurrence for students to encounter problems while studying or completing a homework assignment. Working within a group provides you with a number of different minds to help you solve problems.
Study groups organically create a place where group members begin teaching concepts and ideas to those who do not fully understand the material. As teaching a subject is one of the most effective ways to learn it, this collaborative environment is a great way to develop your mathematical skills.
Finding a study group is fairly easy, especially in college. Ask those that sit around you in class, send a message in a class GroupMe, or ask your professor to send a mass email asking students to meet outside of class to study if they would like.
Once you have your study group formed, you must realize some study groups can be more effective than others. Some guidelines to follow when choosing your study group are:
- Keep the groups limited to 3–5 students
- Do the work by yourself first, then collaborate when needed
- Ensure each student in your study group is able to come up with a solution to each problem
6. What to do if you are still struggling
For example, you can reach out to your professor or teaching assistant (TA) to schedule an office hour for them to walk you through the ideas, you can reach out to help centers at your university that have upper years who can help you as well, you could find a private tutor who could help you 1 on 1 to resolve your burning questions, and finally, you could also access homework help apps like Kunduz to help. The problem with the first two options is that these resources are not available all the time, and thus it would take quite some time for your professor or TA to respond to your problems. For private tutoring, it is expensive, as tutors often cost more than $50 USD an hour! Thus, we recommend that homework help apps would be the best option for students.
Kunduz helps students in a wide range of subjects including Math, Physics, Chemistry, Economics, and many more. They are available 24/7 and respond to questions as fast as 15 minutes while providing step-by-step homework help. It has a vast network of 40,000+ tutors globally and has answered 58M questions in 11 different subjects. It offers one free and two paid subscription plans:
- Free: free question credits for any subject matters
- Standard Plan: $9.99 USD / month for 50 questions
- Unlimited Plan: $14.99 USD / month for unlimited questions
Thus, if you are looking for an affordable solution that can provide you with 24/7 Organic Chemistry support, Kunduz would be an excellent supplement to your lectures, allowing you to excel in your Organic Chemistry class!
7. Go Through Examples Provided in Class
There is a reason why professors would walk through examples in class! These examples exemplify key concepts that students will be learning in that lecture, and frankly speaking, the actual exam is likely going to have similar problems.
Additionally, some university professors might also not provide practice exams and problems, making it even more difficult to learn. Thus, it’s critical to fully understand the in-class examples inside out to be ready for exams.
Hopefully, this article provides students with a good idea of how to study Organic Chemistry! If you follow all seven steps listed in this article, you are very likely to perform well in class because it covers some of the most important steps to mastering a new topic. Along the way, just know that when you are struggling with a concept, tools like Kunduz can guide you through those difficult situations!