6 Effective Ways to Study Organic Chemistry
Do you think that organic chemistry is difficult to learn, then you’re mistaken. Students memorize reactions one after another, but it leads nowhere. Organic chemistry is the logical subject of chemistry. When you start from the basics and study in an organized way, it makes more sense and gets interesting.
So, are you preparing for competitive exams? Here are the six quick and effective ways to learn organic chemistry. Let’s begin your journey by mastering the subject to gain better results in board and competitive exams.
1. Identify your weak topics and give them a high priority
Organic chemistry in the 11th and 12th standard books covers the topics essential for advanced learning. Check the syllabus before starting the study of organic chemistry. Due to the many reactions and mechanisms in Organic Chemistry, students may find some lessons difficult. Identify the lessons that you find difficult and important for competitive exams. Give those lessons a high priority.
2. Begin with the fundamentals of organic chemistry
Studying organic chemistry is like constructing a building. If the foundation is strong, then the building wouldn’t collapse. It would be best if you read the NCERT books for classes 11 and 12 to understand the important concepts for the JEE, NEET and other competitive exams. You can use other books such as Organic Chemistry by O. P. Tandon and Solomon’s Organic chemistry.
Students often skip the fundaments because they are easy or cover the background. But due to this, the advanced chapters become more difficult to understand. Topics from class 11 cover the fundamentals of organic chemistry. If you haven’t learned the introductory chapters, then go back and first read them with the utmost attention. With this strategy, students can learn the most challenging topics easily.
3. Attend the class, make your notes and start asking questions
Most of the concepts get clear in the class itself. So, attending and paying attention in class is very important. Listen to what the professor is saying and, according to that, make strategic notes. A little work ahead of time will make your life easier. So, before every class, go through the topic once, which the professor will teach. Start asking questions to the professors because it will clear your difficulties and help you learn the topic well.
4. Make maps for organic chemistry conversions and practice name reactions
Command on the standard name reactions of organic chemistry makes the entire subject easy and increases the learning pace. Students must practice name reactions such as Cannizaro, Aldol condensation, Sandmeyer, Wurtz, Etard, Swartz, and Reimer-Tiemann reactions. Practice name reactions every day. After getting a firm grip on the name reactions and basic concepts, move on to practising conversions for a single step or the multistep synthetic reactions like:
- Carboxylic acid to amine
- Amine to amide
- Alkane to carboxylic acid
- Alkyl halide to alcohol
- Alcohol to esters
Make charts for different functional groups of their reactions for the conversions into other functional groups. Paste these charts on the wall near your study table. Practising these charts and reaction mechanisms will make you an expert in organic chemistry. The more problems you solve, the better your understanding will be. Once you master the specific concept, move on to solve difficult problems based on that concept.
long with the topics mentioned above, you must learn IUPAC nomenclature, organic chemistry practicals, biomolecules, etc.
5. Practice reactions with the virtual aid or using a 3d model kit
Model kits allow you to build structures in three dimensions and learn the structural features or reactions of that compound. You can also observe and practice all the reactions virtually (in SimuLab). Visualizing the structures helps to understand the reactions better than looking at the 2D version of the same compound written somewhere.
6. Study in groups
One of the quickest ways to check your understanding and gain new insights into the material is the study groups. While explaining a concept to others, you may find that there is something you were missing. And it can lead to a deeper understanding of that topic. At the same time, other members of the group can help you to learn the concepts which you may find difficult. It is beneficial to share your ideas with your study partners and learn from their insights.
Studying organic chemistry is simple for those who spend their time strengthening their basic concepts. You must refer to the best books while practicing reactions, which will help to solve all questions in the organic chemistry section in the boards and competitive exams.
Make charts for conversion reactions to post on the wall near the study table. Make your class notes—practice as many conversion reactions and their mechanisms as possible. For better understanding, use virtual labs like SimuLab or a 3D models kit for organic chemistry.
Writer – Ajay Shende
Subject Matter Expert (Chemistry)