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5 Ways to Easily Excel at Organic Chemistry

5 Ways to Easily Excel at Organic Chemistry

Riddhi Bhattacharya

No matter how much my seniors always scared me about organic, I never found it that tough or complicated as long as I knew the mechanisms, reactions and the conditions. As tedious and complicated as organic chemistry may be, here are some techniques I personally find super useful when it comes to organic!

Forget the bookish definition. Here’s what you need to understand: Organic Chemistry is like a really long movie. Every character has some side story, and if you jump in between, you will feel lost. But if you follow the plot from the start, it all makes sense. In this article, I will discuss 5 key tips to master organic chemistry and make the journey easier for you.

1. The Firm Foundation

The Firm Organic Foundation
The Firm Foundation

We often tend to skip the beginning of the lecture and early chapters of material because it’s “background” or “really easy” and jump into the material they don’t understand. This is a recipe for self-defeat! Organic chemistry is like a pyramid – the top will collapse without a strong base. Even if you think you have no time, go back to the introduction and early chapters and spend some time reviewing this material. You will likely be surprised how much better you will grasp the “hard” material once you completely understand the “easy” bit!

2. The Hostile Homologous Series

The Hostile Homologous Series
The Hostile Homologous Series

I think one of the most important and first steps in succeeding in organic chemistry is knowing your homologous series off hand. It is extremely important to know the prefixes and the suffixes involved. 1 Carbon is meth and 2 Carbons are eth is as important as -ene being an alkene and -one being a ketone!

3. The Sacrosanct Structures

The Sacrosanct Structures
The Sacrosanct Structures

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

4. The Rigorous Reactions Route

The Rigorous Reactions Route
The Rigorous Reactions Route

This is where organic gets a bit tricky. With billions of organic compounds, each undergoing different types of reactions, it might get tiring and hard to keep track of them all! Thanks to groups and homologous series, reactions for a certain group applies to all members of the group! Make a chart of reactions of a specific class of compounds to master organic chemistry. Draw a map which connects all the organic groups and how they are formed.

5. The Cacophonous Conditions

A snippet of my Conditions Excel Sheet
A snippet of my Conditions Excel Sheet

Honestly, if there is one thing I hate about Organic Chemistry, it is because of the reaction conditions. Due to the multitude of types of reactions that exist in the organic world, remembering all of their conditions is super tedious. So to tackle this problem, I made an excel sheet which contains every single reaction in my syllabus, the reactants, the products, their reaction temperature, reaction pressure, the catalyst, requirements of light, air or steam and observations noted. Undoubtedly this excel file took me hours to make but also saved hours that would normally be wasted in trying to cram the conditions.


To conclude, there’s no magic to doing well in organic chemistry. It involves discipline, doing problems, focusing on learning concepts, and staying on top of the material. By following these 5 tips, you will feel confident, have a clear mind and have the best chance of getting an A on the exam. Good luck!

Share your tips and advice in the comments below!

Check out other Science and Technology articles at The Teen Pop Magazine!

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

See Also

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

Structures are superbly important as they give properties to a compound, which tells us what reactions it may undergo. Cramming the structures never help. When given the name of a compound, the first thing you should do is determine the number of carbon atoms based on the prefix followed by which group it is from based on the suffix.
Second, you should practice about 5-7 structures every day for you to have a firm base at Organic. Understand how to draw structures from a name and how to identify the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. 

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