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Study Smart For The Chem Boards: Organic Chemistry Study Tips

Study Smart for the Chem Boards: Organic Chemistry Study Tips

Post Series: Study Tips for the Chemist Licensure Exam

Studying Organic Chemistry for the Board Exam can be daunting, especially when you have already forgotten the fundamental concepts. Memorizing the reaction without understanding its mechanism is a common pitfall many test takers commit. This approach makes the review process painful, confusing, and unrewarding. You have to exert effort in understanding the mechanism of each organic reaction to maximize your chances of acing the subject. You can consult your undergrad books for detailed explanation of many reaction mechanisms that we cover in your SRC Lecture Guide.

Although we’re putting emphasis on understanding the concepts, it does not mean that you can skip the memorization process. Understanding the concepts makes memorization less painful. You’d eventually learn that it is not necessary to memorize every reaction. Knowing the behavior of the reactive sites will help you when you encounter unfamiliar reactions in the test.



We suggest the following activities to aid in your memory retention and to maximize the benefits of your review:

  • Create flashcards and study them at least once per day.
  • Create a summary of reactions and post it in a place where you can frequently see it.
  • Answer as many questions as you can. Try to do this without consulting your notes.

You can also apply these suggestions in studying other chemistry fields.

For additional tips and resources for reviewing Organic Chemistry, feel free to consult your lecturer or mentor!

Study smart!

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