As an organic chemistry student you are likely aware that a standard academic approach will not be enough to ace this course. Organic chemistry is notoriously difficult, with record low exam averages. In this article I will share an organic chemistry study tip you may want to try: Reading Prior To Lecture
The first thing to keep in mind is that organic chemistry is not like any other science course that you will face. Rather than simple formulas to plug and solve, organic chemistry is a course that requires deep thinking based on understanding concepts.
If the course is different, your approach to learning must be different as well.
My personal experience has shown me that reading the textbook prior to lecture is as valuable as reading the same chapter TWICE after lecture.
Perhaps in another course you can get by with simply showing up to class and taking notes to review later on. This approach will not be your friend in organic chemistry.
When you are exposed to difficult information for the first time, you will find yourself focusing on the information at hand, trying very hard to grasp the basics. However, in your attempt to master the basics you may easily overlook the deeper aspects of reactions and mechanisms given that you don’t understand enough to recognize this.
Your goal should be to get the basics out of the way prior to lecture. And the best way to achieve this is by reading the textbook ahead of class.
Consult your syllabus, see which chapters will be covered in your next meeting, and skim. If you have more time, read the chapter, as carefully as you can, attempting to understand as much of the material as possible.
You may find that you understand bits and pieces, or perhaps none of the information makes sense, but trust me, you are learning more than you realize. And even if you don’t understand it all, you will at least understand enough to have questions.
Attending lecture with this exposure means that you are now exposed to the material for the second or third time. Instead of simply listening to ‘what’ is going on you will be able to listen for the deeper topics and concepts. This in turn gives you a deeper level of understanding of the information.
You may find yourself mentally checking off concepts you struggled with, and even find your confidence strong enough to ask a question during lecture to fill in any additional gaps.