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5 things you need to do to succeed in your organic chemistry class

How to Succeed in Organic Chemistry


Welcome back.  If this is the beginning of your organic chemistry experience, congratulations.  Most student take organic chemistry because they want to go to medical school, because it is a requirement for their degree in a science, or because they are interested in the topic.  (By the way, the last group of students is by far the smallest).  Whichever group you are in, organic chemistry can be an exciting, fast paced, wild ride.  OK, it is not an attraction at Six Flags, but it can be interesting and challenging, depending on your instructor.


However, lets get to the meat of this post.  How do we study for this course?  Here is our official five-step guide for how to study for organic chemistry.


Step 1: Keep calm and just study.  Nobody but the gifted and boring can get an A in organic chemistry without studying.  Gosh darn it, you have to commit to this class if you want a good grade.  That doesn’t mean that you need to freak out over it, but you will need to bear down and take this monster seriously.


Step 2: Learn the language.  Organic chem is a different language for most people.  Literally.  And if you don’t know that language or are slow in its translation, you will be behind everyone else who is fluent.  Think about it this way: If your professor rattles off a long thought and uses a lot of organic terminology, how long would it take you to decipher it?  Might the professor already have moved  on to the next thought by the time you have decoded the previous one?  Make sure you know the language so you can learn the skills.


Step 3: Know the easy reactions cold.  What are the easy reactions?  E1, E2, SN1, SN2, and alkene reactions are the first places that you need to start without even thinking about it.  Don’t waste time on an exam struggling through the easy reactions.


free organic chem study guide


Step 4: Learn the basic premise of organic chemistry mechanisms, which is that electrons always flow from nucleophile to electrophile.  If you can identify which is the nucleophilic site and which is the electrophilic site, you will be well on your way to figuring out the answer to that problem.



Step 5: Do 50 billion practice problems.  And once you have done that many, try to get to 60 billion.  Do all of the problems in your textbook.  Buy or make your own flashcards.  You cannot do too many of these.  Not only will it help you to learn how to do the problems, it will also help ensure that you are not surprised by a problem you have not seen before.


So that is it.  Five simple steps to a good grade in organic chemistry.  Do you have anything to add to the list?  What has been helpful for you?  Email us at and tell us what works for you.



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We asked professors about the best way to study organic chemistry

So it took over two years to complete, but we surveyed a bunch of organic chemistry professors and asked them ten questions about the best way to study organic chemistry.

The results were a little surprising to us.  So we compiled all of the results into one webpage and made it available to everyone.

See it here: Best way to study organic chemistry.

Basically, organic chemistry does not have to be hard.  If you study the right way and work hard, you can do this.

Check out the results of the survey at the link above.

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Large-Scale liquid manufacturing

I recently ran across I found the site really interesting, from a chemistry point of view. They are an insured wholesale e-liquid manufacture. They offer such services as custom private labels, wholesale supplier services, and an ISO-7 clean room for manufacture, which is coming soon. They are special for number of reasons. They have a lengthy history in the industry, all of their products are insured, they are dedicated to quality control, and they have some of the lowest cost in the industry.

I think they are especially good for the new upcoming business who wants to wholesale their products, but doesn’t really know where to start. Their customer service is pretty good, so they will be able to start you off on the right foot. Furthermore, they do private labeling, which is really cool for the start-up company that wants their own label and branding. You can explore the limitless possibilities by starting with your own manufacturing label using this site.

Their production facility is really unmatched in this space. They take it personally upon themselves to make the highest quality liquids, and customer satisfaction is their number one goal. They own a 10,000 square-foot facility allowing them to produce nearly 1,000,000 bottles a month. Everything is manufactured in a free and clean space to preclude contamination. They have the highest standards of manufacturing to make sure that they provide a safe and satisfactory product for their clients. Their industry knowledge is unmatched, they have competitive pricing, and a widely customizable product.

If you are interested in starting your own e-liquid private label or are just curious about the chemistry that goes along with a manufacturing facility like this, I suggest you check out their site. They are only a click away and you can pick up some pretty good information on industrial chemistry.

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I am a Chem Major….what about jobs after school? Part 1

So, the most recent questions I have received is about chemistry majors getting a job.

Specifically: 1) What type of jobs are out there and how do they pay?  2) do I need a graduate degree?  and 3) are they dangerous?  Today, we are going to answer question 1.

First, there are a vast number of jobs available to someone with a BS in chemistry.  In fact as recently as 2007, there were 110 jobs right now for every 100 graduates.  Even with the economy slowing and the uncertainty of the situation in Washington, the industry is still hiring in healthy numbers.

There are a wide range of jobs that someone with a chemistry degree could apply for.  The most obvious are in the pharmaceutical industry.  While in some jobs you may just be a pair of hands running experiments for someone else if you have a BS, the job can still be challenging.  Further, BS chemists have the most room in a company to grow.  PhD chemists suffer in industry because there  is only so high they can go in management without a business degree.  BS chemists on the other hand can advance, get raises and even go into supervisory roles without an advanced degree.  Moreover, BS chemists are highly competitive to get into most graduate schools if they have a few years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.

Pay and benefits are “Big Pharma” are great too.  The average pay for a BS chemist with over 20 years of experience is well over $100K, according to the most recent ACS employment survey of chemists.  Starting salaries are very good, with young BS chemists starting around $65-70K.

Overall, the whole thing just makes sense.  From personal experience, I would highly recommend this job to anyone who is interested in chemistry or even the sciences in general.

Hope that helps.  Good luck with finals and keep a chemistry major in mind for the future.

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86 Tricks To Ace Organic Chemistry – Multimedia Edition is now available for the iPad is very proud to announce the release of it’s best-selling book, 86 Tricks To Ace Organic Chemistry, as an iPad multimedia book. In addition to the material that made the previous version a must-read, it now also contains videos, flash cards and practice problems, making it an instant hit. It is quite a wonder and a must see on the iPad.

Now available in the iBookstore for only $7.99, it really is something to see.

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The fastest organic chemistry help you can get offers ebooks, videos and flashcards to get you the most organic chemistry help in the fastest time.

Their study package gives you the “86 tricks to ace organic chemistry” e-book, 250+ talking electronic flashcards and a 6-hr course review video all for only $17.99

Don’t let a small investment keep you from getting the grade you deserve.

Just go to organic chemistry help to order

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Cramming time is coming soon. Here are some tips to help


It is almost cramming time. Don’t be embarrassed about it, we have all done it at one time or many. Here are some good tips to help out



And when you’re ready for organic chemistry studying, head to organic chemistry







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Fondly remembering graduate school and some of my instruments

I thought I would write a quick post about one of the instruments I used while I was in graduate school. The instrument was a viscous liquid dispenser, and we used to dispense liquid epoxy with it.  It was a wonderful instrument made by Ipscot, and could be used for all sorts of other liquids such as acrylics, polyesters, cyanoacrylate, and even a lot of silicon oils. These chemical dispensers were great and could be used for a lot of things like sealing, coating, and encapsulating.  They were so easy to use and made my life in the lab so much simpler but I really couldn’t get enough of it. It made lab work very simple for me. In the next lab over, they used a water syringe on the same type of instrument, which also made their life just as easy.

I guess the reason I’m talking about these again is because life in the lab is whole lot easier when you have good instrumentation. And these Ipscot instruments were spectacular. We purchased the second one for bonding plastic together to make new reaction vessels.  What’s even better now as some of the instruments are programmable, which leave so much more time for life outside the chemistry lab. It was so easy to have my day’s work done early because I had good instrumentation on my side. Even though I’ve been out of the lab for while, I still remember my Ipscot instrument fondly.

Many of you have told me you will be going to graduate school at some point in your career.  The best advice I can have for you is to work smarter not harder. And any time you can buy an  instrument to do the work for you, you are working smarter.

That’s all for today and as always, happy reacting.

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