Organic chemistry has a reputation for being incredibly difficult. While it’s true that the subject matter requires diligence and a great deal of study, most of our Post-bac Pre-med students at the University of Rochester tell us that they love the class.
If you’re looking for on-line support for your organic endeavors, there’s a myriad of places to go, ranging from videos to virtual textbooks, problem sets to study skills.
First, we’d like to recommend Not Voodoo, crafted by the University of Rochester’s own Dr. Alison Frontier and her cadre of PhD scientist contributors. Dedicated to demystifying synthetic organic lab techniques, this site offers tips for a wide range of lab procedures, as well as a helpful and entertaining list of rookie mistakes.
Dr. William Reusch’s Virtual Textbook in Organic Chemistry is an interactive textbook with links to supplementary information, as well as with practice problems. The Saylor Foundation offers a free, non-credit on-line course in organic chemistry.
Dr. Ian Gould from Arizona State University has two websites devoted to Organic Chemistry I and II. Dr. Gould packs a lot of information into these sites: lecture material, problem sets, study advice, and even old exams with an answer key.
There are quite a few organic chemistry tutorials on the web. The University of Illinois hosts one put together by Dr. Stanley Smith. Dr. Linda Sweeting from Towson University has a group of organic reaction quizzes and summaries. The Khan Academy has many videos covering organic chemistry. Harvard’s Challenging Problems in Chemistry offers a searchable database of problem sets.
Dr. Cal Newport, a computer science professor and study skills guru from Georgetown University, offers advice for the despondent in his blog post “I got a C on my orgo exam! What should I do?” Master Organic Chemistry (is that a title or a command?) offers more study and exam tips here.
Totally Synthetic, a blog written by Dr. Paul Docherty, a London-based chemist and science writer, is an entertaining read for you chemistry geeks out there.
Finally, if you’re feeling up to a challenge, check out the OMG Organic Molecule Game, featuring zombie chemists.