So stuck on chemistry lectures (uni student)

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aladdin818
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#1
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#1
So Im currently studying pharmacy and one of my modules is chemistry. I haven't had good lecturers for this module at all - they basically read off the slides. Im finding it so hard to revise for this module and therefore am driving myself to tears thinking about how I might even fail the exam. I checked out past papers thinking I could just do loads of them and revise off them, but they don't even have mark schemes! Please help! what would you do? What should I do? :/
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alow
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If you have issues with any past paper questions you could ask about them here.
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dragonkeeper999
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#3
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(Original post by aladdin818)
So Im currently studying pharmacy and one of my modules is chemistry. I haven't had good lecturers for this module at all - they basically read off the slides. Im finding it so hard to revise for this module and therefore am driving myself to tears thinking about how I might even fail the exam. I checked out past papers thinking I could just do loads of them and revise off them, but they don't even have mark schemes! Please help! what would you do? What should I do? :/
Studying at university is very different to school - you'll no longer have a syllabus, mark schemes, small group teaching, etc. and it's a lot more up to you to learn the content yourself independently. It's something I also really struggled with at the beginning, but don't worry - everyone else will be in the same position

I'd recommend going through the lecture notes/ slides and writing summary notes of the important content. Have a read through the recommended reading list (or if they haven't provided one, read the relevant chapters of a standard core chemistry textbook - let me know what topics you're stuck on and I can make some recommendations), and add to your notes as necessary. This is particularly important for bits you don't understand. Most textbooks also have some exercises at the end of each chapter - do these too for some simple, guided practice.

Once you've grasped the core ideas from the lecture course and reading, then I'd recommend tackling the past paper questions. If you're really struggling, try revising with friends (so you can ask them for advice) or even email/ visit your lecturer.
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aladdin818
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#4
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#4
(Original post by dragonkeeper999)
Studying at university is very different to school - you'll no longer have a syllabus, mark schemes, small group teaching, etc. and it's a lot more up to you to learn the content yourself independently. It's something I also really struggled with at the beginning, but don't worry - everyone else will be in the same position

I'd recommend going through the lecture notes/ slides and writing summary notes of the important content. Have a read through the recommended reading list (or if they haven't provided one, read the relevant chapters of a standard core chemistry textbook - let me know what topics you're stuck on and I can make some recommendations), and add to your notes as necessary. This is particularly important for bits you don't understand. Most textbooks also have some exercises at the end of each chapter - do these too for some simple, guided practice.

Once you've grasped the core ideas from the lecture course and reading, then I'd recommend tackling the past paper questions. If you're really struggling, try revising with friends (so you can ask them for advice) or even email/ visit your lecturer.
Thank you so much I am really nervous for the exam.. just so stressed. The topics I am most stuck on for my exam is :
- Tautomerism
-Resonance structures
- Ibuprofen and Aspirin synthesis
- UV and Infrared Spectroscopy

Are there any text books I could get which can help with these topics?
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dragonkeeper999
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#5
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#5
(Original post by aladdin818)
Thank you so much I am really nervous for the exam.. just so stressed. The topics I am most stuck on for my exam is :
- Tautomerism
-Resonance structures
- Ibuprofen and Aspirin synthesis
- UV and Infrared Spectroscopy

Are there any text books I could get which can help with these topics?
I'd recommend first reviewing these topics from your A level notes to make sure you've got the basics sorted, then use a textbook such as Clayden, Greeves, Warren and Wothers' Organic Chemistry (the "green bible" of organic chemistry, there must be loads of copies lying around your uni library). There are exercises in this textbook and a separate worked solutions manual to help you practice If you have any specific questions do feel free to send me a PM

Tautomers and resonance structures just involve pushing some electrons around and moving a hydrogen or two. It can be a little hard perhaps to understand this idea of tautomerisation at first, but I found it easiest to think of the ionised form (e.g. if we're looking at a keto/ enol tautomerisation case, imagine removing the alpha hydrogen with solvent and pushing the electrons onto the Oxygen to put a negative charge there. Then grab the hydrogen back from the solvent molecule and we have the enol form). Just drawing out the mechanisms a few times should help With resonance structures it's essentially exactly the same idea, except we don't have to worry about the hydrogens since we already have the charge instead. Just push electrons around as see which structures have the positive/ negative charge stabilised. You've probably learnt cases such as substituted benzene rings, so make sure to also thing about whether the substituents are electron donating or withdrawing and hence whether they are able to stabilise the charge or not.

I'm not sure this textbook covers ibuprofen/ aspirin synthesis, but presumably these are in your lecture notes and it's just a case of memorising them, not understanding a complex idea and applying it to various situations. If your lecture notes don't cover them thoroughly enough, just a quick Google should bring up the standard synthesis and mechanisms.

For UV and IR spec, I guess you've done a bit of practice of this in labs? I'd recommend just memorising the important cases (e.g. where are C=O IR stretches, and what are the difference values for ketone stretches and ester stretches) and in general which types of bonds are found where. Some reading in the textbook I recommended about the theory behind UV/ IR spec might help to understand this properly, but if you find the physics of this a bit challenging it's probably ok just to memorise how to interpret the results. Looking at some past paper questions should give you an idea of which particular examples are important to memorise (e.g. when I was a first year, differentiating between different carbonyl stretches was a standard exam question that came up all the time).
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aladdin818
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#6
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#6
(Original post by dragonkeeper999)
I'd recommend first reviewing these topics from your A level notes to make sure you've got the basics sorted, then use a textbook such as Clayden, Greeves, Warren and Wothers' Organic Chemistry (the "green bible" of organic chemistry, there must be loads of copies lying around your uni library). There are exercises in this textbook and a separate worked solutions manual to help you practice If you have any specific questions do feel free to send me a PM

Tautomers and resonance structures just involve pushing some electrons around and moving a hydrogen or two. It can be a little hard perhaps to understand this idea of tautomerisation at first, but I found it easiest to think of the ionised form (e.g. if we're looking at a keto/ enol tautomerisation case, imagine removing the alpha hydrogen with solvent and pushing the electrons onto the Oxygen to put a negative charge there. Then grab the hydrogen back from the solvent molecule and we have the enol form). Just drawing out the mechanisms a few times should help With resonance structures it's essentially exactly the same idea, except we don't have to worry about the hydrogens since we already have the charge instead. Just push electrons around as see which structures have the positive/ negative charge stabilised. You've probably learnt cases such as substituted benzene rings, so make sure to also thing about whether the substituents are electron donating or withdrawing and hence whether they are able to stabilise the charge or not.

I'm not sure this textbook covers ibuprofen/ aspirin synthesis, but presumably these are in your lecture notes and it's just a case of memorising them, not understanding a complex idea and applying it to various situations. If your lecture notes don't cover them thoroughly enough, just a quick Google should bring up the standard synthesis and mechanisms.

For UV and IR spec, I guess you've done a bit of practice of this in labs? I'd recommend just memorising the important cases (e.g. where are C=O IR stretches, and what are the difference values for ketone stretches and ester stretches) and in general which types of bonds are found where. Some reading in the textbook I recommended about the theory behind UV/ IR spec might help to understand this properly, but if you find the physics of this a bit challenging it's probably ok just to memorise how to interpret the results. Looking at some past paper questions should give you an idea of which particular examples are important to memorise (e.g. when I was a first year, differentiating between different carbonyl stretches was a standard exam question that came up all the time).
Wow honestly thank you so much! The fact that you took your time to write out all of that to help me out means a lot to me I definitely do need help on chemistry so I'll try out the textbooks you have recommended but also don't be surprised if i PM you randomly :P haha thank you!
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dragonkeeper999
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#7
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#7
(Original post by aladdin818)
Wow honestly thank you so much! The fact that you took your time to write out all of that to help me out means a lot to me I definitely do need help on chemistry so I'll try out the textbooks you have recommended but also don't be surprised if i PM you randomly :P haha thank you!
No problem, glad to help Yeah, feel free to PM me with any questions
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06moca1
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#8
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#8
(Original post by aladdin818)
So Im currently studying pharmacy and one of my modules is chemistry. I haven't had good lecturers for this module at all - they basically read off the slides. Im finding it so hard to revise for this module and therefore am driving myself to tears thinking about how I might even fail the exam. I checked out past papers thinking I could just do loads of them and revise off them, but they don't even have mark schemes! Please help! what would you do? What should I do? :/
whoops just read above post. How are you revising chemistry? Do you just read or are you active?
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