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Organic chemistry

Hi guys,

I'm still struggling with the exam questions on organic chem, specifically when they give synthesis maps and you have to fill in blanks or gaps etc. I've tried flashcards mind maps yet nothing seems to help me.

Has anyone got any tips on how to remember synthesis routes or more generally how to revise for organic chemistry
Reply 1
Original post by Lolly1304
Hi guys,

I'm still struggling with the exam questions on organic chem, specifically when they give synthesis maps and you have to fill in blanks or gaps etc. I've tried flashcards mind maps yet nothing seems to help me.

Has anyone got any tips on how to remember synthesis routes or more generally how to revise for organic chemistry

Hey, I am also having this problem they can be really tough to wrap your head around. I am just trying to get in as much practice as I can and taking notes on any patterns or common pathways etc. I don't know which exam board you are but Physics and Maths Tutor have a whole section for edexcel (and it looks like AQA as well) so definitely try those and really study the mark schemes. They still are difficult but this is definitely increasing my confidence with these questions.
Reply 2
Original post by mpharm2023
Hey, I am also having this problem they can be really tough to wrap your head around. I am just trying to get in as much practice as I can and taking notes on any patterns or common pathways etc. I don't know which exam board you are but Physics and Maths Tutor have a whole section for edexcel (and it looks like AQA as well) so definitely try those and really study the mark schemes. They still are difficult but this is definitely increasing my confidence with these questions.


I'm with OCR A. Yeah pmt is a lifesaver for revision. It's mainly confidence I think. I'll keep getting at those exam questions, hate how it knocks my confidence every time I get them wrong
Reply 3
Original post by Lolly1304
I'm with OCR A. Yeah pmt is a lifesaver for revision. It's mainly confidence I think. I'll keep getting at those exam questions, hate how it knocks my confidence every time I get them wrong


Honestly they are awful questions, don't let them get you down and I really hope you feel better about them soon. Maybe invest in a wipe board and map out any answers there and even just to active recall the organic synthesis map?
Reply 4
Original post by mpharm2023
Honestly they are awful questions, don't let them get you down and I really hope you feel better about them soon. Maybe invest in a wipe board and map out any answers there and even just to active recall the organic synthesis map?

Yeah sounds like a good idea, thank you 🙂
Original post by mpharm2023
Honestly they are awful questions, don't let them get you down and I really hope you feel better about them soon. Maybe invest in a wipe board and map out any answers there and even just to active recall the organic synthesis map?

ocr a here - and I second this :smile: the maps are horrible but blurting them over and over should help! and try to find some tricks to help you remember certain routes - I’ve got a few personal ones but you have to find what works well for you. for example, most of the time, when GOING FROM an ALCOHOL to another organic substance, is is usually a Sulphuric Acid catalyst. also use hints in the question to help you remember the conditions, catalysts, etc.

e.g. Alkene -> alkane, you need H2 to add hydrogens to the carbons
alkene -> haloalkane, you need a Hydrogen and Halide or Halogen
Original post by Lolly1304
Hi guys,

I'm still struggling with the exam questions on organic chem, specifically when they give synthesis maps and you have to fill in blanks or gaps etc. I've tried flashcards mind maps yet nothing seems to help me.

Has anyone got any tips on how to remember synthesis routes or more generally how to revise for organic chemistry


I did Edexcel A level chemistry last year and got an A*, though most of the organic chemistry is the same as with OCR A.

This thread has some good advice on it regarding preparing for A level chemistry generally: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7292393&p=98314190&page=9#post98314190

For organic synthesis, I’d say the synthesis maps aren’t the best approach. I much preferred to use the Sporcle.com quizzes as active recall.

https://www.sporcle.com/search/quizzes/?s=A+level+chemistry

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