Syllabus 140C Spring 13

That if you review and clarify your lecture notes

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) that if you review and clarify your lecture notes within 24 hours, 90% of the material is retained. If you wait more than a day, only 50% is retained. And if you wait a week, only 35% is retained! When you read, be sure that you have a pen or pencil in hand and write as you read. Although important, the reading is only one component of learning this topic. Real learning requires ACTIVE participation rather than mere passive studying. Therefore, work all of the assigned problems multiple times. Proficiency in organic chemistry requires practice, practice, practice and very little memorization. With practice, you will be able to draw structures rapidly, devise resonance contributors and come up with reaction mechanisms. If you merely read the material passively, you will not succeed. This is similar to reading a book on golf and expecting to shoot par your first time on the course. It just won't happen. need a lot of practice! You also can't hit the ball around the night before a tournament and expect to do well the next day. Excellence in many sports is the result of cumulative skill development. The same goes for organic chemistry. Finally, do not procrastinate. Cramming for an O-chem exam does not work! I have had straight A students fail this course because they chose to disregard the previous statement. There is simply too much material and too many hours of practice required to get it all done a few days before an exam. As a rule of thumb, you should spend at least 4-5 hours of study time per hour of lecture in order to pass this course. Thus, in one week you should set aside 12-15 hours for the study of organic chemistry (about 2 hours per day). Please note that this is 12-15 hours spread out over each week; not 45 hours crammed in over 2 days before the midterm! If you cannot afford this time commitment, it would be advisable for you to not take the class until you have the time. This class requires a serious commitment and anything less will be clearly reflected in your final grade. Organic chemistry requires visualization for the understanding of concepts. Your text has an excellent web site that provides graphics that can greatly help in this process. In addition, the use of molecular models is very important, especially for the understanding of stereochemistry. It is very rare that a person can visualize the three-dimensional aspects of organic compounds without the aid of models. You will need to learn to do this (visualize without models) but practicing with models can really help. You will not be permitted to use models on the exams. Over the years, I have noticed that many students do a poor job of taking notes in class. Since the test material comes from the topics I stress in class (along with the required prerequisite material), if you miss something in your notes, there is a good possibility that
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you will miss some test questions. If your note-taking skills are inadequate you may want to listen to the podcast of the lecture or compare your notes with a friend. Sometimes, AS lecture notes are made available for the class. However, I cannot guarantee the accuracy
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that if you review and clarify your lecture notes within 24...

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