"The sad truth is
that most of your practice comes from doing problems and doing the
practice midterms. Of course, that sounds bad. But it's
My favorite way of conquering the 7 or 8 practice midterms that he
posts is to do use a couple of midterms as testers where you can
take your time doing a couple of problems to get a feel for what
he's questions are like, and so you can go back to the Thinkbook
and review areas in which you feel weak in. You can take the
next several exams like the actual midterm: take in a quiet place
and under a timed setting so that you can know how to pace
Also, I find review Concept Focus Questions always refreshes your
mind about all the general details that sometimes gets lost when
you learn and remember all the tiny details. After all,
sometimes he asks you to write the definition of something and it
sucks to miss that question, especially since those are easy
"I find that doing the CFQs and Practice Problems right after he
goes over the topics in lecture helps a lot. When midterm and
final time comes around it's best to review concepts from the CFQs
that were harder for you to grasp as well as doing all the
practice exams that he puts on his website. I think it's also
worth it to listen to lectures that covered the more difficult
"I find that if I do the CFQ's before lecture I am able to
understand the lecture more clearly. Do the one hour of day
(although this is many times not enough time). Discussion section
problems on the other hand haven't been extremely helpful for me
as a whole. Do all of the old exams before the midterm, they will
"Study Ochem everyDAY! It is impossible at times to do it
voluntarily, but I mean, at least 15 minutes or a couple of
problems a day doesn't hurt. It's pretty doable because once his
exams come by, you'll be prepared for his surprises and
challenging problems. Trust me, I've been exposed to his exams
before and the best way to prepare for them is not the night or a
few nights before, but it is an ongoing process. OChem is harder
than most people think, and how Dr. H tests- he really wants you
to apply the concepts you learn and not just what you have
memorized! So basically, the tools he has given you (Thinkbook,
"optional" texts, etc.) are useful and meant to help students."
"I find that going over my handwritten notes and sometimes
rewriting my notes right after lecture really helps.
PP's are a minimal must to survive this class! And if you have
access to Dr. H's book that's he's writing, you'll see that he has
more CFQ's there for you to practice as well!
Also, does anyone
want to form a chemistry study group? I formed one for 14C and it
worked fairly well. It kinda fell apart at the end because it was
hard to coordinate everyone's schedules, but for the time it
lasted it still helped.
Anyone who's interested, please private
Thanks and good luck studying!"
"The best part about Hardinger's course is the access to past
midterms. After studying for so and so weeks it is nice to
have these extra problem sets in a nice bundle that usually
summarizes what you need to know, and allows you to challenge
yourself under similar circumstances. Granted there is
always something new on the actual midterm so focus on conceptual
understanding of each question's purpose. Lecture is awesome
though. The metaphors and step by step explanation allow you
to digest info before putting the knowledge to practice. Go
"Sometimes I like to spend quality time with a whiteboard when I'm
reviewing the reaction mechanisms. It's a lot quicker to
erase and keep doing and redoing problems until you get them
right. Since I go back to the dorms after lecture, for the current
topics, I just write the mechanism we went over at the top of the
board and list underneath it:
- "why is this sn1/sn2?"
- "why did we use this nucleophile?"
- "what type of solvent is this/why/define everything"
- "what types of products"
- "what if we had a different solvent?"
If you're eligible and are having trouble with o-chem, there are
lots of great tutoring resources. AAP (Campbell Hall) has
great tutors that put things into a different perspective and sum
up the topics really nicely."
"This is how I study which has worked for me before. I get the
basic idea when I go to class. Then later on I go through the
entire section in the Thinkbook: CFQs and Practice Problems, I
have had no reason to really do discussion section problems unless
I have time. Practice Problems already cover the topic very well.
Doing all the practice exams are the most crucial and I do them
the day before the exam. It really test your knowledge and tells
you everything you need to know. The exam will be similarly
formatted to the practice exam, with the addition of one or two
new types of problems that are more challenging and really test
your knowledge on the subject and are not seen anywhere else
(practice problems or exams). There's a lot of mechanical work to
be done, but if you do it it actually makes the exam very
pleasant to sit through."
"I think my biggest mistake in 14C was saving up the problems and
doing them all at once instead of breaking them up into manageable
chunks. Towards the end of the quarter, I changed my study habits
so that I would do problems whenever I had a half hour open. The
details and concepts definitely stick better, and that way when
you review for the midterm/final it comes together big picture
wise. Also, when I'm doing problems I circle problems that were
difficult or tricky and go back and do them a week or two later
when I'm reviewing just make sure I understand the material well
enough not to get tricked again."
"One thing that really helps me study is listening to lecture
recordings. Going to lecture is great for gradual information
retention, but for added reinforcement, around 4 days before an
exam, I go through all the lectures which the exam will cover and
listen to them at 2x the regular speed. You can still understand
it and go over the written notes at the same time. If there is a
part that needs clarification, slow down and repeat it.
really helpful if you missed writing something during lecture.
Also, I find it helpful to re listen to an entire topic (i.e.
substitution reactions: SN
1 and SN
all in one day. It helps me make more connections and understand
the information more thoroughly. The entire "relistening process"
takes only a day of studying. This way, if you understand
everything he talks about without having to go back and review the
topic, you are ready for the test conceptually. To be completely
ready, do A LOT of problems, every problem given at least twice.
Go over discussion section problems and practice problems one more
time and move on to the old midterms."
"After each lecture, I usually read the course notes archive. It
includes detailed notes on every lecture topic."