8 Awesome Organic Chemistry Study Guides [updated for 2020]
OUR FAVORITE PARTNER COURSES
This post contains affiliate links (at no extra cost to you). Please read our disclosure for more information.
If you are currently taking organic chemistry, you already know that the only way to really get it to stick is through endless studying and practicing. With so many online resources at your fingertips, it can seem daunting finding the best organic chemistry study guides to suit your needs. Thankfully, we’ve done this for you. Here are our top 8 organic chemistry study guides to help you get through class.
Prepping for the MCAT? Review our top MCAT resources!
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks:
Our 8 Most Recommended Organic Chemistry Study Guides
Organic Chemistry as a Second Language, First Semester
We’ve listed the Organic Chemistry as a Second Language twice because there are actually 2 books in this set that can be bought separately – First Semester and Second Semester topics. This book is a condensed version of what you’d get in an organic chemistry textbook, so you only get what you need as an organic chemistry study guide.
For those who find organic chemistry to be a very intimidating subject, this study guide written by David Klein is a simple solution that is both complete and easy to understand. Complex topics are broken down with simple explanations and related practice problems.
Exclusive MCAT Course Discounts
Get up to 20% off some of the best MCAT prep courses on the market today! That’s up to $159 in savings.
Organic Chemistry as a Second Language, Second Semester
Here is the Second Semester Topics for Organic Chemistry as a Second Language. We recommend purchasing both of these books to cover all topics needed for an organic chemistry study guide.
First semester of Organic Chemistry is often easier than second, so this book comes in really handy for detailed rules and methods of doing mechanisms and beyond. This book will be crucial in your success, especially if you’re not naturally good with chemistry.
Organic Chemistry for Dummies 1
Similar to the previous two books, Organic Chemistry for Dummies I and II can both be purchased to get a full study guide on Organic Chemistry. You will find example questions in this organic chemistry study guide as well as full explanations that reflect changes in content.
This organic chemistry study guide is not comprehensive and you will still need to spend your own time reviewing and studying notes. That said, it is a wonderful reference that helps explain difficult concepts through a different and often easier-to-understand perspective. There is some friendly humor that helps to bring down the intensity of such an intimidating subject.
Organic Chemistry II for Dummies
Organic Chemistry II for Dummies is an extension of Organic Chemistry I for Dummies. It can be used for second semester of organic chemistry classes, as it provides great summaries of content and concepts to allow for efficient and effective study.
Although you will get a review of Organic Chemistry I, this book will not get too deep into first-semester topics. Specific topics you will dive into with this organic chemistry study guide are organic reactions, spectroscopy of aromatic compounds and carbonyls, amines, Grignard reaction, and synthesis & roadmaps.
ACS Official Study Guide
If you are taking the ACS final, investing in the ACS Official Study Guide is a good choice, as the ACS exam can be quite different than the organic chemistry tests you take in school. You will get an outline of important concepts and the opportunity to work on questions in the ACS formatting.
This organic chemistry study guide helps you to understand questions by detailing why the correct answers are indeed correct as well as why the incorrect answers are wrong. This can be extremely helpful in understanding concepts fully.
Organic Chemistry Student Solution Manual
This is a great study guide by David Klein but is designed to accompany the Organic Chemistry, 3rd Edition textbook. This Student Study Guide provides in-depth answers and reasonings to all the questions found in the textbook, both odds and evens! This may seem redundant, but the textbook only provides answers for the odd questions, and, among those answers, provides no explanations.
This organic chemistry study guide will give you the step-by-step of how to solve the problems and get you one step closer to mastering organic chemistry. This study guide includes reviews of the main idea for each section and can also be found in an easy-to-use e-book.
StudyOrgo.com Study Guide
The next two organic chemistry study guides that make it on our list are shorter, more focused study guides. This organic chemistry study guide by StudyOrgo.com is ten chapters of content that can be accessed as a free pdf. This study guide can be used as a quick refresher before walking into your exam or the MCAT.
The way this study guide is set up is more like a note outline than chapters full of text. This makes the information quick and easy to reference and study versus reading through chapters full of text and fillers. This is a wonderful supplement to your organic chemistry class and an easy study-guide to be used before a test.
Organic Chemistry Fundamentals
This organic chemistry study guide is more like a cheat sheet than a summary of content and concepts. If you purchase this cheat sheet, it’s 6 laminated pages full of quick-reference items with the purpose of encouraging memory and recall.
This study guides serves the purpose of quick reference, to reinforce concepts quickly and effectively. It also can be used as an effective test-prep tool, where memory and recall can be greatly increased on nights leading up to a test.
There is pretty much an entire course of organic chemistry outlined on these pages, while still also being extremely handy and easy to take with you while you are on-the-go.
What to Look for in an Organic Chemistry Study Guide:
1. Answers to the difficult questions
Where you can save hundreds of dollars tutoring is finding an organic chemistry study guide that already answers the tough questions you had in your problem sets. These explanations should be thorough and enable you to understand both why the correct answer is correct and the other answers aren’t. Here are some tips for surviving organic chem from Harvard.
2. Helpful summaries (especially for the MCAT):
One of the main reasons I find study guides helpful is for their ability to quickly summarize the key points (the same holds for MCAT flashcards). This can be a godsend as you are prepping for whatever exam is coming up, be it for organic chemistry itself or for your upcoming MCAT test. These summaries should be organized in a manner that is both simple to lookup as well as makes sense in grouping.
3. Practice problems
Studying for organic chemistry without actually practicing on problems would be a highly ineffective way to prep for your test as well as the MCAT. You need to have the chance to work off high-yield problems that you will see on your upcoming exams.
Our Favorite Organic Chemistry Youtube Channels:
Frank Wong shares free Youtube videos that simply organic chemistry and also founded the website www.OrgoMadeEasy.org
Chem Survival is a channel created by Professor Davis who shares chemistry lessons in the form of animations. For visual learners, they’re fire.
Have you used any of these organic chemistry study guides? Let us know your experience with them by commenting below!
Planning on taking biology soon? Here are the most effective biology coloring books on the market.