Organic Chemistry Functional Groups

February 19, 2019

A-level organic chemistry requires learning and memorising a lot of factual information. This can prove daunting, particularly for those students who struggle with retention and recall of information. One approach to this is to concentrate first on memorising only the most essential information.

Since much of A-level organic chemistry is about functional groups (ie the reactive parts of the molecule) a good starting point is to memorise the main functional groups. Recognising functional groups is the key to learning reaction pathways and mechanisms in organic chemistry, where many potentially easy marks are to be found on exam papers.

The attached pdf file summarises the functional groups to remember.

Everyone has their own way of memorising facts, but one tried & tested technique is to first read the information then write it down, then test yourself repeatedly over a period of time, little & often, until you are able to recall all the information. With this type of study, you may find it helps to work with a partner or get family members to test you.

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