Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I covered exam review. We went over a sample exam and focused on enolates, Robinsons, Michael addition, aldol addition, reduction and oxidation, and retro-synthesis problems."
"Today we went over the student's first exam. I think her biggest issue with this exam was time. The test was on the long side and she had to rush through the exam and ended up making minor errors along the way. We went over some time-management skills so she will be more prepared for her next exam. Overall, she did very well today, and we covered all the concepts that she was struggling with. Great job!"
"We covered naming alkanes and 3D structures, such as Newman projections, line drawings, wedges and dashes, etc. and strategies on how to go about solving problems in a timely manner for the student's upcoming exam. We also talked about ways to help her study and do homework problems before meeting with me so that we have more time to cover the problems that she was having more difficulty on. The session went over very well, and I was able to explain everything that she didn't know or was having a hard time understanding."
"For this session, we focused on working with drawing out structures and Newman projections on a variety of compounds (e.g. simple chains, rings, many/few substituents, etc.). As of now, the student's biggest struggles are not with the material itself, but rather just understanding how to manipulate the images in her head. For example, she struggled switching between Newman projections and regular line structures. Once she understands that, then everything else falls into place. I have been drawing eyes next to our structures to represent which perspective we're taking when looking at a specific problem. Thus far, it has helped out tremendously. I asked her to work on more Newman projections, along with general nomenclature problems, and let me know if she needed help at any point. Adding this to her current study regimen will greatly help her for her upcoming exam."
"Today we spent most of the time going over SN2 and SN1 reactions, including how to determine which one will happen given a specific set of conditions. We went over the mechanism of both reactions, the type of reactants needed, and went into detail about how a solvent determines what type of reaction will happen. We also discussed nucleophiles (and what makes a good/poor nucleophile), aprotic/protic solvents, and primary/secondary/tertiary carbocations. We also went over trends with boiling point, density, bond length, and bond strength. This is new information that can be pretty overwhelming at the beginning of organic chemistry, so the student did well in trying to really understand. I gave her practice problems with different sets of scenarios that would change the type of reaction and consequently the products of the reaction. As we walked through the examples together, she was able to logically determine the correct products."
"Today, we continued talking about the aldol reactions. We discussed more intricate parts of the way the aldols come to life. First, we talked about the limitation of actually getting an aldol. They are very unstable, so it is only with the use of NH4Cl that you can isolate them. Second, we talked about different types of enolates that you can form and how the choice of base and even temperature can heat up the discussion! The student has improved dramatically."