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Common Student Problems

The problems listed below relate to fundamental chemistry topics that students often struggle with when they start organic chemistry and if they don't deal with them, they become major obstacles to success with organic chemistry:

  • Cannot distinguish "reasonable" and "unreasonable" structures
  • Know and use the basic rules of valence
  • Cannot assign formal charges efficiently
  • Try to recognise common scenarios
  • Don't appreciate acids and bases
  • Remember the definitions and think about what they do best ! 

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organic chemistry © Dr. Ian Hunt, Department of Chemistry University of Calgary