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Organic Chemistry & Biology @ UBC

Brock Lesnar

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I'm taking CHEM 233 and BIOL 200 in the fall at UBC. I heard that these courses (especially CHEM 233) are killer and was hoping someone could post a recent syllabus for either course.

Can’t find one online and I want to start reading ahead (or I keep telling myself that :P ). Any tips are also welcome.

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frack the textbook for Chem 233. Don't bother wasting your time reading it, unless it's for just clarifying a small point. Go to class and take good notes. Concentrate on the notes for that class and keep up. Stay calm during tests because you'll have to do a little bit of thinking. There's a few basic groups of q's they ask on midterms/exams. Get your hands on some old midterms and exams to get a feel for the types of q's (but don't try to memorize how to do a question). Make sure you can draw out your lewis dot diagrams and assign formal charges to help you picture stuff more easily. Make sure you really understand the basics of the course at the beginning like carbocation stability, hyperconjugation, etc.

If you go on the facebook ubc textbook exchange page, you could try putting a wanted posting for old o-chem notes/exams. Worth a shot.

Oh! I highly recommend a small dry erase board for practicing q's, especially mechanism and synthesis q's. (Writing on paper was just so messy). I found it really helpful because it was so easy to erase mistakes, but once you get better, you'll want to practice a bit on paper just to simulate tests a bit.

If you're really worried, you can start learning some o-chem online. I recommend khanacademy's o-chem youtube vids. Sal is outstanding. Way better than reading textbooks, especially during the summer. heh

https://www.khanacad...ganic-chemistry they've changed the site layout a bit, but just look around. It's very helpful for other subjects too.

I have some more advice, but I'll probably message you it in a few days. Most of my advice will just be small little pointers because if you have certain things mastered it just makes the course go a bit more smoothly (assigning formal charge, lewis dots representations, drawing/recognizing the stick versions of molecules).

Bio 200 was okay for me, but def. stay on top of chem 233. For 233, stick to the fundamentals of the course notes.

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I can't comment specifically on either of those courses, but for O-Chem (I took 203/204, the chem/biochem equivalent of 233 as well as 330) I found the most effective way for me to study was the rewrite my notes as soon as I could, make everything neat and only take the most important information. Then I put sample reactions and trickier mechanisms on cue cards and went from there. If you can do the cards forwards as well as backwards then you're set (as in, given two reactants, give a product and reverse. As well as list the steps to get from starting material to product).

When I had Dake (who now teaches 233 I think?) he put a lot of emphasis on pKa values, they come in handy.

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BIOL 200 is easy and interesting. Just do the problems. Questions are routinely recycled.

O-chem is about how well you can understand basic concepts (ie. how functional groups act) and apply them to new molecules. 233's cake compared to 203/204 which I took. I understand o-chem's not for everybody but it really is just applying the same things over and over again.

Also, please don't be such a keener. Enjoy your summer!

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Wow, thanks for the advice guys!

Newsflash, I will make sure I keep up with the problem sets (coming out of high school I was really impressed with the resources UBC provides)

The Brahma Bull, I will seek out old midterms/exams asap and will consider buying a small whiteboard (DKW but i always wanted one :P ). I have been watching Khan Academy since my AP bio days in high school and also think he is terrific. Definitely gunna spend time watching his videos.

Hodor (G.O.T FTW!), I have been summarizing my notes for basically every course and don't plan on stopping. One thing that does irritate me is how TAs can have such a big impact on ur grade. Whatever, I have great TAs so far. Lol I arranged my semester around CHEM 233 and made sure to take an elective that semester so I could focus more on it. BTW idk who my instructor is yet.

Ckamo, I'll consider putting reactions on cue cards if I find myself struggling. Thank u for the great advice.

Kazin!, "Also, please don't be such a keener. Enjoy your summer!" lol one reason y I didn't want to post :ph34r: . I'm being a "keener" b/c it seems that everyone struggles with this course and I just want to be prepared. I can still enjoy my summer if I spend less than an hour every few days reading.

Keep the advice coming and if u know where I can get resources that would be great.

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I took the organic Chem course over 15 years ago and the advice was the same. Do not fall behind. Understand your fundamentals keep up and go to class. You can get away with a lot in university (i did) not going to class putting in min. effort and still getting really good marks in courses. If you do that with this class you will fail, the failure rate in my class was unbelievable.

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I took 233 and 200 quite some time ago, but I doubt anything has changed.

Yes, UBC's famous BIOL233 course has a bad reputation because a lot of students fail it every semester. It's not that the course material is hard. It just requires you to diligently keep up with it on a daily basis. Fall behind in 233 and it will be the death of you. As far as I remember, sometimes as much as 50% of the class fails the first mid-term, lol.

As long as you go to class, take good notes, and understand the basic concepts and do all of problem sets, you'll do just fine. The key to this course is diligence, really.

I don't really think reading ahead will do you that much good, to be honest, haha. The concepts aren't too bad as long as you go to class and take good notes. Reread your notes every day and stay on top of it. If you don't understand something, do NOT wait and think you can catch up later. Make sure you do not fall behind, that's about the best advice I can give for 233.

BIOL200 I don't remember as being that difficult or feared, lol.

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