Monday, 1 October 2012

S205 - Advice for Starters

As an addendum to a previous post with my thoughts on S205 in general, here's some advice I posted to the S205 group on The Facebook when someone asked. By the way, if you're doing an OU course the Facebook groups are great - there's a much friendlier atmosphere than on the course forums.
  • Make sure you understand Book 2 and Book 3 Part 2 really well, as they come up throughout the course.
  • Book 5 Part 2 introduces you to reaction mechanisms and other concepts which are also fundamental to organic chemistry in later parts of the course (Books 5(3), 7 and 10), so it (and the exercises) should also be read thoroughly.
  • The TMA questions tell you which book they're about - read the questions before reading the books. You can then pick up the answer as you're going through, rather than forgetting all about the topic and perhaps missing something important.
  • Conversely, don't think you've got a TMA question complete until you've read the entire book that it's on. Sometimes, general rules that look right are altered by niche conditions/whatever, which is what the TMA is really asking about.
  • Book 8 Part 1 and Book 9 (past chapter 4) can be largely avoided, if you like. I read (but made no notes) on Book 8, and skipped 9 as much as possible. This seemed like a popular option as it's very, very dry! Our TMA question on Book 9 was about a specific chapter, so you can just focus on that.

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