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DAT Organic Chemistry

Free Resource to Prepare for the Organic Chemistry Section of the DAT

Organic Chemistry is often viewed as the epitome of a hard college class by the masses, and for good reason. It is a very difficult class for those who can’t discipline themselves to study each day after new material is presented. It is not a class where one can pull an “all nighter” and do well in. If you have plans of going into the dental field, this is definitely a class you want to do well in! Not only is it a pre-requisite for most dental programs around the country, but it is also a chance to make a favorable impression to Admission Committee members who read your application and set you apart from your peers that didn’t make an “A” in Organic Chemistry. You might wonder “Why would making an “A” in this class be much different from making an “A” in other classes?” Doing well in Organic Chemistry sends a positive signal to AdCom members that you have the skills and discipline to handle a lot of material and understand it well, something you will be required to have in dental school! So if you are a procrastinator, this message is especially geared towards you! You are not going to be able to postpone your studies till the last minute and do well in many classes in dental school!   Anyways, I digress, more about Organic Chemistry on the Dental Admissions Test. Those of you who are currently struggling with memorizing and reproducing the long-winded electron movements of some reactions will be relieved to know that questions on the DAT will not ask you to do this since all answers are multiple choice (however it is only for your benefit to understand these movements).  Rather than describe different kinds of questions that can be asked on the test, I will let you see for yourself. Below is a link to an actual DAT test (administered in 2007). Questions #70-100 of the Survey of Natural Sciences Test are all Organic Chemistry questions.   Below is a list provided by the ADA for topics that can potentially be tested on the DAT.   Mechanisms Energetics Structure – elimination, addition, free radical, substitution mechanisms Chemical and Physical Properties of Molecules  Spectroscopy (1H NMR, 13C NMR, infrared, and multi-spectra) Structure (polarity, intermolecular forces, solubility, melting/boiling point, etc.) Laboratory theory and techniques (i.e. TLC, separations, etc.) Stereochemistry (structure evaluation) Chirality Isomer relationships Conformations Nomenclature  IUPAC rules and functional groups in molecules Individual Reactions of the Major Functional Groups and Combinations of Reactions to  Synthesize Compounds  Alkene/alkyne Aromatic Substitution/elimination, Aldehyde/ ketone Carboxylic acids and derivatives Others For each area listed above, the following sub-areas apply: general, one-step, and multi-step. Acid-Base Chemistry Ranking acidity/basicity (structure analysis and pH/pKa data analysis) Prediction of products and equilibria Aromatics and Bonding  Concept of aromaticity Resonance Atomic/molecular orbitals Hybridization Bond angles/lengths.   For those of you not familiar with the DAT, 100 science questions will be asked and 30 of the 100 will be about Organic Chemistry. If you plan on taking the DAT in the future, make sure to study hard in your undergraduate class, as preparing for your DAT will be that much easier! Also, make sure to make the use of the great resources provided to you by It is a great, FREE resource that you can use to help you Ace the DAT! On there you will find great study tips, and many summary sheets to aid you in remembering some of the major concepts of Organic Chemistry. Especially useful are the summary sheets that have been made here:   $15 is a bargain for the convenience and quality of these sheets. I paid over $200 for my organic chemistry review book and the reactions and information covered was nowhere near as extensive as the information covered by these summary sheets and by the information on the website! I honestly wish that I would have known about this website during my prep for the DAT.   One last closing remark, if you can, take the DAT the summer/semester  RIGHT AFTER your last Organic Chemistry class while the material is still fresh in your head! It will save you from all of the stress of relearning all the material that you forgot over the course of time.  

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