Chapter Summaries

Organic chemistry textbooks are not written for ease of reading. They’re just not. They’re thousands of pages long, often unclear, and so dense that the material needs to be read multiple times for students to even begin to understand.


Take a look at this review of a $300 textbook, written by a fellow student:


Poorly organized, poor explanations, dry writing, and mediocre illustrations.I am half-way through my first semester of organic chemistry and am so frustrated with this textbook. The author does a very poor job of explaining the logic behind each mechanisms. There are illustrations in the text, but they are pretty basic. The writing style is also incredibly dry …


The tough part about learning O-Chem should be trying to understand the chemistry, not trying to understand the textbook.


The Orgo Made Simple chapter summaries help you learn the chemistry as they…

  • are written in easy-to-understand language.
  • are crafted by recent students, focusing on the most important and most tested concepts in organic chemistry.
  • heavily use figures, because let’s face it—we’d all rather look at a figure than read a long paragraph.
  • have examples with step-by-step instruction in the text to give practice problems from the moment the concept is introduced.



Here’s what one student told her college’s newspaper about the Orgo Made Simple chapter summaries:


“I’ve found that I often get lost while reading our Orgo textbook, as it can be pretty overwhelming. To help, I usually read the Orgo Made Simple section before I even open the corresponding textbook chapter. Since [the site] does an awesome job of clearly emphasizing and explaining the key points, I then go into the textbook reading already aware of the major concepts and I’ve found that I end up understanding the material a whole lot better as a result.”


Organic chemistry is tough enough? Why be more overwhelmed than necessary?





What’s covered in the Orgo Made Simple chapter summaries?

The entire first semester of organic chemistry is covered. Note that the second semester is not covered.

The chapters, in order, are: Review of General Chemistry, Introduction to Chemistry, Acids and Bases, Alkanes, Cycloalkanes, Isomerism and Stereochemistry, Mechanism Preparation, Substitution Reaction, Elimination Reactions, Substitution versus Elimination, Reactions of Alcohols, Ethers, Alkenes, Alkynes, and NMR.

Can this replace my textbook?
The chapter summaries are best used synergistically with your textbook, and we do not recommend using the chapter summaries to fully replace your textbook. Your textbook will have sections about low-yield topics that are not covered by the OMS chapter summaries.
How much material am I getting?
 If you took all the Orgo Made Simple chapters, and placed them on a word document, you’d get 165 single-spaced pages. That’s a lot of pages.
Why are they called chapter summaries?

We focus on the key concepts of each chapter, but these chapters are far from simply being a summary. In total, the OMS chapter summaries add up to 165 single-spaced pages. That’s 165 pages of in-depth explanation, figures, and example questions.