Introductory Organic and Biochemistry

Practice quizzes

Level of the quizzes
Quiz list

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Quizzes are keyed to chapters in Ouellette (Organic Chemistry - A Brief Introduction, 2/e, 1998). Although the quizzes are indicated for a particular chapter, they often cover material from more than one chapter.

For each quiz, a partial answer key is available online. There is a link to it at the top and bottom of the quiz page. You are also welcome to turn in the quiz, for feedback. Site visitors are welcome to ask me questions about the quiz by email.

Answer keys typically include some explanation, for your guidance. If you think that certain answers should be expanded, let me know. It's easy to do, but is most likely to get done by responding to specific requests.

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Level of the quizzes

The quizzes were originally written for an introductory class in organic and biochemistry. Within that scope, it is intended that some questions are fairly basic and straightforward, whereas others are more challenging. Sometimes, I label some of the more difficult questions. Of course, classes vary, even with the same general title and role, so students taking other courses need to use some judgment. I welcome comments and questions from anyone working with these quizzes. Such comments sometimes lead to clarifying questions or elaborating answers. For students taking university level organic or biochemistry, everything in these quizzes should be good practice. (Obviously, the more biochemical parts are for the biochem course.)

In some cases, quizzes are used to evaluate what you have accomplished. But in addition, they are part of the learning process. You learn from doing problems, and seeing how well you do them, and what gaps remain. As you work on questions such as these, try to have reasons for everything you do. That is, try to be reason-oriented, not just answer-oriented. If you have trouble with a question, it is best to discuss the reason for your answer and then guide you to "better" reasoning, as appropriate. That way, your learning from one question helps you as you continue.

My contact information is at the bottom of every page at this site.

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Quiz list

Those who are using my web site materials for self-study... As noted above, you are welcome -- and encouraged -- to ask me questions when difficulties arise. (My contact information is at the bottom of each of my web pages.) It always helps if you include how you would answer the question and why. That lets me respond to what you are thinking, lets me focus my reply on where you are having trouble. Further, it gives me a feel for the level at which you are addressing the question -- which may vary depending on your background and course level. The level of discourse -- and your learning of chemistry -- is enhanced by trying to focus on reasons, not simply answers. (If you are asking about a question from another source, be sure to include the question, and some context.)

Alkanes and cycloalkanes. Includes basic organic nomenclature and isomers. Ouellette Ch 3.

Alkenes, alkynes. Ouellette Ch 4.

Ouellette Ch 3, 4, 8, 10, 12. For a quiz that deals with the general nature of oxidation and reduction, which is part of all these chapters, see the quiz listed below for Ouellette Ch 12. You may work on this quiz at any time along here, from Ouellette Ch 4 to 12.

Aromatic nomenclature: Use of ortho, meta, para. Ouellette Ch 5.

Alcohols, ethers. Ouellette Ch 8-9.

Review quiz, through ethers. This quiz reviews a range of material up though "ethers" (Ouellette Ch 9), including nomenclature, properties, and reactions. Most of this quiz is at "basic" or "core" level. It may be good practice just before Test 2, which typically covers up through Ch 9.

Distinguishing isomers. This quiz deals with many functional groups discussed so far, including C=C double bonds, alcohols, ethers, aldehydes, ketones. It is quite challenging because it brings together so much material -- but that is precisely why it is so useful. I strongly encourage you to work on this quiz as practice for the test. Allow yourself time to work on it and get feedback. Emphasize the logic of each step. Ouellette Ch 10.

Carbohydrates (and chirality). Ouellette Ch 11 & 6.

Oxidation and reduction. This quiz helps you see the relationship between counting electrons (using oxidation numbers) vs using the count of O and H atoms in ranking organic chemicals by oxidation state. Ouellette introduces this in Ch 2 Sect 4. This quiz is relevant to several chapters, and can probably be done at any time from Ouellette Ch 4 onwards. It does require knowing the basic structure of the various functional groups. You can do it using the introduction to functional groups in Ouellette Sect 1.9. On the other hand, you can leave it until we have covered all these groups, in Ouellette Ch 3, 4, 8, 10, 12.

For more on redox... See the page on Balancing organic redox reactions. There are various ways to balance redox equations, and the ones you learn in general chem are sometimes not convenient with redox equations involving organic chemicals, or other complex chemicals. This page focuses on an approach that is especially suitable with organic chemicals: emphasizing H and O atoms. Thus it uses the material from the quiz listed above in the context of balancing equations.

Carboxylic acids and derivatives. Ouellette Ch 12. Includes considerable review from earlier chapters.

Lipids. Ouellette Ch 13.

Amines and amides. Ouellette Ch 14.

Amino acids and proteins. Ouellette Ch 15.

Metabolism. The Metabolism page includes a worksheet on glycolysis, and a practice quiz on metabolic pathways. These are posted as DOC files, which include answer keys.

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The Chemistry practice problems page links to all sets of chem problems that are posted at my web site.

Organic/Biochem (X402) home page    X402 Ch 3 handout (for Ouellette book) [pdf file]

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Last update: March 2, 2019