Course review : CH401

CH401 : Organic Reaction

~ Shubhanshu Jain

Disclaimer:The content of this page are opinions expressed by individual students. The information provided is for guidance purposes. Use the information at your own risk.

Editor’s note : This is a B.S Student’s perspective



During which semester & year you took the course ?

Autumn Semester 2019

Course Instructor

Prof. Krishna P. Kaliappan

What grade was awarded to you?


Course Difficulty (On a scale of 1 to 5)


Comment on the grading done by the professor in your opinion?

This time prof. Kaliappan took a big decision to seperate the grading of B.S & M.Sc students . Keeping that in mind i certainly feel it was quite moderate grading done by him

What was the Attendance Policy?

Although no DX grades were awarded by prof. Kaliappan but he strongly insisted on attendance especially to B.S Students


This is strongly advised to all B.S Students. Although this course doesn’t require you to read up anything extra but certainly practicing mechanism writing and reading up some general organic chemistry text during your summers will come in handy. Try to solve different organic chemistry questions as this question solving skill will come in handy during this course

This Course evaluation comprises of?

Quizzes, Mid-Sem, and End-Sem

20% Quiz (best 2 of 3), 30% Mid-Sem, and 50% End-Sem

What are the topics covered in the course?

Functional group transformations, Mitsunobu and related reactions, nucleophilic cleavage of C-O bonds, inter-conversion of carboxylic acid derivatives, Metal based oxidizing reagents (chromium, manganese, ruthenium, silver, etc.), Non-metal based oxidizing reagents (DMSO, peroxide, peracid, IBX, DMP, CAN, DDQ, periodate, etc.), Homogeneous and heterogeneous hydrogenations, borane based racemic and chiral reagents, aluminum, tin, silicon based reducing agents, Illustration of chemoselectivity, regioselectivity, and stereoselectivity, Protecting groups for alcohols, amines, acids, ketones, and aldehydes, Diels-Alder reaction, Hetero-Diels Alder reaction, 1,-3-dipolar cycloaddition reactions, and [2+2] cycloaddition reactions.

How were the Lectures for this course?

The lectures were quite informative and factual, so often, there wasn’t much to discuss, and after a few weeks, the flow of information increased a lot, combined with the lack of problems made the lectures quite monotonous, which made attending them a little absolute for some. Still, the professor himself was quite interested in students’ learning and would sometime include real-world compounds to incite interest in the subject.

I must mention later on professor took student feedback and conducted question solving sessions on request of students which were certainly very helpful

How were the Exams for this course?

The exams were relatively tough, and a good grasp of the material was required even to score average marks. Many of the questions seemed to have multiple approaches to them, but often most of them would have some limitations, which would lead to partial to no marks.

How are the Assignments & Projects for this course?

No graded Assignments or Projects were conducted in the course

Any tips for the junta to perform well in the course?

Solving previous years’ papers and question banks will be of much help (Especially for endsem) as some of the problems may have quite a similar approach. I feel the only way to score high is to practice a lot of problems both during the semester and before the exams to have a good grasp of the content

References used in this course:

In my opinion going through lecture slides and past papers is the best reference to ace this course however junta can refer some of these books. In particular the Carey & Sandburg book is used extensively

  1.  Jerry March, “Advanced Organic Chemistry”, Fifth Ed., Wiley, 2007.
  2.  F. A. Carey and R. J. Sundburg, “Advanced Organic Chemistry, Part B”, Fifth Ed., Plenum Press, 2007.
  3.  J. Clayden, N. Greeves, S. Warren and P. Wothers, “Organic Chemistry”, First Ed., Oxford University Press, 2001.
  4. W. Carruthers, “Some Methods of Organic Synthesis”, Cambridge University Press,
  5. K. Peter C. Vollhardt and Neil E. Schore “Organic Chemistry” W. H. Freeman and Company, 1999.

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