Course review : CH404

CH404 : Physical Organic Chemistry

~By Aashi Kasera

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.



During which semester & year you took the course ?

Spring Semester 2019-20

Course Instructor

Prof. S.R.Kotha

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?

In terms of question paper checking, the professor expected to the point answer however the overall grading statistics for the batch were hugely in favor of students with more than half of the class ending up with grade greater than or equal to AB

What was the Attendance Policy?

The attendance holds a good proportion of marks (20 %). Be sure to attend the lectures no matter in such a situation.


Having had some basic knowledge of organic chemistry, would not only help you expand your knowledge further, but would also allow you to balance out the time you’d then have to invest in the course.

This Course evaluation comprises of?

As it’s a half-sem course, it has quiz and an end sem.

It’s a half semester course, thus it has 1 Quiz (10 M), 1 end-sem(30 M), attendance(10 M). But the distribution could vary year-to-year.This entire thing is scaled upto 100 at the end and awarded grade on the basis of that.

What are the topics covered in the course?

Chemoelectivity, Regioselectivity, Enantioselectivity, Diastereoselectivity, Hammond Postulate, Taft Equation, Stereochemistry, Strains, Green Chemistry, Reaction Mechanism (Nucleophilic Substitution, Elimination, Addition, Rearrangement, Reduction, Oxidation Reactions) Ring formation, Template Effect, Thrope-Ingold Effect, HSAB principle, Role of S, P, Si in organic synthesis, Principle of least motion, Reactive intermediates(carbocation, carbanion, carbene, nitrene, benzyne)

How were the Lectures for this course?

The lectures are not heavy. It’s mostly presentation based, and involves minimal use of chalk and board. The good thing is they are well-thought out by the professor, and the topics are thus covered in a systematic manner. But on the other hand it’s not very interactive, and focuses more on self-study.

However i must mention to juniors to be cautious as professor takes a while in adusting the paper he wishes to project on the screen so that breaks the flow of learning. Apart from that its highly recommended to interact with professor during lecture hour otherwise it just becomes one way street.

How were the Exams for this course?

The exams are good, brain racking. They are not tough to say, but mainly focus on checking your basics and approach. They are a perfect example of how we end up doing difficult problems so well, but are prone to committing silly mistakes in solving simpler ones.

How are the Assignments & Projects for this course?

We didn’t have any assignments or projects for this course.

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

Keep reading the topics parallel to as being taught in the class, this way you’d be investing the right amount of time into knowing more about the topics and would have sufficient material to go through for the end-sem. If you keep stacking up, you’d end up with myriad of topics either not touched or briefed properly about, near to the paper, which is rather traumatizing.

References used in this course:

The professor mentions the required books in the class, specific for specific topics. But by and large, Clayden should be your go to book.

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