Topic in Chemistry that Attracts a lot of Questions in JEE Main

With around 15 lakh candidates appearing for the examination, JEE Main is indeed one of the most competitive engineering entrance examination in India. Consisting of 3 subjects, physics, chemistry and mathematics, this exam is meant to check students’ analytical ability and the command over +2 level basic concepts.

But unfortunately, what many students do is that, they ignore certain aspects of syllabus which are very commonly asked in the exam and thus, they end up getting bad ranks.


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However, focusing specifically on some topics will not only save your time, but also it will help in boosting your rank.

By seeing the past few years’ JEE paper, it can surely be said that:

General organic chemistry (GOC) is a topic which attracts the most number of questions in JEE Main (as well as in other important competitive examinations) and so, it becomes absolutely important to spend considerable time in understanding the ins and outs of the topic and practice ample of problems in order to be a master.

The topic of general organic chemistry covers the elementary concepts of organic chemistry which includes the definitions of:

Acids, bases, nucleophiles, electrophiles, bond fission, types of organic reactions, elementary reaction mechanisms, and other important properties of carbon. These are a must to understand the entire organic chemistry domain.

A wide variety of questions are asked from general organic chemistry portion, which include:

  • Identifying a specific atom in a compound as a nucleophilic centre or an electrophilic centre,
  • Arranging compounds in the order of acidity/basicity, arranging bonds in the order of their strength,
  • Identifying the type of bond fission (homolytic/heterolytic),
  • Arranging carbocations in the order of stability,
  • Identifying the electronic displacement effect, resonance and conjugation, identifying the type of the organic reaction (substitution/elimination/halogenation),
  • Nomenclature,
  • Identifying sigma and pi bonds,
  • And most importantly – isomerism.

A large number of questions are asked which involve counting of the number of structural or stereoisomers of a given compound.

Few tips to attempt questions from this particular topic are:

  • Cross checking the answer because it is very easy to miss out a particular isomer and mark the incorrect answer (which is usually presented as an option in order to confuse the students).
  • Making sure to not forget cis-trans isomers if the given compound has a double bond in it.
  • Also, do not try to apply combinatorics to count the number of isomers as usually it’s a bad idea to do so mathematically, because there are high chances of making silly mistakes.

General organic chemistry is essentially the language of organic chemistry. To master organic chemistry, one just cannot ignore this topic because it serves as the backbone of the other more complex topics, which can ultimately be broken down into simpler general organic chemistry problems.

Having mentioned about the important topics, it is worth mentioning that the book Solomons and Fryhle’s Organic chemistry by Wiley publishers has been designed to give students a deep insight of the subject so that they really understand the concepts and not just memorize the reactions.

We hope that the book and this article helps you.

About the Author

Aman Goel IIT B2 Aman Goel is B.Tech, computer science and engineering undergraduate student at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Born in a business oriented family of Kanpur he secured an All India Rank 33 in JEE advanced 2013 and also scored 323/360 in JEE main 2013. He has also cleared Indian National Physics and Chemistry Olympiads, and KVPY. In his free time, he likes to write articles related to JEE preparation. He loves speedcubing (the art of speed solving a Rubik's cube) and also loves to play computer/mobile games.


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