Best Organic Chemistry Tutor Websites and YouTube Channels in 2023
10 min read
Organic chemistry is one of the toughest classes in college, but with a little online help you can master the subject. Here we’ve collected the most popular ochem tutor websites and YouTube channels, and separated them by what they do best. Some have free subject lessons, others offer 1:1 tutoring, and some offer paid downloads for practice exams and cheat sheets.
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Most Popular Organic Chemistry Tutor Websites
Let’s start with hard data. We used a special tool to measure traffic to orgo tutoring websites on the first two pages of Google. We excluded tutor-connecting sites like Varsity Tutors. The graphic below shows that the top 3 sites get about 85% of all traffic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find great value that matches your learning style with the smaller or newer sites.
New vs. established? The fastest-growing sites in the last 6 months are shown below. The upper left quadrant shows the fastest-growing small sites, while the lower left quadrant shows small sites that are not showing much growth.
The top 3 sites anchor the right side with modest changes in traffic over time. ChemistryHall.com is more of a chemistry blog, OrganicChemExplained.com only has a few Orgo posts, and ChemDoodle.com is a great tool for drawing molecules.
With more than 50% of all worldwide traffic, masterorganicchemistry.com takes the cake as the most popular ochem website. It’s easy to see why. James Ashenhurst has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and has been building out this massive library since 2011. The site is completely comprehensive while still being clean, well-organized and snappy fast to load and navigate.
James’ tutoring site specializes in downloadable and printable study guides and flash cards. “MOC” also has a 180+ library of reaction mechanisms mapped out and 400+ topic-specific blog posts explained with natural-language commentary that’s refreshing compared to textbooks like this Fischer Esterification guide (sample shown below).
The depth to which James covers each topic is unreal. This page on conformations of cyclohexane is just one of hundreds and even cites literature for anyone who wants to go beyond normal coursework. MOC has great free downloadable sample materials to get you started in both semesters of O-chem and get a feel for the style, but you’ll want to buy into the extremely affordable membership ($10/mo) to get his top-tier study guides and practice tests. He also hosts a YouTube channel with 35k subscribers with 14+ playlists separated by topic.
Chemistry Steps has recently grown into the #2 most-visited organic chemistry site and has a similarly clean, straightforward explanation style to MOC above. Gevorg Sargsyan is a Ph.D. Organic Chemistry faculty who’s studied in 3 countries and now teaches in Texas. Chemistry Steps’ main advantage is having an interactive practice problems interface that lets you see hints, flag questions to come back to, and reveal answers after you guess.
The 1000+ practice problems are available for free, but you’ll need to get the membership ($39/mo or $79 for 4 months) to have access to the answers and hints in the interactive format. Gevorg also includes extensive explanations of every mechanism and topic for free like this Wittig Reaction article.
1000+ interactive practice problems with answers and hints
20+ hours of problem solving videos
Practice quizzes with interactive answers and hints
Organic synthesis puzzles
With 10% of total traffic, Leah4Sci is another powerhouse website in Organic Chemistry. Leah has a different background than the two tutors above: she served in the U.S. Navy as an emergency medical technician including a year in the Middle East, all while getting her dual degree in Chemistry and Biology. Although she has less website traffic, Leah has the strongest YouTube channel of these three with nearly 200k subscribers.
Leah’s site focuses more on video content where she hand-draws and narrates the reactions like this video series on EAS mechanisms. The videos are hosted on YouTube so you can speed up playback and jump around easily.
She’s also the only top 3 site to offer personal 1:1 tutoring online. There are less expensive options out there (her rate is $175/hr) but you know you’re getting time with someone who’s truly an expert at teaching the material and can integrate your sessions with her supporting material.
If that’s outside your budget, she also hosts live 1-hr topic-specific “Study Halls” the 1st and 3rd weeks of the month for $79/month, which also buys you the entire Study Hall recording library, practice quiz/exam videos and access to a private Facebook group of students helping each other throughout the semester.
Free stuff on Leah4Sci:
Hundreds of topic-specific video walkthroughs (also on YouTube)
Membership: Live Study Hall and Facebook Group access ($79/mo)
On a final note, Leah’s site is one of the only that adds ACS Exam prep and MCAT prep, which extends into Physics, Biology and Biochemistry. If you’re a pre-med student, this is where you can find everything you need in one place.
Aceorganicchem.com: A huge pack of flashcards, videos, practice exams and reaction guides behind a paywall for $20/month or $60 on-time payment. They also have some practice problems without answer keys available for free.
OrgoMadeSimple.com: 262 practice problems, interactive reaction flashcards, NMR materials and synthesis problem sets. ($35/mo or $240 for a full year) You can get the Orgo 1 Chapter Summaries for free by signing up, plus a 3-video prep course.
For students who prefer video content, YouTube hosts a huge collection of organic chem help videos with new creators jumping into the space every year. Don’t miss the comments sections which can include helpful explanations for common hang-ups in the lessons. Just make sure you still do plenty of homework practice problems from other sources - you can’t master organic chemistry just by passively watching videos!
The only way you get to 5M subscribers is by being really freakin’ good at teaching. His blackboard-style hand-drawn explanations feel like you’re sitting in a TA teaching session that you can speed up and rewind. The comments can also be useful for common questions and alternative explanation styles.
Julio added a membership option for $20/month that gives access to 30 additional organic chem teaching videos, or longer versions of videos, through his YouTube playlists. The best place to start is his Organic Chemistry playlist but you can also brush up on AP & General Chemistry from his other playlists.
Free stuff on The Organic Chemistry Tutor YouTube Channel:
148 videos, including Final Exam review sessions for semesters 1 & 2
Thousands of comments and replies to clear up any confusion
Paid stuff on The Organic Chemistry Tutor YouTube Channel:
30 additional videos with longer, in-depth content on key subjects
Khan Academy: Organic Chemistry
Khan Academy is well-regarded in college education circles and their Organic Chemistry playlist on YouTube includes 70 videos with over 4 million views. Sal Khan personally teaches most of these videos using his classic hand-written virtual blackboard style. Khan Academy is a non-profit and all of these videos are free to watch. You can use their website to watch for better organization by topic. It’s straightforward, free, and illustrates exactly what you need to know for class.
Professor Dave Explains: Organic Chemistry
Professor Dave teaches several subjects on YouTube but his Organic Chemistry playlist has 114 videos racking up almost 2 million views! He often gets in front of the camera and uses a real whiteboard like you’re in class, but also keeps a lighthearted style. Being in front of the camera also gives him an advantage of using 3D molecular models when explaining concepts like Newman Projections.
Prof. Dave’s newest videos switch to an animated style for reaction-heavy mechanisms.
You may have come across Crash Course videos for other subjects already. Their videos stand out with higher-quality animations that include more history and real-world applications around each topic that might keep it more engaging and help it stick. Their Organic Chemistry playlist has 51 videos with nearly 2 million views.
Best of all, all the videos are free! Crash Course also has a companion app to get your o-chem content on your phone. As a bonus, they even include more advanced videos on spectroscopy, biological polymers and medicinal chemistry.
Mid-sized Chemistry YouTube Channels to check out:
Melissa Maribel (278k subscribers): less organic chemistry content but excellent videos including a few on avoiding burnout and staying motivated in college. She also has e-book guides to each major chemistry topic for $20 each.
Leah4Sci (189k subscribers): website mentioned above, has hundreds of short videos with hand-drawn reactions while she narrates each step.
Virtual Organic Chemistry 1:1 tutors and tutor-matching sites
Sometimes you're just still stuck and a 1:1 tutor can help pull you through. Here are some great options for private organic chemistry tutoring online, ranging from $15-$200/hr:
Eddie the OChem Tutor (ochemtutor.com) has one of the most-visited individual tutoring sites and excellent testimonials. His $75/hr lessons also include dozens of illustrated handouts with funny illustrations that keep it fresh. Eddie even taught MCAT organic chemistry for the Princeton Review and won an award for his teaching at Harvard.
Leah4Sci, mentioned above, also offers 1:1 tutoring for $175/hr.
Victor from organicchemistrytutor.com above also does 1:1 tutoring for $125-$200/hr
The Princeton Review offers Organic Chemistry tutoring in an on-demand model. You can hop on and chat about a specific problem with a random available online tutor with no appointment necessary. Tutors have transparent ratings from former students and profiles of their specialties. It’s priced at $30-$40/hr but you may bounce around between different tutors.
Varsity Tutors makes you answer some questions about yourself before trying to match you with a good tutor in their database. They have a bunch of O-chem instructors and you can even see their profiles and test scores, but no ratings. It’s basically a match-maker for tutoring.
Wyzant has the look and feel of a freelance website, where you search through personal profiles that have ratings, pricing, subjects and total tutoring hours right in front of you. You may even be able to find an ochem tutor near you for in-person lessons. There are currently 365 Organic Chem Tutors available with most pricing from $40-$200/hr. It’s a nice model where you only pay after each completed lesson, with no up-front package commitment.
SuperProf is similar to Wyzant. There are more tutors listed but fewer reviews. Rates for Organic Chem tutors are generally lower than Wyzant tutors, around $15-$50/hr but that could mean lower-quality lessons, depending on the instructor.
Virtual Chem Tutor is a smaller, chemistry-focused site that can connect you with an instructor in their database after you fill out their contact form. Rates are normally $40-$52/hr but you can’t really pick your tutor.
Best Online Help for the ACS Organic Chemistry Exam 1 & 2
If you’re planning on taking the ACS (American Chemical Society) Organic Chemistry Exam at the end of your semester (often used by professors as your standardized final), you might want some more specific study materials to be prepared. The resources above will get you in great shape already, but there are a few more places to look for ACS-specific preparation:
Less-experienced organic chemistry tutors are about $40-$60/hr. The top-tier tutors who have a decade-plus of experience and comprehensive study guides often charge $150-$200/hr. Self-directed learning courses are listed above that run from $10-$40/month.
What are the best ways to study Organic Chemistry?
Practice problems are key! The best websites for practice are MasterOrganicChemistry.com, Chemistrysteps.com and Leah4Sci.com. The best YouTube Channels for learning are The Organic Chemistry Tutor, Crash Course, Professor Dave Explains and Khan Academy.
Did you get a chemistry stencil yet?
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