10 Tips & Tricks for Organic Conversions in Chemistry

By Subrato Banerjee|Updated : August 6th, 2019

Organic Conversions give nightmares to a lot of students every year while preparing for JEE Main exam. Especially during the exam season. Every conversion looks new and somehow we are unable to figure out the pathway on our own and are dependent on books. What should be a sure shot strategy to carry out organic conversions? Let’s see, there are 2 ways practised by students:

  1. Learn every possible conversion: several books have appendices filled with every conceivable conversion and you can dare to learn that.
  2. Understand the mechanism process in detail: You have read the first chapter of organic in 11th with absolute clarity and while studying the reactions, focussed more on the mechanism. This helps you in figuring out the pattern of organic reactions and you are able to visualise the pathway between your starting compound and the desired compound.

The second one seems more sure shot and long term. It also requires a certain amount of time to study, practice and perfect. We may not have that right now. So here is a list of things to keep in mind while dealing with conversions:

Tricks for Conversions in Organic Chemistry

  1. Haloalkanes can give you every possible functional group. They can also help you in increasing the chain size. So you might want to convert your starting material to haloalkanes and then go to the desired product
  2. Remember the series of oxidation/reduction: Hydrocarbons (with various substituents) can be oxidised to alcohols, then appropriate carbonyl compounds and lastly carboxylic acids (or their derivatives)
  3. Strong oxidizing agents are KMnO4 and K2Cr2O7
  4. Mild oxidising agents depending on the situation are CrO4, Ammoniacal AgNO3, Benedicts Solution, Fehling’s solution, Cu or CuO at 573K, Bromine water etc.
  5. Any carboxylic acid derivative can be converted back to the carboxylic acid by hydrolysis.
  6. There are possibilities of hydride and methyl to get the most stable intermediate (carbocation/free radical)
  7. A most common reaction, if your starting material is an alkane, is free-radical halogenation.
  8. Saytzeff/Markovnikov's rules must be kept in mind while dealing with alkenes (they are based on the electron displacement effects only)
  9. Decarboxylation and ozonolysis could go-to methods for decreasing the number of carbon atoms
  10. Grignard reagent gives you the much-needed Alkyl nucleophile, which can be used at appropriate places.

Also, check: 

Post in the comments if you have more or for any doubts!


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Thirukkovalluri Harsha Vardhan Sai
Sir please also give some tips to read chemistry in everyday life and biomolecules chapters sir please
shivesh pathak
You have mind map for organic chemistry IIT
I want some more in detailed notes on grignard reagent reactions. @Prashant Kumar  sir.
Hatim Godhrawala
@Prashant Kumar sir neucliophile strength series, please!!!!!
And important mechanism also please!!!
Gamer Sam

Gamer SamSep 10, 2018

Aashana Khandelwal
Please guide us to understand organic chemistry easily and biomolecules !!!
Suresh Krishnan
We are created what app group for jee mains students comment your number to join
Sampath Ganesh
Sourabh Gangwar
Sir in organic all questions asked from ncert  chemistry book only or others
Shagun Tyagi

Shagun TyagiSep 12, 2019

Add a new and special chart

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