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Functional Groups in Organic Chemistry

Reactions of Amines

Amine reactions include some of the most complex mechanisms in organic chemistry. For the MCAT, it is wise not to spend multiple days remembering every step of the most complicated mechanisms such as Hofmann rearrangement. You always have to exercise judgement about managing your time preparing for this test. While there are many mechanisms for which you definitely need to have complete knowledge to the point of being able to reproduce from memory (especially the core mechanisms including, among others, electrophilic additions to alkenes, SN2 substitution, electrophilic aromatic addition, aldol condensation, acyl substitution) a very complex mechanism like Hofmann rearrangement sits out on the periphery of the discipline and would most likely be presented on the MCAT as part of passage content itself. You need to be able to follow the steps of such a mechanism and coherently interpret the events.

Take the time now to survey the reactions of amines. In a few weeks, we will devote more time to going through them in depth. Reactions of amines include nucleophilic substitution of alkyl halides, reaction with aldehydes and ketones, reaction with acyl halides, Hofmann rearrangement, Cope elimination, and nitrosation.

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