The acid-base behavior of various organic substances is an important theme. In many cases, the acidity or basicity of a certain species is an important factor in its reactivity. The slight acidity of primary alkynes, for example, enables their employment as nucleophiles in certain reactions of importance in organic synthesis. Furthermore, the acidity or basicity or certain functional groups, especially the acidity of the carboxyl group and the basicity of the amine group, are crucially important in biochemistry.
Beyond the acidity of the carboxyl group and basicity of the amine group, which are obviously important for the exam, the MCAT will also probe after the specific detailed knowledge in the reaction chemistry, because it is a good index of overall student mastery of organic chemistry. The MCAT likes to see if you know of the special acidity of phenol or if you understand the behavior of the acidic α-proton in keto-enol tautomerism. You will also sometimes see questions regarding substituent effects on acidity or basicity. Being able to judge the effect of a near substituent on acidity or basicity is a good indicator of the overall conceptual ground beneath your organic chemistry understanding.
Formation and Use of Acetylide Anion Nucleophiles
Conceptual Vocabulary Self-Test
Basic Terms Crossword Puzzle
Basic Puzzle Solution
Conceptual Vocabulary for Organic Acids & Bases