Solomons and Fryhle Best Book for JEE Organic Chemistry

Niranjan G.   (On Spanedea since October 08, 2013)


B.Tech. from IIT Madras in , 2009, M.Tech. from Politecnico Di Milano, Italy in , 2016

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Posted on 16 February 2015

With the availability of umpteen books in market, these days it has become a problem of surplus while picking the right book for any subject. More than the books, it is the voices of friends, seniors and of course teachers who always propose something different from what we had thought of in the first place. In such a scenario it is always advisable follow orthodox style by choosing the books which have been proven earlier. If you read the success stories of the students qualified for IIT JEE, the generations of top rankers, the reference books followed by them are almost the same. If you see the books followed by them in Organic chemistry, you will always come across some common names.

To most of the students, organic chemistry seems easy that is because it is logical and there is nothing in it to memorize. But still it is difficult to answer some questions from JEE Advanced or Olympiads. That is just because organic chemistry has wide range of basics, in the form of reaction mechanisms, rearrangements and reagents. And it is very difficult to keep in mind all those basics for a very long time. However once the basics are tackled with discipline then any unknown problem becomes easy. Keeping in mind the strict time schedules during preparation it is apt to choose the best book for the preparation and sticking to it until the end, rather than wasting time in searching for a good book by partly skimming each one of them.  Two of the very common books followed by past JEE rankers, are Morrison & Boyd and Solomons & Fryhle. While both are very good books, in my opinion I would refer JEE aspirants the Solomons and Fryhle book - and I would explain the reason in the following paragraphs.

As I said earlier, we need to be clear with the basics of organic chemistry. Solomons & Fryhle provides detailed and self explanatory text supported by colored pictures, and other easy models which helps the brain to retain the knowledge for a very long time. With repetitive study and revision, the retention could even be ‘eternal’! I followed the same book during my JEE days and even after four years of graduation where I did not use good amount of chemistry I remember the basics. It is just because every topic in this book starts from zero level and then develops up to the IIT JEE level and covers the full syllabus of IIT JEE in a comprehensive way. Each and every reaction given in the book is accompanied with its mechanism and stereochemistry which largely focuses on the basics. Also another important advantage I see is the solved examples. This book carries lots of solved examples which are the most important part after going through lot of theory. These exercises and solved examples make the theory more interesting. Also the exercises have a wide gamut of problems which increases the sharpness and thinking skills of the students. The reagents too are discussed in great details, which is helpful for converting one compound to another. Every reagent is clearly discussed, also mentioning about conditions when they work and when they do not. While learning about reagents, the inorganic and physical chemistry concepts are to be understood, which this book champions in explaining them and would be easily understood by students who do not have any prior knowledge of those topics.

If we take few examples to understand the differences better. In the Friedel Crafts alkylation, mechanism, the Solomons book, explains this much better. It explains how the complex is formed after the lewis acid attacks, the exchange of electrons. The carbocation formed, acts as an elecrophile and reacts with benzene. The whole reaction mechanism is shown with the direction of attack of the nucleophile, formation of bonds etc, for anyone to understand easily. Whereas, in Morrison and Boyd, the explanation is given in the text and mostly explained with Lewis dot structures and the mechanism is also not shown. In Solomons and Fryhle, the limitations are also explained very clearly with examples where as in Boyd,they are not well explained.

Boyd, has lot of information which is not important from IIT JEE point of view. For example, the spectroscopy analysis or NMR study is not necessary. Solomons and Fryhle does not talk much on those topics. It talks more on topics which is important for IIT JEE. All the information in Boyd is given in a concise manner which is good to refer but not suitable for all students.

Solomons and Fryhle has an advantage over Morrison & Boyd in terms of simplicity of language and the detailed explanation of each and every topic. Solomons is also helpful for students who are Olympaid aspirants and the one year ‘dropper’ students who aspire to self study. For them this book is a boon. Overall I find this book very helpful for IIT JEE preparation and would recommend this without hesitation.


Reference Books, Organic Chemistry, JEE preparations, Solomons and Fryhle, Stereochemistry, Friedel Craft Reaction, Alkylation, Morrison and Boyd, Carbocation, Lewis structure, Spectroscopy, NMR, Electrophile, IIT JEE, Chemistry