Hi, I'm Mark Coster. I have 20+ years experience in Organic Chemistry and my mission is to help students achieve Organic Chemistry success and to pursue their dreams.
Yes, it's a bold claim! However, I have witnessed it time and again, and done it myself - approached the right way, Organic Chemistry can be mastered by anyone. The problem is that, normally, the Professor, the textbook and most tutors make everything seem so overwhelming.
With support and the right learning and study strategies, anyone can master Organic Chemistry.
The key is to use the right approaches. To focus on the strategies that lead to deep understanding. And to focus on training for the exam.
One of the daunting things about learning Organic Chemistry is that there seems to be so much content, covered so quickly. It's easy to fall behind and not know how to catch up. Does any of this sound familiar:
From there, it only gets harder to catch up. You turn to the textbook for help, but, if anything, it makes things worse! So. Much. Information. If you're lucky enough to catch the Professor during office hours, you get the same explanation that was used in class. Maybe it makes sense for a while, until you get home and try some problems from the textbook...
The textbook problems are either too straightforward or too difficult. Worse still, there are either no answers or answers with no explanations!
Surely, there must be a better way...
There's no doubt that private tutoring with an experienced and knowledgeable tutor leads to better grades. A good tutor is expert in the material, knows how to spot learning roadblocks and has strategies for overcoming them. A great tutor will go the extra mile, push you to the limits of your understanding and set individual tasks that are designed to get to deep understanding as quickly as possible and help you ace your exams! A great Organic Chemistry tutor should:
Looking at the way students are taught and tutored it struck me that things would be much better if an Organic Chemistry tutor acted more like a Sports Coach. Think about it, a Sports Coach working with an athlete:
My sole focus and number one goal is to help you get the best result you can possibly achieve in Organic Chemistry, and I have the expertise, experience and tutoring techniques to do so.
PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge and >20 years experience in Organic Chemistry research.
>15 Years teaching and tutoring Organic Chemistry at University level from 1st year to graduate level.
What will be on the exam? I have written them and can help you prepare.
Don't just get a Tutor, get an Organic Chemistry Coach!
What happens if you get stuck, really stuck, while studying in between sessions? Sometimes, you just need a little nudge in the right direction, to get you back on track. Students who sign up for a block of 4 or more tutoring sessions are invited to a Slack workspace where you can drop me a message any time. Ask a quick question, prepare for your next tutoring session or share your struggles and successes.
It's like having a Professor in your Pocket!
Slack makes it super easy to share attachments, links, photos (eg. a textbook problem or class notes) and works seamlessly on mobile, desktop and tablet.
I use Zoom video-conferencing software. It's easy to use - I simply share a link for you to click and away we go. I screen share whatever I draw on my Surface laptop and you can screen share, send photos of your work, hold paper in front of the webcam, or whatever suits you best! I record every tutoring session and make the video privately available to you, so you can revise anything at a later time. After the tutoring session, I also send you a PDF of all my notes from the session.
Act now! The clock is ticking until your exam. The sooner you start getting tutored, the sooner you can get on top of your Organic Chemistry course material. Don't put your future aspirations in jeopardy!
To get things started.
Four sessions plus Pocket Professor.
Stride into your exam with confidence!
I believe you deserve value-for-money from tutoring and that's why I offer a 30 day money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with my tutoring and you feel that it did not help with your organic chemistry studies, simply email me to get a full refund on the ineffective session and any unused sessions remaining from your purchase. Furthermore, if you decide, after the initial 30 minute planning session, that my tutoring is not for you, I'll refund your entire purchase.
For more than 15 years, I've been teaching Organic Chemistry to students from 1st year to graduate students at The University of Sydney (2003-7) and Griffith University (2007-18) in Australia. I've been obsessed with organic chemistry for 20+ years, completed my PhD in this area at the University of Cambridge and have taught well over 1,000 undergraduate students. I know what kinds questions you will face and what tricks your Professor will throw into the exam, because I've been writing organic chemistry exam questions for years!
My 20+ year obsession with Organic Chemistry began during my undergraduate Bachelor of Science with Honours (Class I) in sunny Brisbane, Australia. I distinctly remember being overwhelmed, but fascinated by, Organic Chemistry. It took a huge effort and some novel study techniques, but one day it finally clicked. It was like a veil had been lifted and Organic Chemistry finally made sense. It wasn't just a bunch of unconnected facts. Once I saw the underlying and unifying themes, I was in love!
I left the warmth of Brisbane for a PhD at the University of Cambridge in the UK. There, I fell in love with the challenge of total synthesis - building up a complex organic molecule from simple building blocks.
I returned to Australia and the beautiful cobalt blue skies of the nation's capital, Canberra, to do a postdoc in organic synthesis at the Australian National University. From there, I moved to The University of Sydney to start an independent career as a teaching and research academic. After a few years in bustling Sydney, I moved back to my home town of Brisbane to take up a research-focused position at Griffith University in the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery (now Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery). At Griffith, I worked on the synthesis of compounds with activity against resistant cancers, the malaria parasite and other diseases, and my team and I developed new methods for the synthesis of 3-dimensional scaffold molecules for drug discovery.
In more recent years, at Griffith University, my teaching involvement increased and I began to experiment with new methods and new technologies for my teaching. I was excited by the possibilities, but competing demands of research and administration left me with little time to really explore new innovations. In 2018, I embarked on a bold new venture. My focus on helping students of Organic Chemistry more directly, in a way that I could never achieve while still in a University role. Hence, Organic Chemistry Explained was born!
For more than 15 years, I've been teaching Organic Chemistry to students from 1st year to graduate students. In recent years, three things have struck me:
"Most helpful lecturer I've ever had."
3rd year Advanced Organic Chemistry student
If you'd like to get a better feeling for my tutoring style, here are some videos from my YouTube channel. Also, every new student starts with a 30-minute planning session - if you don't think my tutoring will be useful to you, I will issue a full refund of your purchase.
Students who book 4 or more tutoring sessions are given 1 week of access per tutoring session. Bookings of 8 or more tutoring sessions gives access for the entire term.
There are no hard limits. It is a matter of Fair Use. Short questions, requests for feedback, preparing for a next tutoring session or a pep talk! :) Anything that can be responded to with a few lines of text or a quick sketch of a mechanism. I'll let you know if it is too big a question to deal with through messaging, but I'll always try to give some valuable advice. If you don't feel that you are getting value from Pocket Professor, I'll gladly offer you a full refund on your remaining tutoring package.
I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible. There may be delays when I am:
OK, I admit, I don't actually meditate.
Yes, my rates are higher than many tutors, however, even then you get more than what you paid for. In between tutoring sessions, I will be feverishly working away at designing the best strategies to help you conquer key concepts in your course. I will be setting you problems that hone in on just the right areas, that you will need to master in order to ace the exam. I'll be reviewing your work and planning for our next session to make sure that you get the best value for money. In short, your money will be well spent because for every hour tutoring you have with me, you'll see results and that's what is important.
Yes, this is certainly possible, but changes the dynamics and requires different approaches to getting the best results. It's certainly possible to get good value from small group tutoring, but it is not the same as one-on-one. The rates shown above are for individuals. If you are interested in a group booking, please contact me to discuss your requirements.
Unfortunately, no. Not at this stage. Due to privacy, I do not have any recorded sessions that I am able to share. However, you can get a feeling for my tutoring style from the YouTube videos above.
If you purchase the 'Ultim8' tutoring package, I design a practice exam for you that conforms as closely as possible to the exam specifications for your course, as set by your Professor. I will then mark the practice exam and give you worked answers and feedback. The practice exam is ideal practice for the real thing.
It depends on your timezone. Here is a rough guide to my most available times:
P.S. If you've come this far and you're still not sure, I get it. I really do! You've never met me. How do you know I'll be able to help you achieve success in your Organic Chemistry Course? I totally understand, and that's why I offer a money-back guarantee. If, after the 30 minute planning session, you don't feel that my tutoring will be a benefit to you, I will happily refund your purchase. I wouldn't have it any other way. I want you to achieve success in your courses.
But, if you're struggling with Organic Chemistry, if you're anxious about passing the course, if you're worried about whether Organic Chemistry is going to block your path to fulfilling your ambitions - please do something now. The sooner you act to get on top of this course, the better your results will be.