Quantcast

Advice Needed (DIY Post-bacc)

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

hopeful__md

Full Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1

Members don't see this ad.
Well it's finally happened! After long deliberation I am finally accepted to a university near my home and I will begin registering for classes next week. My only problem is I am a little unsure on what classes to select. I know that it is recommended to take advanced level biology courses and not to retake anything you received a C or greater in.

However, there are some courses which I barely passed and would like to re-take because I know they are imperative to the MCAT, namely Cell/Molecular Biology (I got a C), Genetics (I got a B-) and Biochem (I got a C). I have been out of college now for 4 years so my familiarity in those subjects at this point is less than ideal . Would it be okay if I specifically retook these 3 courses (even though I got a C or higher) and paired them with other advanced level biology courses throughout the course of my DIY Post-bacc?

Here is a sample of what I want to take in the Fall:

Genetics/Lab
(I never took the lab and at the university which i'm doing my postbacc you cannot take the lab separately anyway)
Biological Bases of Behavior
Organic Chem I
(retake; I got a D in it last time around)
Biology of Cancer
13 credits



What do you guys think? I'm all open for feedback!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

hopeful__md

Full Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
Not retaking it for the grade. I'm retaking it because I don't recall the material. I'm doing it mostly because of the MCAT and because there are certain courses I want to take that require it as a prerequisite. Also, I want to take genetics lab and I'm only allowed to do so by taking it with the lecture at my current university.
 
Last edited:

wulfstan

New Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
7
Reaction score
8
I think retaking a class just to review the material is extremely silly, especially in a world where libraries and the Internet exist. If you need more hours why not take something new and different? Expand your horizons etc. Seriously, just read Goro's post on reinventing, that's all the advice you actually need.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

hopeful__md

Full Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
I understand what you're saying. But I've also been out of school for a while and when I had taken that course I didn't really learn anything. I also really want to take the lab and this is the only way it's possible. I still plan on taking different courses like microbiology, developmental biology, pathology, histology, cancer biology, etc. that my school offers as well. I know @Goro says it's a marathon, not a race so that's how I'm trying to treat it.

Do you think it looks poorly on my postbacc resume if I repeated those 3 courses (Biochem, Cell/Molecular Bio, Genetics) even if I still take different courses alongside them? (FWIW: I got a C in both Biochem and Cell/Molec)
 
Last edited:

Shotapp

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2015
Messages
1,212
Reaction score
1,428
I understand what you're saying. But I've also been out of school for a while and when I had taken that course I didn't really learn anything. I also really want to take the lab and this is the only way it's possible. I still plan on taking different courses like microbiology, developmental biology, pathology, histology, cancer biology, etc. that my school offers as well. I know @Goro says it's a marathon, not a race so that's how I'm trying to treat it.

Do you think it looks poorly on my postbacc resume if I repeated those 3 courses (Biochem, Cell/Molecular Bio, Genetics) even if I still take different courses alongside them? (FWIW: I got a C in both Biochem and Cell/Molec)
If you feel like you want to retake those classes, then retake them. You don't need some approval from posters on the web.
But I will say that you can easily review the information you need for the MCAT without wasting money on retakes. I will only recommend retakes if you got C's across the board in your pre-reqs.

I personally wouldn't retake. Kind of a waste of tuition dollars. I would just take upper lvl sciences.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Stellaartwa

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
159
Reaction score
255
I retook all of the pre-reqs in my DIY post-bacc. I even retook (SHOCK!) an A- and a couple Bs and tons of Cs. Best decision I made. I learned this stuff at a way deeper level during my post-bacc than I ever could have imagined during my first time around. Let me tell you, in my experience the difference in understanding and knowledge between an A+ student and even a B- student is huge. I ended up getting A+ in all of my retakes except one I think and it showed on the MCAT.

I say, if you think you need the refresher, you're willing to pay for retakes AND you're sure you'll do BETTER, then go ahead and re-take. We all spend so much more time overthinking these little details of our post-bacc than the adcoms do. They're not going to judge you if you retake a B- 5 years later.

ETA: At my post-bacc institution you had to take chem 1 and 2 and organic 1 and 2 with a maximum of 1 semester break in between so I had to retake no matter what. They had analyzed the data over the years and found that people who jumped back in after longer than a 1 semester break did significantly worse than those who did them back to back. Shocker. Using the internet and "self-teaching" isn't easy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

operaman

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2010
Messages
2,385
Reaction score
7,144
Just as a contrarian voice, I did all the mcat pre reqs as self taught using the usual online resources and took the mcat before starting post bacc classes. It worked and it saved me at least one gap year.

Obviously that’s not a standard approach for a reason, but it shows you can definitely learn the material yourself without a formal class (my prior sciences were way back in sophomore year of high school).

So take whatever classes you want, but don’t underestimate your ability to learn it on your own. There’s nothing magical about some professor standing up there and telling you the same thing a dozen other professors can tell you online for free and at your own pace. But you know yourself and your needs and if that means a retake then go for it. This is all just a means to an end.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

hopeful__md

Full Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
Thanks for all of the feedback everyone. I appreciate it.

I have my schedule set for fall. I have a lot of upper level bio classes I could choose from but unfortunately they don't offer very many of them every semester so I I believe I would need to round out my schedule with some other courses in the future. They have courses that fall under neuroscience and psychology but I'm not sure if these would be suitable for reinvention? I'm just trying to plan for the future in case I need classes to choose from. I would prefer NOT to take less than 12 credits per semester.

Would these courses be satisfactory for a DIY post bacc?
Visual Perception
Audition/Auditory Physiology
Cognition
Pharmacology of the Nervous System
Neuroanatomy
Abnormal psychology
Developmental neuroscience
Bioethics
Hormones and behavior
Behavioral genetics
 
Last edited:

Dr.Gains

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2018
Messages
194
Reaction score
132
Thanks for all of the feedback everyone. I appreciate it.

I have my schedule set for fall. I have a lot of upper level bio classes I could choose from but unfortunately they don't offer very many of them every semester so I I believe I would need to round out my schedule with some other courses in the future. They have courses that fall under neuroscience and psychology but I'm not sure if these would be suitable for reinvention? I'm just trying to plan for the future in case I need classes to choose from. I would prefer NOT to take less than 12 credits per semester.

Would these courses be satisfactory for a DIY post bacc?
Visual Perception
Audition/Auditory Physiology
Cognition
Pharmacology of the Nervous System
Neuroanatomy
Abnormal psychology
Developmental neuroscience
Bioethics
Hormones and behavior
Behavioral genetics

Courses look great, but just double check with AAMC to ensure that the courses you're planning to take will count towards your BCPM GPA. I think the abnormal psychology would most likely not count.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Top