DendWrite

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I'm currently a freshman in college. I took AP Bio in high school (junior year), got a 5, and feel pretty confident with my knowledge.

Should I continue on to Biochemistry and Cell Biology, or should I retake Biology? I've heard mixed reviews from everyone I've asked about this...some say to take the easy credits, while others say to take my AP bio credit and be able to graduate a semester or two early.

Also, I took AP Calclulus BC (5). While I'm planning on taking a statistics course, my school recommends that I "continue my math education" by taking Differential Equations, Calc III or Linear Algebra. Do med schools really care? I'm not that interested in higher-level maths. I'm considering MD/PhD, which is why I was wondering if the extra math would be more important.

Thanks.
 

sixpence

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I think some med schools will require you to have at least 2 maths, and one of them may not be stats, so I would just take calc 3 i guess to make sure. Biochem is pretty tough to start out with as your first bio course in college. I'm assuming you didnt take a bio this first semester? Look for a bio course that isn't known to be that hard and take it.
 

GoSpursGo

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Just be aware that some med schools (a minority, but some) won't take AP credit to satisfy the requirements (Harvard springs directly to mind as not accepting AP Bio). If you're a Bio/Biochem major whose going to get plenty of more Bio, that won't matter with your AP Bio, but it might matter if you never plan to take another math class in your life. Check with the schools you'll be looking at applying to, if you happen to know what they are at this point.

Personally, I'd probably take the easy credits to make sure your foundation is solid and easy yourself into college, but I didn't have AP Bio when I came in so I can't speak from experience. I'm just saying, I'd much rather take things a little slower and make sure I was ready rather than jumping straight into a sophomore-level course and maybe getting a C or a B that would've been an A if I was more prepared. You don't get any bonus points for finishing faster.
 

tfa2007

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I had 8 ap credits as credits toward my undergraduate degree (including bio and calculus) and I would definitely recommend skipping bio 101, taking 102, and then taking an upper level biology class (since most med schools will simply require two biology courses and not specifically 101 and 102). I took BC calc then took Calc II my freshman year and it SUCKED so I don't recommend doing that, so just start with Calc I and do your GPA a favor. Overall, don't put yourself at a disadvantage when compared to other applicants...make sure you have the right number of courses for each requirement and keep in mind that each additional upper level class you take will give you an edge that other applicants might not have.

That being said, I used those AP credits and still got accepted to my first choice school (harvard? who cares).
 

What up doc

FLASH
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dude...take the easy route...i took ap chem, bio, n calc bc...got a 5 in all of them...retook every and all of them...started w bio 101, elementary calc 1, and chem 101 and have never regretted it...my first semester was suuuuch a breeze....it strengthed my foundation and i had time to do a whole bunch of fun and interesting ECs...not to mention had a sweeet GPA....but that was just me...i have friends who also came in with 40+ credits and they felt much mroe confident than i did in their abilities and started off with biochem/calc 3 and orgo in their first semestr...these kids are very smart tho and had a much better high school education than i did...they definitely did not have nearly as much free time as me though...but the two individuals whom i have in mind also busted 38 mcat scores with minimal studying...sooo lol...hope that helps
 

beachblonde

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I wasn't aware of the pre-med game as a freshman, so I went ahead and took upper level bio classes since I had passed out of the lower levels with my AP scores. I did fine, and I wasn't suffering through the weed-out classes, so I was happy with that option. If you think you might not like the lower levels because you'll be bored, then go ahead and try the next course in the sequence. Cell bio is very useful for the MCAT, so I highly recommend that class.

And I always thought that BC calc was parts II and III of the calc sequence? I got a 5 on the exam and my school gave me 8 credits of math for it (aka, two calc courses worth). If you want to do MD/PhD, I agree taking statistics, as it'll serve you a lot better in the future than diff eq will. As for the rest of the math, if you don't want to do it, then don't.
 

What up doc

FLASH
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I had 8 ap credits as credits toward my undergraduate degree (including bio and calculus) and I would definitely recommend skipping bio 101, taking 102, and then taking an upper level biology class (since most med schools will simply require two biology courses and not specifically 101 and 102). I took BC calc then took Calc II my freshman year and it SUCKED so I don't recommend doing that, so just start with Calc I and do your GPA a favor. Overall, don't put yourself at a disadvantage when compared to other applicants...make sure you have the right number of courses for each requirement and keep in mind that each additional upper level class you take will give you an edge that other applicants might not have.

That being said, I used those AP credits and still got accepted to my first choice school (harvard? who cares).

u would go 2 pitt over penn?
 

nevercold

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I'm currently a freshman in college. I took AP Bio in high school (junior year), got a 5, and feel pretty confident with my knowledge.

Should I continue on to Biochemistry and Cell Biology, or should I retake Biology? I've heard mixed reviews from everyone I've asked about this...some say to take the easy credits, while others say to take my AP bio credit and be able to graduate a semester or two early.

Also, I took AP Calclulus BC (5). While I'm planning on taking a statistics course, my school recommends that I "continue my math education" by taking Differential Equations, Calc III or Linear Algebra. Do med schools really care? I'm not that interested in higher-level maths. I'm considering MD/PhD, which is why I was wondering if the extra math would be more important.

Thanks.
The med school requirement usually isn't "Biology 1 and Biology 2", but rather two biologies. If you take Cell Bio and Microbiology (or another upper level) you'll have to have satisfied the prerequisite requirements and if you do well in those next level bio courses, I don't see why that wouldn't satisfy any medical school's requirements. Math can be trickier. I did Calc AB in high school, then calc 2 at a community college as a senior, and then Stats in undergrad. Calc 2 at the college level really does step a little beyond the Calc BC curriculum, so you might start with that.

FYI though, get some general chem under your belt before stepping up to biochem. The material can be presented with more of a chemistry slant or more of a biology slant and to really do well you want a working knowledge of both.

I would advocate not wasting your time. Taking stuff you already know just to get A's is wasting your time. If med schools get wind of this strategy (and they often do), they'll be unimpressed. If you've got some basic courses out of the way, show med schools that you can handle the serious courses. Med school is not bio 1 and bio 2 - med school is biochemistry and upper level type courses. Show you can handle those. And in the meantime, use the time you won't put into prereqs to take some interesting, cool courses that round out your transcript and give you something to talk intelligently about in interviews.
 

Docere

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You'll have to check your specific university for individual requirements, but I had to continue and take Calculus III. If you feel pretty confident about your knowledge and your ability to adjust immediately to college, then go for the biochemistry. But keep in mind what nevercold said: biochemistry requires chemistry as its prerequisite so make sure you're confident with that subject as well.