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shrimp16

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I have taken AP Chem, Bio, Physics 1&2, and Calc BC. I am planning to take all the courses in college except for Calc if I do get a 5 in Calc. Does this seem to be a good idea? My friends in pre-med track have told me to get the AP credits if possible because there are much more interesting classes to take in college; however, I have heard some med schools want students to not get AP credit...
I do not know where I want to apply for med school, so should I get my calc credit or no? (Assuming I got a 5)
 

Obnoxious Dad

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Your "friends" are misinforming you. Take the most elementary science and math classes as a freshman in college. Get the easy "A" at every possible turn. Forget AP credits. If you want to get into medical school, you need a transcript that is loaded with "A" grades. Every "B" is a coffin nail. There will be plenty of time for interesting stuff when you get into medical school.
 

Skydive Fox

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There's a plethora of discussion regarding this if you use the search feature, but just my 2¢...

First off, there are indeed so many interesting classes one can take in college! I've done courses in yoga, spoken word, cultural competency, among others. Please keep in mind that even if you're on the pre-med track, you will have time to take the fun classes. Most, if not all, of these "interesting" classes fulfill your "core curriculum" that every student has to do regardless of major.

Keeping that in mind, many of the medical schools I am applying to require that prerequisites be completed at college, and a good amount of schools even go as far as specifying that prereqs be completed at 4-year institutions (ie not Community College). AP credit can be good for fulfilling gen eds requirements (humanities, fine arts, etc.), but even if you get AP credit for your BCPM courses I would highly recommend still taking all the basic science classes.

As @Obnoxious Dad said, you want to get as many A's you can onto your sGPA, and all those intro science classes are the easiest way to do so.
 

Futurephys

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What about math classes tho? Is that a big deal as well?


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FutureOtolaryngist

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Having taken several AP science classes myself when I was in high school, I can say, at least in MY experience, that the HS classes did not stack up to the university ones. I personally chose to take the science ones in college, but I used AP credit from subjects such as literature and psychology. The ultimate choice is up to you though, it has been advantegous for many in the past. Good luck!
 

tskbdmnd

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I have taken AP Chem, Bio, Physics 1&2, and Calc BC. I am planning to take all the courses in college except for Calc if I do get a 5 in Calc. Does this seem to be a good idea? My friends in pre-med track have told me to get the AP credits if possible because there are much more interesting classes to take in college; however, I have heard some med schools want students to not get AP credit...
I do not know where I want to apply for med school, so should I get my calc credit or no? (Assuming I got a 5)

If you still can, take the AP exams for Psychology and English Language. Easiest tests, you don't even need to take the classes to get at least a 4 on them.

I'm of a different school of thought than most people on SDN. There's no reason for you to take chem 1, bio, physics 1, or calc 1/2. There's no point. They're not designed to teach you a ton about the subject. They are designed to get help rid of the 50% of the class that doesn't pay attention.

I had a lot of friends like you who didn't use their AP credits. Well they payed 100 bucks per test for nothing then. I'm insanely far ahead because of AP credit. And it feels good. I don't have time to waste in weed-out classes that teach me nothing. There are perfectly good junior, senior, and graduate level courses the university offers. Why would you pay so much money to take their entry level courses? Especially when YOU DON'T HAVE TO. Most people have to take the entry level courses. You don't. Rejoice.

You think med school is going to care about it? Think about an application with a guy who got an A in introductory biology, chem 1, and Calc 1 freshman year. Pretty good right? He's started out without a mistake like a ton of people. Now think about an application with a guy who has an A in Genetics, Ochem, and Calc 3 freshman year. I prefer the second one. (I didn't do this exactly. I had a friend who used the science AP exams (sophomore/junior chem and bio courses). I would do that tbh. I did mathematics myself. You can get really far, really fast with passing the BC exam, but it's not too useful for most majors)

However, these introductory courses do help in that they will prepare you better for college, so if you want to tread carefully, they are a good choice. Freshman year is going to be your easiest year. You're going to have maybe 2 or 3 courses (probably gen eds) that are literal blow off courses. Then you'll have your introductory science/math courses which are also blow off courses, but half the class will always seems to fail the exams in these classes. You can coast for the As this way, but I feel like if you've done well on those AP exams (Score of at least 4), there's no reason not to take a couple more difficult classes to challenge you.

Later on these difficult classes will only be offered when you have a ton more difficult classes to study for. It'll be easier to get an A in a difficult class done freshman year when the only other courses you have to worry about are easy as pie. This is if the transition isn't too hard for you.

That's my opinion on the subject at least.

BTW: Take physics 2 or dedicate time to study it yourself. Sometimes colleges make Physics 2 unnecessarily difficult but the importance of physics 2 is huge. Physics 1 is garbage.
 
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Obnoxious Dad

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If you still can, take the AP exams for Psychology and English Language. Easiest tests, you don't even need to take the classes to get at least a 4 on them.

I'm of a different school of thought than most people on SDN. There's no reason for you to take chem 1, bio, physics 1, or calc 1/2. There's no point. They're not designed to teach you a ton about the subject. They are designed to get help rid of the 50% of the class that doesn't pay attention.

I had a lot of friends like you who didn't use their AP credits. Well they payed 100 bucks per test for nothing then. I'm insanely far ahead because of AP credit. And it feels good. I don't have time to waste in weed-out classes that teach me nothing. There are perfectly good junior, senior, and graduate level courses the university offers. Why would you pay so much money to take their entry level courses? Especially when YOU DON'T HAVE TO. Most people have to take the entry level courses. You don't. Rejoice.

You think med school is going to care about it? Think about an application with a guy who got an A in introductory biology, chem 1, and Calc 1 freshman year. Pretty good right? He's started out without a mistake like a ton of people. Now think about an application with a guy who has an A in Genetics, Ochem, and Calc 3 freshman year. I prefer the second one. (I didn't do this exactly. I had a friend who used the science AP exams (sophomore/junior chem and bio courses). I would do that tbh. I did mathematics myself. You can get really far, really fast with passing the BC exam, but it's not too useful for most majors)

However, these introductory courses do help in that they will prepare you better for college, so if you want to tread carefully, they are a good choice. Freshman year is going to be your easiest year. You're going to have maybe 2 or 3 courses (probably gen eds) that are literal blow off courses. Then you'll have your introductory science/math courses which are also blow off courses, but half the class will always seems to fail the exams in these classes. You can coast for the As this way, but I feel like if you've done well on those AP exams (Score of at least 4), there's no reason to take a couple more difficult classes to challenge you.

Later on these difficult classes will only be offered when you have a ton more difficult classes to study for. It'll be easier to get an A in a difficult class done freshman year when the only other courses you have to worry about are easy as pie. This is if the transition isn't too hard for you.

That's my opinion on the subject at least.

BTW: Take physics 2 or dedicate time to study it yourself. Sometimes colleges make Physics 2 unnecessarily difficult but the importance of physics 2 is huge. Physics 1 is garbage.

This post is utter nonsense. There is a very good reason to take the most elementary science courses. You will get an A in those classes. Every A you earn will help you get into medical school. This poster may feel good about having those classes out of the way but you will feel better when you get accepted to medical school. Who cares about $100 per test? In the grand scheme of things that's just chump change. Furthermore, taking classes like calculus based physics and physical chemistry is just overkill. You won't need them in med school but taking them could ruin your chances of getting in.

You need to understand that medical school admissions offices do not have some little twerp going over each transcript making adjustments for the difficulty of classes taken by applicants. Some medical schools receive over 10,000 applications per year. There's no money, time or incentive to normalize transcripts.
 

tskbdmnd

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This post is utter nonsense. There is a very good reason to take the most elementary science courses. You will get an A in those classes. Every A you earn will help you get into medical school. This poster may feel good about having those classes out of the way but you will feel better when you get accepted to medical school. Who cares about $100 per test? In the grand scheme of things that's just chump change. Furthermore, taking classes like calculus based physics and physical chemistry is just overkill. You won't need them in med school but taking them could ruin your chances of getting in.

You need to understand that medical school admissions offices do not have some little twerp going over each transcript making adjustments for the difficulty of classes taken by applicants. Some medical schools receive over 10,000 applications per year. There's no money, time or incentive to normalize transcripts.


3 points:

1.It's not just $100 per test

$100 per test + whatever the class costs to take + the opportunity cost of meeting more personable professors earlier (for research and jobs, yes some professors have a budget to give out jobs). This is the price OP will have paid to learn something. Keep in mind that the second and third part can be avoided, and OP will still have learned that something.

2. Difficulty of classes matters

It's much easier to explain a B in a difficult class if you took it your freshman year. Also, even if med schools don't care, you can bet your ass that your professors will. Explain to them you're taking a sophomore course load in freshman year and not only will they love you, they will help you out if you are looking for opportunities. Getting some of those opportunities as a freshman is otherwise usually impossible, because it's assumed you don't even know introductory classes. How are you going to work/volunteer in a chem lab your freshman year if you're still in the progress of taking chem 1 and learning about how to draw molecules with lewis dots? Nobody is going to let you.

3. Retaking would be a waste of time.

There's no reason for him to take the classes again. They are introductory courses. He'll be wasting like a year. He will learn nothing for a year. That's not productive. Because of my AP credits, I've been able to reduce my junior and senior years to maximums of 13 hours a semester. By taking AP credit you can start off incredibly strong and have low hours in your hardest two years. You could get so much done in your free time. Hopefully with my 13 hours, I'll be able to study for the MCAT during school without risk of burning out. Want a second major? It's not too useful, but it's a cool thing to have. You can get one or two without taking more than 4 years if you take advantage of these AP courses.

You are paying this school massive amounts of money for an education. You already have a good education on those subjects. There's no reason to take them. I would go as far as to say it's unfair to yourself. You have the potential to learn so much from your institution. You can learn so much more than someone who is starting from the basics. It is a chance you would otherwise throw away.
 

Obnoxious Dad

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3 points:

1.It's not just $100 per test

$100 per test + whatever the class costs to take + the opportunity cost of meeting more personable professors earlier (for research and jobs, yes some professors have a budget to give out jobs). This is the price OP will have paid to learn something. Keep in mind that the second and third part can be avoided, and OP will still have learned that something.

2. Difficulty of classes matters

It's much easier to explain a B in a difficult class if you took it your freshman year. Also, even if med schools don't care, you can bet your ass that your professors will. Explain to them you're taking a sophomore course load in freshman year and not only will they love you, they will help you out if you are looking for opportunities. Getting some of those opportunities as a freshman is otherwise usually impossible, because it's assumed you don't even know introductory classes. How are you going to work/volunteer in a chem lab your freshman year if you're still in the progress of taking chem 1 and learning about how to draw molecules with lewis dots? Nobody is going to let you.

3. Retaking would be a waste of time.

There's no reason for him to take the classes again. They are introductory courses. He'll be wasting like a year. He will learn nothing for a year. That's not productive. Because of my AP credits, I've been able to reduce my junior and senior years to maximums of 13 hours a semester. By taking AP credit you can start off incredibly strong and have low hours in your hardest two years. You could get so much done in your free time. Hopefully with my 13 hours, I'll be able to study for the MCAT during school without risk of burning out. Want a second major? It's not too useful, but it's a cool thing to have. You can get one or two without taking more than 4 years if you take advantage of these AP courses.

You are paying this school massive amounts of money for an education. You already have a good education on those subjects. There's no reason to take them. I would go as far as to say it's unfair to yourself. You have the potential to learn so much from your institution. You can learn so much more than someone who is starting from the basics. It is a chance you would otherwise throw away.

First, in the grand scheme of things the OP could conceivably save 15% of the cost of attendance by taking AP credits. Who cares? The cost of not getting into medical school and the foregone earnings of a physician would dwarf the expense associated with taking these classes over. You should take an econ class.

Second, difficulty of classes does not matter. I will state this again: Medical school admissions offices do not normalize transcripts to account for the rigor of the undergraduate college and major. They don't have the money, time, incentive or data to do that. Why do you think that less than 15% of all med school matriculants are physical science majors? See this link, smart guy:
https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf

By retaking these classes the OP will not be wasting his/her first year. The OP will be padding his/her transcript with those lovely As. Who says the OP needs to get in a lab as a freshman? Where is that written in stone? The OP will have plenty of time to volunteer as a sophomore and a junior. Furthermore, the OP might actually have some fun as a college freshman rather than slugging it out with upper classmen who have a better handle on college life. If you actually look at the table linked above you will see that approximately 35% of all entering medical students did not major in any science as undergraduates. As a junior and a senior the OP might only have two premed classes left even if he/she does not take the AP credits. The last two years of undergrad should be easier than the first two, if you play your cards correctly.
 
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tskbdmnd

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First, in the grand scheme of things the OP could conceivably save 15% of the cost of attendance by taking AP credits. Who cares? The cost of not getting into medical school and the foregone earnings of a physician would dwarf the expense associated with taking these classes over. You should take an econ class.

Second, difficulty of classes does not matter. I will state this again: Medical school admissions offices do not normalize transcripts to account for the rigor of the undergraduate college and major. They don't have the money, time, incentive or data to do that. Why do you think that less than 15% of all med school matriculants are physical science majors? See this link, smart guy:
https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf

By retaking these classes the OP will not be wasting his/her first year. The OP will be padding his/her transcript with those lovely As. Who says the OP needs to get in a lab as a freshman? Where is that written in stone? The OP will have plenty of time to volunteer as a sophomore and a junior. Furthermore, the OP might actually have some fun as a college freshman rather than slugging it out with upper classmen who have a better handle on college life. If you actually look at the table linked above you will see that approximately 35% of all entering medical students did not major in any science as undergraduates. As a junior and a senior the OP might only have two premed classes left even if he/she does not take the AP credits. The last two years of undergrad should be easier than the first two, if you play your cards correctly.
1. Did you not read the text under my points?

"It's much easier to explain a B in a difficult class if you took it your freshman year. Also, even if med schools don't care, you can bet your ass that your professors will. Explain to them you're taking a sophomore course load in freshman year and not only will they love you, they will help you out if you are looking for opportunities. Getting some of those opportunities as a freshman is otherwise usually impossible, because it's assumed you don't even know introductory classes. How are you going to work/volunteer in a chem lab your freshman year if you're still in the progress of taking chem 1 and learning about how to draw molecules with lewis dots? Nobody is going to let you."

Pretty much all of that has nothing to do with Medical schools caring. Only the first sentence is about that.

And he doesn't need to get in a lab as a freshman, but he might want to. It's a pretty desirable thing for pre-med freshman. Especially ones that tried as hard as OP did in high school.

2. I already addressed your point.

"However, these introductory courses do help in that they will prepare you better for college, so if you want to tread carefully, they are a good choice. Freshman year is going to be your easiest year. You're going to have maybe 2 or 3 courses (probably gen eds) that are literal blow off courses. Then you'll have your introductory science/math courses which are also blow off courses, but half the class will always seems to fail the exams in these classes. You can coast for the As this way, but I feel like if you've done well on those AP exams (Score of at least 4), there's no reason not to take a couple more difficult classes to challenge you."

EDIT: I actually forgot the negating term haha. It's fixed on both now

I personally think that there's no reason for him to tread so carefully. It's not going to be so difficult he wouldn't be able to hang out with friends and have a fun college life. Obnoxious Dad has a different opinion obviously. It's OPs decision. I acknowledge that Obnoxious Dad's method is very safe and will definitely be good towards medical school. I also believe however, that the safety isn't worth the flexibility gained when you're a semester to a year ahead.
 
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Skydive Fox

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1. Did you not read the text under my points?

"It's much easier to explain a B in a difficult class if you took it your freshman year. Also, even if med schools don't care, you can bet your ass that your professors will. Explain to them you're taking a sophomore course load in freshman year and not only will they love you, they will help you out if you are looking for opportunities. Getting some of those opportunities as a freshman is otherwise usually impossible, because it's assumed you don't even know introductory classes. How are you going to work/volunteer in a chem lab your freshman year if you're still in the progress of taking chem 1 and learning about how to draw molecules with lewis dots? Nobody is going to let you."

Pretty much all of that has nothing to do with Medical schools caring. Only the first sentence is about that.

And he doesn't need to get in a lab as a freshman, but he might want to. It's a pretty desirable thing for pre-med freshman. Especially ones that tried as hard as OP did in high school.

2. I already addressed your point.

"However, these introductory courses do help in that they will prepare you better for college, so if you want to tread carefully, they are a good choice. Freshman year is going to be your easiest year. You're going to have maybe 2 or 3 courses (probably gen eds) that are literal blow off courses. Then you'll have your introductory science/math courses which are also blow off courses, but half the class will always seems to fail the exams in these classes. You can coast for the As this way, but I feel like if you've done well on those AP exams (Score of at least 4), there's no reason not to take a couple more difficult classes to challenge you."

EDIT: I actually forgot the negating term haha. It's fixed on both now

I personally think that there's no reason for him to tread so carefully. It's not going to be so difficult he wouldn't be able to hang out with friends and have a fun college life. Obnoxious Dad has a different opinion obviously. It's OPs decision. I acknowledge that Obnoxious Dad's method is very safe and will definitely be good towards medical school. I also believe however, that the safety isn't worth the flexibility gained when you're a semester to a year ahead.

Have you applied to med schools and/or are your familiar with MSAR? You're entirely ignoring the most important point that was originally made: assuming your university allows you to substitute requirements via AP credits (many, including mine, don't allow it except for some gen eds), a substantial amount of med schools still have restrictions on substituting AP credit for their prereqs.

This fact alone, in my mind, was enough to go ahead and just retake all the basic science classes and stock up GPA quality points for a rainy day. I've still been able to take courses for fun, do research mid-freshman year, and even lighten up my credit load some semesters.
 

Obnoxious Dad

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1. Did you not read the text under my points?

"It's much easier to explain a B in a difficult class if you took it your freshman year. Also, even if med schools don't care, you can bet your ass that your professors will. Explain to them you're taking a sophomore course load in freshman year and not only will they love you, they will help you out if you are looking for opportunities. Getting some of those opportunities as a freshman is otherwise usually impossible, because it's assumed you don't even know introductory classes. How are you going to work/volunteer in a chem lab your freshman year if you're still in the progress of taking chem 1 and learning about how to draw molecules with lewis dots? Nobody is going to let you."

Pretty much all of that has nothing to do with Medical schools caring. Only the first sentence is about that.

And he doesn't need to get in a lab as a freshman, but he might want to. It's a pretty desirable thing for pre-med freshman. Especially ones that tried as hard as OP did in high school.

2. I already addressed your point.

"However, these introductory courses do help in that they will prepare you better for college, so if you want to tread carefully, they are a good choice. Freshman year is going to be your easiest year. You're going to have maybe 2 or 3 courses (probably gen eds) that are literal blow off courses. Then you'll have your introductory science/math courses which are also blow off courses, but half the class will always seems to fail the exams in these classes. You can coast for the As this way, but I feel like if you've done well on those AP exams (Score of at least 4), there's no reason not to take a couple more difficult classes to challenge you."

EDIT: I actually forgot the negating term haha. It's fixed on both now

I personally think that there's no reason for him to tread so carefully. It's not going to be so difficult he wouldn't be able to hang out with friends and have a fun college life. Obnoxious Dad has a different opinion obviously. It's OPs decision. I acknowledge that Obnoxious Dad's method is very safe and will definitely be good towards medical school. I also believe however, that the safety isn't worth the flexibility gained when you're a semester to a year ahead.

Yes, I read the text in spite of the fact that you have no clue. If you think you are going to get a chance to explain a low GPA, you need to check yourself. If you have a low GPA, thanks to taking needless advanced courses in the sciences and not taking elementary courses, you won't be able to explain anything because your application will get screened out by the admissions office computer. Furthermore, admissions officers are not interested in excuses for low grades. They have enough stellar applicants with high GPAs so they won't take a chance on someone with a low GPA.

You also need to understand that US News uses unadjusted median GPA as one of its criteria in ranking medical schools. Here is their idiotic methodology:
http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/medical-schools-methodology

Even the most prestigious hospitals use the US News rankings of their associated medical schools as a marketing gimmick.

Finally, you haven't cited one piece of evidence or study to back your opinions. Why don't you find something and come back when you do?
 

tskbdmnd

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Yes, I read the text in spite of the fact that you have no clue. If you think you are going to get a chance to explain a low GPA, you need to check yourself. If you have a low GPA, thanks to taking needless advanced courses in the sciences and not taking elementary courses, you won't be able to explain anything because your application will get screened out by the admissions office computer. Furthermore, admissions officers are not interested in excuses for low grades. They have enough stellar applicants with high GPAs so they won't take a chance on someone with a low GPA.

You also need to understand that US News uses unadjusted median GPA as one of its criteria in ranking medical schools. Here is their idiotic methodology:
http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/medical-schools-methodology

Even the most prestigious hospitals use the US News rankings of their associated medical schools as a marketing gimmick.

Finally, you haven't cited one piece of evidence or study to back your opinions. Why don't you find something and come back when you do?

Because I don't want to go through the trouble of finding barely relevant facts? I'm not telling him to take some ridiculous course load. I'm telling OP that by skipping these classes there are a lot of flexibility for him.

Let's settle this GPA thing though. I think that using the AP credit will also help his grades. It's not like he's taking classes that he won't have to get an A in anyways. It's like 2 classes a semester that happen to be a bit more difficult than your other classes. Study for like an extra 2 hours a week and you'll be fine. Also, because of it, he can better spread out his difficult classes.

Let's think about what could happen.

Two scenarios:

He doesn't use his ap credit and needs to complete 2 Semesters bio, 2 semester chemistry, 2 semesters physics, and 1 semester calc, organic chem 1 and 2, and the university/major requirements in 3 years. He probably also wants biochem, psychology, and maybe some higher level biology classes.

He uses his ap credit and needs to complete 1 semester bio, organic chemistry 1 and 2, 1 semester physics, 1 semester calc, and the university/major requirements in 3 years. He probably also wants biochem, psychology, and maybe some higher level biology classes.

How does it make sense to you, that taking more hours every semester is going to increase his GPA? That's ridiculous. Previous experience? His AP classes probably differ immensely from his university's courses. And will he even remember it all well enough? He's gonna have to do the same for a ton of other bs classes that he could otherwise not care about. Think about it, you're asking him to add 1 semester bio (3-5 hours), 1 semester physics (3-5 hours), and 2 semesters chemistry (This probably varies a lot more, I think my university has it as 8 or 9 hours?) to his course load. You don't need to do all that work to prepare yourself for the upper level courses. It's ridiculous to suggest that this is how he can keep a good GPA.

I also recommend though, that he take some advanced classes that he's interested in, because he has the opportunity (only a couple related courses, certainly not 4 classes in 3 different subjects).
 
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tskbdmnd

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Have you applied to med schools and/or are your familiar with MSAR? You're entirely ignoring the most important point that was originally made: assuming your university allows you to substitute requirements via AP credits (many, including mine, don't allow it except for some gen eds), a substantial amount of med schools still have restrictions on substituting AP credit for their prereqs.

This fact alone, in my mind, was enough to go ahead and just retake all the basic science classes and stock up GPA quality points for a rainy day. I've still been able to take courses for fun, do research mid-freshman year, and even lighten up my credit load some semesters.

This is what I found when looking it up.

http://www.premedlife.com/uncategor...it-and-u-s-medical-schools-requirements-2179/

(It's a bit outdated [by 2 years], johns hopkins for example now accepts biology AP credits as long as you take genetics.)

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/admissions/md/application_process/prerequisites_requirements.html

Now I didn't go through all of these pages when I was looking it up myself. But it seems the vast majority allow AP credit. A lot of them say that they want you to take a higher level course along with your AP credit so that they can still evaluate you. He'll probably take a couple of those anyways so why not just take them early while your grade trend could be in your favor in case of a B?

Some of them even ask you to talk about it in your application.
 

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If you're end goal is to go to med school become a physician, I don't think you need all those upper division courses. Sure, it might help you get into research earlier, but what's the harm in retaking them? It's the safer of the two choices.
 

tskbdmnd

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If you're end goal is to go to med school become a physician, I don't think you need all those upper division courses. Sure, it might help you get into research earlier, but what's the harm in retaking them? It's the safer of the two choices.

I argue that his his application would not be hurt by using the AP credits.

He'd have to juggle less classes every semester. Most medical schools accept AP credit and the ones who don't usually just make you reason your way through an article to see what you can or can't do. I'll get back to you with a better organized list for this, but for now I'm pretty sure that most of them lessen your course load by a good amount. Having a smaller course load means he can focus more time on the classes he does take every semester and hopefully ace them.

In case he still finds it to be too difficult, taking the harder courses earlier takes advantage of the so called "gpa curve". You want to do better later, so why not get the difficult stuff done now instead of delaying them a year or two after easy A gen eds? That is if you get 1 B, maybe 2. There's no excuse for bad grades

EDIT in: Also like, why do you guys just want to do the easy way out so much? He's supposed to learn as much as he can from this experience, not just check off boxes...
 
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Obnoxious Dad

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I argue that his his application would not be hurt by using the AP credits.

He'd have to juggle less classes every semester. Most medical schools accept AP credit and the ones who don't usually just make you reason your way through an article to see what you can or can't do. I'll get back to you with a better organized list for this, but for now I'm pretty sure that most of them lessen your course load by a good amount. Having a smaller course load means he can focus more time on the classes he does take every semester and hopefully ace them.

In case he still finds it to be too difficult, taking the harder courses earlier takes advantage of the so called "gpa curve". You want to do better later, so why not get the difficult stuff done now instead of delaying them a year or two after easy A gen eds? That is if you get 1 B, maybe 2. There's no excuse for bad grades

EDIT in: Also like, why do you guys just want to do the easy way out so much? He's supposed to learn as much as he can from this experience, not just check off boxes...

The reason for taking these classes over again is not to make life easier. The reason is to heighten the probability that the OP will get into medical school. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of medical school admissions officers only look at applicants' unadjusted GPAs. Getting AP credits in classes that would have generated an A makes getting accepted less probable. Look at this table:
https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf

The average GPA for accepted students was a 3.7 and the standard deviation was .25. That means there is almost no chance that someone with less than a 3.5 overall GPA can get into medical school. That's why a high GPA is paramount.

You made your choice here and you feel good about it. However, if getting into medical school is your goal, you made a dumb decision.
 

tskbdmnd

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The reason for taking these classes over again is not to make life easier. The reason is to heighten the probability that the OP will get into medical school. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of medical school admissions officers only look at applicants' unadjusted GPAs. Getting AP credits in classes that would have generated an A makes getting accepted less probable. Look at this table:
https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf

The average GPA for accepted students was a 3.7 and the standard deviation was .25. That means there is almost no chance that someone with less than a 3.5 overall GPA can get into medical school. That's why a high GPA is paramount.

You made your choice here and you feel good about it. However, if getting into medical school is your goal, you made a dumb decision.
Why does raising the amount of classes he takes every semester help him get a better GPA? Why do you think all these classes will just generate an A? I've asked this before. The only reasoning I could think of is past experience, but AP classes don't necessarily prepare him at all for the uni classes. The uni classes are often weed-out courses, so they might be pretty time consuming and difficult anyways.

They look at your cGPA and sGPA. That means all classes and sciences he takes will contribute, not just the ones required to get into med school. He'll have plenty of classes to get As in. Do you know how easy a 3.7 is to keep? It takes 3-4 Bs to drop to 3.7 if you have otherwise straight As in a total of 120 hours. By using the AP credit he'll be taking less classes every semester,and I believe it will be easier for him to make the a good GPA because of that. You have to mess up a lot to drop down to 3.7. It's not like anyone who doesn't take basics somehow automatically gets a bad GPA....

I'm not saying OP should get a 3.5 GPA. I have never said that.

I'm saying that OP can skip those classes and still keep a great GPA because of the smaller work load he'll have. And in the case that he finds it too difficult and uses one of his 3-4 "allowed" Bs, the damage won't be as bad as a normal B in the course because a desirable GPA curve will counterbalance it a little bit. Still though, get As not Bs.

As for me, I'll continue to make As and keep well over a 3.7 without resorting to stupid stuff like padding my GPA with basics that I don't need.

EDIT:
Taking all those extra classes doesn't even give him an extra "allowed' B

So this math turned out wrong. It was a bit early in the morning. I've fixed it all though. I'll address it in my new reply
 
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Obnoxious Dad

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Why does raising the amount of classes he takes every semester help him get a better GPA? Why do you think all these classes will just generate an A? I've asked this before. The only reasoning I could think of is past experience, but AP classes don't necessarily prepare him at all for the uni classes. The uni classes are often weed-out courses, so they might be pretty time consuming and difficult anyways.

They look at your cGPA and sGPA. That means all classes and sciences he takes will contribute, not just the ones required to get into med school. He'll have plenty of classes to get As in. Do you know how easy a 3.7 is to keep? It takes 10-12 Bs to drop to 3.7 if you have otherwise straight As in a total of 120 hours. By using the AP credit he'll be taking less classes every semester,and I believe it will be easier for him to make the a good GPA because of that. You have to mess up a lot to drop down to 3.7. It's not like anyone who doesn't take basics somehow automatically gets a bad GPA....

I'm not saying OP should get a 3.5 GPA. I have never said that.

I'm saying that OP can skip those classes and still keep a great GPA because of the smaller work load he'll have. And in the case that he finds it too difficult and uses one of his 10-12 "allowed" Bs, the damage won't be as bad as a normal B in the course because a desirable GPA curve will counterbalance it a little bit. Still though, get As not Bs.

As for me, I'll continue to make As and keep well over a 3.7 without resorting to stupid stuff like padding my GPA with basics that I don't need.

EDIT:
Also, adding 3 basics classes, 4 hours each will only give you 1 more B before you hit 3.7
I just don't think that it's worth it.

What you believe is unimportant. You cite no data and no studies. You have no experience in this process. All you have is your own highly limited experience and a bias stemming from a stupid decision. I have four degrees and two professional licenses. My wife has worked in academic medicine for 40 years. I've been looking at admissions studies/data and the residency match for the past 10 years. My kid finishes her residency this month.

You think it's easy to maintain a 3.7. You must attend a college with raging grade inflation. My advice is intended for people who attend colleges without an A- curve.
 
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tskbdmnd

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What you believe is unimportant. You cite no data and no studies. You have no experience in this process. All you have is your own highly limited experience and a bias stemming from a stupid decision. I have four degrees and two professional licenses. My wife has worked in academic medicine for 40 years. I've been looking at admissions studies/data and the residency match for the past 10 years. My kid finishes her residency this month.

You think it's easy to maintain a 3.7. You must attend a college with raging grade inflation. My advice is intended for people who attend colleges without an A- curve.

Sir you are quite accomplished. I respect that. However, I stand by my points because they are true. I'd like to point out that I have fixed the math in my previous post. It was early, however the correct math still shows a flaw in your argument.

120 hours should be the around the bare minimum for a degree

I used the following website to validate the formula below the link.
https://aamc-orange.global.ssl.fast...140d8acb35af/amcas_grade_conversion_guide.pdf

GPA = (Quality Points)/"Total Hours", where "Quality Points"="A hours"*4+"B hours"*3. (if we're trying for no Cs)
As such a learned man, you should see how using a low number of total hours will give a more conservative estimate on # of Bs that can be received before you go below 3.7
So we'll use 120 hours for the using AP credit scenario.

If you first assume that all 120 hours are A and observe what happens to quality points when an hour is arbitrarily switched to a B.
120*4 = 480
119*4+1*3= 479
118*4+2*3= 478
And by repeating this, we can see that there is a 1 to 1 ration between "B hours" and quality points removed.

Rearranging the original formula
GPA*120 = (quality points)
Our limit is 3.7, so we say 3.7*120= "lowest number of acceptable Quality points" = 444
If we're trying not to get any Cs, we can then subtract 444 from 480 to get the 36 quality points. Divide that by 3 to determine "B hours" and you get 12 hours. So that's 3-4 classes. (my previous calculations forgot the last step and spat out 12, I thought it was strange but I was tired)

We'll do the same thing but without using AP credit. We'll add 12 hours. That's around 3 of the basics classes (because they usually have a lab).
The quality points stuff becomes
132*4 = 528
131*4+1*3 = 527
130*4+2*3 = 526

Lowest # of quality points acceptable becomes
3.7*132 = 488.4
That's 528-488.4 =39.6
That means by taking an entire 3 extra classes, he gains 4 allowed quality points. Divide by 3 to determine "B hours" and you get 13.3. That is not enough of an increase in hours to equal even a single class.

By not skipping these classes, his GPA is helped a negligible amount, but the extra workload will not be negligible.

Also the average grades are usually around C for the classes at my college. It's also a large state college so a lot of people don't try. It's pretty easy here though. I probably wouldn't say inflated because the professors don't curve and tons of people fail, but it feels a bit easier than it should be.
 
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Obnoxious Dad

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The post above is the greatest example of mental masturbation to justify an error since the Clinton-Lewinsky affair.

For the OP here is a table provided by Rice university regarding medical school acceptance of AP credits for prerequisite courses. I will admit that this was published in 2010.
https://students.rice.edu/images/st... allopathic medicine- updated summer 2010.pdf

I have little doubt that tskbdmnd will offer a 12 page post in reply to this one citing the reasons the OP shouldn't attend those medical schools that will not unconditionally accept AP credits. Those reasons might include: 1) the anatomy professors have fat ankles; 2) the bus schedule to and from the schools are inconvenient; and 3) the football teams at those medical schools attached to large universities have snarky mascots.
 

tskbdmnd

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The post above is the greatest example of mental masturbation to justify an error since the Clinton-Lewinsky affair.

For the OP here is a table provided by Rice university regarding medical school acceptance of AP credits for prerequisite courses. I will admit that this was published in 2010.
https://students.rice.edu/images/students/AADV/OWeek2008AADVResources/AP credit - allopathic medicine- updated summer 2010.pdf

I have little doubt that tskbdmnd will offer a 12 page post in reply to this one citing the reasons the OP shouldn't attend those medical schools that will not unconditionally accept AP credits. Those reasons might include: 1) the anatomy professors have fat ankles; 2) the bus schedule to and from the schools are inconvenient; and 3) the football teams at those medical schools attached to large universities have snarky mascots.
That's the problem with old people like you. You go senile and can't use basic resources like google. I've already given that data for 2014. Why give it for 2010?

Here's the data from 2015: http://oaa.rice.edu/files/2014/01/AP-Credit-Allopathic-Medicine-Summer-2015-27wt667.pdf

Notice something?
Something like pretty much all the Ns changed to Ys?
You gave some pretty useless data right there sir. Still proud of your data finding skills? So far, none of your data seems to prove that using AP credits will lower you chances. That's why I wasn't spouting random data. Because when I research for data to prove something, I make sure that data isn't ****ing useless.

The schools that don't accept even 1 semester of bio, chem, physics, and/or calc. (I'm not gonna bother the others because he doesn't have them)
Loma Linda: Does not accept any.
UC-Irvine: Does not accept Bio.
UC-LA: Does not accept any.
UC-SF: Does not accept Bio.
University of Kentucky: Does not accept Physics.
University of Minnesota: Does not accept Bio or Chem
Saint Louis: Does not accept any.
University of Nebraska: Does not accept any.
University of Rochester: Does not accept Bio.
Puerto Rico: Only Ponce accepts any. Ponce accepts all.
University of Utah: Does not accept Bio or physics.

That's all the US med schools that do not accept one or more of those AP credits. So if you're dead set on going to one of these, don't use the ap credits that they don't accept.

EDIT: First part is a bit harsh, no offense. Just some trash talk and such.

Also it should be explicitly stated:
Some schools will only take 1 semester from certain AP credits.
Some schools require your undergraduate school to accept the credit as well.
 
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My two cents:

If you believe you can take the higher level courses, and get an A in them, go for it! There's no reason to pay and sit in a class if you already learned the material; in fact, it may dissuade you from the sciences altogether. HOWEVER, this is only if you feel confident in the material. A lot of the "lower-level" science courses are what you actually need to know for med school (and, of course, the MCAT). Know that material backwards and forwards before you move on, and if you don't, remember there's no harm in retaking. Your GPA is really what is most important, so use that as your main gauge to decide courses.

Personally, I used AP credits to place out of 1st year bio and chem. Best decision I ever made. I knew how confident I was in my knowledge of the material, and used the free credits to take classes that interested me, and to get ahead in my major. However, if I had not felt as confident (I got a 5 in both BTW), I would have certainly retaken the courses. There's no reason to push ahead into a course you really aren't prepared for if it doesn't hurt you to retake.

Again, just my two cents.

6zebo6
 

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I do not know where I want to apply for med school, so should I get my calc credit or no? (Assuming I got a 5)
I would definitely get calc credit if you plan on taking calc II. If not, this is a little old, but might help you out (personally, if I was cashing out at calc I, I would take it at the university level).

Edit: ugh, so much math in this thread. gross.
 
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