Jun 5, 2020
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Hi! I am an incoming high school senior preparing for college apps. I just wanted to ask if there are certain pre-med majors that perform the best, or are the best prepared, to do well on the MCAT. If so, which majors are they? Thank you!
 
Jan 23, 2020
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Most majors perform similarly on the MCAT.
That said math/statistics majors have a statistically significant higher MCAT mean than any other major....this is a fun thing to think about and maybe something you should tuck away for when you need to prep in a few years.

BUT this is a bad reason to pick a major. The topics tested come from classes that you need to take to qualify for most schools anyways so it wont matter what major you are you'll take them at some point anyways.

Hope this helps
 
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TehTeddy

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As the above poster said, picking a major based on how well they do on the mcat isn't the best idea - just do what you enjoy. Your performance will mostly come down to good prep specifically for the mcat.

That being said, the trend seems to be that math, physics, and humanities majors do the best. Probably because they involve more critical thinking vs memorization, which is the skill tested on the mcat. For what it's worth I was a philosophy major, and I felt like cars wasn't as difficult as I'd heard from other premeds. Our everyday reading was equivalent to the toughest passages essentially.
 
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GreenDuck12

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The required prereq classes are sufficient to perform well on the MCAT, regardless of major. The MCAT does not test high level details that would be covered in upper level courses. The MCAT tests your ability to apply basic concepts presented in novel situations in passages. Critical think and reading comprehension are essential skills to develop. To that end, I suggest taking some courses in philosophy, literature, etc.
 

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If your goal is medical school and you (like most premeds) aren't particularly passionate about any liberal arts, then pick a major that includes your med school prerequisites in the major (med school prerequisites are the classes you are suggested to take before the MCAT). For me, that was neuroscience, and just by taking all of the premed classes, I was able to complete over half of my major. Then you can just tack on other classes to fulfill major/graduation requirements and to boost your GPA.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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Jun 5, 2020
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Most majors perform similarly on the MCAT.
That said math/statistics majors have a statistically significant higher MCAT mean than any other major....this is a fun thing to think about and maybe something you should tuck away for when you need to prep in a few years.

BUT this is a bad reason to pick a major. The topics tested come from classes that you need to take to qualify for most schools anyways so it wont matter what major you are you'll take them at some point anyways.

Hope this helps
Thank you so much! I was looking at those statistics as well and just thought that it would be something to consider. I will definitely be considering my interests for this decision!
 
Jun 5, 2020
32
5
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
As the above poster said, picking a major based on how well they do on the mcat isn't the best idea - just do what you enjoy. Your performance will mostly come down to good prep specifically for the mcat.

That being said, the trend seems to be that math, physics, and humanities majors do the best. Probably because they involve more critical thinking vs memorization, which is the skill tested on the mcat. For what it's worth I was a philosophy major, and I felt like cars wasn't as difficult as I'd heard from other premeds. Our everyday reading was equivalent to the toughest passages essentially.
Thank you for your help! Yes, I've heard people usually struggle with the critical thinking aspect of the test especially when science classes are also based on memorization. Did you happen to use any additional study sources for the MCAT?
 
Jun 5, 2020
32
5
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
The required prereq classes are sufficient to perform well on the MCAT, regardless of major. The MCAT does not test high level details that would be covered in upper level courses. The MCAT tests your ability to apply basic concepts presented in novel situations in passages. Critical think and reading comprehension are essential skills to develop. To that end, I suggest taking some courses in philosophy, literature, etc.
Thank you for the clarification! I was planning on majoring in a biological science or even chemistry, and possibly taking psychology and philosophy as elective courses.
 
Jun 5, 2020
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
If your goal is medical school and you (like most premeds) aren't particularly passionate about any liberal arts, then pick a major that includes your med school prerequisites in the major (med school prerequisites are the classes you are suggested to take before the MCAT). For me, that was neuroscience, and just by taking all of the premed classes, I was able to complete over half of my major. Then you can just tack on other classes to fulfill major/graduation requirements and to boost your GPA.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
Thank you for the advice! I'm considering neurobiology or molecular biology as a pre-med major, but I am worried about how populated the major is which makes keeping a high GPA quite tough. Do you happen to know other majors I should consider, or even if I should still be worried about the number of admits in these majors?
 

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Thank you for the advice! I'm considering neurobiology or molecular biology as a pre-med major, but I am worried about how populated the major is which makes keeping a high GPA quite tough. Do you happen to know other majors I should consider, or even if I should still be worried about the number of admits in these majors?
Admissions committees care very little, if at all, about what your major is. Just pick a major you are genuinely interested in or that you know you can do well in.

- Kevin
 
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Zen Arcade

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Jun 18, 2015
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Biochem major with minor in English or Philosophy. Biochem is heavily tested on the MCAT and has more of a physical science base than your typical Bio major. English/Philosophy require you to read a bunch of difficult material which is important for doing well on CARS.
 
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jhmmd

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It may seem cliche, but the best major really is biology. Bio major should cover all the pre-reqs.
Good luck with everything
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I would imagine people majoring in biochem do the best with a minor in psychology, because biology + biochem + psych/soc make up 50% of the test on their own. Then you have 25% CARS which is very trainable and 25% chem/phys. Biochem majors have a really in depth understanding of the fundamentals of bio and chem. Taking general physics I and II should be sufficient to do well on the physics portion of the MCAT, which is usually 10% or less of the test anyway.

Not a biochem major btw. The risk in being a biochem major is that your GPA might be lower. It's not easy. But if you do well, more power to you.
The data actually show math/stats and humanities majors do the best on the mcat. But part of that is self selection. However, I will say that as someone who majored in math, it gave me a huge leg up in taking the mcat I think.
 
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TehTeddy

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Sep 26, 2015
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Thank you for your help! Yes, I've heard people usually struggle with the critical thinking aspect of the test especially when science classes are also based on memorization. Did you happen to use any additional study sources for the MCAT?
Indeed, I used all of UWorld for the sciences/psych, Khan Academy for P/S and CARS, TPR Hyperlearning CARS (you can find it as a pdf online), and of course all AAMC stuff. Everything in conjunction with anki for things I got wrong. I also did all 10 altius exams and used examkrackers for content review in the beginning, since I started studying 2 years after I graduated and forgot everything. Getting my score back tomorrow.
 
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jhmmd

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I found that a streamlined list of study materials worked best. Bought the Examkrackers books several years ago and used them to supplement the pre-reqs. Originally meant to annotate Examkrackers with Kaplan, but didn't end up doing that. I scored very well.
 
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Princeton Medical Student

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Jul 4, 2016
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Indeed, I used all of UWorld for the sciences/psych, Khan Academy for P/S and CARS, TPR Hyperlearning CARS (you can find it as a pdf online), and of course all AAMC stuff. Everything in conjunction with anki for things I got wrong. I also did all 10 altius exams and used examkrackers for content review in the beginning, since I started studying 2 years after I graduated and forgot everything. Getting my score back tomorrow.
Out of curiosity how did Altius correlate to your AAMC scores? (feel free to be as non specific as you want to be). I am in a similar boat with using all 10 altius and similar studying methods, so just kinda wanted to see where I am at.
 

TehTeddy

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Out of curiosity how did Altius correlate to your AAMC scores? (feel free to be as non specific as you want to be). I am in a similar boat with using all 10 altius and similar studying methods, so just kinda wanted to see where I am at.
My Altius average was around 515, getting ~510 in the first two tests and regularly scoring ~516 after.
My AAMC FLs in order were 517, 523, 523, and 521. The real test was very similar to the AAMC FLs.
 
Jun 5, 2020
32
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I would imagine people majoring in biochem do the best with a minor in psychology, because biology + biochem + psych/soc make up 50% of the test on their own. Then you have 25% CARS which is very trainable and 25% chem/phys. Biochem majors have a really in depth understanding of the fundamentals of bio and chem. Taking general physics I and II should be sufficient to do well on the physics portion of the MCAT, which is usually 10% or less of the test anyway.

Not a biochem major btw. The risk in being a biochem major is that your GPA might be lower. It's not easy. But if you do well, more power to you.
Thank you so much! Have you heard anything about how difficult Human Biology or Molecular Biology is?
 
Jun 5, 2020
32
5
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Biochem major with minor in English or Philosophy. Biochem is heavily tested on the MCAT and has more of a physical science base than your typical Bio major. English/Philosophy require you to read a bunch of difficult material which is important for doing well on CARS.
Thank you! I was considering taking up a minor as well or at least taking a few courses on those subjects as electives.
 
Jun 5, 2020
32
5
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
The data actually show math/stats and humanities majors do the best on the mcat. But part of that is self selection. However, I will say that as someone who majored in math, it gave me a huge leg up in taking the mcat I think.
Thank you so much! I will definitely take that into consideration.
 
Jun 5, 2020
32
5
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Indeed, I used all of UWorld for the sciences/psych, Khan Academy for P/S and CARS, TPR Hyperlearning CARS (you can find it as a pdf online), and of course all AAMC stuff. Everything in conjunction with anki for things I got wrong. I also did all 10 altius exams and used examkrackers for content review in the beginning, since I started studying 2 years after I graduated and forgot everything. Getting my score back tomorrow.
Thank you so much for the advice! I'll start looking into study materials to work with the pre-med material.
 
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Jun 5, 2020
32
5
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I found that a streamlined list of study materials worked best. Bought the Examkrackers books several years ago and used them to supplement the pre-reqs. Originally meant to annotate Examkrackers with Kaplan, but didn't end up doing that. I scored very well.
Thank you for the help! I'll be looking into those resources!
 
May 19, 2020
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It may seem cliche, but the best major really is biology. Bio major should cover all the pre-reqs.
Good luck with everything
Depends on the school. Chemistry past general chemistry isn't always a core requirement of a biology degree. Requirements vary from general chemistry, to 1 semester of organic, to gen chem + organic + biochemistry depending on where you are. Similarly, not all biology programs require 2 semesters of physics.

Biochemistry should cover it pretty much everywhere, and chemistry is also usually a pretty good fit for getting the requirements without needing to "spend" electives on them.

Not that I think you should pick a major based on (a) what works best for medical school, or (b) what has the perfect fit. Take what you're interested in and feel you will do well with.
 
Jun 5, 2020
32
5
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Depends on the school. Chemistry past general chemistry isn't always a core requirement of a biology degree. Requirements vary from general chemistry, to 1 semester of organic, to gen chem + organic + biochemistry depending on where you are. Similarly, not all biology programs require 2 semesters of physics.

Biochemistry should cover it pretty much everywhere, and chemistry is also usually a pretty good fit for getting the requirements without needing to "spend" electives on them.

Not that I think you should pick a major based on (a) what works best for medical school, or (b) what has the perfect fit. Take what you're interested in and feel you will do well with.
Thank you so much for the advice!
 
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