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Biochem Course Questions

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caughtinthefog

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Hey guys I am currently a first semester junior planning on taking the MCAT at the end of this spring. I recently dropped my Biochem 1 class because I am an engineering major and was taking 17 hours and working two jobs. This threw off my course plan because I originally planned on taking Biochem 1 and 2 (my school divides them into two classes over two separate semesters). I've been told that I don't really need Biochem 2 for the MCAT and therefore don't really need to take it, but I was wondering if I should take it for med school (just so I am not totally behind). If anyone who has had a similar experience could give me some advice I'd really appreciate it!!
 

GCS-15

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What does biochem 2 cover at your school? I'm studying for the mcat right now and every single biochem class I took was definitely needed. If you're ambitious you can study on your own, but it's a lot easier when you have previous knowledge of the subject. If I were you, I would try to get that biochem class in before the mcat
 

xc_stallion92

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What's in your biochem 2 semester? My school taught a pretty in-depth biochem course over 1 semester that was described as covering what a lot of schools do in two semesters, and I needed it all for the MCAT. The new test is essentially a large biochem test.
 

Easonred57

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Depends on how many hours it is. Many medical schools are starting to require 3 hours of biochem. If it fulfills that requirement, you only need Biochem I, regardless of the content.

You might want Biochem 2 for the MCAT, but there is only an hour requirement for the prerequisites.
 

caughtinthefog

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Here's what's listed on the course description for Biochem 1, which I will be taking before I take the MCAT in the spring
metabolic pathways, amino acids/proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, kinetics, energy requirements, metabolic regulation in living cells.
And this is the description for Biochem 2 which I am not sure if I should take or not: metabolism of carbohydrates, fatty acids, steroids, amino acid synthesis and metabolism, molecular genetics, hormones, photosynthesis and integrated metabolism
 

caughtinthefog

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Here's what's listed on the course description for Biochem 1, which I will be taking before I take the MCAT in the spring
metabolic pathways, amino acids/proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, kinetics, energy requirements, metabolic regulation in living cells.
And this is the description for Biochem 2 which I am not sure if I should take or not: metabolism of carbohydrates, fatty acids, steroids, amino acid synthesis and metabolism, molecular genetics, hormones, photosynthesis and integrated metabolism
 

GCS-15

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Definitely try to get in biochem 2 before your mcat
 
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Ad2b

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Agree with GCS-15. Carbo, b-oxidation, steroids, molecular genetics (!!!!!), hormones and integrated metabolism will be on the MCAT in one form or another (most likely).
 

jb94mg

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I am reluctant to accept most of the recommendations in this thread as sensible, since what you guys are basically saying is that people will be best prepared for the current MCAT with three years of chemistry under their belts. You might as well make pre-med its own degree at that point, IMO, which I guess many schools have done, but it seems to defeat the purpose of getting an undergraduate education. Hell, you might as well just make medical school a 4-6-year special degree at a certain point, if you're going to make preparing for it that onerous. I'm sure plenty of people have done well on the current/new MCAT with just a semester of biochemistry, and that it's possible to self-teach the MCAT-relevant biochemistry that a first-semester course won't touch.

If what most of you are suggesting were reasonable, we would just tell people to definitely take OChem II as well, since even it is tested on the MCAT, even though many schools are shifting to suggesting a semester of organic chemistry and a semester of biochemistry. So I'm going to say that the OP should just take one semester of biochemistry. And you can't take Biochem II without having taken OChem II at the vast majority of schools.
 

Ad2b

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@jb94mg - I went to a top university according to some rank some place on some other forum with some other PhD that said something or other.

Orgo II is not biochem II; I took all of what the OP said came in biochem II in one semester of biochem. It has definitely been tested on the 2015 MCAT whereas the orgo II reactions and synthesis have not. If you can handle the mole gen of biochem, you don't need orgo 2, unless, of course, you just want to learn more mechanisms and use lots of NMR and IR.

It's sad that you feel SDN has been unworthy of accepting the recommendations. *I* have found almost everyone to have something of value to add (sans dadadadaddddaaaddddaaabatman) (edited because ADHD kicked in big time ...)
 
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GCS-15

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I am reluctant to accept most of the recommendations in this thread as sensible, since what you guys are basically saying is that people will be best prepared for the current MCAT with three years of chemistry under their belts. You might as well make pre-med its own degree at that point, IMO, which I guess many schools have done, but it seems to defeat the purpose of getting an undergraduate education. Hell, you might as well just make medical school a 4-6-year special degree at a certain point, if you're going to make preparing for it that onerous. I'm sure plenty of people have done well on the current/new MCAT with just a semester of biochemistry, and that it's possible to self-teach the MCAT-relevant biochemistry that a first-semester course won't touch.

If what most of you are suggesting were reasonable, we would just tell people to definitely take OChem II as well, since even it is tested on the MCAT, even though many schools are shifting to suggesting a semester of organic chemistry and a semester of biochemistry. So I'm going to say that the OP should just take one semester of biochemistry. And you can't take Biochem II without having taken OChem II at the vast majority of schools.

Orgo 2 might be at most 3-4 questions on the test. I actually don't think I've taken a test where I needed to use 2nd semester ochem.
But there's a WHOLE SECTION dedicated to bio and biochem, plus a lot of the physical sciences section in the new mcat involves biochem. Yes, it's that important. More course prep= more knowledge to apply to the test.

No one is forcing you to listen to us. This is all coming from my personal experience. Yes, it's possible to teach yourself, but it's going to be a hell of a lot more tough to do that vs just taking the class.
 
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jb94mg

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@jb94mg - I went to a top university according to some rank some place on some other forum with some other PhD that said something or other.

Orgo II is not biochem II; I took all of what the OP said came in biochem II in one semester of biochem. It has definitely been tested on the 2015 MCAT whereas the orgo II reactions and synthesis have not. If you can handle the mole gen of biochem, you don't need orgo 2, unless, of course, you just want to learn more mechanisms and use lots of NMR and IR.

It's sad that you feel SDN has been unworthy of accepting the recommendations. *I* have found almost everyone to have something of value to add (sans dadadadaddddaaaddddaaabatman) (edited because ADHD kicked in big time ...)

I never said Orgo II was Biochem II - my point is that you really can't take it without OChem II as a pre-req at most schools, so you're basically suggesting three years of chemistry is needed for OP at that point. OChem II is on the MCAT - just look at the topics list. I doubt all universities get to all of that in one semester - again, maybe yours does, in which case it must really be a top school. Not sure what you're even saying in your last paragraph, but SDN has mostly recommended either two years of chemistry or 2.5 years.
 
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jb94mg

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Orgo 2 might be at most 3-4 questions on the test. I actually don't think I've taken a test where I needed to use 2nd semester ochem.
But there's a WHOLE SECTION dedicated to bio and biochem, plus a lot of the physical sciences section in the new mcat involves biochem. Yes, it's that important. More course prep= more knowledge to apply to the test.

No one is forcing you to listen to us. This is all coming from my personal experience. Yes, it's possible to teach yourself, but it's going to be a hell of a lot more tough to do that
vs just taking the class.

Fair enough.
 

Cotterpin

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At my school, Biochem I covered everything that I needed for the MCAT. I'd say that Orgo II became valuable to me retroactively when I realized how much it was contributing to my understanding of biochem. And since I can clearly see how crucial biochem is to the future of medicine, I think these topics should be required to go into medicine... not just because they're on the MCAT.
 
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VegasPreMed

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I'd suggest fitting it in if you can. I took the MCAT in May after having taken only Biochem 1; I am in Biochem 2 now. While I did well on the MCAT, I can think of two or three questions I likely missed in the Bio section that I may have had a better shot at if I had taken Biochem 2. Two or three questions isn't that big of a deal, but why not get the most background that you can?
 

Hitmann

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off topic, how about pchem? should i take it before MCAT too?
 

Ad2b

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no pchem on MCAT. Thank God. Actually, thank every adcom, AAMC director, staffer, executive. Thank all that is holy, unholy, maybe holy, atheistic evolutionist creation holy, and everything else that pchem is nowhere on the MCAT.
 
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7331poas

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no pchem on MCAT. Thank God. Actually, thank every adcom, AAMC director, staffer, executive. Thank all that is holy, unholy, maybe holy, atheistic evolutionist creation holy, and everything else that pchem is nowhere on the MCAT.

When it all comes down to it. Isnt everything just pchem?
 

Ad2b

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lol. no. if you really want to go down that path, it all comes down to physics.
 

mr.mkitty

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Although I hated Pchem, it helped me solidify some thermodynamics and such, which I did end up having to use on the MCAT.
But thank goodness Pchem in itself is not actually tested on the MCAT.
 

jqueb29

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I've been told that I don't really need Biochem 2 for the MCAT and therefore don't really need to take it, but I was wondering if I should take it for med school (just so I am not totally behind).

No need to take it in college. From my experience, biochem is by far the easiest thing in medical school. We had a course first year that was essentially just biochem; it was our highest class average by like 6 or 7 percentage points.
 

Ad2b

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pchem =/= physics
 
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