bnleong

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I'm creating this thread to see if anyone has creative ideas for boosting up their BCPM.

Here is what I've thought of so far.

1) Retaking any BCPM class with a grade lower than a B.
2) Taking easy bio classes. (Not everyone agrees with this esp if you have upper divisions).
3) Taking astronomy classes (Some of these classes are hard so be only if your interested in this stuff)
4) Getting research credit ( Not all schools offer number grades for this)

How about taking easy physics classes? My school offers a course called

Physics 112 Light, Color, and Vision.
Here is a course description
An introduction to the modern understanding of light, color, and vision, primarily for non-science majors and especially beneficial to students majoring in visual arts or theatre. Topics include the nature of light; the human eye and vision; illusions, color perception, and color theory; optical instruments; the camera and photography; optical phenomena in the atmosphere (mirages, rainbows, halos); and light in modern physics (relativity, lasers). Not for major credit.

I understand that optics is a course that is covered to some extent in physics II. Is it bad if I take this course?
 

Carlin

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I took Intro Astronomy last semester and it was sooo easy! The professor lectured off of power point slides that she posted online, and the tests were multiple choice all based on the slides. I learned a lot and got an easy A. I know that all schools vary, but ask around about your astronomy classes, because if they're anything like mine was, then they are totally worth taking.
 

WolverineDoc13

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ugh. I heard Astro at UofM is harder than many students assume. I would ask around to see if a class fits your learning style, because an easy class to one is mucho difficult to another. I've learned this after two years of academic advising and four years of college.

but I digress... one thing you may want to consider (if you're up for it) is taking biological psychology courses. I'm not sure if your college has it. Depending on the course material, it can be listed as a bio course. It tends to be better suited for many pre-med students because it combines hard core biology with human interaction. It's easier to see how hard core biology applies in a health context.

Finally, I wouldn't recommend taking easier courses for the BCPM credit. You may want to consider going a step up instead. For example, if you did poorly in a chem course, instead of retaking the chem course, go up one level to analytical chemistry or biochemistry and do well enough in those courses to show your strength.

Also (I keep ranting, sorry.), if your overall BCPM gpa is bad, if you show a positive tend in your grades, you're in good shape. Med schools really look for this if the gpa is on the low side. I know this because my BCPM is pretty low b/c of some transition issues in my freshman year, but I got mostly A's in my junior and senior year, so it looks good.

Hope that's helpful
 
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WolverineDoc13

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what about an easy statistics class? (i think that would count for bcpm)
Stat is part of the M in BCPM, but is it really easy for you? My point is that only you can figure out what is easy for you and what isn't. For example, I considered genetics to be VERY easy, while others struggled to pass. That's because I tend to be a math person. Since genetics involved much math reasoning, I did really well in the class. Another example: biochem. I hated that class! with a passion. I did okay in it, but I struggled so hard! My best pre-med friend LOVED biochem and felt that it was easy, while she had to take genetics twice. Do you see my point?

If you like stats, or if you are a math-oriented person. I think you'll like stats, but don't take it because others say that it is easy. I thought it was okay when I took it, but my mom said that it was the hardest course she ever took in college, so beware.
 

armybound

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I don't recommend retaking courses or taking easy courses. People can see right through that, and it's meaningless.

I think you should take HARDER courses, and do better in them. This shows you're not afraid of a challenge, and you're capable of performing well in difficult courses. Do you think a med school is looking for students who padded their grades by taking easy courses, or a student who got their grade up by challenging themself with difficult courses?
 

Jolie South

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I don't recommend retaking courses or taking easy courses. People can see right through that, and it's meaningless.

I think you should take HARDER courses, and do better in them. This shows you're not afraid of a challenge, and you're capable of performing well in difficult courses. Do you think a med school is looking for students who padded their grades by taking easy courses, or a student who got their grade up by challenging themself with difficult courses?
I agree with this 100%. Plus, don't you think challenging yourself would be beneficial to you in the long run? Med school is not easier than undergrad. Might as well learn how to approach difficult courses now.
 

cloudm

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I'm creating this thread to see if anyone has creative ideas for boosting up their BCPM.

Here is what I've thought of so far.

1) Retaking any BCPM class with a grade lower than a B.
2) Taking easy bio classes. (Not everyone agrees with this esp if you have upper divisions).
3) Taking astronomy classes (Some of these classes are hard so be only if your interested in this stuff)
4) Getting research credit ( Not all schools offer number grades for this)

How about taking easy physics classes? My school offers a course called

Physics 112 Light, Color, and Vision.
Here is a course description
An introduction to the modern understanding of light, color, and vision, primarily for non-science majors and especially beneficial to students majoring in visual arts or theatre. Topics include the nature of light; the human eye and vision; illusions, color perception, and color theory; optical instruments; the camera and photography; optical phenomena in the atmosphere (mirages, rainbows, halos); and light in modern physics (relativity, lasers). Not for major credit.

I understand that optics is a course that is covered to some extent in physics II. Is it bad if I take this course?
I am curious about number 1 too. If you got a C in a BCPM class would it be wise to retake the course?
 

Pghboy18

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I took Intro Astronomy last semester and it was sooo easy! The professor lectured off of power point slides that she posted online, and the tests were multiple choice all based on the slides. I learned a lot and got an easy A. I know that all schools vary, but ask around about your astronomy classes, because if they're anything like mine was, then they are totally worth taking.

Does astro count as BCMP? I thought it didn't...
 

armybound

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I am curious about number 1 too. If you got a C in a BCPM class would it be wise to retake the course?
what does it prove, that if you get 2 chances at taking a course, you can improve?

how about using those same hours and taking a harder course, proving you can assimilate the knowledge you were supposed to get in the easier course with new and challenging information?
 

Evergrey

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AFAIK, Astro doesn't count as part of BCPM. It *might* qualify for physics if it's an actual astronomy class (involving serious calculations), but if your Intro to Astro class is anything like the one I took (which was intended for non-majors and had no math whatsoever), then it probably shouldn't count.
 

Excelsius

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I'm creating this thread to see if anyone has creative ideas for boosting up their BCPM.

Here is what I've thought of so far.

1) Retaking any BCPM class with a grade lower than a B.
2) Taking easy bio classes. (Not everyone agrees with this esp if you have upper divisions).
3) Taking astronomy classes (Some of these classes are hard so be only if your interested in this stuff)
4) Getting research credit ( Not all schools offer number grades for this)

How about taking easy physics classes? My school offers a course called

Physics 112 Light, Color, and Vision.
Here is a course description
An introduction to the modern understanding of light, color, and vision, primarily for non-science majors and especially beneficial to students majoring in visual arts or theatre. Topics include the nature of light; the human eye and vision; illusions, color perception, and color theory; optical instruments; the camera and photography; optical phenomena in the atmosphere (mirages, rainbows, halos); and light in modern physics (relativity, lasers). Not for major credit.

I understand that optics is a course that is covered to some extent in physics II. Is it bad if I take this course?
An SDN mentor told me that it is NOT recommended to retake courses where you got less than a B. Instead, you must take higher level science courses. Sometimes there may be exceptions, such as a course where there is no higher level, etc.
 
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WolverineDoc13

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Surprisingly, Astronomy does count as physics under AMCAS. It says so in the instructions provided by the AAMC. Whether if individual medical schools count it, that's another story.

I guess the consensus of the thread is don't take easy classes to pad your gpa, which I agree with 100% However, think about what "easy" means. What is easy for you may not be easy to someone else. If you want to take a stats class because it's "easy" for you, but hard for others, that seems fine. However, taking bio 101 or "intro to the atmosphere" or "astronomy for idiots" to pad your gpa doesn't look good at all.

More food for thought: there are tons of students I know at University of Michigan who take "easy" classes, don't take risks, get high science gpas, and get into top tier medical schools. Granted those schools didn't include University of Michigan's medical school (ha ha), but that's something to think about. I think many med schools overlook the "easiness" of a course when reviewing applications.
 

Excelsius

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Surprisingly, Astronomy does count as physics under AMCAS. It says so in the instructions provided by the AAMC. Whether if individual medical schools count it, that's another story.

I guess the consensus of the thread is don't take easy classes to pad your gpa, which I agree with 100% However, think about what "easy" means. What is easy for you may not be easy to someone else. If you want to take a stats class because it's "easy" for you, but hard for others, that seems fine. However, taking bio 101 or "intro to the atmosphere" or "astronomy for idiots" to pad your gpa doesn't look good at all.

More food for thought: there are tons of students I know at University of Michigan who take "easy" classes, don't take risks, get high science gpas, and get into top tier medical schools. Granted those schools didn't include University of Michigan's medical school (ha ha), but that's something to think about. I think many med schools overlook the "easiness" of a course when reviewing applications.

Adcoms are well versed in premed courses. They even have a term for easy classes - fluff. Also, there aren't a lot of easy BCPM courses. Eventually you will have to take advanced coursework because classes are organized in a linear rather than random fashion.
 

Avoidthetiger

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Hey! I don't know if this is possible for you, but my favorite thing to do to boost up my BCPM is to take summer classes at other universities. I'm trying to stick with a good University, but one that i find easier than mine.... or not such a good University, but has a class that you are interested and is maybe a 300-level [at that not great university.]

I've taken 5 summer classes at Loyola University, Chicago. I took biochemistry and Microbiology/lab in the same 6-week span. Found them both really fun, and I got A(-s) in both [6 weeks! come'on! plus studying for MCAT. i think it's a good score]. I was terrified to take this two courses at my home school. The other 2 i took while working 40-hours a week as an intern and got As in both. BLoyola has a good reputation so try to find another school like that.

So yea, just look at the summer courses offered in your area. It counts for your BCPM and can be fun :)
 

LifelongStudent

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avoidthetiger,

I see a problem with what you did, though. What do you say when they ask you about taking so many classes away from your primary university during your interview? Do you say, "Well, ummmm, it was easier, and I wanted to boost my GPA"?
 

Avoidthetiger

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I'm just say I wanted to stay active in my studies while away from my home University. And yes, I am honest in that i didn't want to take an 8:30am Biochem class [im the worst morning person ever] and a class with over 80+ people for a Microbiology [and the likelihood I would get into the lab would be slim]. For the easier courses, eh, I was working full-time, I did realize it would help boost my GPA, so why not. It's not like I haven't taken a bunch of hard classes at my home school too... which is my GPA isn't that great anyways. I took classes at my home school that I felt would be good and unique.

But I guess everyone is different. My transcript is far from perfect. So it depends on your situation i guess.

edit - also, I was in one of those early acceptances programs to my home universty's medical school. I needed a certain GPA in BCPM that i have not meet because i started off as BME... so at the time I took most of those summer classes, I was not thinking of ever being interviewed. oh well. mistakes are life.
 

bnleong

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I don't recommend retaking courses or taking easy courses. People can see right through that, and it's meaningless.

I think you should take HARDER courses, and do better in them. This shows you're not afraid of a challenge, and you're capable of performing well in difficult courses. Do you think a med school is looking for students who padded their grades by taking easy courses, or a student who got their grade up by challenging themself with difficult courses?
I agree with this 100% IF you have a pretty decent average. For people who desperately need to boost up their gpa, tagging an extra 3 credits of an easy bio class to their already full schedule might be a great way to do this. The truth of the matter is that medical school admissions is all about numbers. If you dont have the cut-off gpa or MCAT your application goes into the trash pile(at a lot of medical schools but not all). I'd rather take some of these easy bio classes so that I can have some chance of getting past screening.
 

JacksonInTheBox

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I'm creating this thread to see if anyone has creative ideas for boosting up their BCPM.

Here is what I've thought of so far.

1) Retaking any BCPM class with a grade lower than a B.
2) Taking easy bio classes. (Not everyone agrees with this esp if you have upper divisions).
3) Taking astronomy classes (Some of these classes are hard so be only if your interested in this stuff)
4) Getting research credit ( Not all schools offer number grades for this)

How about taking easy physics classes? My school offers a course called

Physics 112 Light, Color, and Vision.
Here is a course description
An introduction to the modern understanding of light, color, and vision, primarily for non-science majors and especially beneficial to students majoring in visual arts or theatre. Topics include the nature of light; the human eye and vision; illusions, color perception, and color theory; optical instruments; the camera and photography; optical phenomena in the atmosphere (mirages, rainbows, halos); and light in modern physics (relativity, lasers). Not for major credit.

I understand that optics is a course that is covered to some extent in physics II. Is it bad if I take this course?
Research is awesome because you can hit multiple birds with one stone. You can get an easy science grade, unless you totally piss of the prof you are working with. And you are able to get the easy grade every semester. You also get research for you ECs and a really good LOR. But dont do it if you are not really interested in the subject because it does take work.
 

22031 Alum

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All you people trying to figure out an "easy" way to make your applications look good... You do realize that med school is not easy, right? It's the opposite of easy. You're doing yourself an injustice. There is no easier version of Path or easier version of Step 1. Suck it up and prove to admission committees that you can handle rigorous coursework now, because it only gets tougher from here on out.

--a bitter 3rd year
 

nikemed

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What do you guys think of this class: [SIZE=-1]INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF MIND-BRAIN: PSYCHOLOGICAL, BIOLOGICAL, AND PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES. It's under a major called Philosophy/Neuroscience/Psychology. [/SIZE]
 

officedepot

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If your GPA is low due to classes like General Chemistry then you need to get A's in Ochem. If it's low in phys1 then do well in phys2. Really I think you need to take upper level courses and get A's in them. It will show the school that you know the material and did better in a more challenging course.

I wouldn't try to get out of it by taking easy courses. Schools look at this stuff.
 
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