CluelessAsian

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Jul 13, 2008
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Everyone suggests to take it easy while preparing for the MCAT. I just looked at my course plan and realized that this is not the case for me so I have to do something about it. :p

What school courses did you guys/ladies take while prepping for MCAT? What grades did you get in your classes and your score in the MCAT? I thought this would be interesting. :)
 
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BlueElmo

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Everyone suggests to take it easy while preparing for the MCAT. I just looked at my course plan and realized that this is not the case for me so I have to do something about it. :p

What classes did you guys/ladies take while prepping for MCAT? What grades did you get in your classes and your score in the MCAT? I thought this would be interesting. :)
I took no classes while prepping for MCAT.
 

guildsman

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Correction: Misread the question about while as for. Sorry...
 
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ensuii

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Apr 3, 2006
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I took biochem, linear algebra, bioecon modelling and a fluff class (power and language or something like that) in addition to a prineton review class. Honestly, I kinda think the $ on princeton review was a waste...there's not too much instruction gained that isn't in the books they gave you. People study according to what works for them but in general, I don't think taking the MCAT in addition to a full courseload is going to ruin your life. I definetly didn't get to go out too much in the 4 months before the MCAT (I pretty much did about 1-2 hours of MCAT in addition to coursework during the week and then 2-3 on saturday with sunday off or practice exams every now and then--was probably overkill). I did pretty well for the courses...biochem and math classes were always one of my strengths so I didn't have to spend as much time with them as I would have with more nontraditional classes. My advice to you is to make a schedule for when/how to study. >>>Be realistic<<<, and don't wear yourself out. It's an important test for your career but hyping it up and stressing out over it isn't going to help anyone.
 

BlueElmo

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No classes outside of the required courses are currently required for the MCAT and almost all information not covered in the classes can be learned from a good review book or review class. That being said, I think the following classes might be helpful for getting another go through the material:

- Physiology (not anatomy) - A lot of the biological science passages dealing with biology touch on physiological topics.
- Genetics - More and more material on genetics and molecular biology.
- A good social science course where you need to do a lot of reading so that you get used to reading lots of material that can be boring (or not) and interpreting it (useful for verbal)
- Any course that can teach you how to think creatively about experiments or experimental design (this can be helpful for science experiment questions - it's in no way necessary).
I think the OP meant did you take any school courses WHILE preparing for the MCAT.
 
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CluelessAsian

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Jul 13, 2008
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I think I'm misunderstood. I meant school courses. =] Let me modify the post. =]
 
May 19, 2009
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I would highly discourage you from taking a heavy courseload while preparing for the MCAT. I took a Kaplan class this past spring while also taking orgo II, parasitology, a writing intensive course, microbio, and 2 1-credit classes. It was a moderate courseload but I still didn't really have time to do any of the outside work for Kaplan except for going to class. I had to cram like crazy in the month before I took the MCAT.

Everything turned out OK in the end but it added a huge amount of stress that I could have done without. I would suggest if not lightening your courseload, at least lightening your extracurriculars and placing high priority on studying for the MCAT during the semester and taking it seriously instead of what I did :p

Not to mention I feel like I wasted a huge amount of money on Kaplan because I didn't do 70% of the material. So if anything get your money's worth!
 
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CluelessAsian

10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2008
123
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Pre-Medical
I took biochem, linear algebra, bioecon modelling and a fluff class (power and language or something like that) in addition to a prineton review class. Honestly, I kinda think the $ on princeton review was a waste...there's not too much instruction gained that isn't in the books they gave you. People study according to what works for them but in general, I don't think taking the MCAT in addition to a full courseload is going to ruin your life. I definetly didn't get to go out too much in the 4 months before the MCAT (I pretty much did about 1-2 hours of MCAT in addition to coursework during the week and then 2-3 on saturday with sunday off or practice exams every now and then--was probably overkill). I did pretty well for the courses...biochem and math classes were always one of my strengths so I didn't have to spend as much time with them as I would have with more nontraditional classes. My advice to you is to make a schedule for when/how to study. >>>Be realistic<<<, and don't wear yourself out. It's an important test for your career but hyping it up and stressing out over it isn't going to help anyone.
Some people who work good by themselves seem to not like those mcat prep.. And some swear by them.. How do you think you did on the MCAT?
 
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CluelessAsian

10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2008
123
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Pre-Medical
I would highly discourage you from taking a heavy courseload while preparing for the MCAT. I took a Kaplan class this past spring while also taking orgo II, parasitology, a writing intensive course, microbio, and 2 1-credit classes. It was a moderate courseload but I still didn't really have time to do any of the outside work for Kaplan except for going to class. I had to cram like crazy in the month before I took the MCAT.

Everything turned out OK in the end but it added a huge amount of stress that I could have done without. I would suggest if not lightening your courseload, at least lightening your extracurriculars and placing high priority on studying for the MCAT during the semester and taking it seriously instead of what I did :p

Not to mention I feel like I wasted a huge amount of money on Kaplan because I didn't do 70% of the material. So if anything get your money's worth!
That true.. My "suggested" course plan for junior spring sem was biochem, physio, physics overview (they said good for mcat).. but I'll pass on that :p lol
 

ensuii

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Apr 3, 2006
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Some people who work good by themselves seem to not like those mcat prep.. And some swear by them.. How do you think you did on the MCAT?
Yeah, I guess it seems to parallel the go to class/don't go argument. I did okay...I started out with 24 in november, got a 37 the week before MCAT on a princeton review diagnostic. Ended up with a 33S on the real thing. I thought I bombed it the day after I got the scores back...then reality set in.
 

BlueElmo

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Sep 7, 2006
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Some people who work good by themselves seem to not like those mcat prep.. And some swear by them.. How do you think you did on the MCAT?
yah, I found my Princeton Review course very helpful. The huge number of books they gave me was great.
 

ar2388

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i took the kaplan class during my spring semester of junior year. along with that i took a pretty light courseload:
film and culture (once a week for 3 hours, watching movies)
pchem 3
pchem lab
external research (graded pass/fail; continued my research once a week from 9-5pm)
ballet class

this was 13.5 credits and the research had no hw or exams or anything so it was nice.
 

Hyperstudyosis

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I took 20 credits of science when I was SUPPOSED to be studying for the MCAT...I don't recommend it. The studying never really happened. MCAT score came out ok, but could have been better if I had studied.
 
Jun 5, 2009
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I purposely took a light courseload last spring so I could have time to study for the mcat. I also didn't start studying until spring break (test day was may 28) - big mistake! Even with my easy course schedule, I barely found time to study which was killer since I started studying late as it is. I ended up getting a 29. If you're gonna study during school give yourself plenty of time (like 3-4 months), but I think the best thing is to knock out the mcat during a break. Oh, and I did self-prep with EK.
 

URHere

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Nov 20, 2007
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I don't think a heavy courseload will kill you while prepping for the MCAT. The question is, will you have enough time to study with the courses you are planning to take? I know some people who spend hours each day studying for 3 courses/semester and I know other who are lucky to fit in 3 hours each week with twice the number of classes. Which one are you? As long as you leave MCAT study time, you should be fine.
 
May 2, 2009
13
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Classes taken during Spring Semester 2009 while studying for the MCAT:

1. Biochem- I was suprised at how helpful this class was in preparing me for the Biology, O-Chem, and General Chemistry on the MCAT; made an A- in the class (92.1 and wouldn't bump me up to a 93 for the A :mad:)

2. Biology II- second semester of biology with lab which was again a GREAT review for MCAT Biology/Physiology; made an A in the class

3. Abnormal Psychology- useless for the MCAT but an easy and interesting class. Who knows it may come in handy for med school; made an A in the class

4. Comparative Literature- the professor was easily one of the most entertaining lecturers and talked about sex all the time; you had to be breathing to make an A in the class which I did

MCAT:

11 VR
12 BS
11 PS
O WS

34 O composite; really pleased by this as it was higher than my best AAMC practice tests

My recommendation is to take classes that will review or cover MCAT topics and then study for the MCAT when you are not doing anything else. Good time management skills help. I am usually a terrible standardized test taker but the MCAT can be cracked if you are a hard worker. Good luck!
 

rockaction

casemed'14
May 3, 2009
1,909
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I took the MCAT in the Spring of 09 (April test date). Here's the classes I took during my prep:

Human A&P II - all physiology, awesomely helpful
Virology - sort of helpful, except not really
Logic - fun easy A
Biomedical Ethics - read a lot, which is helpful

I tried to pick relevant or easy classes.

I had already taken (in addition to the normal pre-reqs): Biochemistry, Embryology, Human A&P I, Physical Chem for the Life Sciences, Genetics, Cell Bio, and Immuno

11ps 10vr 14bs
 
May 19, 2009
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I took the MCAT in the spring, and I took a semi-accelerated Kaplan prep course, twice a week for 3 hours each time. My classes were:

Organic chem 2 (3 credits) - super intensive and time-consuming at my school, a third of the class fails with a fairly generous grading scale. This class was my top priority when studying

Biochem (3 credits)

Physics 2 (5 credits)

Italian 4 (5 credits) - not very time-consuming outside of class

My schedule was super packed, and I would DEFINITELY recommend taking a lighter load. I think I was a little braindead by the time I took my actual MCAT.
 

ilovebiology

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Jun 13, 2009
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Even though I will be taking a full coarse load each semester...For example this Fall i'll be taking Molecular Bio (400 level), Comparative Vertebrae Anatomy (400 level), and 3 (3-unit) gen eds, I'm going to be taking the Kaplan review starting in October all the way through March I think...So I'll be studying for 2 semesters of school and Christmas break for the MCAT.