Aug 13, 2016
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Hi there SDN, I'm an incoming freshman. I want to be able to take my MCAT after my sophomore year.

I got a 4 on my Biology AP, so I'm going to claim credit for it.

Freshman 1st semester: Chemistry I
Freshman 2nd semester: Chemistry II & Mechanics
Freshman summer: Organic Chemistry I
Sophomore 1st semester: Organic Chemistry II
Sophomore 2nd semester: Biochemistry I

My junior and senior year I'll be taking upper level sciences classes (genetic, molecular, w/e)

Do you guys think my plan is alright?

Also, would medical schools look any differently at my summer OChem credit if I did it at a community college vs at a university? There's a university like 30 minutes from my house, and the tuition for the hours would be higher but I wouldn't mind if a community college was looked down at.

Also during summer, I should do lecture and lab, right?

Sorry for rambling,
Thanks!
 
OP
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Aug 13, 2016
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Why?

Edit: Should add I did this too, but because I was going to be abroad as a Junior.
I want to get it done as soon as possible so I can focus my summers after on research and volunteering. Also I want to be able to have time to be able to retake it in the event that I don't do as well as I'd hoped.

If I take it after my junior year, will I have to apply right after I get my results in order to be able to enter medical school on time? I'm still not 100% sure on how the application process works :/
 

efle

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You could do research/volunteering in the summer after you freshman year though, if you didn't have to cram all these classes into two years by taking summer semesters.

For the "traditional" applicant with no gap year, the most common time to take the MCAT is Junior Spring. This lets you get your score back at least a month or two before you'd be submitting your application if you get the right dates. For the ~50% of applicants that take a gap year, people also often take it as a Senior.

I should also address this:

would medical schools look any differently at my summer OChem credit if I did it at a community college vs at a university?
Some medical schools openly advise against community college credits. Others do not state any bias, but might raise an eyebrow at it if you do not have strong grades in your university science prereqs (makes it look like you're dodging a challenging class).
 
OP
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Aug 13, 2016
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You could do research/volunteering in the summer after you freshman year though, if you didn't have to cram all these classes into two years by taking summer semesters.

For the "traditional" applicant with no gap year, the most common time to take the MCAT is Junior Spring. This lets you get your score back at least a month or two before you'd be submitting your application if you get the right dates. For the ~50% of applicants that take a gap year, people also often take it as a Senior.

I should also address this:



Some medical schools openly advise against community college credits. Others do not state any bias, but might raise an eyebrow at it if you do not have strong grades in your university science prereqs (makes it look like you're dodging a challenging class).
I applied to around 7 research programs (hospitals and universities) and I was denied from all of them. Could I possibly have a better chance after I have a few "serious" classes like OChem are under my belt? I'm definitely going to ask my Gen Chem professor if I could participate in any of his ongoing research labs, though.

So if you take it Junior spring, that's your one shot (if you don't want a gap year) right? What if I took the class at a university and took the MCAT during my sophomore summer and during my junior spring?

Sorry for the ton of questions lmao
 

efle

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I applied to around 7 research programs (hospitals and universities) and I was denied from all of them. Could I possibly have a better chance after I have a few "serious" classes like OChem are under my belt? I'm definitely going to ask my Gen Chem professor if I could participate in any of his ongoing research labs, though.

So if you take it Junior spring, that's your one shot (if you don't want a gap year) right? What if I took the class at a university and took the MCAT during my sophomore summer and during my junior spring?

Sorry for the ton of questions lmao
You applied to them as a high schooler yes? Your odds are a lot better if you're a year into college. You can also do research-for-credits during your year and try to continue at that lab (or get recommended to another one) in the summer.

You should not plan on needing to retake the MCAT. You have to report all scores you receive (not like the ACT/SAT) and should not take it until you're scoring where you want on practice exams.
 
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TheBiologist

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If it really is for money it's fine; do just as well in orgo II and it shouldn't be a problem

But why not take both over the year? Do you not have enough room?

As for your schedule looks good. Just be sure to get some upper division bio classes (as u say you are) to make up for taking AP credit for gen bio


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gonnif

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Hi there SDN, I'm an incoming freshman. I want to be able to take my MCAT after my sophomore year.

I got a 4 on my Biology AP, so I'm going to claim credit for it.

Freshman 1st semester: Chemistry I
Freshman 2nd semester: Chemistry II & Mechanics
Freshman summer: Organic Chemistry I
Sophomore 1st semester: Organic Chemistry II
Sophomore 2nd semester: Biochemistry I

My junior and senior year I'll be taking upper level sciences classes (genetic, molecular, w/e)

Do you guys think my plan is alright?

Also, would medical schools look any differently at my summer OChem credit if I did it at a community college vs at a university? There's a university like 30 minutes from my house, and the tuition for the hours would be higher but I wouldn't mind if a community college was looked down at.

Also during summer, I should do lecture and lab, right?

Sorry for rambling,
Thanks!
"If you dont know where you are going, any road will get you there"
--Lewis Carroll


1) Not all medical schools will accept AP credits in lieu of Biology classes
2) Summer classes, particularly Organic, are still looked down at some schools
3) Community College classes, particularly Organic, are still looked down at some schools
4) Rushing this process, especially risking GPA, is a dangerous thing
5) you dont get into medical school by being fast, you get in by being good.
6) you dont get into medical school by taking stupid steps and making plans before you know the process.

So Rule 1: Take a Breath
 
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Technology

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What about physics, psychology, and sociology? These subjects are roughly 30-40% of the MCAT.
 
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freak7

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"If you dont know where you are going, any road will get you there"
--Lewis Carroll
I believe that's a misquote due to a George Harrison song.

It was inspired by that part where the Cheshire Cat was dodging Alice's questions.
 
OP
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What about physics, psychology, and sociology? These subjects are roughly 30-40% of the MCAT.
I'm thinking about using my AP credit for Psychology, I'm going to be taking Honors Sociology freshman fall. I'm gonna take mechanics freshman spring and E&M some other semester but before my MCAT.

If it really is for money it's fine; do just as well in orgo II and it shouldn't be a problem

But why not take both over the year? Do you not have enough room?

As for your schedule looks good. Just be sure to get some upper division bio classes (as u say you are) to make up for taking AP credit for gen bio


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OChem I/II are both pre-reqs for Biochem I at my school, I kinda wanted to finish most of my MCAT subjects before junior year so I could take it during the summer between sophomore & junior, but now I'm not so sure.

What if I took my MCAT at the end of my junior summer? Would that be too late to not have a gap year?
 
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efle

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I'm thinking about using my AP credit for Psychology, I'm going to be taking Honors Sociology freshman fall. I'm gonna take mechanics freshman spring and E&M some other semester but before my MCAT.



OChem I/II are both pre-reqs for Biochem I at my school, I kinda wanted to finish most of my MCAT subjects before junior year so I could take it during the summer between sophomore & junior, but now I'm not so sure.

What if I took my MCAT at the end of my junior summer? Would that be too late to not have a gap year?
If you took it at the end of summer (say late August early sept) you wouldn't have a score until October, which would be quite late to submit. You'd either want to take it in June, maaaaybe July, or do a gap.
 

Weirdy

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Hi there SDN, I'm an incoming freshman. I want to be able to take my MCAT after my sophomore year.

I got a 4 on my Biology AP, so I'm going to claim credit for it.

Freshman 1st semester: Chemistry I
Freshman 2nd semester: Chemistry II & Mechanics
Freshman summer: Organic Chemistry I
Sophomore 1st semester: Organic Chemistry II
Sophomore 2nd semester: Biochemistry I

My junior and senior year I'll be taking upper level sciences classes (genetic, molecular, w/e)

Do you guys think my plan is alright?

Also, would medical schools look any differently at my summer OChem credit if I did it at a community college vs at a university? There's a university like 30 minutes from my house, and the tuition for the hours would be higher but I wouldn't mind if a community college was looked down at.

Also during summer, I should do lecture and lab, right?

Sorry for rambling,
Thanks!
Don't know what your previous academic history is so if I've assumed something, apologize beforehand.

You seem to be rushing it. The reason for rejection from research labs is lack of experience. Get a few science lab courses under your belt and you'll have no problem getting into all of the ones you've reached out to.

Personal advice is to take it Junior year. Again, don't know what your academic history is- you could be much more smarter than I was and breeze through these courses with As barely studying. But s*** happens academically and personally.

The last thing you need is to be overwhelmed by courses that you absolutely need to do well in (sGPA) to get into MD programs. Don't risk bad grades just to get into med school "on time". Gap years are more common than you think and are extremely helpful for those who are late bloomers.

As for the AP biology credit: My biology major specifically required me to take all science courses required for my degree at the university exclusively. This was even more explicitly stated if you were in JAMP or STARS or any program feeding into MD programs directly/indirectly. Orgo was a grey area but the biological sciences for sure were required to be University level.
 

Elfie

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I don't know if your school offers this, but I would highly suggest looking at a 'recommended pre-med schedule'. For my school it lines up fabulously with my major, and with the extra things it has on there that don't apply to my major, I switched out and replaced with psych, soc, etc. It's usually lined up well and isn't completely unmanageable. Also take a look at admission requirements from a range of schools take that into account.
 

gonnif

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I believe that's a misquote due to a George Harrison song.

It was inspired by that part where the Cheshire Cat was dodging Alice's questions.
You are indeed correct. Harrison was paraphrasing

The refrain "If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there" was essentially a paraphrase of an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Chapter 6 of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where—" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"—so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
 

gonnif

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I'm thinking about using my AP credit for Psychology, I'm going to be taking Honors Sociology freshman fall. I'm gonna take mechanics freshman spring and E&M some other semester but before my MCAT.
Assumes medical school will accept AP Psych
OChem I/II are both pre-reqs for Biochem I at my school, I kinda wanted to finish most of my MCAT subjects before junior year so I could take it during the summer between sophomore & junior, but now I'm not so sure.
You cant and virtually no one does.
You shouldnt try rush courses
You shouldnt take courses in summer, especially prereqs
What if I took my MCAT at the end of my junior summer? Would that be too late to not have a gap year?
If you took it at the end of summer (say late August early sept) you wouldn't have a score until October, which would be quite late to submit. You'd either want to take it in June, maaaaybe July, or do a gap.
As above. I have come to the conclusion that to have the most efficient application cycle with optimal chances for acceptances is to take the MCAT no later than May.
Why I say that is to do otherwise, you now start stacking up overlapping tasks which present competing priorities and splitting your time and focus,

Your drive to rush this over the "fear" of possible gap year makes you sound like an excited school kid. Listen to the advice you get here and try focusing on the upcoming college term and not have these plans so high on your list
 

Boogy'sChick15

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Just to reiterate what has already been said:
Not all schools accept AP bio, so it might be wise to take it again so that you do not limit yourself when applying to schools. It is also nice to take it as a refresher course, especially since there might be information taught that you didn't learn in highschool.

Make sure you fit physics into your schedule, and from what I have experienced and many other people on here as well, try to avoid taking physics with organic chemistry. Depending on how your overall schedule is, taking the two together could hurt your GPA.

Schedule wise, if you want to avoid taking a gap year then you need to take the MCAT during junior year, not during the summer after. They say to spend at LEAST 4 months preparing in advance, so if you spend the summer after sophomore year studying, you should be ready to take the MCAT in January. If you need to retake it (which hopefully you won't), this should allow you to retake it at least once more in April.

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Assumes medical school will accept AP Psych

You cant and virtually no one does.
You shouldnt try rush courses
You shouldnt take courses in summer, especially prereqs




As above. I have come to the conclusion that to have the most efficient application cycle with optimal chances for acceptances is to take the MCAT no later than May.
Why I say that is to do otherwise, you now start stacking up overlapping tasks which present competing priorities and splitting your time and focus,

Your drive to rush this over the "fear" of possible gap year makes you sound like an excited school kid. Listen to the advice you get here and try focusing on the upcoming college term and not have these plans so high on your list

Wait, why do adcoms look down on summer classes, specifically pre-reqs, taken in the summer? Is it because you don't have a full class load and have more time available to study, thus, supposedly, making them easier? I get it if you take those classes at a CC, but I took a bunch of classes in the summer at my university just to speed up the process and because I was trying to double major.
 

gonnif

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Wait, why do adcoms look down on summer classes, specifically pre-reqs, taken in the summer? Is it because you don't have a full class load and have more time available to study, thus, supposedly, making them easier? I get it if you take those classes at a CC, but I took a bunch of classes in the summer at my university just to speed up the process and because I was trying to double major.
Summer courses are viewed as less rigorous or complete than regular term courses simply because of the compressed nature of the classes. Will adcoms be more impressed by completing a double major or more concerned by having a pile of classes in the summer? all depends on the applicant's specific record and application but generally double majors do not make much impression

http://www.upstate.edu/com/admissions/faqs.php
Applicants should avoid taking more than one or two prerequisite science courses during the summer and avoid taking them at community colleges.
 

efle

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Wait, why do adcoms look down on summer classes, specifically pre-reqs, taken in the summer? Is it because you don't have a full class load and have more time available to study, thus, supposedly, making them easier? I get it if you take those classes at a CC, but I took a bunch of classes in the summer at my university just to speed up the process and because I was trying to double major.
Not an adcom, but my guess/what I've heard:

1) If you're taking it in summer at a different university, you might be dodging a class or professor that's particularly tough at your school.
2) Summer classes tend to be easier (even at the same university). This is usually why friends of mine took OChem or Physics as summer classes.
 
OP
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Just to reiterate what has already been said:
Not all schools accept AP bio, so it might be wise to take it again so that you do not limit yourself when applying to schools. It is also nice to take it as a refresher course, especially since there might be information taught that you didn't learn in highschool.

Make sure you fit physics into your schedule, and from what I have experienced and many other people on here as well, try to avoid taking physics with organic chemistry. Depending on how your overall schedule is, taking the two together could hurt your GPA.

Schedule wise, if you want to avoid taking a gap year then you need to take the MCAT during junior year, not during the summer after. They say to spend at LEAST 4 months preparing in advance, so if you spend the summer after sophomore year studying, you should be ready to take the MCAT in January. If you need to retake it (which hopefully you won't), this should allow you to retake it at least once more in April.

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The schools around me (Texas) mostly take AP credits except Baylor, where Biology isn't a pre-req but upper level Bio classes are. I'm also taking Sociology for a "behavioral science" credit if the school doesn't accept a Psychology.

Thanks for the input, I'm not gonna take OChem over the summer. I'll also talk to my counselor about if I should claim my AP credits.