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Do I need to take physics/organic chemistry/calculus university courses?

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NameAlreadyTake

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OK basically right now I'm a 3rd year Canadian university student (although the fact that I'm Canadian shouldn't make a difference), and I want to take the MCAT. Right now I've only taken first year chemistry and a series of biology courses, but haven't taken organic chemistry, physics, or calculus. Do I need to take these courses before I attempt the MCAT? My dad told me that it's not necessary and that all I would have to do is read one of those MCAT prep books, he also told me something about how you can answer the questions just by reading the question and looking at the answers (or something like that, I know the way I phrased that sounds dumb, but I think he meant some sort of strategy for answering without actually figuring out the problem). So any truth to this? If I do have to take these courses it's going to have to be in the summer because I don't want it to affect my GPA, which right now isn't the best.
 

diamethuel

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Prep books are great for review, but really bad for trying to learn the material for the first time. You'll definitely need to take classes for organic chem and physics. Calculus isn't tested directly, but it helps a lot for physics.
 

tncekm

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Prep books are great for review, but really bad for trying to learn the material for the first time. You'll definitely need to take classes for organic chem and physics. Calculus isn't tested directly, but it helps a lot for physics.
I've never seen an MCAT physics passage where calculus would have been really helpful at all. Other than that, I agree. Although, there is enough information in the Princeton Review books that come with the course to learn all the material tested on the MCAT for the first time and still understand it.
 

Doctor Bagel

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Yeah, calculus is not necessary. I've known people who have taken it without organic chemistry and did OK just because organic is such a small part of the test, but I wouldn't recommend it. Now, I would 100% recommend taking physics before the MCAT. I don't think it's something you could easily teach to yourself unless you're very disciplined and have tons of time, and it makes up 50% of the PS section.
 

diamethuel

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I've never seen an MCAT physics passage where calculus would have been really helpful at all. Other than that, I agree. Although, there is enough information in the Princeton Review books that come with the course to learn all the material tested on the MCAT for the first time and still understand it.

I didn't mean that calculus is on the MCAT, but that it helps for learning physics.
 

RSAgator

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well, you'll need to take the courses anyways before med school so why not take them before you take the MCAT?

Organic you can probably get by without the course, but as has been said that's purely because it's such a small portion of the test. Getting into med school is competitive though, you not taking these courses before the MCAT puts you at a distinct disadvantage compared to people who have taken the course. Also what qualifications does your dad have to be giving you this advice? If he took the MCAT it's likely he took it years ago. Things are very different now.
 

Danbo1957

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Agree with dcohen, you have to take the courses to get into medical school, and, any addditional education will help when taking the MCAT.
 

Doctor Bagel

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I still don't really agree. I'm an advocate of taking extra classes for life in general, but I don't think calculus is at all necessary to do quite well on the MCAT. I took calculus a good ten years before I took the MCAT and had no difficulty. Sure, take calculus, but don't feel like you need to cram it in before either taking an algebra-based physics course or the MCAT.
 
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