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Do you have to take Bio and Chem the same year

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mirc™, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Mirc™

    Mirc™ Junior Member
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    I'm going to be starting college in a little over a month and I don't know if I should take both chem and bio together my 1st semester. I know that you have to have a really good GPA to go to med school and I really don't want to be overwhelmed from the beginning and do bad in one of them, and I wouldn't be able to recover. I wouldn't mind taking them after my freshman year when I'm already settled down and used to everything. Like what if I took Chem during freshman year, and bio and inorganic in sophmore year. Or I just took Bio in the summer. Or is takin both chem and bio freshman year not hard at all?, what do you suggest
     
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  3. R.P. McMurphy

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    Take them together. College is not as hard as it appears to be as an incoming freshman. Taking chem and bio together is not uncommon. Right now, it seems very scary but I think it will look better to schools that you challenged yourself. Just study hard and play hard and you will be fine! :)
     
  4. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    I would e-mail the pre-med advisor at your school (if there is one) and ask what the typical schedule is for pre-meds. This tends to differ by school (for example, at my school freshmen could not take the pre-med bio sequence). It's not uncommon, and perhaps necessary, to take two sciences at the same time. However, I would try to arrange things so that when you take Orgo that's the only science class you're taking at the time.
     
  5. MinnyGophers

    MinnyGophers Senior Member
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    It really depends on what your major is, but most people take bio and chem together, first semester as they are pre-requisites to most of the sciences classes in the chemistry/biological departments...
    Heck I took calc, bio, chem together first semester.

    It's not that difficult, and really, you're going to have to get used to an even bigger workload as you go through the years.
     
  6. ESzczesniak

    ESzczesniak Member
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    I'm not sure what your intended major is, but for the most part this is how I see the bottom line. If you can't handle intro chem and biology in the same semester, your GPA probably isn't going to pull through the higher level classes. Take them together so you don't fall behind in classes. I think I may have gone beyond what a lot of pre-med schedules were, but one semester I had differential equations, orgo III, orgo III lab, biochem, adv. e and m, physiology, fluid dynamics and membrane physiology and managed to pull through. In all reality, chem and bio in the same semester is just the start.
     
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Not only do you not have to take them the same year, you don't even have to take the prereqs at all while in college (that's what postbacs are for, for some). There are no required schedules. Do what works and allows you to get A's. If that means starting then after freshman year, that's fine. This isn't a race, and there are a zillion possible roads that can lead to the same goal.
     
  8. Mirc™

    Mirc™ Junior Member
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    I'm a history major, what if I were to take one of those classes during the summer?
     
  9. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    That's fine if you take it at a reputable place. Maybe not as well looked upon if you do it at a school with a perceived lower lever of difficulty (a CC, JC, etc.) But bear in mind that the summer is a lot shorter than a semester, so the classes tend to move much more rapidly -- maybe not always a good thing for someone who is not a science jock.
     
  10. mychelle774

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    I'm going to say that you should go ahead and take the two together this year for reasons different than those listed above. By and far the biggest mistake I've seen college kids make is to spend their time majoring in something they dislike. And, to me, you have to immerse yourself in science and like it to justify wanting to be in medicine. If you find out you really actually like Bio and Chem, you will find a way to succeed in both. Don't worry about that. If, on the other hand, you realize the sciences are not for you, you've gotten that out of the way so you can concentrate on what you really want to do. Pushing yourself to do well is easier if you enjoy what you're doing, and really, Bio and Chem are just appetizers.
     
  11. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Just because you dislike the appetizers doesn't mean you will hate the main course. Premed prereqs are hurdles to get through, nothing more. You will use little to none of that info in med school and beyond.
     
  12. mam4993

    mam4993 Member
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    Take them both together your freshmen year. You will regret it otherwise (if you're a science major). I took Bio I and Chem I together my first semester (got A's in both no problem) but didn't take Bio II with Chem II my second semster, and now I am looking at an upcoming fall semester of Bio II, Organic, and Analytical Chem. I really really REALLY wish I had taken Bio II the second semester of my freshmen year, because as your science classes get harder you'll want to take less of them together. I know it sounds better to have an easy "adjustment" period as an intro to college but honestly freshmen year science classes are so easy that you won't need much time to adjust. It's much better to knock those out together. You WILL regret taking one easy science class when you could have taken two no problem and not had to worry about taking them later.
     
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Just bear in mind that the vast majority of premeds wash out after freshman year. Part of the reason is that they take too heavy a load, or take classes before they are truly focused and ready. Speaking as someone who was not a science person till much later in life, it sometimes pays to pace yourself differently than everyone else, rather than crash and burn before you are ready. Only the OP knows if a later start is going to be a good idea for him/her.
     
  14. mychelle774

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    True, you won't use it later on, but like you said prereqs are largely designed to be weed out classes. Perhaps liking the subjects isn't absolutely necessary, that is just my opinion, but it is a big predictor of how well you will do in that course and in science courses to follow. I think it's great if one comes to really show his or her strengths/interest in science later in college, but it has been my experence that if you're going IN as a premed, you don't actually know what lies ahead of you or if you're cut out for it or if it's what you really want to get into.
     
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    You have to get through the premed prereqs with good grades at some point to get into medicine. But whether you do them at the same time or in the same combinations as everyone else shouldn't be the thing that determines whether you are cut out for it. Lots of people become better students at later times, particularly in the sciences. If you need a semester or two to adjust in college before tackling them, or need to start slow before you double up, that's totally fine. Lots of failed premeds could be in med school now if they didn't self destruct taking too many courses together or tackling certain courses before they had good study habits and skills. There are no shortage of postbacs cranking out med school matriculants who never took ANY sciences in college, and instead waited years later to tackle them.
     
  16. mam4993

    mam4993 Member
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    I'm sorry, but Bio I and Chem I plus maybe two other non-science classes does not make up a heavy load for a huge majority of first-semester college students. I get what you're saying about everyone being different, but come on. If the OP is truly worried about her course load she should just take four classes instead of five or six. Twelve hours of classes will leave you plenty of time to study even if you're working. Chem I is pretty much only chemistry that you already learned in high school, and my Bio I class was a joke. It is a much, much better idea to take the easy classes together than leave them for later. I understand you're talking about early burnout, but no matter what four classes you take your first semester of college is going to be a little trying and confusing. You're gonna adjust no matter what. Plus I would think it's far easier to burn out as you're taking the upper level courses. Do you reccomend she take the bio with physics? Organic? Not to mention that she needs to get these classes under her belt if she's going to be taking genetics, anatomy and physiology, etc., etc. for the MCAT.

    To the OP: have you had a decent immersion in sciences in high school? i.e. did you take a year of chemistry and a year of bio in high school? If so, you will be fine in Bio I and Chem I. I think the fact that you're worrying about it signifies that you're a motivated student so I honestly don't think you'll have any problems taking the two together.
     
  17. TauPathology

    TauPathology Member
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    Which college are you going to?

    If you are going to a big state university, I would say wait a semester and get things figured out (i.e. which teachers/sections to take). My first semester at UF I had a 3.57, which is low for me, because I took the hardest teachers possible and had a little to much fun.

    If you are coming in with some AP credit, take a break first semester, and kick it in after.
     
  18. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    You are coming from a perspective of someone who has always enjoyed or done well in sciences. Not everyone comes from that world. But it might come eventually. There are plenty of people who get C's in those classes and wash out of premed dreams. Of that group, there are many who would get A's if they had better study habits, adjusted to school before their attempt, eased into it, etc. You can look at the nontrad and postbac boards and find lots of examples of folks who didn't do impressively early on and are acing classes years later. It happens. And those people ultimately end up in med school. But they could have saved themselves a lot of effort and had much smaller holes to dig out of had they done things differently the first time through.
     
  19. mam4993

    mam4993 Member
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    I'm really more coming from the perspective that a motivated student straight out of high school will have little trouble adjusting to taking two science classes in college. I understand it's different for non-traditional students, but the OP sounds like she's coming from high school, though it's very probable that I could be wrong. I probably wouldn't give this advice to a non-traditional student or rather any student unfamiliar with the workload of science classes.

    You're right; ultimately the OP should do what she feels if best for her. But everyone is a little antsy going into college, and it's hard to make a great schedule for yourself if you're only listening to your nerves. That's all I'm trying to say. OP, if you worked hard in high school and are exited about learning in college, don't be afraid to schedule both of them. If after thinking about it you still don't feel comfortable with the schedule then by all means take it easy your first semester. Though I think "taking it easy" could just as easily mean tkaing less classes period than just taking less science classes, y'know? My first semester of college I only took four classes and that small number in itself made me more comfortable than what kind of classes I was taking. All I'm saying is don't let your nerves about starting college dictate what you feel you can accomplish.
     
  20. Mirc™

    Mirc™ Junior Member
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    I took Bio,chem,AP bio, and physics in high school.

    Would it be a bad idea to take bio and organic my sophmore year?
     
  21. Mirc™

    Mirc™ Junior Member
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    I don't why you think I'm a girl but I am comming straight from highschool. I hate science and I'm not really that motivated, I also didn't work that hard in high school but I still managed to do well cause it's highschool. I have no problem with having a very busy schedule as long as those are related to my major and not science.
     
  22. MinnyGophers

    MinnyGophers Senior Member
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    If you took AP bio you'll be fine.
    But seriously though, if you can't handle gen chem and gen bio together during the same semester, you'll be in for a tough time later on.
    As for bio and organic together, don't you think that it'll be even harder than bio + gen chem? Bio is a lot of memorization, and organic is even more memorization.

    For my major, I had physics, calc, bio, chem first semester. I hated physics, bio, and calc, but you got to work through it if you want to make it easier later on.


    Just my two cents anyways, Law2doc does make some excellent points if you feel that sciences are not your strength. But remember that if you plan on applying to med school as a regular undergrad student, meaning beginning of senior year, you'll want to take your MCATs during junior year, and you preferably want your pre-reqs completed before you take the MCATs.
     
  23. mam4993

    mam4993 Member
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    I don't think it would be "bad," but depending on your opinion it could be harder than taking bio and general chem together. Or, as Law2Doc is suggesting, if you really feel like you need to take it easy your first year taking general chem and bio together could be harder than waiting a year to start doubling up on your sciences. It really depends on how well you know yourself and your study habits and on whether or not you fee like you might do poorly your first semester of college.

    It is my personal opinion that it's better to take general chem and bio together, but do what you gotta do to not burn out.

    Apologies for incorrectly labeling you a woman!
     
  24. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Um, nontrad students generally went to college and tended to have gotten there out of high school. I don't get your distinction.
    I'm saying, from the perspective of someone further down the road than you, that things click for different people at different times. Science is a big example. Don't assume that what worked for you ought to be good advice for everyone.
     
  25. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    If that's the case, then taking two sciences at a time may not be a good idea. You can always do what a lot of people do and space out your pre-reqs by planning on taking a year off after you graduate.
     
  26. mam4993

    mam4993 Member
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    I was using nontraditional in the sense that if you waited a while out of high school to go to college, and thus maybe had rusty study habits.
     
  27. TauPathology

    TauPathology Member
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    Another thing to think about is to make sure you take the pre-reqs (bio, gen-chem, org, and physics) within somewhat close proximity as it will make your MCAT studying a bit less hectic. This isn't a decision making point here, but its worth keeping in mind.
     
  28. Mirc™

    Mirc™ Junior Member
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    Yeah I do think it would be way harder to take them sophmore year but I also think I'd be way more adjusted and ready to take them then too.

    Are bio and gen chem usually freshman filled classes?
     
  29. MinnyGophers

    MinnyGophers Senior Member
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    Yeah, i'd say 90% freshmen.

    Also, you have to remember that if you decide to take bio with ochem sophmore year, it'll be bio I + bio lab + ochem I for first semester, and then bio II +bio lab + ochem II+ ochem lab ... and also, do not forget that you have to take physics I and II also.

    ochem and physics are harder than gen chem, and you could potentially end up with a semester where you'll have to take bio, ochem and physics at the same time, and you probably dont want that.
     
  30. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    No. Nontrad more typically means someone who graduated college. and then later (often after a career, military service, advanced degree,or whatever), goes on to med school. Usually requires picking up or retaking some sciences in a post bac. It's an increasing trend -- you will see lots of village elders in whatever med school you ultimately attend. :)
     
  31. mam4993

    mam4993 Member
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    Yeah, I understand how SDN'ers use it. But I think it also adequately describes older students starting college. My boyfriend considered himself a non-traditional college student when he started at 26.
     
  32. mvenus929

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    While I understand that you may not be a science person, I think you'd be fine taking Bio 1 and Chem 1 in the same semester. The curriculum might vary slightly from school to school, but for me, Chem 1 was essentially the same exact thing I learned in HS Chem, with maybe 2 or 3 added topics spread over the semester. If you did well in HS Chem and are quick to catch back on, that should be no problem. Since you took AP Bio, I think Bio 1 will pretty much be the same, maybe a little more in depth. If nothing else, you can try taking both Chem 1 and Bio 1 first semester, and if you don't think you'll do so well second semester, just take Chem 2, then take Bio 2 the next year or during summer school. It's really up to you in the end, though.
     
  33. Mirc™

    Mirc™ Junior Member
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    I thought you take physics as a junior though?
     
  34. mvenus929

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    It varies... my roommate last year and her lab partner (my roommate is pre-physical therapy and her lab partner is pre-med) are both taking Physics as sophomores. Some people take Bio, Chem, and Physics all in the same semester. Some wait to take physics until they're Juniors... as for me... I got credit for it and am just taking the labs as a freshman and sophmore.
     
  35. MinnyGophers

    MinnyGophers Senior Member
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    You can, a lot of people do that. I had to take it as a freshman because I'm majoring in chemistry... :scared:
    But physics is the first requisite for many upper level classes that you might choose to take.

    Do a little bit of planning with the pre-reqs you need to take and make sure that you end up taking them all before you take the MCAT. Some classes require previous classes completed before you can sign up for them, so be aware of that also.
     
  36. Mirc™

    Mirc™ Junior Member
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    I don't plan on taking any other science classes other than pre reqs, but one thing that confuses me is that if a lot of people take Physics their junior year and the MCAT their junior year, do they learn enough physics to do well on the physics part of the exam
     
  37. MinnyGophers

    MinnyGophers Senior Member
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    if you take physics I first semester and physics II second semester, that's all you need.

    Besides, by the time you're in your junior year, the MCATs will all be computerized and offered a lot more often each year, so i wouldn't worry about it. It's actually a good thng that you're taking is so close to the MCATs, since the material will be fresh.
     
  38. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    That really varies my school. Freshmen could not take the bio sequence at my school (likely because it was insanely hard and competitive). I know other schools that are similar.
     

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