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Ever Pulled Off 4 Labs in One Semester?

ChemEngMD

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Any of you guys ever pulled this off? I'm going for it next semester...it may be the death of me, but I guess we'll find out in the long run!
 
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ChemEngMD

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Thanks! I'm also taking a Princeton MCAT Review course which meets for 2, 4 hour sessions a week. I think if I make it through this semester I may very well go down in history. lol I think my crazy schedule as an engineer the last couple years though will help me get through this one too lol
 

URHere

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Any of you guys ever pulled this off? I'm going for it next semester...it may be the death of me, but I guess we'll find out in the long run!

I made this work during undergrad - my labs were Organic chem, biostatistics, biochemistry, and physics. Personally, I thought the hardest part was just being able to schedule them all without any overlap (or without them cutting into my time at work). After that, it wasn't all that bad.
 

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I did it, but only because I absolutely HAD to to get everything done in time. I would suggest that if you have any other options to consider those very carefully before going for 4 labs in one semester.
 

ChemEngMD

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Well I've only taken BIO 100 and I am planning on taking the MCATs this summer so I'm attempting to throw in all my bio courses (BIO 200, Biochem, & Microbio) plus I need to finish my Organic Chem 2 Lab because I couldn't fit it last spring. So I guess you could say it's necessary
 

linguini

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Well I've only taken BIO 100 and I am planning on taking the MCATs this summer so I'm attempting to throw in all my bio courses (BIO 200, Biochem, & Microbio) plus I need to finish my Organic Chem 2 Lab because I couldn't fit it last spring. So I guess you could say it's necessary

I did 3 labs in one semester and it was busy, but do-able.

I understand your reasoning here but make sure that you have enough time outside of class and lab to actually prepare on your own for your MCAT. Taking the review classes might be helpful but it won't be sufficient study time to do well on that dreadful test.
 

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You can do it; it's really not that bad. I seem to recall having three most semesters and four. Senior year I think they were immunology/parasitology, p-chem, ecology, & botany. My botany class was kind of a joke, though, but the other ones were legit. Junior year I took anat/phys, physics, genetics, and biochem one semester. Like someone above me said, it's really just a matter of scheduling and proper time allocation.
 

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I did bio, chem, and physics lab plus the lecture all in one semester. The lab and lecture were tied together, so they needed to be taken at the same time. Approximately 10 hours of lecture and 20 hours of lab a week. The hardest part was that all the midterms fall on the same week. Still, it is manageable. Good luck!
 
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I had two semesters in a row with 3 labs (chem, physics, and bio), a math and research. It's do-able if you prepare yourself well and understand what you're getting yourself into. Don't become overwhelmed or you're screwed for the rest of the semester.

Also, if you're not an organized person you NEED to find a system that works for you.
 

ChemEngMD

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hahaha thanks for all the responses yall, it's much appreciated. 2 of my labs are only 1 credit (shouldn't be too bad) but Microbio and Orgo 2 are both 2 credit labs. Should be interesting! lol
 
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rocketbooster

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yea your semester is going to suck. i had 3 labs almost every semester. I think I did 4 maybe once? I don't know...i hate labs associated with classes in general. you can definitely do it, though. every semester after this next one will be hella easier at least!
 

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I've done four kinda.

I did Genetics, and physics II, but I also took organic which at my school the 1st and 2nd semester lab are combined into one semester that you take with the 2nd semester of lecture (it meets twice a wk for 3 hours each time). It took a lot of time but was doable.

Good luck!
 

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I did it my senior year (Forensic Molecular Biology, Forensic Serology, Forensic Microscopy, and Scientific Crime Scene Investigation). Each lab was ~4 hours long but I survived. It definitely helped that all of the labs were pretty interesting and I had a friend who was in all of them with me (we were lab partners in each class).
 

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I did three labs (physics II, ochem II, and cell bio) and was a TA for analytical chem lab at the same time. It was pretty wild, but do-able, especially with physics being a three hour lab instead of four.

You're a brave soul though, ChemEngMD, if you're doing this along with the MCAT review course. I started the Princeton course, and it was incredibly time consuming, especially if you do all the homework.

Best of luck!!!
 
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ChemEngMD

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I feel your MCAT prep or classes are going to suffer. The MCAT prep is the easiest to put off. If at all possible, I would spread this out more or not take as many labs.

Eeeek well I'm already on a 5-year plan due to my double major of Chemical Engineering & Biological Engineering along with my triple minor in Chemistry, Pre-Medical Studies, and Spanish...it adds up to over 180 credit hours but I go to school for free so I figured why not milk it. I don't think I could put it off much more :-/
 

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Taking four labs doesn't make anyone smart...it makes them stupid for even attempting to do it. Your grades will suffer and I would highly recommend you not to do this (even if you want to prove it to other pre-meds). Medical schools care about the grades, not how you challenged urself and took all four in one quarter. Unless some of these labs aren't legit aka. astronomy lab where u gaze at the sky...... i would strongly reconsider taking them all at once
 

ChemEngMD

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2 majors and 3 minors isn't impressing anyone.

Wow way to overstep your bounds. You're assuming I do it to impress people...I do it because I like all of those subjects and really wanted to do all of them. Aren't you supposed to do what you're interested in at college?
 

ChemEngMD

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Taking four labs doesn't make anyone smart...it makes them stupid for even attempting to do it. Your grades will suffer and I would highly recommend you not to do this (even if you want to prove it to other pre-meds). Medical schools care about the grades, not how you challenged urself and took all four in one quarter. Unless some of these labs aren't legit aka. astronomy lab where u gaze at the sky...... i would strongly reconsider taking them all at once


Why be so negative when all of these other people above have posted and said they made it work with labs that weren't jokes?
 

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Yeah, but these other people here are all trying to say take your time in undergrad and don't push and kill yourself! lol
:laugh: True. Not a view I agree with, but to each their own.

For your original question, it would probably be pretty tough, just from a time perspective. How hard it would be intellectually probaly depends on your school, at my school all labs are jokes. Most I ever took together was two though.

Good luck.
 

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I had lab every afternoon from 1pm-5+pm for a semester. Four real classes/labs (two chem, bio, phys) plus an independent research lab that ended up usually taking more time than actual coursework.

That was tricky. But totally doable, honestly. Like has been said before, the hardest part is getting your schedule to not conflict. After that it's not so bad. :thumbup:
 

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Second semester of undergrad: 3 pre-req science labs + 1 non-science lab
Needless to say, it was not fun. It was probably the most grueling semester I've had. The outside-of-lab-work took so much time. I spent probably 60-65% of my time on labs and the rest on the lectures. I ended up getting a B+ in one of the science labs (no A- in Florida) and a B+ in one of the lectures. So, I don't recommend it. Its more of a test of will power/endurance than anything else. I didn't know at the time what I was getting myself into. Anyone who knowingly subjects him- or herself to this is a c*ck. I don't mean this in an offensive way - I use that term instead of "gunner" because, IMO, gunnerism is only one temporary facet of the c*ck personality.
 

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I took 3 labs in one semester with 19 units...I had 2 organic chem labs (I took the first semester of lecture during the summer so I was taking second semester lecture and both labs in the fall) and one physiology lab. The fact that I had 19 units made the worst part finding time...but I made it and got a 4.0! You can do it, just be diligent!:luck:
 

IHeartNerds

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Anyone who knowingly subjects him- or herself to this is a c*ck. I don't mean this in an offensive way - I use that term instead of "gunner" because, IMO, gunnerism is only one temporary facet of the c*ck personality.

Some of us went to schools where classes were only offered once a year. Between that and study abroad, by the time you're a sophomore, there is only one way to take courses and graduate with your major complete and your gen eds finished in four years.

Not all of us are d-bags. And here's a hint, if you don't mean something offensively, don't use a phrase that's offensive in nature :thumbup:
 

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I'm interested in history, but that doesn't mean I need a minor in it in order to express my interest. In fact, I've taken more classes in history than needed to get the minor. They just aren't the right ones. However, if it was just one more class I needed to get it, I would probably go for it. I think this is pretty much the OP's case. Most of the classes he needs to get those minors probably overlap with his majors. I have friends who have mega numbers of degrees. They are a good thing to put on your application, but 5 degrees by themselves don't get you into med school. Definitely make sure you aren't slackin on the ECs.

Anyways, you don't need the labs to take the MCAT, I'd just like to point that out. I think it is wiser to focus on MCAT prep rather than 4 labs. Take 2, put off the other 2.
 

BubbleHead

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Orgo Lab (seperate 4 credit course from Orgo I and II), BioChem, Micro, Genetics. The nice thing was that it was all science, no other nonsense.

Once you're in the groove of lab reports and MCAT prep you'll be rolling in high geer to take the MCAT. It will be amazing how much you'll actually get done. As residents working in house, 80 hours/wk dosen't include research efforts, reading for your specialty, looking up tomorrows patients and formulating the plan. 4 lab courses would be an easy week looking back.
 

mmmcdowe

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Orgo Lab (seperate 4 credit course from Orgo I and II), BioChem, Micro, Genetics. The nice thing was that it was all science, no other nonsense.

Once you're in the groove of lab reports and MCAT prep you'll be rolling in high geer to take the MCAT. It will be amazing how much you'll actually get done. As residents working in house, 80 hours/wk dosen't include research efforts, reading for your specialty, looking up tomorrows patients and formulating the plan. 4 lab courses would be an easy week looking back.

From what the OP is saying, it sounds like he's going to be taking 2-3 lectures as well at minimum. I agree its possible, depending on the length of the reports. My Biochem papers were 20 pages a week. Four reports of 20 pages a week, plus classes, plus ECs, plus MCAT study is really not super feasible if you are shooting for a 4.0. Is it possible, sure, but pre-med is about building personality and experience as well as typing lab reports. 4 5-6 page papers might be doable.

Lets break it down.
20 Hours for MCAT class/outside study
4 labs, lets assume 3 hours each. 12 hours
Assume 9 hours of other class lecture.
9 hours average for lecture hw/ test prep.
Assume 4 hours per lab report/prep for lab, 16 hours

On paper, that's 66 hours. In all likelyhood this is a gross underestimate when you factor in time between classes, travel, etc etc. Broken down over 7 days, that's 9.5 hours a day. Add 7 hours of sleep a day. That leaves you with about 50 hours of time to do other things each week. So if you sleep 7 hours a day, instantaneously transport yourself form class to class, and are capable of obtaining energy via photosynthesis you will have plenty of time to have a social life and do some EC work ;). In all honesy though, with all things factored in I would expect this kind of schedule to be more like 90 hours, not including sleep, a week. Still feasible, but not much EC time.

Here's my personal story. I DID a schedule like this. I had three labs, physics, biochem, and p chem. I took 24 credits total, 6 of which were labs (3 cred bioche 2 cred pchem 1 cred physics). I also did about 10 hours of research a week. I made it through with all A's, but it was miserable. I was miserable. My social life was nonexistant and the only time I saw my girlfriend was when I woke up three hours before her to go to my 7:40 class until I got done at 5:30. I would then do homework, etc, until about midnight. It sucked, but I proved myself to myself that I could do it. Doesn't mean that I'd be happy to do it again. I forgot the word for pinball machine, I spoke so little :p
 
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BubbleHead

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Taking four labs doesn't make anyone smart...it makes them stupid for even attempting to do it. Your grades will suffer and I would highly recommend you not to do this (even if you want to prove it to other pre-meds). Medical schools care about the grades, not how you challenged urself and took all four in one quarter. Unless some of these labs aren't legit aka. astronomy lab where u gaze at the sky...... i would strongly reconsider taking them all at once

Your grades will be fine. Med Schools will look at this semester and will be impressed. Anyone who takes a science course and understands the material (just about everyone) can handle the level of material in medical school. Anyone can take 1 course at a time "for the good grade". It is not the difficulty that people choke on; it is the shear volume of the difficult material. When I did 4 labs in 1 semester, 2 were graduate level courses and it helped in medical school... for about 2-3 weeks and then we were in uncharted territory covering all new material. We blew through 50-100 pages of text per hour of lecture in the first year of medical school as a "welcome to the big leagues" style reality check.

Nothing personal if you're not ready for it, but this is what separates Doctors from everyone else. The undying desire to help people... that is what makes you endure the sacrifices and push yourself to unimaginable limits.
 
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