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Freshman Math Classes

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by stoic, Nov 5, 2000.

  1. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    I'll be going off to college next year (probably KU) working towards a Biology degree and hoping to eventually get into med school. I'm kind of wondering how much math to take my first year. The advisors I've talked to said stats and calc. I'm wondering if you guys think I should go for more or less math. How much have your math classes helped in courses like physics and on the MCAT? Also, how many of you liked your math classes and how many of you had to bust your rears to stay awake in class (I would definatly fall in the latter group). One last question: For those of you who hated math, what methods did you find most effective for learning it? Thanks for the help

    Dave
     
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  3. You should have some sort of course catalog that outlines how much math you'll need to earn a degree in Biology at your school. I would think you need at the very least calculus I and II. If not for biology then for physics I and II. But that's the VERY minimum. I myself hated math in high school but I morphed in college and grew to love the subject. In fact, I took two years of math that I didn't even need and now I've got a minor in it. You won't know what your strengths and weaknesses are until you're in college. That's the best advice I can give you, just roll with the punches. If you still find that you're not quite the mathematician, then calc I and II should be adequate. I've never heard of stats being a required or helpful course, maybe for Biology majors it is. I'm a chemistry major, so all that math helped out [​IMG] Anyway, good luck to you.

    Imtiaz
     
  4. EricCSU

    EricCSU Senior Member
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    For an alternative opinion (although I have nothing but complete respect for imtiaz), here's my outlook on math. I am a sports medicine major with minors in anatomy and nutrition. For physics, the highest math I took is trig. I haven't taken calculus, and don't plan on taking calculus. Only 20 schools require it, and I researched it and found that all of the schools that I was interested in did not require calc; therefore I'm not taking calc. In its place, I'm taking a class that I've always wanted to take: cardiopulmonary physiology and the EKG interpretation lab. You should talk to your pre-med advisor at KU; that person can give you more specific info on individual schools or you can look it up in the MSAR. Have a great day! [​IMG]
     
  5. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    Most, not necessarily all, colleges require a year of calculus for a biology major, more for a chem or physics major. You will find out how much math is required when you begin at your college, or get the college catalog, look up the biology department's pages and read what they say is required for a major.
     
  6. lumanyika

    lumanyika Senior Member
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    hey daves...
    I see you want to be a Jayhawk huh? I live in KSK and go to UMKC.Ah! Lawrence.Great town...

    Anyway,getting to the matter at hand.I think a bio major at KU needs a year of math(I'm sorry for sounding redundant).If you are positively thinking Medschool,then Calc I &
    II is the stuff for you.don't be intimidated by calc(especially I).the key to learning math...you know it....PRACTICE,PRACTICE and more PRACTICE.Sorry there's no way out.I took physics I & II at KU last year,and believe me the TA I had tried to make it as calc based as he could(depending of course on the TA).the bad news was that he tended to use calc III tricks.the good news...it made calc II look like cake!!

    If you are planning to apply to KUMED,then I'd advise you to get done with the calc. I know that the KUMED AdCOM has introduced a stats option intead of Calc II(effective this year).I know it's a tough choice.If i were you,I'd go calc II AND stats(just my opinion)so as not to restrict yourself during the application process....does this make sense??

    If you have any quetions,you can email;"Paul Crosby" <[email protected]>

    He'll be happy to help with any more questions you may have.

    ------------------
    TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN,MUCH IS EXPECTED.
     
  7. Doc Oc

    Doc Oc Senior Member
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    Some schools may change their requirements to include a year of calculus. Changes such as this have been known to happen. To be on the safe side, taking it may be a good idea. Wouldn't it suck to be a senior and find out that your #1 choice now includes calc and you haven't had math in four years. Sometimes those silly trig identities are your salvation in calc, it would be nice to have them fresh in your head rather than trying to find your book from freshman year that had them written in the cover [​IMG]
     
  8. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    Thanks for all the post guys (and gals)!
    Now if I could, I like to change the subject just slightly. I'm thinkin' that I would like my freshman year to be something like:

    Calc I Calc II
    Inorganic Chem I Inorganic Chem I
    Bio I Bio I
    ? ?
    ? ?
    I know that my advisors would recommend somehting like this. My question consist of two parts. 1) Do you med/pre-med students think this sounds all right? 2) I had a really easy time in high school, and I've never really studied. Ever. What can I do now to start training myself to put in the appropriate amount of out of class time for these courses. I really don't want my freshman year to kick my @$$. Thanks again.
     
  9. tucker_160

    tucker_160 Junior Member
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    In Texas, one half year of Calculus is required.
     
  10. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    Dave, if you had an easy time in high school, you will be in for a shock in college, especially a strong one. Being premed is not easy (except for a chosen few) and you have no idea what competition among premeds is like. You had better get clued in from your first class. Despite this grim warning, it is possible to be an A student and go on to medical school, where you will probably think back on how easy it was in college.
     
  11. Eleusia

    Eleusia Member
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    Dave,

    That schedule is exactly what I took my freshman year as a bio major. It serves you well, good foundation. But if you never studied in high school, you will find you are in for a shock. The chem and bio both come with labs (about 3-4 hours each), and a ton of work. Make sure that for those other two classes you take non-science courses. Preferably something you know you do well in and like. Another option that some students in my school have taken is not to declare bio major right away. They go in undeclared and take the inorganic chem and calc the first year. Then they declare at the end of freshman year and take bio I,II and Organic together. It makes sophomore year a bit more crowded, but gives you more time to get used to college freshman year. Do not put off math or chem, though. As for the math, I found statistics to be really helpful, and also resonably simple after Calculus. Understanding statistal concepts is key to reading and doing research. Hope this helps. Good Luck and try to relax.
     

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