Feb 7, 2010
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Hello peoples

i have a very complex question on my hands right now and i need your help to do it. Cookies for the person with the most knowledgable answer.

So currently i am a freshman at UC irvine and next quarter is going to be my third quarter. And i had a question about what classes to take. So basically i am taking 4 classes next quarter. 2 english courses, 1 physics course, and 1 African American studies course. My question is about the physics course.

Let me tell you that i am a bio sci major planning on becoming a doctor. Now i went and saw my counselor and she said that bio sci majors don't take physics classes until their 3rd year on campus but she said if i was confident then i could go ahead and take it.

Now i am trying to organize all my courses from an MCAT study point of view so that the bio, chem, phys material is still relatively fresh in my head. Although i know i will have to review! By the end of this academic year i will have completed 2 bio classes, and the inorganic chem set. Next year i have some lower-div bio classes and OCHEM!

So from your guys' expertise do you think its wise for me to take Physics Electricity and magnetism, specifically, so early? Or do you think it does not matter? As of right now i haven't started prepping for the MCAT. I am focusing on school. But i have taken a practice MCAT (in 1.5 hours lol, i blew through the entire thing) just to get a feel for the formatting of the test.

Another similar question i have is this. I have talked to my counselors and my peers and they have all said the same thing. Medical schools do not accept Math classes, specifically Calculus if it has been completed in high school. Since i have taken both calculus classes AB and BC in highschool, i find my self in a fix. Either take a multi-variable class and a stats class at UCI, so it fulfils my requirement of 2 math classes. OR retake the Calculus AB and BC single variable calculus courses at a community college. I am not able to take those classes at UCI simply because i am not allowed to do that.

sorry for the long email folks. but i would greatly appreciated if someone could help me out

thanks!
 

canjosh

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Jun 18, 2004
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I think you're putting to much thought into it honestly. I wouldn't be prepping for the MCAT yet. You'll burn out. Just take the classes where they'll fit into your life, and don't take multiple "weeders" at the same time.
 

bravofleet4

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Jan 17, 2009
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phattest lewt = 10% life leech

hello fellow anteater!

with regards to your question, I assume you're going to be taking physics 3 and not physics 7 series. it's actually beneficial to take it your 3rd year if you plan to take the MCAT sometime in the spring of your junior year (which is what most people do). The reason for this is that the material will stay fresh that way. You're not going to get as much of a chance to review it as you will biology or chemistry b/c with those at least you'll still have upper-division courses and labs that will go over and over the principles you should've learned your first 2 years. However, if you want to take it your freshman year it's probably okay.

the best way to study for the mcat is to really focus on your classes now and making sure to understand the material. this is different than just doing the bare minimum to get an "A" if you get my drift. The less time you spend cramming info last minute only to forget it all after the final, and the more you set aside time to study and retain the material, the less you'll have to prepare when the MCAT is looming.

i would just retake the calculus courses during the summer. i say that only b/c it doesn't sound like you plan to do summer school and it might be harder for a freshman to find a undergraduate research position (but I would try to do it). I will say that while I don't know anything about stats, multivariable calculus is really easy. It is so much easier compared to HS calculus.

As a freshman I would instead focus less on MCAT and more about getting your extracurriculars in order like research, leadership, teaching, clinical experience, non-medical community service, and/or hobbies.
 
Mar 19, 2010
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Ah! Another fellow anteater :) I'm new to this forum, so I'm going to just try to give you a good schedule that will give you time to prepare for the MCAT, graduate on time, and give you space for your other classes. I'm assuming you took Bio 93 and Bio 94 with the whole general Chemistry courses.

Freshman Year:
Bio 93
Chem 1A
Gen Ed.
Gen Ed.

Bio 94
Chem 1B/LB
Gen Ed.
Gen Ed.

English
English
Physics (I would try to get a social/behavioral class here IMO)
A.A. Studies

Sophomore Year:
Bio 97
Chem 51A/LA
Elective/Gen Ed.
Elective/Gen Ed.

Bio 98
Chem 51B/LB
Elective/Gen Ed.
Elective/Gen Ed.

Bio 99
Chem 51C
Elective/Gen Ed.
Elective/Gen Ed.

If you want to get a head start in physics, the summer between sophomore and junior year is the time to do it. That way, you can start studying for the MCAT, sign up for a MCAT course (if you're doing that) and it will take some load off your junior year while you begin your upper division courses (extra time and less coursework is great when you're studying for the MCAT). I think the physics 3A core is available during the summer at UCI, but if you want to save some serious money, try taking them at IVC. They have a program specifically for UCI (the courses are named the same, Bio 94 at IVC, Bio 94 at UCI) that includes the physics core. If you don't live near UCI, try physics at a CC near you. Or, if you simply don't want to do summer school, you still can do your physics core with enough time to take the MCAT.

Junior Year
Physics 3A
U.D. Major course
U.D. Major course
Elective

Physics 3B/LB
U.D. Major course
U.D. Major course
Elective

Physics 3C/LC
U.D. Major course
U.D. Major course
Elective

(take your MCAT in May or June while you're in Physics 3C or right after you complete it. In my experience, physics 3A is all you really need to know for the MCAT; if you take Physics 3A in the summer, you obviously can get a head start and be done with the physics core in the winter).

I hope this helps some or will fit in with your schedule. Good luck!
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Inside the tesseract
Medical schools do not accept Math classes, specifically Calculus if it has been completed in high school. Since i have taken both calculus classes AB and BC in highschool, i find my self in a fix.
This is not true of all med schools, but is is true for most California schools. Here is the list of how AP classes are considered elsewhere: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~nss/nav/pages/school/Med School Course Reqs/MedSchAP08.pdf

This gives you a further option of applying only where your AP credits are acceptable.