Jul 24, 2016
1
0
Relatively useful information: going to be a high school junior, 3.9 GPA, 26 ACT, very VERY limited in-state college options (two or maybe three that are useful to the medical field), seriously interested in becoming a type of psychiatrist.

I'll start with my ACT. It's my first and only score, but I expected better.
20 math, 26 english, 28 science, and 30 reading. I personally feel like it's not even enough to get into a decent college, much less the state university.

Tips on raising my score (espcially in math)?

For a future goal of psychiatry, what majors would you recommend (I was considering a double major in psychology and pre-med)?

What high school classes would you stress for those majors?

And with an ACT score like that, I'm not going to be looking at any big school scholarships. Financial tips are welcome and needed.

If anyone can help with anything listed, you are most appreciated!
 

I'm No Superman

Crushin' scones
5+ Year Member
May 7, 2011
1,947
382
Ann Arbor
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Relatively useful information: going to be a high school junior, 3.9 GPA, 26 ACT, very VERY limited in-state college options (two or maybe three that are useful to the medical field), seriously interested in becoming a type of psychiatrist.

I'll start with my ACT. It's my first and only score, but I expected better.
20 math, 26 english, 28 science, and 30 reading. I personally feel like it's not even enough to get into a decent college, much less the state university.

Tips on raising my score (espcially in math)?
Do math problems! Especially ones relevant to the ACT (obviously) look for online practice tests, practice time management
For a future goal of psychiatry, what majors would you recommend (I was considering a double major in psychology and pre-med)?
Pre-med isn't a major, anything is fine to major in
What high school classes would you stress for those majors?
None really, you can take upper level HS bio/science classes, but it doesn't matter too much.
And with an ACT score like that, I'm not going to be looking at any big school scholarships. Financial tips are welcome and needed.
Buy in bulk, cook your own food, live with your parents if you can, look into work-study options, need based scholarships, etc.
If anyone can help with anything listed, you are most appreciated!
 
Aug 12, 2016
1
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Grades & test scores are important, but extracurricular activities are important too. You can talk about them during your interview. They were very impressed that I tutored French as well as math. Seems everybody tutors math & science. I was a cheerleader, on the bowling club, volleyball team and in 2 school plays. I was only 21 out of 325 students. My test scores were not astronomical. I think my extracurriculars made the difference in my acceptance to RU pharmacy with early action
 

Kurk

2+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2016
663
215
Status
Pre-Dental
Tips on raising your score: Get one of those 1,296 ACT practice question books by The Princeton Review. You say your weakest area is math. Go to the math section and start by analyzing which particular areas you're weak in. Is it trig? Advanced algebra? Geometry? Find those problems and work on them individually at your own pace. Forget about the time limit right now. Once you've done enough to the point where you believe you're much more solid on those areas (remember, Khan academy is great for refresher courses specific math areas), go ahead and break the math sections down into chunks; start with trying to do 10 problems in 10 minutes, then 15 in 15, and so on until you're ready to take the section all at once. Then you just repeat the process for hours upon hours all day :).

Majors for college: There is no "pre-med" major. Do whatever you want honestly. I personally would choose something with some market value in-case things didn't go as planned so stay away from gender-studies and english majors.

High-school classes: Again, doesn't really matter. If your school offers a nice intro to psychology course go for it. Otherwise I'd stick to STEM courses. It teaches you how to think critically and has market-value. Fill in empty slots with "fun" classes.

Financial tips: Learn how to be a skinflint-ed person like myself. It's pretty fun actually. Pick up some casual investment books. Get a summer job if you can. Apply for "mini" scholarships. I know there are "Ultimate Scholarship Books" out there for high-school students. Give it a shot. All kind of opportunities out there—you just have to find them.

Best of luck,

A high-school senior
 

TheBiologist

2+ Year Member
Sep 14, 2015
1,226
1,111
United States
Status
Pre-Medical
Take more practices tests in math - I believe the ACT is more "what you know" from high school so if you haven't taken algebra II or even precalculus I would re-take after taking those classes. Ever tried the SAT? I would say the math is a lot harder in one respect because it's more reasoning based, but who knows maybe you'll be good at that (it tests no more than basic algebra I and some geometry, but formulates questions in a tricky manner)

With regard to major - first of all "pre-med" is not a major. Second, you can major in whatever you want for med school, be it biology or political science as long as you take the pre-req classes (which will also prepare you for the MCAT) which are

2 sem Intro to Biology (one usually has to be studying molecules/cells, the other can be organismal/ecological)
2 sem Intro to Chem
2 sem Organic Chem (hardest class you will likely take - be prepared)
2 sem Algebra Based Physics ( if you end up majoring in engineering you might have to take calc-based. although if you are bad at math do not do this haha)
Intro to psychology
Intro to sociology
A semester of Biochemistry (new requirement-talk to your college to help you find the right class)
1 semester of Calculus
1 semester of Statistics

With regard to classes, I would highly recommend some AP classes in any of the above fields (there is obviously no AP orgo or biochem tho). even if you don't pass the exam or don't take the credit, it will prepare you to do well in those college classes and get that GPA up your freshman year.

If your school offers AP Biology, Chemistry, or Physics B (which I believe they changed to Physics I & Physics II - note that this is NOT the AP Physics C: Mechanics or E/M, which are calculus based exams) I would take one of those. Chemistry and Physics are the hardest AP classes so be up for a challenge.

Also you could take AP psychology, AP Calculus, or AP Stats. I would recommend psych or STATS if you are bad at math (calc is also a very hard AP but stats is a little easier)

good luck to you
 

WickedPsyched

2+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2016
4
1
Status
Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Psychology
Relatively useful information: going to be a high school junior, 3.9 GPA, 26 ACT, very VERY limited in-state college options (two or maybe three that are useful to the medical field), seriously interested in becoming a type of psychiatrist.

I'll start with my ACT. It's my first and only score, but I expected better.
20 math, 26 english, 28 science, and 30 reading. I personally feel like it's not even enough to get into a decent college, much less the state university.

Tips on raising my score (espcially in math)?

For a future goal of psychiatry, what majors would you recommend (I was considering a double major in psychology and pre-med)?

What high school classes would you stress for those majors?

And with an ACT score like that, I'm not going to be looking at any big school scholarships. Financial tips are welcome and needed.

If anyone can help with anything listed, you are most appreciated!
Hi there,
Im also aspiring pre-med with focus on psychiatry. Like the others said, there is no "pre med" major but I decided to double major in psychology and biology. Ive always loved psych and the biology is mostly for MCAT prep. Hope that helps!
 

hamstergang

may or may not contain hamsters
7+ Year Member
May 6, 2012
1,898
1,801
NJ
Status
Attending Physician
I just finished my psychiatry residency and child/adolescent fellowship 2 months ago. I think you all know this, but it's worth being clear that psychiatry and psychology are not the same. Being a psychology major in undergrad doesn't help you get a psychiatry residency, and it won't really help you in your psychiatry work either.

The reasons to be a psychology major are that you like it, you can get a good gpa in it, or you're considering a career as a psychologist. I majored in computer science and everything went well for me.
 

WickedPsyched

2+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2016
4
1
Status
Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Psychology
I just finished my psychiatry residency and child/adolescent fellowship 2 months ago. I think you all know this, but it's worth being clear that psychiatry and psychology are not the same. Being a psychology major in undergrad doesn't help you get a psychiatry residency, and it won't really help you in your psychiatry work either.

The reasons to be a psychology major are that you like it, you can get a good gpa in it, or you're considering a career as a psychologist. I majored in computer science and everything went well for me.
I dont quite agree with you on that statement. There is no psychiatry major (in my state at least) and so the only major that I enjoy and will help me in my Psychiatry adventure is a BS in Psych. As far as I was concerned the major differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that a psychiatrist can prescribe meds and they also have a lot more schooling as well as med school behind their backs. Thoughts?
 

hamstergang

may or may not contain hamsters
7+ Year Member
May 6, 2012
1,898
1,801
NJ
Status
Attending Physician
I dont quite agree with you on that statement. There is no psychiatry major (in my state at least) and so the only major that I enjoy and will help me in my Psychiatry adventure is a BS in Psych. As far as I was concerned the major differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that a psychiatrist can prescribe meds and they also have a lot more schooling as well as med school behind their backs. Thoughts?
It's difficult to read tone accurately online. If you mean this as a genuine question wanting to understand better, then read on and I'll answer. But if you mean by "I don't quite agree with you" that there is some chance you, an undergrad or high school student, are correct and I, an actual psychiatrist, am wrong about what helps you in being a psychiatrist, then I really don't know what to say other than to not bother reading on because it won't help.

The ability to prescribe is the most obvious and easily explained difference between psychiatrists and psychologists, but it's very simplified (for one thing, not all psychologists are even clinical psychologists, there's a lot more to that field than doing psychotherapy) and avoids getting into the details that most people probably wouldn't understand anyway. Even when both fields are involved in treating a particular patient, they come to it with different backgrounds (learning psychology vs medicine) and therefore have different approaches. A psychiatrist prescribing medication isn't the difference, it's the result of the different training and different things going into the thought process of the work. Psychology tends to be more research oriented with a good statistical background, working with various models of thoughts and behaviors, various assessment tools, and treatments based on these models. Psychiatry is a branch of medicine, relying on an understanding of the biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy of the human body, understanding the dysfunction, assessing the various potential body systems that can be involved, and then treating with medications that may affect many body systems.

Psychologists go through all of undergrad and then do a PhD or PsyD, so it's not really "a lot" less schooling than psychiatry. It's just different schooling. And being different, it's not really terribly relevant.

If you enjoy psychology, of course study it. But it's not psychiatry and it's not a substitute for psychiatry. It won't help you in psychiatry beyond the intro courses.
 

WickedPsyched

2+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2016
4
1
Status
Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Psychology
It's difficult to read tone accurately online. If you mean this as a genuine question wanting to understand better, then read on and I'll answer. But if you mean by "I don't quite agree with you" that there is some chance you, an undergrad or high school student, are correct and I, an actual psychiatrist, am wrong about what helps you in being a psychiatrist, then I really don't know what to say other than to not bother reading on because it won't help.

The ability to prescribe is the most obvious and easily explained difference between psychiatrists and psychologists, but it's very simplified (for one thing, not all psychologists are even clinical psychologists, there's a lot more to that field than doing psychotherapy) and avoids getting into the details that most people probably wouldn't understand anyway. Even when both fields are involved in treating a particular patient, they come to it with different backgrounds (learning psychology vs medicine) and therefore have different approaches. A psychiatrist prescribing medication isn't the difference, it's the result of the different training and different things going into the thought process of the work. Psychology tends to be more research oriented with a good statistical background, working with various models of thoughts and behaviors, various assessment tools, and treatments based on these models. Psychiatry is a branch of medicine, relying on an understanding of the biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy of the human body, understanding the dysfunction, assessing the various potential body systems that can be involved, and then treating with medications that may affect many body systems.

Psychologists go through all of undergrad and then do a PhD or PsyD, so it's not really "a lot" less schooling than psychiatry. It's just different schooling. And being different, it's not really terribly relevant.

If you enjoy psychology, of course study it. But it's not psychiatry and it's not a substitute for psychiatry. It won't help you in psychiatry beyond the intro courses.
Genuine question indeed. Thanks for your feedback.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hamstergang