Psychedya

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I took a little bit of Physics 2 this semester and decided to drop it as I felt unsure of doing well (5 credit hours!). I have a much easier schedule in the spring, so I decided to take it then. However, I originally planned to take the MCAT at the end of January as I would have been done with all my prereqs. Now I'm wondering if I should take the MCAT later (March?) to take it alongside physics two or still take it at the end of January. If I'm aiming for 520+, would this be detrimental? Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Oct 16, 2020
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So....tough question. Topics that are usually in Physics 2 (esp. sound, waves, light, optics) definitely show up fairly often on the C/P section of the MCAT. On the other hand, the MCAT tends to test these concepts a little bit differently from what you usually see in physics classes. Specifically, the MCAT tends to go way lighter on complicated problem set-ups with multiple equations and so on, and the lack of a calculator places a limit on the extent of calculations that you can do. So it tends to have a more conceptual focus. So taking the MCAT before physics 2 would mean self-teaching those concepts, for which you'd probably want to use materials developed specifically for the MCAT to get a feel for how the MCAT likes to test them. If this seems like a doable challenge, it could be worth considering. Otherwise, it might be best to wait later to take the MCAT so you can take some or all of physics 2 first. If you're aiming for a 520+ score, that doesn't leave much room for content gaps. Good luck!!!
 
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Mar 14, 2019
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So....tough question. Topics that are usually in Physics 2 (esp. sound, waves, light, optics) definitely show up fairly often on the C/P section of the MCAT. On the other hand, the MCAT tends to test these concepts a little bit differently from what you usually see in physics classes. Specifically, the MCAT tends to go way lighter on complicated problem set-ups with multiple equations and so on, and the lack of a calculator places a limit on the extent of calculations that you can do. So it tends to have a more conceptual focus. So taking the MCAT before physics 2 would mean self-teaching those concepts, for which you'd probably want to use materials developed specifically for the MCAT to get a feel for how the MCAT likes to test them. If this seems like a doable challenge, it could be worth considering. Otherwise, it might be best to wait later to take the MCAT so you can take some or all of physics 2 first. If you're aiming for a 520+ score, that doesn't leave much room for content gaps. Good luck!!!
This^^^^. If you're aiming for 520+, you're probably pretty smart, but we have no way to know if you're that smart -- only you do!! :cool: The only advice to give you is to tell you to take a look at the physics material in the MCAT prep books and Qbanks.

If you are good with them, then you're fine. If not, you need to wait. As @FrameshiftAndrew said, 520+ isn't going to leave room for you to potentially blow several questions going in because you have familiarity with the material. That's 98%-ile+, and at that level people aren't taking wild guesses at questions.
 
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Psychedya

2+ Year Member
May 15, 2018
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  1. Pre-Psychology
Do you have any recommendations for resources that are good for physics 2 pertaining to MCAT. I was mainly going to do UWorld problems after Kaplan review and filling in with Khan Academy.
 
Mar 14, 2019
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Do you have any recommendations for resources that are good for physics 2 pertaining to MCAT. I was mainly going to do UWorld problems after Kaplan review and filling in with Khan Academy.
Nope -- AAMC doesn't distinguish between physics 1 and 2. It's all just physics to them! :cool: I actually took both before taking the exam, but the key is to make sure you are understanding and following the material in whatever review book you are using before diving into Qbanks and FLs. I used TBR and TPR books, but all of the books are good.

Which one you use is just personal preference and the level of detail you want and need. (TBR is kind of dense; Kaplan and TPR less so. I am unfamiliar with the others, but they are probably similar to Kaplan and TPR. I think Exam Krackers has a reputation for being less detailed and higher yield, but I don't have first hand experience with it.)

If you get through the book with no problem, you are good to go. If you have trouble with material you haven't seen before, then you should probably wait until after you take the class. I got away without taking orgo 2 before my exam, but I was able to tell when going through the material that there wasn't a lot I couldn't figure out from orgo 1. On the other hand, orgo isn't physics, and I do think there is more physics 2 on the exam than orgo 2, so YMMV.
 
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Oct 16, 2020
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frameshiftmcat.com
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Do you have any recommendations for resources that are good for physics 2 pertaining to MCAT. I was mainly going to do UWorld problems after Kaplan review and filling in with Khan Academy.

Those are all solid materials for sure. If you have access to the EK books, those can be good for a higher-level, conceptual overview. Khan Academy is great, of course; the one thing I'd say about their materials, though, is that the videos sometimes have more of a physics-class kind of feel than an MCAT focus. For example, I just clicked over to their physics section for the MCAT and started watching a 10-minute video on tension in a string in an inclined plane setup...and...well, it's fine...and it's not wrong...and yes, you should know something about it...but they don't really take the next step by explaining how to handle tension on the MCAT since you can't spend 10 minutes agonizing over the fine points of a complicated physics problem.

One other thing is that if you're in a situation where you're playing content catchup, it's really important to analyze the relevant AAMC material inside and out. Like...take the corresponding practice materials, and review them super-carefully. Try to understand how the questions link passage info w/ your background physics knowledge, what you actually need to do to answer the question (this is a common way they trip you up, by setting up problems where you're likely to waste time going down a wrong path), why the right answer is right, why the wrong answers are wrong, and what lessons you can learn in terms of content to focus on.
 

bears1992

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I had zero questions that required physics 2 on my MCAT. My last C/P passage was 100% physics I though. If you get a passage that’s all physics 2, you could drop a point or two in that section though. All up to you.
 

EthylMethylMan

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I think people get a little too set on their projected pre-med schedules. Of course it's highly advised to make a roadmap for yourself, but you shouldn't let the journey stop you from getting to the destination. It's pretty ill-advised to take the MCAT prematurely just to keep yourself "on time." Coming from someone who was a two-time applicant, I understand how much it sucks to not matriculate right away. That being said, you have to consider the damage a low MCAT, MCAT retake, and even a second application cycle could do to your app. This kind of situation is quite common in clinical medicine: multiple choices available, none of which is ideal, delineated by an honest risk-benefit analysis.

TL;DR -- Taking your time and learning physics 2 well before taking the MCAT is probably the most practical route.
 

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If you want a 520+, then not knowing Physics II will probably drop your C/P score by a couple points. However, there's really not much Physics II on the MCAT and you could probably get by self teaching it if you're dedicated enough.

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jhmmd

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Psychedya said:
I took a little bit of Physics 2 this semester and decided to drop it as I felt unsure of doing well (5 credit hours!). I have a much easier schedule in the spring, so I decided to take it then. However, I originally planned to take the MCAT at the end of January as I would have been done with all my prereqs. Now I'm wondering if I should take the MCAT later (March?) to take it alongside physics two or still take it at the end of January. If I'm aiming for 520+, would this be detrimental? Any advice would be appreciated.
I've said this before and I'll say it again: The number one mistake pre-meds make when studying for the MCAT is not completing all of the pre-requisite courses first. Every MCAT test is a little different and you don't know if you might get a MCAT exam that is physics II-heavy.

You want to give yourself every advantage that you can when it comes to the MCAT. Don't sacrifice a high score for a little extra time.
Taking the MCAT before finishing physics II is a penny-wise, pound foolish decision.
Take it or leave it.
 

dxu

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Wish I would have taken Physics II prior to MCAT. Hurt me in C/P. If no acceptance this cycle, retaking with Physics II in the bag.
 

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