MCAT prep courses...

Dr. Dad

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    Hey Guys, I am a microbiology major and I have to take all of these classes below, but I only have room for two of them before next april's MCAT's. For those of you who are more experienced than I, which two do you think would best help me specifically for the MCAT.

    Also, I have heard that A&P is helpful. Of course A&P is outside of my major, but should I take it as an elective anyway. Would it be helpful that much on the MCAT's?

    VIROLOGY
    CELL PHYSIOLOGY
    IMMUNOLOGY
    ECOLOGY
    PATHOGENIC MICROBIOLOGY

    Thanks for your help.
     
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    pwrpfgrl

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      I agree that taking one of those classes is not needed for the MCAT. I found that my upper level bio classes made me overthink alot of the MCAT passages (suddenly, they all seemed like trick questions to me-talk about paranoid), but if you are interested in a particular subject, take it for yourself (not the MCAT)!

      :)
       

      Neuronix

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      1. Attending Physician
        I completely agree that the MCAT depends on those pre-med requirements (General Chem, Organic Chem, Intro Biology, Physics). When you are done with those classes study hard SPECIFICALLY for the MCAT.

        However, I think two other classes would help, Biochem and Physiology. The reason I say those two is because it is difficult to pick up all the extra biochemistry and physiology crap that could possibly appear on the MCAT in your preparation.

        But still, if you can read passages and reason out well about the passages and about the concepts from pre-med classes, that is more than 60% of the test.
         

        leorl

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        1. Attending Physician
          I would not recommend taking Immunology, as most probably it will lower your GPA. (not saying anything of your abilities, it is just known as being an incredibly hard class every where). It will help on understanding of B and T cells that may appear on the MCAT, but again...not necessary. A & P may also be helpful because it goes through the systems that may be found in MCAT passages. However, I haven't taken the MCAT yet, I'm just basing the relevance of the courses on the MCAT Student Manual. Biochem will also help in general.
           

          Assassin

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            •••quote:•••Originally posted by Samoa:
            •Yeah, I agree w/above posters. Don't take the classes expecting them to help you on the MCAT. At most, they would give you familiarity with the terminology. I think that on the MCAT biology section, they go out of their way to find passages dealing with concepts that even advanced students really haven't seen. I think they know that they have a lot of people from very different backgrounds taking the test, and they want to test critical thinking and basic concepts, in a manner in which even a non-science major can do well. So they test you on comprehension of the passage, and inference solely from what's stated there. Knowing more about the topic in general can actually confuse you, unless you constantly remind yourself to check the passage to make sure that your own knowledge and the passage agree. The passage will never actually be outright wrong about the science, but it will often be obscure and poorly written, and the questions will have distractors that are factually true, targeting people who have some knowledge of the topic already.

            So take whatever you feel you have time for, and don't worry about whether you can use it on the MCAT. Most importantly, don't take ANY of those classes INSTEAD of studying for the MCAT, thinking you are getting double payoff for your effort. Give yourself time to study specifically for the test.•••••Samoa is 100% correct :)
            courses I took prior to MCAT (in addition to pre-reqs): biochem1,2, mamalian physiology, microbiology, cell bio, genetics
            courses that helped me on the actual MCAT: NONE <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
             

            McEntrye

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              Dr Dad,

              I am also a micro major, and had only taken cell phys out of that list before the MCAT. I agree with the above postings in general, specific info tends to confuse in difficult passages. That being said, I found knowledge of biochem and molecular biology very useful.

              To address your specific question; i would take cell physio, and viro, because the others would totally useless for MCAT purposes. But you should decide based upon a)what you like better and b) how difficult you future semesters will be, because Immuno is a really hard class(Hardest in my undergrad). The others mostly aren't too bad, just memorizing.

              Preparation is important for the MCAT, but just study the MCAT books, and rely on your gut instincts.

              good luck
               
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