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MCAT without physics and orgo?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Dr. Love, May 10, 2002.

  1. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love New Member

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    Hello,
    New member here. I'm earning a MS in Fisheries right now, but I haven't yet taken physics and orgo (I was an English major in college). I'm considering med school, and would like to take the MCAT next april. Has anyone taught themselves physics and/or orgo for the MCAT before? Is it possible? I know its not adviseable. What books did you find to be effective? I've got solomons' orgo book, some random physics book, as well as the gold standard MCAT review and the Princeton Review Science Review.
    Without being arrogant, I think that I can do this. Any help that anyone could pass on would be great.

    thanks!
    Dr. Love
     
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  3. TommyGunn04

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    I think it'd be really helpful to take a prep course, like Kaplan. If you go to the classes, do the reading beforehand, and review afterwards you'll learn the fundamental concepts you need to know without all the extra stuff you'd get in an orgo or physics course. Also, you learn essential MCAT strategy in these courses...it'll help you score higher.
     
  4. banannie

    banannie Senior Member

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    Medical schools require you to have taken those courses before you apply, so why bother taking the MCAT before you've done the necessary coursework?

    I think it's a bit tough to learn orgo on your own, just because it's totally unlike anything you've learned before. But physics is not too bad. I think I actually had enough physics in high school to do the MCAT. Also, my physics prof in college was horrible, so I basically had to teach myself anyway.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love New Member

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    I'm planning on taking physics and orgo next summer, but would like to get the MCAT done in April so that I can apply earlier rather than later. If I don't do well on the practice tests that I take in the next 11 months, I will just delay until August (or possibly the following April) to take the MCAT. If I do score well on the practice tests, though, I would prefer to "get the ball rolling".

    Dr. Love
     
  6. TXchick

    TXchick Member

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    I took the MCAT before I took physics and did just fine; however, I did take a Kaplan prep course. I do think it would be difficult to teach yourself both physics and o-chem adequately before the MCAT, and suggest taking at least one of the courses beforehand if it is possible. But, if you are willing to work hard enough, I am sure you could pull it off! Also, the adcoms I interviewed with brought up my taking the MCAT before taking physics, and so were aware of it, took it into consideration, and it might have even helped (showed personal motivation, etc).
     
  7. Green912

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    You should have plenty of time between now and April to go over Orgo and Physics. Before taking the actual MCAT I'd recommend taking the AMCAS practice test VI to get a feel of where you stand. That way you can cancel your registration if you get say a 20.
    I think you should also consider your choice in an MS program. Although it may be what you enjoy and are good at I wonder if Adcoms would look favorably on course work in fisheries. I think they'd rather see you dive into more mammalian related work.
     
  8. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love New Member

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    Thanks for the help, everyone! Hopefully I can pull this off. If not, I'll delay a year and try again.
    Which of the AMCAS tests accurately reflect the composition of the current MCAT? Is it just VI, or are the older ones similar, too? I'd obviously like to take as many practice exams as I can, but I don't want to waste my time studying material that won't help me.
    As far as my MS goes, I only have one semester of classes left and a bit more of my thesis to write, so I feel that I would be hurt more by not finishing the program than I would be helped by trying a more related field.

    thanks again!
    Dr. Love
     
  9. Green912

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    Of course with only one semester left how could you not finish. As far as AMCAS test go I'd recommend signing up for their online test versions. With that you can take 4-5 old MCAT test with a lot of interacitve feedback. The price is $80
     
  10. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member

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    Dr. Love,

    It sounds like you're planning to apply before you finish your prerequisites. Is that right? Technically it shouldn't matter, but I do wonder if the schools look favorably on that. Anybody know?

    Also, how are you going to take two physics and two organic classes (with labs) during the summer? Just curious.
     
  11. SeeGulz

    SeeGulz Senior Member

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    I took the MCAT before taking organic, physics, or chem 2. I have a friend that took it without organic and physics. I got 13's on the science sections, he got an 8 BS, 10 PS. It can certainly be done, and it may help show your capabilities to adcoms if you do well.

    However, you will really have to put your time in. And keep in mind, it will be a lonely road if you don't have anyone to compare yourself with or commiserate with. I didn't take a Kaplan course but would recommend it for those reasons, as well as their materials.

    As far as the materials that I used:

    -Physics, 4th ed. by Cutnell and Johnson
    -Introduction to Organic Chemistry, 2nd ed. Brown
    -Kaplan's Guide to the MCAT (or words to that effect)
    -Complete Preparation for the MCAT (Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins Publishing).
    -MCAT Made Easy (flash cards)
    -Kaplan Topical Tests (ordered on EBAY)
    -Chem and Bio texts

    I read each of the books about three times. With the physics, there are certain chapters and concepts that you can skip. Use the Kaplan book as your guide there. The organic book mentioned is a one-semester book. It is really all that you need ... a one-year book will give too much detail.

    The Complete Prep. book is a good resource, especially because it includes quizzes after each section. It was formerly called the Betz Guide or the Flowers Guide, and you have to contact the publisher directly to order it. Even in this latest edition there are a lot of errors, in the text and in the quizzes, so be careful. If another source gives conflicting info, go with that other source.

    Whatever road you choose, good luck!
     
  12. SeeGulz

    SeeGulz Senior Member

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    BTW, when you do take your organic and physics pre-requisutes, they will be much easier for having studied for the MCAT. Just make sure that your time table works out and that you can have all the coursework done by matriculation.
     
  13. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love New Member

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    Once again, thanks for the suggestions, everyone.
    I've got the timetable worked out (it will be hard work, but not compared to medical school), and I'm crossing my fingers. Seegulz, how long did you study for? I assume that the next 10 months or so will be sufficient....
     
  14. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    If you are going to take the classes in the summer, I would just take the August MCAT. Don't worry about it holding up your application process -- as long as you've finished the AMCAS you'll be okay -- because schools routinely accept people who take the August MCAT. If you want to give yourself a leg up, start studying and teaching yourself, but wait until you are taking or have taken the classes before doing the MCAT thing.
     
  15. SeeGulz

    SeeGulz Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> Seegulz, how long did you study for? I assume that the next 10 months or so will be sufficient.... </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I think I put in a little over a year altogether, but that was because I could not afford an organic book until late February, and two months just isn't enough time to learn organic. So, I took the August MCAT. 10 months should be plenty, especially if you have a decent background in biology and general chem. I did not, and that slowed me down considerably.
     

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