Mar 21, 2010
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Hello Everyone:
I will be a freshman next year at the College of New Jersey majoring in biology. I'm experiencing a bit of confusion concerning med school english requirements.
There is a required writing instructional course at tcnj called Academic WRI 102. I know that alot of people opt out of it by using ap credit or passing the placement test but i'm wondering if there is possibly any pros and cons of taking it???

i believe wri 102 is somewhat of a prereq class but i know technically its required for graduation. But since you can potentially be exempt from it, would a med school look down upon this "low level" class? Or is it good to you know show your well rounded, especially being good at writing and communicating thoughts. I keep contemplating the ups and downs of taking this class, and i know i also read somewhere that many find it beneficial to take this class

Idn whether i should just take the placement test in the summer to try to place out of it bc i don't meet any of the other criteria to be exempted from it????

if someone could provide insight on these questions it would be awesome bc im pretty confused
 

metallica81788

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Maybe if you don't plan on taking any upper level English classes, you should take it.

I had an issue with Vanderbilt required grades for English classes and I hadn't taken any since I used AP credits to test out of them. I had to scramble and take a class at the last minute and try and justify a former class as writing-intensive.

If your degree will have other English classes in it, you might want to test out. Your call.
 
Mar 21, 2010
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Well i'm not sure what to do . I know that this isn't a WRITING INTENSIVE class which needs to count for one to fulfill the one year english requirement. I have to take an FSP writing intensive class in addition to one other intensive class but like it also sed ecology and field bio which i have to take for my major also counts. So idn whether i will take a "writing" class per say thats why im confused.

But would med schools look down upon this class bc its pretty low level. It technically is a requirement for tcnj so can they use it against me if i take it the spring of freshman year. I also think this can prove beneficial to take it bc it may help me boost up my GPA.
 

metallica81788

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They wouldn't look down on it.

Most people take GPA booster classes that are fluff at some point anyway.

They only look down on perceived "easy" classes if that ends up being all you take.
 
Mar 21, 2010
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yeah i mean it is required for graduation and plus, i was thinking this conservative class would maybe indicate an interest to learn stardardized writing technique, potentially used for the MCAT? it's really the only instructional wrting class there is based on argumentative and expository writing?

Do u ultimately think its worth it to take this class? btw for the spring semester my schedule would be:
euk. bio
gen. chem 2
academic writing
and
calc. 1
 
Mar 21, 2010
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sry it may be either calc 1 or calc 2 for spring semester depending on when i begin to take math and stuff
 
Mar 8, 2010
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OP, first off, take a deep breath. No need to freak out already :)

I don't see why an adcomm would look at the prospective schedule you posted and think you were taking an easy load. It looks like a typical freshman premed schedule. Add in volunteering and extracurriculars that you should be getting involved in, and you'll be plenty busy. And remember, no one expects you to take 24 units each semester. They do however expect you to get excellent grades.

As a bio major, you shouldn't worry about anyone thinking you aren't taking difficult classes. You should maybe think about cultivating some additional academic interest/passion/hobby. There are a lot of bio majors applying, and you'll want to stand out. Pick/find something you love and throw yourself into it.

If you think you need a writing class to prepare you for the MCAT, take that course. No, adcomms will not look down on it for being low level. They want you to be a proficient and efficient writer, not necessarily an English major. And honestly, if you weren't able to AP test out of the writing requirement, this class may be a good idea. Better, you'll only have to worry about fulfilling the second English class requirement instead of scrambling to fulfill both at the last minute.

If you're still unsure, ask your premed advisor in the fall if this particular class will fulfill the English requirement and whether they recommend that you take it. You don't plan on taking it until next spring, anyway.

Remember, breathe! You haven't even graduated high school yet. Enjoy the rest of your last semester, and take advantage of your premed advisor when you go to school in the fall. At least in terms of prereqs, they shouldn't steer you wrong.

Good luck :thumbup:
 
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girlofgrace7

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I had similar questions as a freshman. I AP-ed out of the basic English classes (written com and intro to lit). Any GE English class is adequate to meet the requirement. According to some med schools, any "writing intensive" class is adequate, but why have to worry about whether a course will count? If you're a fairly strong writer and want to avoid GE classes, enroll in an upper div. writing class or two sometime after your freshman year.

I ended up taking two English-major classes, and they were two of my favorite courses in college. The English teachers loved having a "science-major perspective" in the class, I had a great time (particularly in creative non-fiction... I highly recommend a course like that), and it helped me with my med school applications.

Oh, and don't stress out about your schedule too much. Plan ahead, but take classes that you truly enjoy in addition to your med school pre-reqs. Non-science courses (even if they're "easy-A's" in your opinion) will give you a much-needed break from classes like o chem and biochem, and you may be surprised at how much you like them.
 
Mar 21, 2010
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yeah i see what you guys are saying i mean i really like writing and all so if anything i will be taking some more writing courses in the future. I hate the fact that it isnt considered writing intensive (its a writing instructional course) so someone told me that it wont necessarily count for the "one year of english med school requirement."
 
Mar 21, 2010
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I'm wondering when is it realistic to start beginning volunteer work/ECs for premed? Do people usually start with something in the very first fall semester or do they wait so they can perhaps get some time to adjust to college life??
 

girlofgrace7

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I'm wondering when is it realistic to start beginning volunteer work/ECs for premed? Do people usually start with something in the very first fall semester or do they wait so they can perhaps get some time to adjust to college life??
Ok, honestly, I think you're stressing out a little much for not even being in college yet. Freshman year of college is a big adjustment for most, if not all, people. Take your basic bio and chem courses with a couple GEs, and don't overload yourself.
I'm co-president of the pre-med club at my university, and I see most successful freshman make three mistakes: completely overload themselves with work/ECs/etc., study all the time without breaks or ECs, or think that they have years to figure out how to be a pre-med (and take their basic sciences as sophmores or above). From the sounds of it, you will not fall into that last group.
Get some ideas of what you might like to do (advisors or pre-med clubs can make great suggestions), and if you want to, pick a COUPLE (1-3.... not 10) things to get involved in. There is no set time to start volunteering, but many wait until the summer after their first year to start. It all depends on you. Also, it might be a time to do something you just enjoy. I copy-edited for the newspaper my freshman year and didn't add in research or hospital volunteering until sophomore year.
Some people need more time to adjust than others. Get into your classes and see how you feel then.
 

Go Ducks

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I AP-ed out of all the writing classes my school had to offer. Med schools do not like this. They want you to take an actual college writing course for a grade--many even require it. I had to retake classes that I'd already earned AP credit for so I'd have a college grade.

On the other hand, med schools don't care what level of classes you take for writing, so long as you ace them. Who cares if you get an A in writing 101 or an A in Advanced Lit 404? All they want to see is that you can write at a college level. Either grade demonstrates this, a single test score does not. I advise you to take the intro writing courses and get great grades, rather than risk a B in a higher level course. Many schools have you list your grades for chem, bio, physics, and english on their secondary application. You don't want many Bs in that short line-up (save the Bs for O-chem!).

If you want to take a higher level writing course later on, you can do that without worrying as much about the grade. When listing those required course grades, you will always have the As in intro writing to fall back on.
 
Mar 21, 2010
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do the majority of med schools only consider writing intensive courses for the english requirement? How does one know?
 

AH3

Mar 3, 2010
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Does anybody know off hand which schools (besides Vanderbilt) don't accept AP credit? I'm applying this coming cycle and am signed up for 2 English classes for the fall, but haven't taken any yet since I had AP credit. Also, I've taken some writing intensive courses (Philosophy) that weren't technically English. Do most schools accept these for the requirement?