Organic Chem & 40 hr + work week. Take a second class or no?

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southpawcannon

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If I get into Inorganic II this summer, I plan on taking my Organics in the fall and spring. I will work something like a 730a-4p shift M-F while possibly picking up some extra hours at a second job. Would it be a safe bet to take Organic alone each semester or would adding intro Bio or intro Physics be ok?
 

DrMidlife

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O-chem killed me, so I'd say just take the one class. Problem is, at one class per term you'll take forever to get the prereqs done.

Any chance you can file a FAFSA, get some loans, quit your jobs, and do school fulltime?
 

cubbbie

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If I get into Inorganic II this summer, I plan on taking my Organics in the fall and spring. I will work something like a 730a-4p shift M-F while possibly picking up some extra hours at a second job. Would it be a safe bet to take Organic alone each semester or would adding intro Bio or intro Physics be ok?

It is definitely NOT ok to tack on other classes. I'm a non-trad that did a post-bacc program designed for working people. I've seen this mistake done so many times; it made me very sad to persistently see all these well-intentioned people screwing themselves over.
 
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deleted113029

If I get into Inorganic II this summer, I plan on taking my Organics in the fall and spring. I will work something like a 730a-4p shift M-F while possibly picking up some extra hours at a second job. Would it be a safe bet to take Organic alone each semester or would adding intro Bio or intro Physics be ok?

i also worked 40+ hrs a week and spent 4-5 hours each night studying biology and physics on my own. it is definitely doable BUT how committed and determined are you to get it done? Yes, you have lectures, exams, etc. but if you can learn by yourself then all you really need to do is show up for the exams and possible quizzes in discussion classes.

like drmidlife stated, it will take you much longer to finish your prereqs if you continue at this pace.
 

cubbbie

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i also worked 40+ hrs a week and spent 4-5 hours each night studying biology and physics on my own. it is definitely doable BUT how committed and determined are you to get it done? Yes, you have lectures, exams, etc. but if you can learn by yourself then all you really need to do is show up for the exams and possible quizzes in discussion classes.

like drmidlife stated, it will take you much longer to finish your prereqs if you continue at this pace.

Just to be clear, I'm saying you shouldn't tack on other classes to Orgo. For the other classes -- you probably could manage two at a time as long as you don't expect to have any kind of a life ...
 

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If I get into Inorganic II this summer, I plan on taking my Organics in the fall and spring. I will work something like a 730a-4p shift M-F while possibly picking up some extra hours at a second job. Would it be a safe bet to take Organic alone each semester or would adding intro Bio or intro Physics be ok?

Well this depends on a couple of things:

1) How disciplined you are and how good your study skills are.
2) The absence of caffeine sensitivity, since you'll likely need a coffee IV.
3) Willingness to live off of very little sleep.

Three lab classes taken together is definitely no joke. It can be done, but probably not too successfully or easily with a fulltime+ job. That's just asking for trouble in my opinion. It's not so much that the material is difficult, it's the time commitment necessary for each class, and lab classes tend to really suck up time.

I don't even see how you can fit three classes into your schedule if you are already working 7:30-4. Each lab is about 3 hrs and discussion sessions are about 1 hour each per week. Generally, you also have 3 hrs of lecture for each class per week. So that's a total of 7 hrs of class time for each class per week, or 21 hours for all three per week, not including time to prepare for the labs, to write them up, to read and review the lecture material, to do the problem sets, and practice for the tests. Good heavens, there's only so many hours in one day. You can do it, but you have to be Superman for a little while and live off of very little sleep.

Yeah, taking two lab classes at the most with a fulltime job would probably be more realistic. Still that would be tough. I had a friend who did just that. She was smart as heck and she definitely struggled through it. But then again, she also had kids and a husband to take care of.

If I were you, I'd cut down your work time significantly, take out a loan, if needed, and focus on your school work and take all three classes that semester. You have to consider what is more important here, and hopefully it's getting into medical school. You will be taking out a loan anyway when you matriculate into medical school, so taking out a small loan now will just be another drop in the large bucket of school debt.

There's nothing wrong with taking 1-2 classes per semester if you have nothing to prove, but many non-trads didn't do well in the past so they must show the adcomms that they can handle a difficult academic load. If that's not the case for you, then you will probably be okay with fewer classes per semester. I don't know; the jury is still out on that one. Just make the most of what you have. If you must take only Organic Chemistry and work 40+ hours, then that's what you need to do.

I wish you the best of luck! :luck:

Just my 2 cents.

EDIT: Oh, I see, you were asking if you should take a second class in addition to Organic Chemistry and a fulltime+ job, not all three classes together plus a fulltime+ job. Oops, my bad. I still think my reply addresses your question. My apologies for the confusion. :)
 
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deleted113029

It is definitely NOT ok to tack on other classes. I'm a non-trad that did a post-bacc program designed for working people. I've seen this mistake done so many times; it made me very sad to persistently see all these well-intentioned people screwing themselves over.

so you're saying it canNOT be done? please! you don't even know what type of student/person he/she is.
 

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If I get into Inorganic II this summer, I plan on taking my Organics in the fall and spring. I will work something like a 730a-4p shift M-F while possibly picking up some extra hours at a second job. Would it be a safe bet to take Organic alone each semester or would adding intro Bio or intro Physics be ok?
I would hesitate to add another class that also has a corequisite lab. Last term I took two liberal arts/general studies type classes in addition to O Chem because we didn't have lab the first quarter. Now on the 2nd of 3 quarters the lab has started and I'm only taking one extra liberal arts class. I work 40 hours a week and I can pull A's as long as I spend another 40 hours weekly between class, lab, and study time.

YMMV. :cool:
 

cubbbie

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so you're saying it canNOT be done? please! you don't even know what type of student/person he/she is.

Well, part of my feeling comes from the fact that Orgo is notoriously hard in my post bacc program. If his program is easier, then it possibly could be done.

But I'm just saying that people tend to overestimate what they are capable of, and very few people have an understanding of what is in store for them when they sign up for Orgo. Any respectable Orgo class requires 100% dedication. I, personally, have not seen any adult manage Orgo and another lab class while working full-time (though like I said, I have seen many failed attempts). In my personal experience, I was able to take 3 science classes and work full-time one semester (while studying for the MCAT), but all that was still easier for me than when I was taking ONLY orgo and working full-time.

Again, maybe my post-bacc program was unique in its level of difficulty for Orgo.
 
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deleted113029

Again, maybe my post-bacc program was unique in its level of difficulty for Orgo.

true. maybe your program was especially difficult. BUT considering people in residency work 80 hrs/week, I believe it is completely doable to do orgo lecture and lab plus another course. One will be EXTREMELY TIRED, but one should become accustomed to sleep deprivation from here on out if they want a medical career. Sorry, but i don't have compassion for people unless they are in the hospital or are physically/mentally disabled.
 

southpawcannon

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Quitting my job would not be an option considering the particular path I am taking to get there. I've got bills to pay, including a car payment and a little credit card debt I'm trying to eliminate first. Besides, my soon-to-be job(based on how well my interview went today) would put me in a clinic within a very prestigious university hospital(might be a good resume builder). Currently, applying for student loans are not an option because of my income:hungover:ebt ratio and I'm post-bac at the moment. I don't plan on being admitted to med school until I'm 30(27 in a few months) since I have to show some recent academic success. I'll finish out my basic pre-reqs for med school and then, as my old biology prof suggested, go to grad school where I could get an advanced degree, do a little TA to get a little money for school/living expenses, get in with some meaningful research, thus giving me a Masters to work with for a year should for some reason I don't get in first time around. I was told it can be done in a year and a half, but if it takes 2, so be it.

I don't even see how you can fit three classes into your schedule if you are already working 7:30-4. Each lab is about 3 hrs and discussion sessions are about 1 hour each per week

I read your edit for this part. I was thinking only adding just one other class, but having read and thought about it more, I'll probably just take Organic alone those two semesters. Luckily, there is a nearby university that offers Organic MWF 530-640 pm, so making the lecture would be no problem. If I had to leave a couple of hours early one day to make lab, I'm sure that would work out fine since the recruiter who interviewed said they are very flexible with those furthering their education. I figured I'd worry about academic volume when I do the MS studies and not kill myself(figuratively) and GPA(literally) with overloading my schedule in the meantime.
 

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I'll finish out my basic pre-reqs for med school and then, as my old biology prof suggested, go to grad school where I could get an advanced degree, do a little TA to get a little money for school/living expenses, get in with some meaningful research, thus giving me a Masters to work with for a year should for some reason I don't get in first time around. I was told it can be done in a year and a half, but if it takes 2, so be it.

Whoa, hey now, please get a second opinion on that masters degree. Having a nice blessed stable plan is great, but imho either go for it or don't with respect to medical school. That masters isn't exactly in the opposite direction from med school, but it's perpendicular. An SMP might be ok; see the postbac forum.

If your undergrad GPA needs cleaning up, a grad GPA won't do it. See the bazillion other threads about this.
 

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Hey OP,

I work full time as a network engineer and I'm taking 3 classes at UCI and we just had our chem midterm and I was 1 out of 4 students who got a 100% (avg was 69%) on the test (there are 400 students in the class). I also volunteer at the hospital 4 hours a week. It can be done but you will be sacrificing a lot of your life. I also have a gf that I see about 1-2 per week. Just work your ass off, don't do stupid stuff like watch TV, and only check this board once a week :) Good luck.
 
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soonereng

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I believe it is completely doable to do orgo lecture and lab plus another course. One will be EXTREMELY TIRED...

I am successfully doing this right now, so it is possible. 40 hr/wk as an engineer + orgo 2 + cell biology + family. I am VERY tired, but I have to finish by May since I got accepted for fall matriculation (long story, but I took the MCAT w/out orgo or bio). I just think of it as getting a head start on med school/residency hours.
 

southpawcannon

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Whoa, hey now, please get a second opinion on that masters degree. Having a nice blessed stable plan is great, but imho either go for it or don't with respect to medical school. That masters isn't exactly in the opposite direction from med school, but it's perpendicular. An SMP might be ok; see the postbac forum.

If your undergrad GPA needs cleaning up, a grad GPA won't do it. See the bazillion other threads about this.

I left a grad program of a completely different field because it was no longer of interest to me. Therefore, I have to finish out my degree in something which might as well be Biology. Although my first two years of undergrad weren't great, in my last 4 after I transferred I got a 3.4 and obtained my degree along with the spanish minor. I know all the grades are counted together, but I have the recent trend of success with the last four UG yrs that everyone says is a must. I just have to work on finishing out my pre-reqs and the grad degree.
 

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You need to evaluate this for yourself based upon your own study habits, etc

According to most of the people on this board, I did the impossible. I took Ochem, Ochem Lab, Bio 211, and Bio 212 (At my school, Bio "1" and Bio "2" used to actually be divided into 4 2 credit courses. Bio 211 and Bio 212 are the "halves" of Bio 1, if that makes any sense):

1. All at the same time
2. During the Summer (Actually, at my school, summer is divided into 2 compressed/mini semesters. I took Ochem 1 during the first and Ochem 2 during the second. Ochem Lab, Bio 211, and Bio 212 spanned both mini semesters)
3. While working a full-time job
4. ...and Received As in all of the courses.

I wouldn't recommend this to anybody, however, but my point is that it can be done if you want/need to do it (I recognized that if I was able to pull it off I would: 1) Be able to apply to Medical School 1 year earlier 2) Convince myself that I could handle the rigors of a Medical School schedule/study program after being out of school for several years.) But, I gambled and it paid off. Use your best judgement about what would work for you.

Oh, and about how I fit this all into my schedule: Ochem Lecture was first thing in the morning. Bio 211 and Bio 212 were taught at night. Ochem lab was tricky -- I had to take 1/2 day vacation for that. So, I guess technically, I wasn't working 40 hours since I took 1/2 day vacation per week. I studied a little bit every night, and a lot on the weekends. It sucked, but it ended up being worth it, and, like I said, I imagine that it was somewhat like what I will encounter in Medical School.
 

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I left a grad program of a completely different field because it was no longer of interest to me. Therefore, I have to finish out my degree in something which might as well be Biology. Although my first two years of undergrad weren't great, in my last 4 after I transferred I got a 3.4 and obtained my degree along with the spanish minor. I know all the grades are counted together, but I have the recent trend of success with the last four UG yrs that everyone says is a must. I just have to work on finishing out my pre-reqs and the grad degree.

I'm with the above poster about the masters. The only reason I would do it would be if I was basically guaranteed admissions at a med school because of it -follow the above poster's advice about SMP/postbacc research before going forward. Sounds like an excuse for you to pay more tuition bills, unless they're giving you a job to go w/ the program, but then, I'm a cynic : )
 

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If I get into Inorganic II this summer, I plan on taking my Organics in the fall and spring. I will work something like a 730a-4p shift M-F while possibly picking up some extra hours at a second job. Would it be a safe bet to take Organic alone each semester or would adding intro Bio or intro Physics be ok?

Think of it this way---when you're in medical school you'll be studying a LOT more than 40 hours a week and you'll be taking 26 or so credit hours. If you get used to heavy loads now it won't be such a shock to you later.
 

southpawcannon

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I would like to do the two classes a semester through spring 08 so I can be finished with the pre-reqs. But I'm in a bind with money, being that my full-time job is just enough just to cover my bills. The income from my second job job will be used to help pay down my credit card and car payment much sooner along with paying for a class. So having said that, I may not have enough money to take two classes at a time until fall or possibly spring. I would like to be consistent as to where my pre-med classes are coming from, but on the other hand, I'd like to find another 4-yr school where I can take a 4 hr class for less than the $160/hr + fees that my current school requires. Taking two classes would mean $1200+ out of pocket and that's a sh*tload of money.
 

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I was able to work ~40 hrs/week and take Organic I and Physics II + lab last semester, and do well in both classes. However, my "job" is actually 3 part-time jobs, all of which I'm able to flex and kind of create my own schedule. I'm really not sure I could have done as well academically if I was locked into a more structured schedule. Also, if I'd had Organic Lab, that may have made life worse.. but my school only offers one lab semester, during Organic II (so I'm in that now).

As a side note, I had the privilege of speaking with an ad comm member of one of my local schools this week. Her strong recommendation was to show an ability to carry a heavy science courseload by taking at MINIMUM "two hard-science classes" in the same semester. She seemed to think that physics/organic would suffice.
 

southpawcannon

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I was able to work ~40 hrs/week and take Organic I and Physics II + lab last semester, and do well in both classes. However, my "job" is actually 3 part-time jobs, all of which I'm able to flex and kind of create my own schedule. I'm really not sure I could have done as well academically if I was locked into a more structured schedule. Also, if I'd had Organic Lab, that may have made life worse.. but my school only offers one lab semester, during Organic II (so I'm in that now).

As a side note, I had the privilege of speaking with an ad comm member of one of my local schools this week. Her strong recommendation was to show an ability to carry a heavy science courseload by taking at MINIMUM "two hard-science classes" in the same semester. She seemed to think that physics/organic would suffice.

Thanks for that note. I'll definitely keep that in mind. I thought of doing Physics I/Organic I and then Physics II/Organic II if it works out with work schedule, the class availability and the funds. The great thing about this new job I would get tuition reimbursement of at least 80%. So, maybe with that, I can use that money along with a little saved to cover the following semester.
 

ntmed

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Although my first two years of undergrad weren't great, in my last 4 after I transferred I got a 3.4 and obtained my degree along with the spanish minor.

I will work something like a 730a-4p shift M-F while possibly picking up some extra hours at a second job.

The income from my second job job will be used to help pay down my credit card and car payment much sooner along with paying for a class.

Besides, my soon-to-be job (based on how well my interview went today) would put me in a clinic within a very prestigious university hospital (might be a good resume builder).

I thought of doing Physics I/Organic I and then Physics II/Organic II if it works out with work schedule....

I'll finish out my basic pre-reqs for med school and then, as my old biology prof suggested, go to grad school....
I can definitely empathize with you, and your efforts to complete your prerequisites as soon as possible. I found it discouraging when I realized it would take me 3 years to get into medical school. But the bottom line for me was that, 10 years down the road, it wouldn't matter if it took 3 days or 3 years to get in.

You may need to think long and hard about this. Your 3.4 GPA is borderline for getting into medical school. Combined with your first 2 years, which were not as good, your GPA is definitely going to be an issue. Unless you do something stellar from this point on (like all A's and 33+ on the MCAT), you likely will not be able to get into medical school in the U.S. It looks like you're getting good advice about getting a graduate degree, which you may need to be competitive.

Unfortunately, you're about to take the toughest courses you'll likely see as a premed (organic and physics). And your second job will not be much of a resume builder if you don't do well academically. Everyone is different. But one estimate is that you'll likely need to study 2-4 hours a week for each hour you spend in class. Will you have up to 24 free hours a week for Organic I (assuming the class meets 6 hours a week and you require 4 hours of studying per hour of classtime)? And will you have an additional 24 free hours a week for Physics I? If not, take fewer courses. If you can't do this, then work less and do whatever it takes to cut down on expenses (sell your car, cut up your credit cards, move in with your parents, get student loans, consider the military or the National Health Service Corps http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov, etc.).
 

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Op: Like others have said, it's doable. I also work a 40+ hr work week and last semester I took Orgo I, Histology, as well as a History core class. Personally the Histology was the more difficult of the two for me. It's a strain, but when you are working, with a family, and trying to finish up your degree/prereqs.. it's going to be that way regardless.
This semester I (like soonereng) am taking Orgo II, Cell Bio, and 2hrs of Organic research. Thus far it's about the same as last semester as far as workload. I don't see adding a lower level Bio or Phy as impossible.
I will tell you that traditionally I am horrible at managing my time and always end up cramming for exams (always against a prof's warning that you cannot pass his/her class by cramming.) I think that if I had more time I would still be stuck in this cycle. Luckly it has worked well for me. It all depends on your study habits and comfort with the material.
Hope this helps.
 

southpawcannon

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Op: Like others have said, it's doable. I also work a 40+ hr work week and last semester I took Orgo I, Histology, as well as a History core class. Personally the Histology was the more difficult of the two for me. It's a strain, but when you are working, with a family, and trying to finish up your degree/prereqs.. it's going to be that way regardless.
This semester I (like soonereng) am taking Orgo II, Cell Bio, and 2hrs of Organic research. Thus far it's about the same as last semester as far as workload. I don't see adding a lower level Bio or Phy as impossible.
I will tell you that traditionally I am horrible at managing my time and always end up cramming for exams (always against a prof's warning that you cannot pass his/her class by cramming.) I think that if I had more time I would still be stuck in this cycle. Luckly it has worked well for me. It all depends on your study habits and comfort with the material.
Hope this helps.

Read your profile, Publius, and saw your hometown. Are you considering MCOG and other state schools or looking beyond?

PS. Your screen name is a reference to the collective pseudonym used in the Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Madison and Jay, no?
 

Publius

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southpawcannon - I'm here in Augusta now and will deff be hitting up MCG. I'm shadowing a physician out there now and there are many contacts in the area. I'm originally from Virginia and will be concentrating on schools in that area as well. I'm sure I will be submitting to many of the mid-atlantic/southern schools (~15-20 most likely.)

you are correct about my name. In ref to yours, I always preferred batting against lefties.
 

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Just another data point-

I took ochem and physics last year with the respective labs and worked roughly 38 hours a week at a desk job. It was doable, but a lot of work. Between labs and lecture I got As in everything but first semester ochem lecture, which was a B. So, I guess the takeaway is that you could probably pick up another class if you are typically an A student. I would ditch the idea of another job.

Organic is tough, but really, its mostly the toughest for people that don't invest the time. And it DOES take time to learn it. You can't cram ochem.
 

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It can be done!!!! I took Organic last semester, along with A&P II, while studying for the MCAT! I am in the Army, so I was definitely working full-time. As a lot of people have said before, it can be done as long as you are dedicated and willing to make the sacrifice (basically, no life). I should also let you know that I got a B+ in Organic II (the class only had 1 A).
 

Publius

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Did organic come easier than inorganic for anyone else? The second semester of gen chem was slightly more difficult for me than organic has been thus far. I'm sure some has to do w/ the professor, but the way the organic builds off of itself and has a somewhat tangible feel to it makes it a bit easier than inorganic to me. I don't know..

IDBasco - I don't think that organic is that much different than other science coursework in that if you devote more time, you naturally get a better understanding for the material. But you can cram for organic and still pull A's (just as most anything else.) No one would suggest doing it, but if you physically don't have the time to study consistently, cramming is possible.
 

IDBasco

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Did organic come easier than inorganic for anyone else? The second semester of gen chem was slightly more difficult for me than organic has been thus far. I'm sure some has to do w/ the professor, but the way the organic builds off of itself and has a somewhat tangible feel to it makes it a bit easier than inorganic to me. I don't know..

IDBasco - I don't think that organic is that much different than other science coursework in that if you devote more time, you naturally get a better understanding for the material. But you can cram for organic and still pull A's (just as most anything else.) No one would suggest doing it, but if you physically don't have the time to study consistently, cramming is possible.

Actually, inorganic was kind of easy for me. I was awarded a CRC book of physical constants by the chem dept here for academic performance for the year of gen chem. I've heard from people that most students are good at one or the other of the two chem years, but rarely both.

You are right that more time in any class = better grade. But it seems that ochem really has to sink in for most people (me included) to really understand it. And yes, I said you can't cram, though admittedly, I basically did. NOT a good way to do it. I was pretty much the memorizing type. Nobody should be that guy, LOL. I'm just trying to help the OP save the stress.
 

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It's possible to do it. I worked 50-60 hours a week during that time (as a nurse so it also included weekend time) and took organic and physics together... and made A's in both. And I have a family, including my youngest being under one year old when I started my post-bac. I got questioned on it a bit during my interviews for med school, esp about why I took the physics class at the local JC instead of the Univ where I took the organic, but when I explained the work schedule + the 2 classes, it made sense because I couldn't be at class M through F, I needed T/Th scheduled classes. I was told it would make the transistion to MS1 year easier - which I guess it did. But, it's all about time management. I'm a fast reader and didn't have time to read stuff multiple times to get it. I had to study every day to be sure I knew it that day, without having the luxury of waiting until a week before the test to crank up the study time.
 
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