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Organic Chem - How Important?

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uog418

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So I'm about 13 days to mcat and really haven't done any organic chemistry... It's been a screwed up last couple of months and time really got away from me. I don't finish my full time job until next Friday and I still need to review everything and do more practice tests. Anyways, what I'm trying to ask - How important is Orgo on the MCAT? I know a lot of people have said that they don't get much organic in the BS but I'm assuming that's not really a reliable premise to study on? Anyways, I am reading through the Organic chapters in Kaplan right now but it's quite hard to retain any of the information (I'm understanding it, just not retaining), especially since I've never taken an Organic course.
So to add to my question, how screwed am I?? I should mention that my MCAT is for application to Veterinary school not Med School, so the marks I'm looking for is somewhere around 9s for each section...

:(
 

moosen

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Can't you take the GRE for vet school? The GRE would be a much easier way to go, especially without proper preparation.
 

sphun65

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My advice would be to not sit for the test, but that's your choice. You are 13 days out and it looks like you are very behind. I completely understand where you are coming from, it is very difficult to manage studying for the MCAT along with real life. However, you should not sit for the test if you aren't fully prepared. I would wholly recommend you to take the MCAT next year. This way you will have taken orgo I & II, and maybe have gotten in some other science coursework that may benefit you.

I am not aware of other requirements for vet school (GRE?). If you have the opportunity to take the GRE instead of MCAT, as a busy person, you will probably be best served taking the GRE. Good luck.
 

Dharma

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My advice would be to not sit for the test, but that's your choice. You are 13 days out and it looks like you are very behind. I completely understand where you are coming from, it is very difficult to manage studying for the MCAT along with real life. However, you should not sit for the test if you aren't fully prepared. I would wholly recommend you to take the MCAT next year. This way you will have taken orgo I & II, and maybe have gotten in some other science coursework that may benefit you.

I am not aware of other requirements for vet school (GRE?). If you have the opportunity to take the GRE instead of MCAT, as a busy person, you will probably be best served taking the GRE. Good luck.


I disagree with the above recommendations. If you are good to go on all other sections that is. You can get away with minimal understanding of organic chemistry and still land a 9 on the bio section. The chances of getting a BS section with a lot of orgo is very low. If you are ready on your other sections, then take a shot.

Check these sheets out. You really do not need to know more for the Organic than what is on the sheet. Seriously the organic is a small slice of the entire BS pie.

http://www.prep101.com/mcat/ES_MCATChemistry.pdf
http://www.prep101.com/mcat/ES_MCATPhysics.pdf
http://www.prep101.com/mcat/ES_MCATOrganic.pdf

Have you taken any AAMC's yet? If so, what kind of scores?

As I said earlier, if you are ready to go in all other sections, then TAKE A SHOT. I'm not a big fan of the scaredy-cat mentality.

Then again, the GRE is easier than the MCAT.

Good luck.
 

uog418

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Unfortunately, for Vet schools in Canada (or at least the Ontario Veterinary College) you can only use the MCAT as your entrance. That being said, the breakdown of academic requirements is 40% pre-req courses, 40% last 2 full-time semesters, and only 20% MCAT. I'm holding on to that for whatever it's worth!

I did take my first AAMC practice last week. It was AAMC#3. I got 10PS/9VR/8BS surprisingly, which is okay but I've heard that test #3 is pretty easy? Anyways, I'm about to take #4 right now. I work full time with 2 hr commute each way until this up coming Friday, leaving me with maybe 5 good study days I suppose.

Thanks guys for your advice, I really appreciate it and keep 'em coming! Do you feel that the AAMCs are truly representative of the real MCAT?


Also, I'd like to add that I would LOVE to not sit the test. Only issue with that is if you are taking a year off between undergraduate studies and grad school, this vet school requires a letter of appeal or something with a really good excuse for this... In Canada, you are only allowed to apply to the school within your province. yes, it is that lame.
 

Druggernaut

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I was a C student in organic chemistry and pulled a 10 on the bio section of the MCAT. I only took one practice test, but if I remember correctly, I also scored a 10 on its bio section (I'm not sure if I had finished organic at that point). From my limited experience with one practice test, one real test, and minimal studying, I would say the MCAT's organic chemistry is pretty basic. A basic understanding of the periodic table trends of things like electronegativity and atom size and how these things contribute to reactivity might be enough to squeak by. However, if you haven't even taken the course, it might be difficult.

If you're feeling prepared in the other sections, you may still do perfectly well. It could go either way, but if that's the only thing you aren't feeling confident about, I'd probably go ahead and take the test.
 

sphun65

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I had two passages and somewhere between 16-20 organic questions on my MCAT, which was 2+ weeks ago. They were very difficult for me, and I had recently taken orgo (both A's). Both passages were far more difficult than any orgo material on the AAMC's (which tricked me into being pretty nonchalant about it!!). Everyone says the material is very basic for orgo, but after having taken ~15 practice tests I was absolutely shocked at the specific knowledge required (some say one passage was experimental, but that's debatable). I don't know if the OP could survive getting two orgo passages on the BS section. Granted, it might be unlikely, but he could get into a tough situation and not even know enough to make an educated guess. I shouldn't predict what kind of score he'd end up with, but that'd be at least 10 questions wrong right off the top.. So you do the math.

Dharma, the OP did not state that he was only behind on organic. He did mention it specifically, but he went on to say that he "still needs to review everything and do more practice tests". This indicates that he is under prepared at this point. It appears we are playing good cop / bad cop here, so I'm sorry for being the bad one.

OP, I understand where you're coming from a lot better now.. Almost ridiculous that you need an excuse! Now knowing your situation, I would recommend taking every AAMC test before your exam. Make sure to review them well. Keep it as simple as possible on the VR section, this means no highlighting, note-taking, skipping around, reading questions first, etc. As for the PS section, do a google search for "MCAT physics formulas", find the PDF for that, and understand what the formulas mean. For the gen chem stuff, make sure you really understand titrations, redox reactions, oxidation numbers, electrochemical cells, balancing equations, mass conversions. If you kill the other sections, it is likely that the organic questions you get wrong won't matter. Stay confident and don't let the organic parts get to you. Good luck.
 

GRod18

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Hard to say you might get 1 or 2 passages.. but better safe than sorry, I would at least go over EK or TPR if time is limited.. I feel that TBR is very good, because it covers everything...
 

SN2ed

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How important is your BS score? Don't get suckered into a false sense of security based on recent tests having 1-2 o-chem passages. Heck, those 1-2 passages can make an enormous difference in your score. Also, the last time people got lulled into the test only having 1 o-chem passage, there was a huge shock when a round of exams had 2-3 passages.
 

uog418

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Hey guys, thanks for all the responses!
So with one week left to the MCAT, I'm pretty terrified.
The averages for the previous year for getting in were BS 9/VR 9/PS 7/Q, which in the end, get averaged...which isn't too bad. I've written two practice tests which went as follows:
AAMC 3: 10 PS/ 9 VR/ 8 BS
AAMC 4: 8 PS/ 10 VR/ 8 BS
Both of these were written after work and with little review of concepts before-hand... but now it's crunch time.
I figure I will review biology, physics and gen chem today all day for a final time, and do some review questions.
Tomorrow I will do a harder practice exam (one of the later AAMCs) and see what happens, and then review all the practice exams done thus far.
Monday, I will be reviewing Organic Chemistry all day. Now, I have to this point reviewed the basics. I have a good idea when it comes to SN1, SN2, E1, E2, identifying the different compounds, Markovnikov rules and when they apply, and such, which I know is not enough, but might be a start.
Anyways, after Monday, my last three days will just be more practice exams. How does all that sound, should I be successful and not slack off? P.s. I am done work now, WOOHOO!
 
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