2XY1XX

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OK, so here is the dilemma. I am a non-traditional student hoping to apply next cycle. I have already taken The following courses:

Chem 1,2
Biology 2
Anatomy and Physiology (obviously not required, but helpful)

Here is my proposed schedule for the nest school year:

Fall 2015
Biology 1 (mostly review as I took an introductory biology class)
Physics 1
Organic 1

Spring 2016
Introductory Biochemistry
then either physics 2 or organic chemistry 2

The reason I am thinking one or the other is because I know that the new MCAT has cut down on these sections while emphasizing biochemistry. Which one would be the better class to take, physics 2 or organic 2?

Also, since I will be taking biochem next spring, I was planning on taking the MCAT in the summer, maybe early July. Would that late of an MCAT be detrimental to my application.

Again thanks for the help!
 

el_duderino

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I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice taking the MCAT without having taken courses in all the material tested on it. Sounds like you are trying to rush things.
 

Ad2b

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1. Check the med schools you wish to apply to and see if orgo 2 is still required; many changed that to biochem
2. Check your biochem class syllabus v orgo 2 syllabus v MCAT; for me, I found that none of the orgo 2 reactions for MCAT were missing as I got them in biochem
3. My suggestion based upon #1 is take physics 2, biochem and then MCAT.

Physics 2 is required for the MCAT (not required as in you have to have it to sit for it but required as in covered in many areas: electrostatics, waves, magnetics, fluids, etc)
 
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I'm a non-trad one cycle behind you, but in the same position with respect to choosing between organic 2 and physics 2. Recognizing that both are relatively low yield topics, my decision came down to which would be easier to self study. It appeared to me, and feedback suggested, that organic 2 builds on organic 1, whereas physics 2 covers a discrete set of topics, which don't necessarily build on the physics 1 topics. So my plan is to take physics 2 pre-MCAT and organic 2 post-MCAT pre-matriculation. (Caveat: I haven't taken physics 2 yet and I just started organic 1, so I could be totally off base.)
 

Ad2b

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@AnotherLawyer - physics 2 is HIGH yield on MCAT (if you get the physics laden test). do no under estimate it. Orgo 1 is on the test disguised in the biochem; orgo 2 is on the test disguised as biochem.
 
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According to the official guide, physics and organic are the two least tested topics. (Biochem is the third most heavily tested.) I don't believe either is unimportant, but I do think if you have to skip a course prior to the MCAT it makes sense to skip one that you can successfully self-teach. And if that topic happens to be low yield, all the better. That's why, if you have to skip something, organic 2 is the class the skip.
 

Ad2b

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@AnotherLawyer - I'm glad you're familiar with the AAMC Official Guide (or OG as it is referred to here)

Now, please go review in no apparent order: April, May, June, July and August 2015 MCAT test takers' threads on this forum.

Then, come back here and tell me what YOU think :) (and it won't be that physics and orgo are low yield ;) ) Sorry. I wish it were true.
 

Ad2b

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Below is from the OG: And btw, biochem is the #1 thing on the MCAT in EVERY section except CARS.

Fluids (PHY) Density, specific gravity Buoyancy, Archimedes’ Principle Hydrostatic pressure o o Pascal’s Law Hydrostatic pressure; P = ρgh (pressure vs. depth) Viscosity: Poiseuille Flow Continuity equation (A∙v = constant) Concept of turbulence at high velocities Surface tension Bernoulli’s equation Venturi effect, pitot tube

Electrostatics (PHY) Charge, conductors, charge conservation Insulators Coulomb’s Law Electric field E o o Field lines Field due to charge distribution Electrostatic energy, electric potential at a point in space

Circuit Elements (PHY) Current I = ΔQ/Δt, sign conventions, units Electromotive force, voltage Resistance o o o o Ohm’s Law: I = V/R Resistors in series Resistors in parallel Resistivity: ρ = R•A / L Capacitance o o o o o Parallel plate capacitor Energy of charged capacitor Capacitors in series Capacitors in parallel Dielectrics Conductivity o o Metallic Electrolytic Meters Magnetism (PHY)

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Definition of magnetic field B Motion of charged particles in magnetic fields; Lorentz force Electrochemistry (GC) Electrolytic cell o o o o o Electrolysis Anode, cathode Electrolyte Faraday’s Law relating amount of elements deposited (or gas liberated) at an electrode to current Electron flow; oxidation, and reduction at the electrodes Galvanic or Voltaic cells o o o Half-reactions Reduction potentials; cell potential Direction of electron flow Concentration cell Batteries o o o Electromotive force, Voltage Lead-storage batteries Nickel-cadmium batteries Specialized Cell - Nerve Cell (BIO) Myelin sheath, Schwann cells, insulation of axon Nodes of Ranvier: propagation of nerve impulse along axon

Sound (PHY) Production of sound Relative speed of sound in solids, liquids, and gases Intensity of sound, decibel units, log scale Attenuation (Damping) Doppler Effect: moving sound source or observer, reflection of sound from a moving object Pitch Resonance in pipes and strings Ultrasound Shock waves Light, Electromagnetic Radiation (PHY)

Concept of Interference; Young Double-slit Experiment Thin films, diffraction grating, single-slit diffraction Other diffraction phenomena, X-ray diffraction Polarization of light: linear and circular Properties of electromagnetic radiation o o Velocity equals constant c, in vacuo Electromagnetic radiation consists of perpendicularly oscillating electric and magnetic fields; direction of propagation is perpendicular to both Classification of electromagnetic spectrum, photon energy E = hf Visual spectrum, color

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Molecular Structure and Absorption Spectra (OC)

Infrared region o o Intramolecular vibrations and rotations Recognizing common characteristic group absorptions, fingerprint region Visible region (GC) o o Absorption in visible region gives complementary color (e.g., carotene) Effect of structural changes on absorption (e.g., indicators) Ultraviolet region o o π-Electron and non-bonding electron transitions Conjugated systems NMR spectroscopy o o Protons in a magnetic field; equivalent protons Spin-spin splitting

Geometrical Optics (PHY) Reflection from plane surface: angle of incidence equals angle of reflection Refraction, refractive index n; Snell’s law: n1 sin θ1 = n2 sin θ2 Dispersion, change of index of refraction with wavelength Conditions for total internal reflection Spherical mirrors o o o Center of curvature Focal length Real and virtual images Thin lenses o o o Converging and diverging lenses Use of formula 1/p + 1/q = 1/f, with sign conventions Lens strength, diopters Combination of lenses Lens aberration Optical Instruments, including the human eye
 
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My advice and my plan seem to precisely echo the advice you gave in your first reply (i.e. if you have to choose between organic 2 and physics 2, choose physics 2). It seems like you just want to have an argument over what "low" means, which is probably a waste of everyone's time. You seem to view it in absolute terms whereas I view it as relative. We can just agree to disagree.
 

Ad2b

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I don't want to argue. I want to point out your flaw in thinking physics 2 is low yield so that YOU don't misconstrue and fail that portion of the exam.

As someone who has, sadly, been preparing for this for a long time and paid $$$$ to get properly prepared (and a non-trad, or as someone called me, ultra non-trad), I'd like to pass on the knowledge I've gathered to help others.

If you choose to ignore that, that's your choice.
 
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2XY1XX

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I appreciate everyone's help. I would just take another year to prepare fully, but being almost 30 and having 3 kids is a pretty big motivator to just get started.
 

el_duderino

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However old you are (I was 31 when I took the MCAT), having a failed cycle because of poor MCAT combined with late application and not having yet taken all of the prereqs is a bad idea. Ask me how I know.
 
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