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Physiology.....is it a 'must' for the MCAT?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Chris127, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Chris127

    Chris127 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    I think I know the answer to this, but I'll ask anyway - Is Human Physiology needed for the MCAT? I'm aware there pretty much always some physio questions on the exam, however, is this material I could likely teach myself without taking the course?

    I am nearing the end of my sophomore year, and have completed all of my pre reqs, aside from Organic II. Physiology is not required for my major, so I never really got around to taking it (which I regret).

    Is this a class that I absolutely need to take before taking the MCAT? Or is the material light enough to where I could teach myself what I needed to know?
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  3. djones473

    djones473 2+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2007
    no, its not. it would definitely help but you could teach yourself all the physiology you need to know pretty easily with a review book.
  4. mvenus929

    mvenus929 Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    Depends how good you are at teaching yourself. I'm in Physiology now, and I understand the review materials so much more now that I've covered them in the classroom vs. just studying them myself. But that's the type of learner that I am.
  5. gobluegirl

    gobluegirl 10+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    I'm currently studying for the MCAT, and I find that my physiology class has helped a lot. I guess if you're good at self-teaching, go ahead, but I don't think I'd understand the biology section very well if I hadn't taken physiology.
  6. ParvatiP

    ParvatiP Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Agreed. You CAN teach yourself, but taking the class would be best. I took physio the semester I took the MCAT, and the passages on physio that I had already covered in class were much easier and quicker to get through than the uncovered material. Your understanding is just SO much better.

    I actually didn't have much physio at all on my form of the exam, though...so you could luck out anyway.
  7. .surgical.

    .surgical. Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    Physiology is the one class i really wish I would have taken the same semester as the MCAT.

    Taking it in advance is a bad idea, you'll just forget.

    I took physics and analytical chemistry the same semster as MCAT, this was great review. All the physiology students were ahead of me in their BIO studying because it was the same material they were doing in class.

    Advantage=Phys students
  8. MSTPbound

    MSTPbound student Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    (Luckily) Physio will always be basic to the study of medicine, so the MCAT will probably always test it.

    The good thing about taking physio coursework is it will require less effort to memorize the $#!+load of stuff you have to memorize for physio - time you might prefer spending on concepts in molecular biology and genetics which seem to be replacing some of the physio and orgo content (except for the April 7th MCAT which was 40% Orgo, 40% Molecular Biology, and 20% "everything else they said we needed to know in biology"... :bullcrap: :bullcrap: :bullcrap: :bullcrap: :bullcrap: :bullcrap: :bullcrap: :bullcrap: :bullcrap: :bullcrap: ).

    I have heard from students who didn't have this background (physiology) that it was tough to prepare this area for the MCAT on their own just because of the sheer volume of material that was considered fair game.

    Good Luck.

    PS: Those "BS" flags DO NOT stand for "Biological Sciences".
  9. snsboy16

    snsboy16 2+ Year Member

    Dec 27, 2006
    I haven't taken Physio, and I've been scoring 10-11 on the Bio section. I spent a few days memorizing all of the information that Kaplan provided for Physio. Not bad at all if you're good at memorization and are self-taught.
  10. Dr. Gangrene

    Dr. Gangrene AZPOD 2011 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2006
    Valley of the Sun
    You do not need physio. It is nice to have the info, but unnecessary. MCAT tests BASIC knowledge from Physics, chem ochem and bio. If you took a year of bio, you should be able to reason through any physio related questions.
  11. nshams

    nshams 7+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    :eek: what's in your avatar Dr. Gangrene?


    Physiology DEFINITELY makes things easier on MCATs; you should probably @least try to read up from an actual physiology textbook about the endocrine system & all the hormones & their effects:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocrine - this isn't exactly a good review on endocrine, but it's a starting point.

    I wouldn't say you have to worry about memorizing everything but @least try to be familiar with the material so that when you see it on the MCAT, you can be fast :)
  12. DiverDoc

    DiverDoc KCUMB 2012 10+ Year Member

    I was glad I had it under my belt for two reasons. #1, my MCAT form had a lot of physio. #2 during preparation, my study time was focused on other subjects since I had already taken it.
  13. 12thandSouth

    12thandSouth Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I don't think Physio is necessary. The passages relating to physio on the MCAT are essentially verbal reasoning passages. All you need is a general working knowledge of the systems, so that you can understand what's going on. The majority of the answers are right there in the passage -- you just have to know where to look for them. Like someone else already mentioned, the MCAT tests a very limited amount of actual science content.
  14. hydrogen3k

    hydrogen3k :) 5+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    NJ (?)
    I guess it helps (everything somehow helps), but I don't think it is necessary. I got a 14 on the bio section and had not taken any physiology courses.
  15. corbis11

    corbis11 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2005
    I'm taking a human physiology course right now since I haven't had any (except microbial physiology...) since AP biology in high school (junior now). If I had to do it all over again, I would have just bought the book our class uses, Vander's human physiology, and studied the topics the AAMC says is tests. However, I think our laboratory component really helped me understand some topics such as the nervous system.
  16. Mobius1985

    Mobius1985 7+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    My MCAT version had a lot of physiology and even some anatomy. I wished I had taken both classes before the test.
  17. FlyinTiger

    FlyinTiger Public Health Student 5+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    Seriously, when I was taking that test, I wanted to yell out, "WHERES THE ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY GAAAAAH!"
  18. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    Physio isn't required if you can remaster it with a prep book.

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