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Please tell me if this is a good idea

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by swoopNhoops, May 1, 2007.

  1. swoopNhoops


    Mar 20, 2007
    Hello to all. I need some advice. I struggled taking my MCAT and I'm considering retaking the courses I had trouble with. Mainly Physics and Chemistry, just to improve my base. Is this a good idea?
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  3. sexyman

    sexyman 5+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    I don't think thats a good idea. You would most likely benefit from studying those subjects MCAT specifically. I suppose if you did really poorly in one, taking it over to get a better grade and improving your base might help.
  4. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    What grades did you earn in these courses the first time around?
  5. swoopNhoops


    Mar 20, 2007
    I recieved A's in Bio and did very poorly in physics C- both semesters. I also got a C's in organic chemistry. In chemistry I got a B and a C+. Either way I don't really remember much of any of the subjects because the last time I took them was during my freshman and soph. years (back in '02 and '03).
  6. fisko82

    fisko82 7+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    I would not waste the time or money retaking those courses. I got my physical science scores up to 13/14s on the AAMC tests by just going through several prep books (EK, Kap, Nova) and solving as many different passages and problems that I could get my hands on. I didn't move on until I felt I mastered the topic, and even after going through all the stuff, I went through it all again just for fun (well, not for fun, more like for pain). I think this helped me a lot, cause I had spent so much time away from physics/chem courses that I needed a lot more info to help recall stuff. Anything that I needed better detail in I would just supplement either online or with an old textbook. Also, orgo, you barely need any of that stuff. IMO, EK's Orgo is suffice.

    So, if I can bring my score up, and I don't claim to be a physical science guru (bio is my strength), you can definitely bring yours up as well. Just keep going through those prep books and anything you don't understand don't just move on to the next topic, look it up online for further explanation, grab an old textbook, try and solve a lot of similar types of problems to really nail the concepts good, make flashcards on concepts you have a hard time remembering, when you're looking at formulas ask yourself well if I increase this then this will happen or if you changed the index of this then I'd expect this to happen etc.....just keep at it man and YOU WILL RAISE YOUR SCORE, YOU CAN DO IT! :thumbup:
  7. scotties123

    scotties123 GrandMacDaddy 10+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    i agree. taking the classes again is a waste of time and money. spend the money on aamc exams instead. I've 4.0ed every semester since freshman year, but i still barely remember anything from my classes. the key thing is cracking down and not wasting time. just study like a maniac. dont memorize things, understand them and be able to apply the concepts. ive noticed very few things need to be actually memorized. just some basic equations.
  8. Rofeh20

    Rofeh20 Kaplan MCAT Instructor 5+ Year Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    From my experience, most of the students that I know who enrolled in post-bacc programs did so b/c either they haven't taken the required pre-med classes, or they did take the required pre-med classes but it was long ago and they performed poorly in them.

    Therefore, the answer to your question depends on what your goals are; do you want to retake the classes because you want to raise your GPA or do you want to retake the classes purely because you want to understand the basic sciences better so that you can improve your performance on the MCAT?

    The other posters here are correct in pointing out that a college level courses in physics or general chemistry is not a great way to ready yourself for how those sciences are tested on the MCAT. If your only goal is to improve your MCAT score, then perhaps enrolling in a post-bacc program is not the wisest idea.

    That said, based on your comments, it seems that a post-bacc program would help. One, you indicated that you did not put up great marks in those college classes. Two, you indicated that you have already prepared for and struggled on the MCAT. Perhaps the root of your struggles is that you failed to develop a strong understanding of the material when you first encountered it. To varying degrees, most retail MCAT preparatory materials assume that you used to have a good understanding of the material and that all you need is a thorough review. However, if you never received a solid grounding in physics in the first place, then a thorough review from an MCAT prep book may not suffice. Ultimately, you know you best so take some time to write out the pros and cons of each option and I think by the end of that exercise it will become clearer to you which path to choose.
  9. Catatonic

    Catatonic 2+ Year Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    No don't retake the classes, it's just a waste of time and money. As long as you focus on learning the concepts and material specifically tested on the MCAT, you should be able to do well.

    The key is to really understand the material that will be tested. I recommend buying different prep books (TPR, Kaplan, EK, etc) and studying those. Personally, I found EK to be the most helpful (and concise).

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