Question on timing of MCATS

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Colbalt6, Oct 15, 2001.

  1. Colbalt6

    Colbalt6 Junior Member

    Sep 27, 2001
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    My question is can one take the MCATs before completing all science requirements? Is it advisable (if allowable)?

    If so which course(s) is it acceptable to complete after MCATs? I would be taking my second O-Chem or my second physics course after taking the MCATs in August.

    My Spring schedule would be my second BIO and 1st O-chem, or 2nd physics and Summer would be the other. This leaves me one unfinished course.

    But I am basically finished everything else and don't have enough gen ed left to finish a fall and spring semester let alone two more. (finished a psych major this semester, a rel minor last semester, and will finish my chem minor when ever I finsh 2nd o-chem)

    I supose I could continue taking more and more advanced and unrequired science courses but I hate to risk messing up my GPA, especially when it looks like I am going to get an A in CHM and maybe in BIO as well (wonder of wonders!). I am, in honesty, likely to get B's in anything else I taking pulling down this lovely and surprising event of unexpected, though low, A's. Or I could take Basketweaving 101! LOL. It would be hard to spend another year doing -- nothing...

    Sorry to run on and on. I did a search but didn't find anything on this. Please help!

    BTW, thank you to all who have answered my ?s with considerable patience and kindness in the past.

  2. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael
    Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2001
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    Attending Physician

    Yes, you can take the MCATs without having had all the "traditional" pre-med classes. They do not check nor care what classes you've had.

    I'm kind of confused about what classes you can take when--can you take 2nd organic in the summer?

    My personal opinion on what class is best to have after the MCAT (though having had 2 semesters each of physics and organic would be best), would be 2nd semester physics. Here's my reasoning: if you buy a quality MCAT study book (Kaplan is good), these review books will have all the basic formulas and concepts for the physics you need for the test, nicely concise and to the point. If you're pretty good at math, this should be fairly easy for you to pick up. If, however, you decide not to take organic until after the MCATs, you may find it harder to understand the organic concepts the review book presents without having ever seen it before and without doing practice problems involving structures and compounds more complicated or slightly varied from what's shown in the limited review book space. Some of the physics involves simply remembering equations that will work for a range of problems or even common sense eliminations can help you narrow it down to 2-3 choices. Organic seems more 'nit-picky'--the order of the reactions can make a big difference in the structure of the end-product.

    Same thing if you actually take a Kaplan (or other) review course---the 'new' physics may be a lot easier to pick up in the review class than the 'new' organic, especially depending on how your school splits up the two semesters of each course. I honestly think organic is more complicated (not necessarily difficult, but more complicated) than physics is. BUT, I am also a person who can pick up on math immediately.

    Sorry to ramble on, but I hope this makes sense and that it helps!
    smurfette =-)
  3. mj

    mj Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2000
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    I some what disagree with Smurfette. Leave the class that you feel MOST comfortable with for after the MCAT. The class you see yourself having a harder time with is the one you should take before the test and only you know what that is.

    I didn't have first semester physics, second semester bio or second semester organic and I did above average on the test. But I was comfortable that I could teach myself what I needed to know about that material to do well.

    I love organic. I did well on the bio section even though I haven't had much of it.

    I hate physics. I chose to take physics 2 which I knew was hard for me, busted my hiney studying physical and was still only average (and counting my lucky stars for that I would add). My verbal and bio (thanks in part I'm sure to my organic self study) pulled me up.

    Know your strengths and weaknesses. That is your answer. No one here can tell you that. It is an individual thing.


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