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retake Bio or prep for MCAT?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Pinki, Oct 14, 2001.

  1. Pinki

    Pinki Sassy Member
    10+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Medical Student
    OK, any advice solicited...
    I'm a post-bacc pre-med (2 degrees in 1993 from a top-tier university, 3.5 GPA, 3.7 in majors. Worked for the last 8 years in broadcast TV.)
    My freshman year of undergrad (circa 1989) I took the first semester of Bio (got a B in class/ A in lab) Now, 12 years later, I'm back at a state university taking the second semester as well as organic chem and physics. So far, my science GPA is a 4.0. I was planning on retaking Bio first semester next spring, for a refresher and for a better grade. But now, I'm thinking that it would be far more advantageous to use that class/lab time to prep for the MCAT for the April test. I'm planning on taking TPR, too, next spring. I'm thinking I'll just study my textbook for the content on the MCAT, and study the test prep guides provided by the TPR.
    My question...
    I'm wondering if schools will frown on a Bio class taken 12 years ago. Any idea on the shelf life of such classes? (And yes, I realize A LOT has happened in bio since the late eighties!) :rolleyes:
  2. Wednesday

    Wednesday Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2001
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    Attending Physician
    Some schools require that the core classes (bio, physics, chem, organic) be taken more recently. I was advised that any classes over 7 years old should be retaken. Of course, physics doesn't change much, but biology does, especially the material covered first semester. You should contact a few schools that you're interested in and see what their requirements are. As for the MCAT, you would probably do fine by just reviewing, but you might feel more confident about the bio section if you had more recent bio. They seem to like to ask about the cutting edge stuff.

    Good luck.
  3. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
    10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I seem to remember there being a shelf life on pre-med requirements (something like 5 or 10 years, depending on the school), but when I looked at the MSAR, I found no mention of it. My suggestion to you is to call the schools you're interested in, and ask what their policy is on old bio classes. Methinks that it probably won't be a big deal, especially if you spank the MCAT, but better to be safe than sorry.


  4. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I had pre-req's up to 13 years old and none of the schools I applied to (UT's and Baylor) had a problem with it. Call the schools you are interested in and see if they have a time limit. People told me there were limits, but I didn't encounter any.

    I'd recommend taking the prep course instead of retaking bio. I work full-time, and I took the spring semester off from classes so I could study for the MCAT at night and on weekends. I took a Kaplan class since I had not had chem/physics since the 80's, and it covered everything I needed to know. In my opinion, it's better to spend your time doing MCAT practice items and just bone up on the particular items that you have forgotten. The prep course was more than sufficient to help me remember (relearn).

    If you have any questions, feel free to private message me.

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