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Lucky Buck

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Will medical schools have a problem with me retaking prereqs that I received A's in 5 years ago? I am retaking because I have forgotten all the chemistry and because my Chem I lab grade is over 10 years old (failed the class then, but stayed in the lab); one perk....another opportunity to raise my gpa. Obviously, I wouldn't want to get anything but an A in these classes.
 

PB2464

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Good question. I was also wondering the same thing. I completed my undergrad approx 6-7 years ago. I only need to strengthen my grades in Physics and Org Chem, but I will need Biology and Gen Chem (received A's) to prepare for the MCAT and these courses are not fresh.
Can I just retake Gen Chem and Bio as pass/fail or no credit? Or does it look better to the admins to retake all of the prereqs for credit?
 

lilnoelle

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You could audit the courses if the only reason is to help prepare for the MCAT/med school.
 
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remo

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I would say do it if you have the time and money. It makes preparing for the MCAT a lot easier and it will help your gpa. The schools don't care one way or the other. I did not retake chemistry (took 15 years ago) and I regretted it when studying for the MCAT. Nothing beats learning it the "right way" in a class as opposed to trying to re-learn it on your own from review books. However, the schools like to see upper level bio courses so make sure to take as many of those as possible during your post-bac. You should take all classes for a grade. Don't do pass/fail.
 

relentless11

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Even though its been five years, I wouldn't put in the effort and time to sit through those courses (including the labs) to prepare for the MCAT. Now that I think about it, its been 9 years since I took general chemistry, and 8 years since I took my first OChem series. I'm currently preparing for the MCAT (again) and its like riding a bike. OK its only been 3 years since I last took the MCAT, so that material is still fresh...but the MCAT isn't that bad.

I'd probably take a review course (Princeton Review or Kaplan, etc)

Its not neccessarily a perk if you retake a class regardless of your GPA if you are planning to apply to allopathic schools. They count ALL GPAs, and thus the your grades from the first and second times will be included. The course descriptions will be there and confirmed by AMCAS, therefore med schools will see that you got an A in the same class. They would contribute your A's for those courses as being attributed to taking it a second time.

You should talk to some of the med schools you wish to apply to. Do they want you to retake classes due to time that have passed, or take more advanced courses. The MCAT isn't that big of a deal, i've been in this pre-med game since 1998, and currently working on my PhD before I go...and the MCAT is the LEAST of my concerns right now. If you did well in the past, despite not remember concepts at this time, it is certainly like riding a bike if you take an indepth review course...like Princeton Review.:) Hope that helps!
 

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. . . The MCAT isn't that big of a deal, . .

The Medical College Admission Test is a big deal if you want to go to med school.
MIT is now posting most their courses online. Anyone can audit them online for free. This includes downloadable video lectures, lecture notes & exams.
 

relentless11

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The Medical College Admission Test is a big deal if you want to go to med school.
MIT is now posting most their courses online. Anyone can audit them online for free. This includes downloadable video lectures, lecture notes & exams.

Ummm...studying for the MCAT IS NOT A big deal relative to everything else. Considering the MCAT is REQUIRED to apply to med school, in that context yes its a big deal, but the point of this thread is preparing for the MCAT by retaking classes...hence my analogy to like "riding a bike". See first paragraph:

relentless11 said:
Even though its been five years, I wouldn't put in the effort and time to sit through those courses (including the labs) to prepare for the MCAT. Now that I think about it, its been 9 years since I took general chemistry, and 8 years since I took my first OChem series. I'm currently preparing for the MCAT (again) and its like riding a bike. OK its only been 3 years since I last took the MCAT, so that material is still fresh...but the MCAT isn't that bad.
 

Lucky Buck

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My real issue right now is making sure I'm ready for Chem II. I tried taking it this semester and had to withdraw. On top of studying all the new material, I had to relearn all the stuff from Chem I. I had the same problem in Calc because my algebra is 9 years old. Because I'm A-obsessed and wasn't sure I could pull one off, I dropped before the first exam. Right now I'm in the process of getting the W's removed.
As far as the prep for the MCAT and the boost to the GPA....they are just perks. I really need to relearn the material so I can do well in Chem II, and Organic. Thanks for the advice! :thumbup:
 

relentless11

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Right now I'm in the process of getting the W's removed.

Never heard of W's being removed. Are you sure about that one...specifically on your official transcripts? They may be removed for other reasons but when AMCAS looks at it, they may still see the W's and in actuality you are also required to report them.


I really need to relearn the material so I can do well in Chem II, and Organic. Thanks for the advice! :thumbup:

Yea if its to prepare for the next class then I'd sit unless you're one of those people that can only learn something when under the pressure of upcoming exams in the class. In all honesty though, the only big players from general chemistry that carry over to organic are acid/base stuff, pH, pKa, etc. OChem is a whole new animal IMO. Oh yea and periodic table trends may play a role too. Anyway thats just me, but I'd be wary on retaking classes especially if you did well in them already.

Good luck!
 

Lucky Buck

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After speaking to the dean of my school, she said she would be willing to consider removing the W's from my transcript. Apparently it's rarely done and she doesn't like doing it. I'm assuming that means the W's would no longer be there, so how would anyone see that? I don't think they would leave the courses on my trancript with out a grade or W??
 

Lindyhopper

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Here's the link to MIT's free non credit access to their course materials.
http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/index.htm
You'll notice that the department of chemistry has an online tutorial of common lab techniques. This may be a good quick review of the orgo techiques important for the MCAT.
I'm not sure if the video of the general chem lectures are available. People have greatly enjoyed the video access to their physics course.

Realisticly the MCAT is very important for admission & should be prepared for as such.
 

MedAgain

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Bump...

I'm in the same situation, I took the pre-reqs five years ago while an undergrad at Stanford, got mostly A's, but am thinking about re-taking some introductory bio / chem stuff before taking the MCAT...

The other thing is, I personally feel as if I didn't learn the "basics" well enough, since Stanford really rushes you through the material and most of the stuff I learned even in the introductory classes were non-MCAT material. So I thought that by doing a post-bacc program, I might get more solid fundamentals...

Would it look weird, though, to have "Bio 1" listed on my app in 2001, and again in 2007?
 

PB2464

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Bump...

I'm in the same situation, I took the pre-reqs five years ago while an undergrad at Stanford, got mostly A's, but am thinking about re-taking some introductory bio / chem stuff before taking the MCAT...

The other thing is, I personally feel as if I didn't learn the "basics" well enough, since Stanford really rushes you through the material and most of the stuff I learned even in the introductory classes were non-MCAT material. So I thought that by doing a post-bacc program, I might get more solid fundamentals...

Would it look weird, though, to have "Bio 1" listed on my app in 2001, and again in 2007?

I think I'm doing the same thing. I took my pre-reqs over seven years ago. I think that it's important to retake these courses if your grades were low and/or to prepare for the MCAT.
I'm considering taking all the pre-reqs then spending several months preparing for the MCAT and finally taking several upper-level bio courses.
I'll likely be on a two year plan before applying.
 

Lshapley

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I took the pre-reqs between 1992-1995 and I graduated with a 3.2 bpcm gpa. I am in a post bac right now and I am retaking gen chem since it was the first science course I took and I only got a B and B-. I am not retaking Bio, Physics, OChem and Calculus. In addition to the gen chem, I am taking upper level biology courses (cell biology, physiology and molecular genetics). I am currently in an MCAT prep course and my MCAT is hovering around 30 with 2 months of prep to go.

I really think you guys do not need to retake the courses. Personally, my study plan has worked out well. I read a current Bio textbook before I started my post bac, to be updated. I have not been behind in any of my classes. The upper level biology classes certainly look better on my transcript than a redo of Bio I/II (which I got A's in). Besides, in a worse case scenario, what if you got an A- in Bio I five years after getting an A in Bio I. That won't look good.

Taking gen chem has shored up the physical chemistry requirement for me on the MCAT and has also bled over into physics and organic chemistry. Retaking ochem is just crazy talk, especially since it is only 25% of the bio section on the mcat (one, maybe two passages, and a couple of discreets). As for physics, I had a good recollection of newtonian mechanics and some aspects of the work/energy theorem were actually touched upon in gen chem.

I would only retake a course if it was a C or below. Take a practice MCAT and see how you score right now. You might be pleasantly surprised. 5 years is not that long and I think it is more impressive to an adcom that you can synthesize new info and do well on the MCAT than just retaking all the same old classes and doing well on the MCAT.
 
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