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Should I take calculus-based physics?

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by vincikai, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. vincikai

    vincikai Senior Member
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    should i take calculus based physics?

    I already took algebra physics back in high school AP Phy, now I don't want to waste my 8 credits by retaking physics again. It would be a little overload considering I am also going to take calculus II, and Chemistry II in the same semester. however I do feel the need to practice more physics before the MCAT. tell me, is it wise to learn calculus-based physics?
     
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  3. Fermata

    Fermata Hold me.
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    If it's gonna be a waste of your time then don't take it.
     
  4. Nikki2002

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    it is wise to take easy physics
     
  5. Arsenic

    Arsenic posting from the future
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    definitely, if you dont need to take physics with calculus for your degree, dont take it. calc based physics isnt needed for the mcat. i had to take it because i was a chem major but regular physics is fine.
     
  6. MollyMalone

    MollyMalone I'm a Score Quadruplet
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    Don't take calc-based unless you really want to for some reason.

    That said (and please, correct me if I'm wrong), I believe that some schools will give you static about accepting AP credit for prereqs. At least, I recall hearing something about this. Anyone with more info, can you confirm?
     
  7. Arsenic

    Arsenic posting from the future
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    some schools want english and the basic science pre-reqs to be taken at the university, not AP. i remember some schools didnt want to accept my AP english credit and declined to send me a secondary because of it. I remember USUHS was like this. it all depends on the school though. if you had AP credit for english and took creative writing or another english class as an elective, most would be ok with that.
     
  8. FrkyBgStok

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    quite a few people are doing that at my school and maybe if you take upper level bio and chem it will be OK but i would be really hesitant about that.
     
  9. nouveau007

    nouveau007 Junior Member
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    As people have pointed out, you do not need calculus based physics for the MCAT. The MCAT does not even require the quadratic equation! All you need is a deep understanding of the concepts and know how to applied them in differente scenarios.

    Good luck :thumbup:
     
  10. vincikai

    vincikai Senior Member
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    thanks guys,


    dose cal-phy provide a better understanding in physics concepts?
     
  11. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    IMO yes.

    In the algebra based from what I have seen and heard as a tutor and talking to my friends at other uni's is that the class has a huge reliance on formulas. Plug and Chug doesn't really teach you much.

    Disclaimer: I'm a physics major.
     
  12. Calc based physics is not needed for the MCAT. So long as you can memorize the necessary equations to plug and chug, your performance will be fine.

    That being said, I disagree that it is wise to take easy physics. If you are the type of person who hates sitting through boring, unnecessarily tedious lectures and doing busy-work homework, easy physics will probably be torture. Calc-based physics gives you a better understanding of why the plug and chug equations are what they are, even to the point that memorization isn't necessary beyond the very basic equations. Also, depending on your college, the lecturers are often far superior. Speaking from personal experience, it is possible for a pre-med to be at the top of the class even though it is full of engineers and physics majors, so if you are worried about not getting an A, don't.
     
  13. Nikki2002

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    i had to plug and chug for about one passage on my mcat form.......almost totally conceptual.....so maybe calc-based would be helpful for the conceptual stuff but if you are worried about your grades I wouldn't do it......try to find out more about the prof/course from other students
     
  14. seadizzle

    seadizzle Senior Member
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    If you are proficient in calculus then I think you'd be better off taking calculus based physics. You would gain a deeper understanding of physics if you can handle the math.

    You can think of it like this: Premed physics just teaches you the results. They give you the end equations, all you have to do for most problems is figure out what numbers to plug in. Calculus physics allows you to derive the results in premed physics from more basic principles. You can derive all the kinematic equations, the relationship between potential energy and force, etc. stuff that is fundamental to an *understanding* of the concepts. Simply, you will have a better understanding of the formulas.

    Of course, if you can't handle the math, then you won't do very well and end up getting both a poor grade in the class and not picking up the deeper connections.

    I am a math major, so take that as you will. I got a 14 on the physical science section.
     
  15. Stroganoff

    Stroganoff Never give up.
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    It'll be a slightly harder class, but it'll help you more for the MCAT by giving you a deeper grasp of physics and faster mental math skills. Aside from derivations, there's little calculus involved, honestly. Mostly trig stuff in Mechanics and a little bit of basic integration in E/M.

    Plug 'n' Chug is a crutch in the long run.
     
  16. Sicilian

    Sicilian Senior Member
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    I'll second the last poster. Most of the problem's in calc-based intro physics (physics I, II) don't involve calculus. I suppose both versions - calc-based and algebra-based - are focused primarily on introducing the material at a very basic level, since most ppl in these classes will be taking specialized classes later on anyway. So whatever level you take, you'll see a large overlap of problems.
     

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