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Starting post-bac Monday; anyone else in same boat; advice to offer?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Turd Ferguson, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

    Jun 5, 2008
    I start a self-structured post-bacc program on Monday and haven't taken a science class since high school (undergrad geology doesn't count, imo). I'm taking Bio. 101, + lab and physiology to see how I do and if my instincts are taking my in the right direction at this stage. Anyone else self-structuring/self-structured a post-bacc courseload in a similar situation (liberal arts undergrad 5+ years ago, late 20s age)? I only plan on taking the bare minimum pre-reqs and maybe one or two additional classes (physiology, ?). Any advice/lessons learned would be appreciated.
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  3. Live4Life

    Live4Life Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    I have one piece of advice. When I started my self-structured post-bac, I was working 50-60 hours per a week so I wasn't able to commit myself enough to earn the grades I needed in the first two classes I took. Granted they were Bs, so they weren't horrible, but those Bs hurt when only planning to take the bare minimum pre-reqs because they affect the science GPA quite significantly. My one recommendation is to totally commit yourself to these classes, if you start to have any trouble balancing a full work load (if you are working) and the courses, either quit your job or drop the courses immediately! I wish I had done that so that I didn't have to take additional science classes to counteract those Bs. Good luck, go get 'em! It has been really manageable since I stopped working, and now I am actually taking 16 credit hours of science classes this summer and doing quite well.
  4. gman33

    gman33 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    The main thing is to start out slow.
    Are you currently working? If so, I'd only take one class and I wouldn't start with Bio. Many times Bio 101 deals with intro molecular biology. If you haven't had chemistry, this material is a lot more difficult. I'd start with chem or physics and save Bio for later. The bio class may be more interesting, but those other classes will help you to do well.

    As a postbacc, your main job is to try to get an A in every class you take. Since you are taking so few science classes one or two bad grades could sink your chances of getting into med school. These boards are filled with people who are in this situtation.

  5. Nerve

    Nerve I believe in Science 2+ Year Member

    May 18, 2008
    England & California
    I am in the same boat as you. Sept I'm not able to begin classes until Spring '09 and I don't plan on working AT ALL during my classes (which are going to be taken at a four year college). I'm 27 right now, will be 28 when I begin BIO, GEN CHEM, PHYS, and CALC. I figure that there's two ways to get into a pool and I've always just jumped in. How you approach these classes is up to you. I've heard that Med Schools like to see full course loads but we are non-trads so ADCOMS must realize that some people don't have the GI Bill (best investment of my life) to float them through full time college and need to work.
  6. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    You may want to drop the Physiology class until you have completed the introductory biology class. If you have not taken a science class in some years, you definitely need to ease back in. Once you have succesfully navigated your Introductory Biology (no grades less than B+), then add to your load if you feel you can handle it.

    Physiology builds upon concepts that are covered in Intro Biol and thus you want to have a good background in these concepts before you take this important class.

    You need quality before quantity in terms of your coursework and grades. Make sure that the quality is there before you add the quantity. Good luck!
  7. nu2004

    nu2004 5+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2008
    Los Angecagoveland
    sounds like you have a pretty solid plan. in addition to physio, i would suggest biochem. not terribly important for the MCAT, but it does hammer home some of the more important (and medically relevant) concepts covered in both bio and chem.

    good luck.
  8. Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

    Jun 5, 2008
    I appreciate the comments so far. I actually spoke with an advisor last week and was advised to take the first Chemistry and college algebra to get me ready for physics in the fall.
  9. gman33

    gman33 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    Good advice. Try to review some basic algebra before you take chem.
  10. Martin Prince

    Martin Prince 2+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    I'm about to start MSI and am standing at the other end of the tunnel. I started with chemistry, statistics, and physics in the first quarter of self-designed postbac. My best advice is to forget that you may have ever thought a class was easy in undergrad. This first quarter almost derailed me as I didn't fully dedicate myself until the first midterms came back. After getting a round of B/Cs, I buckled down, quit the job, and ended up with all As. It took a few weeks to realize that Chemistry is hard. Unfortunately, so is physics, biology, and ochem. Work hard.

    Because I set up a self-designed "post-bac" plan, I officially had the lowest registration priority at the university. Chemistry and Physics were easy to get into, but Biology was always full. My difficulties getting into bio courses almost set me back a year. Check your registration status (do you choose before or after the undergrads), and try to figure out which classes fill up first. I would take them first in the sequence so you don't get stuck later on. (Chemistry is helpful for bio though).

    good luck
  11. lainey234

    lainey234 Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    Out of the cold
    I just finished my second yr of a self structured post bacc. I had been out for 10+ yrs when I went back. I started with O-Chem/Bio/and Physics in the first semester.

    My only advice to you is to be as dedicated and on the ball as possible. I went in the first day with nothing on my mind but doing well in my classes. I signed up for free O-Chem tutoring the second week of classes and stayed on top of things the whole way through. I studied on most nights - including Fri and Sat and did whatever it took to do well (this included bringing my O-Chem book on our family ski trips). Eventually i was able to pare down the studying and spend more time doing other things, but it is much better to pull back than it is to try and rally and bring grades up.
  12. ruraldr

    ruraldr 5+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    I found it helpful to find other post-baccs in my classes to study with/ comiserate with. At my school at least there always seemed to be a couple of other post bacs in each class.

    I agree with the emphasis on quality over quantity. Make sure you can handle the course work before loading up on paid work, volunteering, etc. (although I found the volunteering to be a welcome reminder of why I was slogging through all these classes!)

    Good luck!

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