Jul 25, 2015
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I just finished up my first summer class (OChem II) and am reflecting on the experience. Overall, I wasn't really a fan, for a multitude of reasons. I felt rushed in the material (obviously given the time period), I definitely felt to be "learning to the test" to a greater degree than ever before (not inherently bad, I just didn't like it), and I felt my time could've been spent more usefully in other endeavors (I worked a part time university desk job and get paid at my lab over the summer....left too much $$$ and experience on the table in lieu of a course I could've just taken during the Fall like I had planned previously.). On top of all of those reasons, I figured out I don't like learning when I could just kind of shut my mind off for a few months lol. I was successful in the course, but...meh.

What are your thoughts?
 

CsHead

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I just finished up my first summer class (OChem II) and am reflecting on the experience. Overall, I wasn't really a fan, for a multitude of reasons. I felt rushed in the material (obviously given the time period), I definitely felt to be "learning to the test" to a greater degree than ever before (not inherently bad, I just didn't like it), and I felt my time could've been spent more usefully in other endeavors (I worked a part time university desk job and get paid at my lab over the summer....left too much $$$ and experience on the table in lieu of a course I could've just taken during the Fall like I had planned previously.). On top of all of those reasons, I figured out I don't like learning when I could just kind of shut my mind off for a few months lol. I was successful in the course, but...meh.

What are your thoughts?
You're in for a surprise.
 

gonnif

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Many medical schools have a statement such as this on their website

http://www.upstate.edu/com/admissions/faqs.php
- Applicants should avoid taking more than one or two prerequisite science courses during the summer and avoid taking them at community colleges.
 
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JustintheDoctor

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Why would taking science courses over the summer be a problem?? If someone doesn't have room in their Fall or Spring schedules I fail to see why they can't do it in the summer. It's more of a time crunch, but it's still the same material.
Because the learning is rushed, could hurt your chances of actually knowing the material versus just learning it for that short period. Taking your time to learn it can help with the MCAT, but it all comes down to the individual I guess.
 

gonnif

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That's true, but I know some people take it because they don't have room or time to take prereqs during the school year and I know at my school it's almost impossible to take 2 prereq courses at the same time (due to test conflicts).
277 MCAT Student Selection 2014 - mcatstudentselectionguide-page-012.jpg

There are few things to consider.

1) In the the attached image from a recent AAMC survey of medical admissions from 127 schools, it was found that "on schedule to meet premedical course work" was considered medium importance. Since the standard is either 2 semesters (Fall/Spring) or 3 quarters, for courses, summer courses may be seen as not being able to fill this metric of normal coursework completion

2) As was said previously, summer courses are often perceived to less rigorous due to the compression of time. Organic is probably the most problematic in this regard.

3) The applicant pool will be filled with students who have mostly completed their courses during the normal school year so again, perception may look down upon those who took a substantial part of courses in the summer

So a course or two is likely not to be an issue. However your school scheduling is structured, adcoms will not know that or consider it. In sum, whether this perception is justified or not, it is a reality of the competitiveness of the applicant pool.
 

gonnif

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2) Less rigorous? I disagree. They're even more rigorous because they have to cover materials in a short period of time whereas taking it in a semester it's more spaced out and has more for curves.
Whether or not you agree is besides the point. Nor is whether or not it is an fair judgement. It is a common perception amongst adcoms who typically consider summer courses less rigorous. And as I said before, a summer course or two will unlikely have any impact

Also, what's someone supposed to do if a class fills up? I know some people who had to put off taking intro to Chem for the summer due to spots running out and another person who had to push taking intro to bio to junior year due to lack of spots too but he could have easily just taken it in the summer.
That you would have to deal with via your school advisor or registrar. But it is certainly shown by survey of medical schools admissions that completing course work on schedule is of medium importance and a factor that may be considered. Again, it is unlikely to have any major impact.
 

rocklobstr

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What if you take a full course load every semester, are on time with pre-reqs, and take non-pre-req summer courses?

I think I took 3
 
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rocklobstr

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I wonder if they still care about core summer classes if you score like 12+ on a sub-section of the MCAT
 
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