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Take Biochemistry before MCATs??

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by shrimpchips, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. shrimpchips

    shrimpchips 7+ Year Member

    Dec 31, 2006
    Should I take biochem before I take the MCAT? It seems quite a number of people on SDN have recommended doing this. If everything goes according to schedule, my prereqs will be completed by the end of sophomore year. However, if I want to take biochem, I wont' be able to take the MCAT until at least after the first quarter of junior year. I probably won't have as much time to study for the MCAT during the school year and it might also be harder to remember the old material. Does taking biochem really help that much for the MCAT? I really appreciate your input. Thanks! :)
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  3. Muscles00GT

    Muscles00GT 2+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    I'm not one to really answer your question, but from what I hear, biochem is a good course to take before the MCAT. I'm sure others can chime in regarding this. The fact that you're going to have all your pre-reqs out of the way by end of sophomore year is impressive. Good job :thumbup: I'm done all of mine with the exception of orgo I and II. saving them for junior year
  4. midn

    midn 10+ Year Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    Biochem goes way beyond the scope of the MCAT. The only thing I've learned in my TPR class that has anything unique to Biochem was Michaelis-Menten enzyme kinetics. I have yet to see that on any of my practice tests. You'll go more in depth to the TCA cycle and a few other metabolic cycles so that could help.
  5. poly800rock

    poly800rock Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2006
    it helps on a few questions. had a practice question about metabolism and amino acid titrations on the pratice today. Is it worth a semester for a few questions? not sure, but it does completely solidfy every question i had concerning enzymes...so for me it helped
  6. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Carrboro, NC
    While you don't need a biochem class to do well, it can't hurt to have it under your belt when you take the MCAT.

    First, it'll reinforce some general bio (metabolism, replication, transcription, translation, enzyme stuff -inhibtion, competitve vs. non-competitive).

    Second, you may get a passage on the MCAT related to something you've studied in biochem (but really, what are the chances of this? This can't be your only reason for taking the test).

    Be careful though...knowing things that you don't need to know for the MCAT can be detrimental when you start trying to bring in outside knowledge or start overthinking things.

    One of my MCAT passages focused on a molecular biology concept/technique that I happened to have just learned in my advanced mol biol class. It definitely allowed me to answer a few questions easily, but I probably would have gotten them without the mol biol class (though not as quickly).
  7. poly800rock

    poly800rock Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2006
    after the 12th exam, i'd say YES, biochem was VERY VERY helpful. 2 whole passages on metabolism!
  8. .surgical.

    .surgical. Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    No Biochem, and I did not feel gimped on the April 12th exam.

    I did, however, have Cell Bio...which covered the metabolism stuff as mentioned previously.

    I had to re-learn it all anyways during studying.
  9. Dr. Gangrene

    Dr. Gangrene AZPOD 2011 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2006
    Valley of the Sun
    I have had biochem. Only question I had was about substrate level phosphorylation (which is covered in basic bio). As w/ all upper division, it can help, but is not specifically tested on the mcat.
  10. wideawake45

    wideawake45 New Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Yes, take biochem before the mcat. while you will not have to recall specific biochem on the mcat, you will need to be more familiar with difficult terms to do well. During the april 16th exam, i was really comfortable with the tough terms because i took it before the test. Biochem will prepare you for those off the wall bio passages that pop up on the real thing. Plus you will have a greater understanding of the topics that will be on the mcat. this will really help you reason through hard bio passages and pick out the basic science.
  11. sesil

    sesil 2+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Take biochem before if you have the opportunity. I took the MCAT in august and voided but I took it in January after biochem and did well. Obviously there were other factors involved in this but I have to say that taking biochem made reading and understanding some of the bio passages much easier. Also, on some problems, knowing biochem can make a normally 2 minute thinking-type question take about 20 seconds since you may already be familiar with the material.
  12. jlchen1031

    jlchen1031 7+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2008
    would biochem be more useful than physiology? a friend of mine recommended taking physio before the MCATs rather than biochem....
  13. doomknight

    doomknight Bing 2+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    In order of helpfulness/importantness

    Human Physiology
    Cell bioloogy/Microbiology
  14. jlchen1031

    jlchen1031 7+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2008
    ok thanks, doomknight! =]
  15. mterp45

    mterp45 Banned Banned

    Jun 2, 2007

    Human physiology
    cell bio
  16. IkerUnzalu

    IkerUnzalu 2+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2008
    I think titrations and seperation techniques should be considered I know we covered this in biochem..... pka and some lab techniques.
  17. RSAgator

    RSAgator Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2006
    I think that biochem classes generally differ greatly from school to school. As has been said it's definitely not necessary but like any other class it is helpful. Biochem is really the only advanced bio class I've taken, but I'd say it has been pretty instrumental for me. My biochem class was pretty wide spanning though, and didn't just cover metabolism.
  18. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It 7+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    Always Bespin

    As long as we all agree that Evolution is at the end of the spectrum.

    F**k you lamarck:smuggrin::thumbdown:
  19. BurghStudent

    BurghStudent lurker 7+ Year Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    I was searching this question and still need a little help. I plan to have my prereqs in by the end of sophomore year, but like the OP won't have time to take biochem. So instead of taking a class, is there something else I can do... Do you suggest auditing a summer class, reading a particular book, ..?

  20. matth87

    matth87 2+ Year Member

    May 8, 2009
    I did not have biochemistry the first time I took the MCAT. Wish I would have waited. Aced my upper level bio courses because I learned everything before I took them for the MCAT lol.
  21. Seraph 84

    Seraph 84

    Jun 28, 2009
    Biochem is not necessary for the MCAT, so no.
  22. Doodl3s

    Doodl3s 7+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2009
    At my school Molecular and Cell Biology is apparently VERY similar to biochemistry. I already took cell bio soph year. and I must say its like bio on steroids. VERY helpful for ALL the cell cycle questions, krebs, mtubules, division... etc... as well as experiment techniques such as plasmids and growth cultures... so i've decided to take it in august as an incoming junior. Cell bio made me learn this stuff. Intro to Bio didn't... so maybe an upper level bio course is helpful for the MCAT.
  23. DrDre2001

    DrDre2001 7+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    If all you are taking is biochem, I don't think you should wait another 6 months just for this one class. In that 6 month period, you will forget so much of your pre-req stuff.

    When somebody above said "You might as well take biochem, it will not hurt you", they are correct I guess, but what CAN hurt you is the 6 month gap (or well, this gap will prob be like 9 months..May/June to December/Jan I guess would be the case in your situation) between your pre-req finals and the MCAT.

    Now, if you also take Physiology and Genetics in the first semester of your junior year, those 3 classes would give you more of an advantage than the 6 month gap will be a disadvantage.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  24. BurghStudent

    BurghStudent lurker 7+ Year Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    I will finish my prereqs but also will have finished Physiology and Genetics. So biochem is the only thing I'll be missing out on.

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