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taking biochem, etc. just for MCAT?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by woodson, Oct 31, 2001.

  1. woodson

    woodson Junior Member

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    hi, i'm a sophomore in college and am deciding on a major. it is between music and biochem. if i pick music, i'll have physics next year, but should i take biochem also to prepare for the MCAT? or physiology? how much do these classes actually help? i'm concerned because the only bio classes i will have are cell bio and genetics. this can't be enough to cover the bio section of the MCAT. so, should i take the classes or spend my time studying via kaplan, tpr, etc.? thanks!
     
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  3. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member
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    I'd take biochem I, but physiology might not be that useful...it might be overkill to take a whole course on it. There's often quite a bit of biochem on the MCAT so it can only help.
     
  4. BCgirl

    BCgirl Member
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    I guess it all depends on your MCAT form. I would recommend taking physiology since there seemed to be a lot of that on my MCAT form in August. I had no biochem that I can remember. I didn't take biochem before the MCAT and I managed to do quite well. I would say to take physiology and just study the biochem stuff from a Kaplan or PR review book. In my opinion, physiology would be a lot better prep for the MCAT then biochem.
     
  5. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
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    I took a year of Anatomy & Physiology, and I definitely think it helped on the MCAT, though I'm sure you can get by without it. As for biochem, I'm taking it now, and the MCAT covers organic chemistry pretty heavily, but only skims the surface as far as biochem is concerned (no protein folding, enzyme kinetics, etc).
     
  6. grunermann

    grunermann Senior Member
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    It's funny because when I took PR's class, it focused a lot on Biochem on the practice tests, but when I got to the real test (in April), there was SOOO much physiology. I would recommend taking both if you have the time, and physiology if you don't.
     
  7. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member
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    I took anat/phys before the MCAT, and I'm taking biochem now. I did really well on BS w/o biochem, but that might have been luck. I can't even remember what was on my real test (get mixed up between real test and the millions of practice tests I took), so I can't help you there.

    I know that I found phys helpful. However, now that I'm taking biochem, I think it would also be helpful. So, I'd say take whichever you think you would enjoy more (I enjoyed a/p more) because they are both helpful but not absolutely necessary.
     
  8. Derby

    Derby Member
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    I took both and thought that Physio was entirely more helpful. In my opinion, it's the meat of the MCAT bio section.
     
  9. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member
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    How strange - I had not a single physiology passage on the bio section. I had three biochem ones, though - perhaps you should take both.
     
  10. BCgirl

    BCgirl Member
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    Wow rxfudd - you didn't have ANY physiology? I know I had a lot (some on blood pressure, glomerular (sp) filtration rates of snakes (I think), another on hormones, and other stuff I can't remember). I had a few organic passages, but no biochem at all. It all depends on the test form, I guess.
     
  11. I can't think of a name

    I can't think of a name Senior Member
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    No one will agree with me on this, but don't take biochemistry or physiology unless you need them for the schools you are applying to. I had as much bio as you when I took the mcat, and I was fine (I have never taken physiology) and I found general chem and o.chem to be the most important. I don't even think that biochem came up on my MCAT. Really, in my opinion, the test is not how much you know, but how well you can read the passages and interpret what they give you..making the practice tests the most important.
     
  12. nezlab99

    nezlab99 Senior Member
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    I didn't take bio in highschool. In college all I took was the first year bio and genetics. I took kaplan and got an 11 on bio. I didn't realy need much genetics for the MCAT either. I think it just depends on how good your first year bio course is.
     
  13. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member
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    Well, I had one "physiology" passage, but it wasn't really based on a knowledge of any physiology - the questions were entirely dependent on understanding how to assess graphs of various simultaneous physiological processes. Other than that, all organic, micro, genetics, and biochem.

    I only recommend taking biochem because I had about three passages of the stuff - it was managable with an elementary biology knowledge-base, but would've been a lot easier if I had taken biochem previously.
     
  14. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie
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    Dont take biochem for the MCAT - the test is DESIGNED so that you can take it with just the minimum requirements. HOWEVER, I will say that biochem (along with a few other upper level bios) is helping me a LOT this module - we're doing physiology, genetics, biochem, cell bio, molecular bio, pharmacology and histology. Anyways. Just my thought.

    Star
     
  15. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member
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    It may be designed that way but most of the experiments that are described in the passages are learned upper-level bio/chem courses - you may not need the courses, but after having formally studied the material and taken exams on it, it's a lot easier once the MCAT rolls around.

    For example, I had never learned what the pI of a molecule was and it was on several practice MCAT's. Since I had to learn it on my own, it took me some time to really understand how to predict the pH at which a molecule will have various charges. Having taken biochem since then, I look back on it as a very simple problem that is explained in great detail in biochem.
     
  16. otter

    otter Senior Member
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    Hi. Okay, I think the only upper-division class that you should consider taking is the molecular cell biology. Yes, there tend to be a lot of physiology passages on the MCAT. But for physiology, just reviewing the Princeton Review material is more than enough. However, there are often passages on topics like recombinant DNA techniques, intracellular signaling and molecular genetics that would be very hard to tackle with only the preparations in first-year biology. MCB covers all of those topics. I've taken the MCAT twice, and my physiology and biochem coursework did not help me all that much, to be honest.
     

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