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Taking Organic Chemistry over the summer

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TigerLilies

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I go to Cornell University but was thinking of taking Organic Chem over the summer at a college near my home. Chemistry is not my strongpoint and I think that I could a better grade if I took it a local college near my home. Is this okay?

Thanks
 

p9142

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Yeah, its fine. I wouldn't worry about ochem too much. Just make sure that if you haven't already taken the MCAT, USE EK for OCHEM. This will save you lots of time and leave you much better prepared. I went to a TPR info session, and they gave us this ridiculous reaction wheel that had tons of unnecessary crap on it. Once again, USE EK for OCHEM.
 

Mac11

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If you're doing this for credit in cornell, make sure that whatever chem class you take at a cc will transfer as organic chem. if it doesn't you may have to take it again at cornell if you want/need the credits.

Happened to me; I took Chem I and II at mcc, and the grade transfered (which is good, I got an A) but i have to retake Chem I and II at UML because the chem class at mcc isnt cool enough for them.

i.e. waste of two semesters?
 

solitude

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since Duke and Cornell are comparable academically...
http://www.aas.duke.edu/trinity/prehealth/faq/rcourses.html

24. Can I take Physics at my state school this summer instead of taking it here at Duke?

Probably. Compare it with Duke's physics courses. If you have questions, check with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Physics. If you want to transfer it in, the forms and approval have to be completed in advance. See what's written earlier in this booklet on this subject. Remeber that you will be tested on physics for the MCAT etc. Therfore, you should make sure the course is a rigorous one.

25. Will med schools think poorly of me if I take a required class at another institution?

The answer to this will depend to some extent upon your record at Duke and your reasons for doing so. If you have chosen to take the bare minimum of science courses required to make application to medical school and then have taken some of those at a less demanding institution, the medical schools might question either your self-confidence, your abilities, or both. However, if you take most of your required courses as a part of a challenging curriculum at Duke, but choose to take a required course at another solid institution for financial, scheduling, etc. reasons, they are not likely to be too concerned. If the course is one that is tested on the MCAT, they may look to your MCAT score to be sure you were well prepared.
 

SRK85

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Um anyone know where I could take organic chem 2 in the southeastern PA region?
 

sentry

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The answer to this will depend to some extent upon your record at Duke and your reasons for doing so. If you have chosen to take the bare minimum of science courses required to make application to medical school and then have taken some of those at a less demanding institution, the medical schools might question either your self-confidence, your abilities, or both. However, if you take most of your required courses as a part of a challenging curriculum at Duke, but choose to take a required course at another solid institution for financial, scheduling, etc. reasons, they are not likely to be too concerned. If the course is one that is tested on the MCAT, they may look to your MCAT score to be sure you were well prepared.

Exactly my thoughts -- if you are a science major with a good GPA, then its no big deal. If you have a low GPA or are a non-science major, I would think that it would raise some red flags
 

Zoom-Zoom

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Exactly my thoughts -- if you are a science major with a good GPA, then its no big deal. If you have a low GPA or are a non-science major, I would think that it would raise some red flags

Only if you don't get an A.
 

BigRedPremed

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I go to Cornell University but was thinking of taking Organic Chem over the summer at a college near my home. Chemistry is not my strongpoint and I think that I could a better grade if I took it a local college near my home. Is this okay?

Thanks

I would say that this is an acceptable idea as long as it is not at a community college.

Between your HD vs. English post and this one, I think you might be one of the wussiest posters here. Organic chem is one of the most overrated subjects for difficulty.
 

Zoom-Zoom

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I would say that this is an acceptable idea as long as it is not at a community college.

Between your HD vs. English post and this one, I think you might be one of the wussiest posters here. Organic chem is one of the most overrated subjects for difficulty.

Ouch. Pre-medmachine, is that you? Positing under another name is just bunk!


Seriously though, I'm not sure if I would reccomend taking Ochem over the summer if you are not very confident with chemistry. Granted, O. Chem is nothing like G. Chem and it is really hard to predict whether or not it will come naturally to you or not, but in my experience summer classes tend to magnify abilities in a certain class. If you're good at it, you'll do real well. If not, you won't be happy with your grades.
 

BigRedPremed

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Ouch. Pre-medmachine, is that you? Positing under another name is just bunk!


Seriously though, I'm not sure if I would reccomend taking Ochem over the summer if you are not very confident with chemistry. Granted, O. Chem is nothing like G. Chem and it is really hard to predict whether or not it will come naturally to you or not, but in my experience summer classes tend to magnify abilities in a certain class. If you're good at it, you'll do real well. If not, you won't be happy with your grades.

I have no idea who you are talking about. My comments stem from reading other posts from the OP. All of his/her posts seem to deal with taking the "easy" way through premed (HD vs. English major, this post on chemistry at a local college, a post asking for the easiest bio course at Cornell, trying to get a psychobiology course which is a psych course approved for her/his science GPA, etc.). I realize that we should not make our lives needlessly difficult but college is more than just a stepping stone to medical school. If we simply wanted the highest GPA possible, we wouldn't be going to Cornell.
 

montessori2md

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I took ochem over the summer and it was work (two one month long sessions for 2 semesters of orgo = one exam/week all summer long). But it was worth it, because now my fall classes seem SO easy, now that the pace is normal.

Get the A. If for no other reason, understanding orgo will make your life so much easier later on.
 
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Law2Doc

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Exactly my thoughts -- if you are a science major with a good GPA, then its no big deal. If you have a low GPA or are a non-science major, I would think that it would raise some red flags

No it raises a red flag if you go outside your system for an "easy A" regardless. Such cherry picking is frowned upon, even for otherwise good applicants. The person who wants to nudge his 3.7 up to a 3.8 is just as guilty as the B- student trying to edge up his BCPM to an acceptable range in such cases. The only difference is the higher GPA student is being more foolish as he has more to lose by the bad appearance.

The question is thus whether the school is objectively easier than your home school.
 

Dr. Pepper

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I think it'll raise a red flag.

OChem is probably the most scrutinized class that you will take. On paper, it seems better to take a course at a local college and get an A, but I would be very surprised if adcoms didn't suspect anything.
-Dr. P.
 

TigerLilies

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Bump. I heard that the grade is all that matters? is this true?

thanks
 

MinnyGophers

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Bump. I heard that the grade is all that matters? is this true?

thanks


As repeated throughout this thread, they take into account where you took the class...

An A in a community college, no matter how difficult it still is, will most likely not be viewed as highly as an A at a four-year university.

But if it's a matter of an A at Cornell vs an A at a state college, I don't think that it would be significant enough to care about.
 

Zoom-Zoom

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I disagree with a lot of the posters so far. It simply CAN'T hurt you as long as you get an A. And, an A at a state college will look better than a B or C at Cornell. Would it be more impressive to get an A at Cornell? Yes. But, there are a lot of reasons why students take summer classes close to home and it won't raise too many eyebrows.
 

Law2Doc

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I disagree with a lot of the posters so far. It simply CAN'T hurt you as long as you get an A. And, an A at a state college will look better than a B or C at Cornell. Would it be more impressive to get an A at Cornell? Yes. But, there are a lot of reasons why students take summer classes close to home and it won't raise too many eyebrows.

It's less about what the grade is worth on a school by school comparison, and more about how it looks like you are going outside your system to puff up your BCPM. The scam is not a new one to adcoms. Thus if you are going to Cornell and doing alright, but then go to XYZ school for a summer in a hard class like orgo to snag an easy A -- that simply looks bad. Med schools are looking for people who meet their challenges head on, not find ways to exploit the system. Thus if you are going outside of your school system, better to take a class that is not a prereq.
 

BigRedPremed

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I disagree with a lot of the posters so far. It simply CAN'T hurt you as long as you get an A. And, an A at a state college will look better than a B or C at Cornell. Would it be more impressive to get an A at Cornell? Yes. But, there are a lot of reasons why students take summer classes close to home and it won't raise too many eyebrows.

What about an A at a community college vs. a B+ at Cornell? How does the OP know that he/she can't pull off an A at Cornell? In three semesters of gen chem and orgo lab, I've gotten two B's (one might say that I'm weak in chem) but it didn't prevent me from getting A's in orgo. Yes, many students have to take their premed prereq's at home during the summer. But it's usually due to a scheduling conflict or another unavoidable problem, not because they pee in their pants at the sight of orgo.

I agree with one of the previous posters that taking it at a local accredited state university is okay but it won't look good if you take it at a community college.
 

Zoom-Zoom

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It's less about what the grade is worth on a school by school comparison, and more about how it looks like you are going outside your system to puff up your BCPM. The scam is not a new one to adcoms. Thus if you are going to Cornell and doing alright, but then go to XYZ school for a summer in a hard class like orgo to snag an easy A -- that simply looks bad. Med schools are looking for people who meet their challenges head on, not find ways to exploit the system. Thus if you are going outside of your school system, better to take a class that is not a prereq.

Again, I really don't think adcomms see this thing as some sort of "scam" or "cheat." What about all the students who did 4 years at school XYZ, is that a scam too? It just doesn't make sense, and is not what I have been told by any adcomms or advisors I've talked to. Although, I have to say that I was in a similar situation and took out a loan for 10K to stay at my school for the summer, because I wanted my A's to be "worth" as much as possible (not because I was worried that I would be penalized for getting an A somewhere else).


But assuming you are "penalized" for running this "scam", what would be worse: the possibility of "raising red flags"-whatever this means, or an assured B or C in orgo. I would presonally go for getting an A in orgo, then worry about the other stuff later.
 

Zoom-Zoom

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But it's usually due to a scheduling conflict or another unavoidable problem, not because they pee in their pants at the sight of orgo.

And the adcomms would be able to tell the difference? Nope

I agree with one of the previous posters that taking it at a local accredited state university is okay but it won't look good if you take it at a community college.

I'm not sure how CC's got introduced into this thread, but the OP never mentioned taking any CC classes.
 

BigRedPremed

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And the adcomms would be able to tell the difference? Nope



I'm not sure how CC's got introduced into this thread, but the OP never mentioned taking any CC classes.

It's a possibility. We don't know if the "local college" is a state university or a community college. My comment accounted for both.

I believe the OP suffers from a lack of self-esteem and an abnormal fear of science classes. In that case, I wish him or her luck in med school.
 

MinnyGophers

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I'm not sure how CC's got introduced into this thread, but the OP never mentioned taking any CC classes.

It was to make a point that grade alone isn't the only thing they look at.
 

Law2Doc

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Again, I really don't think adcomms see this thing as some sort of "scam" or "cheat." What about all the students who did 4 years at school XYZ, is that a scam too? It just doesn't make sense, and is not what I have been told by any adcomms or advisors I've talked to. Although, I have to say that I was in a similar situation and took out a loan for 10K to stay at my school for the summer, because I wanted my A's to be "worth" as much as possible (not because I was worried that I would be penalized for getting an A somewhere else).


But assuming you are "penalized" for running this "scam", what would be worse: the possibility of "raising red flags"-whatever this means, or an assured B or C in orgo. I would presonally go for getting an A in orgo, then worry about the other stuff later.

You would be better off going all 4 years to school XYZ, because that doesn't look inproprietous. It is the appearance that is more important here, because to some extent adcoms will see this as evidence of what you do in the face of pressure. No one really cares about how you did in a particular class per se -- it is about how you navigated these hurdles they put between you and med school. Going off the track to avoid a hurdle often costs you the victory. Sort of like the person who takes the subway to win a marathon -- sure, they got there first, but getting there first doesn't always matter as much as how you ran the race.
Going to an ivy but popping out of that system to take orgo looks bad, no matter how you slice it. Yes it is still probably better than getting a C at the ivy. But probably not better than staying at the ivy and getting a B, and not carrying this red flag.
 

TigerLilies

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I could also stay at Cornell over the summer and take it here. Does anyone know how difficult Orgo is at Cornell over the summer?

If I was going to take it another institution, it would be a 4 year university and not a community college.

Once again, thanks
 

letitgo

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I kind of have a related question about this. I took first semester orgo at an Ivy for an A-, changed my major, blah blah blah, three years later took a post-bac at N'western. My bcpm GPA is a 3.97. I needed the second semester of orgo and took it this past summer at a different college in Chicago, because they run on semesters instead of quarters, and it was half as expensive as NW. I didn't take it because it was easier, just to save myself some expense. Does this look bad? Someone told me it does. I'm sorry if I sound like an anal premed - it's really just a genuine question.

Also, for the person who asked, you can take summer orgo at Bryn Mawr in Southeast PA - that's where I was going to take it before I decided to stay in Chicago. It's only $1700.
 

solitude

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I kind of have a related question about this. I took first semester orgo at an Ivy for an A-, changed my major, blah blah blah, three years later took a post-bac at N'western. My bcpm GPA is a 3.97. I needed the second semester of orgo and took it this past summer at a different college in Chicago, because they run on semesters instead of quarters, and it was half as expensive as NW. I didn't take it because it was easier, just to save myself some expense. Does this look bad? Someone told me it does. I'm sorry if I sound like an anal premed - it's really just a genuine question.

Also, for the person who asked, you can take summer orgo at Bryn Mawr in Southeast PA - that's where I was going to take it before I decided to stay in Chicago. It's only $1700.


I think the above posts on this thread should indicate to you that some posters think it looks bad, while others do not. I, for one, think that if you have a 3.97 then taking one course at a less difficult institution isn't going to hurt very much.
 
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