Mar 8, 2021
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Hello,

I am a nursing major and am wanting to take the MCAT. I’ve read that biochem, organic chemistry, General biology/anatomy, psychology, and physics are the more important topics to study. I have already taken psych, a general biology course, microbiology, anatomy and physiology I and II, and I plan on taking physics. My main question is about the chemistry. I’ve taken 1 semester of general chemistry and then another semester of chemistry where the first half was organic and the second half was biochemistry (weird, I know). I’ve heard that you only need to know the basics of organic and biochemistry for the MCAT, so would my combined organic and biochem class likely be sufficient (along with Kaplan MCAT prep), or should I consider taking organic chem I, Organic chem II, and then biochem before taking the MCAT.
 

gramnegative

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If that orgo/biochem class was specifically for nursing, than no, I would not say you are prepared. The MCAT requires knowledge from at least a year of chemistry and I felt so much more prepared for the test after taking genetics, molecular bio, and cell bio, as well as an in-depth biochem class. You could thereotically self-study to prepare, but many med schools want 1 year of chem and 1 year of physics, as well as a dedicated biochem class.
 

KnightDoc

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Hello,

I am a nursing major and am wanting to take the MCAT. I’ve read that biochem, organic chemistry, General biology/anatomy, psychology, and physics are the more important topics to study. I have already taken psych, a general biology course, microbiology, anatomy and physiology I and II, and I plan on taking physics. My main question is about the chemistry. I’ve taken 1 semester of general chemistry and then another semester of chemistry where the first half was organic and the second half was biochemistry (weird, I know). I’ve heard that you only need to know the basics of organic and biochemistry for the MCAT, so would my combined organic and biochem class likely be sufficient (along with Kaplan MCAT prep), or should I consider taking organic chem I, Organic chem II, and then biochem before taking the MCAT.
Are you taking the test just to see how you might do, or are you seriously interested in med school? If it's the latter, you really have to take the med school prereqs (not the nursing versions of the same courses) before taking the exam, just like everyone else. You will need them for med school applications anyway, and not doing so will put you at a major disadvantage, which will manifest itself in your score.
 
Mar 8, 2021
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Are you taking the test just to see how you might do, or are you seriously interested in med school? If it's the latter, you really have to take the med school prereqs (not the nursing versions of the same courses) before taking the exam, just like everyone else. You will need them for med school applications anyway, and not doing so will put you at a major disadvantage, which will manifest itself in your score
Looking at the Kaplan website, they say that the general chemistry and biology is very important as well as organic chemistry and biochemistry. I’m planning on taking a bunch of easy classes that I’m required to take that have nothing to do with nursing over summers (3 or 4 classes), I have AP credit for statistics, and I tested out of some easy math class, so I’ll have 5 or 6 open spots in my curriculum for the 8 courses im looking to take (2 general bio, 2 general chem, 2 organic chem, 1 physics, 1 biochem) and I might even consider taking physics over the summer, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea. The Kaplan website also said that genetics, anatomy and physiology (currently taking for nursing), microbiology (currently taking for nursing), cell biology, and genetics aren’t necessary to do well on the MCAT, but do you think I should look into taking any of those? Time isn’t that big of a concern for me because although finishing these pre-med courses by the time I’ve completed my BSN would be nice, it wouldn’t be that big of an issue if I needed to take a few more courses. I apologize if this message seems disorganized, my mind has been all over the place today dealing with unrelated issues.
 
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xMikeyDay

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I'm a bit confused, are you trying to be a RN or are you trying to get into medical school. Your plan is doable, but convoluted imho. Sounds like you still in college, like maybe 2nd year? I haven't seen you mention anything about Clinicals either which is a major component of Nursing in the final 2yrs of typical BSN programs and as you can imagine, big time consumers. I'm assuming you are trying to get into medical schools with BSN, and have nursing as a backup plan? Which is logical, but anecdotally speaking, I have not seen this plan work ever. You sound like you still have an opportunity to just swap to a more "typical" premed major, like biology or any other major that interests you. Additionally, as some posters above me mentioned, you have to be careful about taking those science courses as a Nursing majors, sometimes they are made specifically for the nursing programs and schools WILL NOT accept those. You also mention having AP credit for statistics, unfortunately again some medical schools do not accept AP credits and you will still have to take some college level math. Outside of academics, to be a competitive premed you'll need physician shadowing, non- clinical volunteering, and clinical volunteering (paid clinical experience can off-set this, but IDK how adcoms would view clinicals as a nursing student, its not paid, nor volunteerism but it is clinical), and depending on what state you live in research too (places like Cali/NY). The issue is it is hard to build these ECs as a nursing major because of the time constraints, in clinicals and keeping up with course material. Additionally, Nursing programs love to boast their 1st time NCLEX pass rates, so I'm sure there are mandatory Kaplan, HESI, or ati, standardized tests throughout the curriculum to make sure their students are able to pass their licensing exam.

I feel like you are falling into a trap many pre-meds fall into, a trap that I myself fell into and that's not really understanding how much dedication is required to successfully get into medical school. As a traditional pre-med just trying to maintain competitive academic grades and get your ECs you'll be busy, but in addition you want to complete a nursing program. iirc, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure Nursing majors have the lowest, if not one of the lowest acceptance rates into medical school compared to other majors. I went to nursing school, got a job as a RN and decided I wanted to go to medical school. I thought I could work full-time, get my ECs, take pre-requisite courses, and study for mcat. I sat for my exam and guess what? I just registered for my 2nd MCAT and studying all over again. This whole process is pretty brutal. My advice to you would be pick RN or MD/DO and go all in, don't end up like me.
 
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KnightDoc

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Looking at the Kaplan website, they say that the general chemistry and biology is very important as well as organic chemistry and biochemistry. I’m planning on taking a bunch of easy classes that I’m required to take that have nothing to do with nursing over summers (3 or 4 classes), I have AP credit for statistics, and I tested out of some easy math class, so I’ll have 5 or 6 open spots in my curriculum for the 8 courses im looking to take (2 general bio, 2 general chem, 2 organic chem, 1 physics, 1 biochem) and I might even consider taking physics over the summer, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea. The Kaplan website also said that genetics, anatomy and physiology (currently taking for nursing), microbiology (currently taking for nursing), cell biology, and genetics aren’t necessary to do well on the MCAT, but do you think I should look into taking any of those? Time isn’t that big of a concern for me because although finishing these pre-med courses by the time I’ve completed my BSN would be nice, it wouldn’t be that big of an issue if I needed to take a few more courses. I apologize if this message seems disorganized, my mind has been all over the place today dealing with unrelated issues.
Nope, not at all. I'm following along just fine! :)

No, you don't need any of the "extra" classes - genetics, anatomy, etc. that no schools require and that many students don't take. If you want to take any of them, it certainly won't hurt, but whatever you need will be covered by whatever MCAT prep material you use. My concern would just be that if you stick to the nursing version of the basic classes (chem, bio, physics, etc.) you will just be at a foundational disadvantage to most of the other people taking the test, and it might come back to bite you. Plus, you are going to need the "regular" versions of those classes for admission anyway, so it would be smart to take them before the MCAT rather than after.

As you know, you have all the time in the world, so there is no need to rush anything. Just don't take the MCAT until you are on a level playing field, prereq-wise, with everyone else taking the exam.
 

MedDoc305

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I'm a bit confused, are you trying to be a RN or are you trying to get into medical school. Your plan is doable, but convoluted imho. Sounds like you still in college, like maybe 2nd year? I haven't seen you mention anything about Clinicals either which is a major component of Nursing in the final 2yrs of typical BSN programs and as you can imagine, big time consumers. I'm assuming you are trying to get into medical schools with BSN, and have nursing as a backup plan? Which is logical, but anecdotally speaking, I have not seen this plan work ever. You sound like you still have an opportunity to just swap to a more "typical" premed major, like biology or any other major that interests you. Additionally, as some posters above me mentioned, you have to be careful about taking those science courses as a Nursing majors, sometimes they are made specifically for the nursing programs and schools WILL NOT accept those. You also mention having AP credit for statistics, unfortunately again some medical schools do not accept AP credits and you will still have to take some college level math. Outside of academics, to be a competitive premed you'll need physician shadowing, non- clinical volunteering, and clinical volunteering (paid clinical experience can off-set this, but IDK how adcoms would view clinicals as a nursing student, its not paid, nor volunteerism but it is clinical), and depending on what state you live in research too (places like Cali/NY). The issue is it is hard to build these ECs as a nursing major because of the time constraints, in clinicals and keeping up with course material. Additionally, Nursing programs love to boast their 1st time NCLEX pass rates, so I'm sure there are mandatory Kaplan, HESI, or ati, standardized tests throughout the curriculum to make sure their students are able to pass their licensing exam.

I feel like you are falling into a trap many pre-meds fall into, a trap that I myself fell into and that's not really understanding how much dedication is required to successfully get into medical school. As a traditional pre-med just trying to maintain competitive academic grades and get your ECs you'll be busy, but in addition you want to complete a nursing program. iirc, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure Nursing majors have the lowest, if not one of the lowest acceptance rates into medical school compared to other majors. I went to nursing school, got a job as a RN and decided I wanted to go to medical school. I thought I could work full-time, get my ECs, take pre-requisite courses, and study for mcat. I sat for my exam and guess what? I just registered for my 2nd MCAT and studying all over again. This whole process is pretty brutal. My advice to you would be pick RN or MD/DO and go all in, don't end up like me.
I'm not sure if that's the case, but I could see how it's possible given how skewed GPA's are from all the B's and C's obtained during the program. I have to agree with xMikeyDay though, you are picking a significantly difficult degree that may mess up your GPA and chances at med school instead of doing something like psych (no offense to those who majored in it :p) where you'll have a cushion for the harder prereqs in between your fluff writing classes. Youll also have to explain why you decided to get your nursing degree when you wanted to do medicine

I understand the neuroticism because I did something similar. I took all the nursing pre-requisites at the same time I got my bachelor's in biology JUST IN CASE I didn't get into medical school and at the end of the day, it was a waste of time and money. What you're trying to do can be risky given the difficulty of the classes. You probably won't have time for EC's and like xMikeyDay pointed out, I don't know how ADCOM will view your rotations experiencewise.
I would look at some of the schools you are most interested in applying and seeing what their prerequisites are because some do have genetics/microbiology
 
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