Jul 15, 2009
6
0
West Texas
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Pre-Medical
I'm 31 years old and just now going back to school to catch up on undergrad sciences so I can apply for med school. I won't be able to take Org Chem until my last 2 semesters of undergrad, but in order to avoid a 1 year waiting period in between finishing undergrad and starting med school, I'd really like to apply and interview next fall, which would require taking the MCAT before taking any Organic Chem classes.

I've already started reading through an organic chemistry book on my own, and so far, everything makes sense. Is it a ridiculous idea to try and self-study org chem in order to take the MCAT before taking the actual org chem classes?
 

RogueUnicorn

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7+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2009
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orgo is ~30% of the BS section. skip it at your own risk.
 

austinap

Senior Member
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Apr 21, 2006
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Is the rest of your application amazing?

Honestly, not having taken OChem could slaughter you on the MCAT. I honestly just don't think self-study will get you there. I'd estimate that without organic solidly under your belt, you'll lose ~4 points on the biological sciences section. That either drops you from a stellar score to an acceptable score, or from 'ok' to 'we can't accept you to med school with that score'. Think about it carefully.

If you're dead set on doing it early, make sure you take plenty of practice tests, read a book or two on organic chem, and consider sitting in on the class before you actually take it. How reasonable it would be to pull this off depends entirely on your scientific aptitude.
 
May 3, 2009
71
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm 31 years old and just now going back to school to catch up on undergrad sciences so I can apply for med school. I won't be able to take Org Chem until my last 2 semesters of undergrad, but in order to avoid a 1 year waiting period in between finishing undergrad and starting med school, I'd really like to apply and interview next fall, which would require taking the MCAT before taking any Organic Chem classes.

I've already started reading through an organic chemistry book on my own, and so far, everything makes sense. Is it a ridiculous idea to try and self-study org chem in order to take the MCAT before taking the actual org chem classes?

Hey there, I was in the exact same situation as you. I took the plunge sans orgo, and the result as austinap so insightfully pointed out, was not so hot. I studied it on my own, everything was making sense while I was reading it, however when I tried to apply what I knew I was doing poorly. Taking orgo in school helps in two ways, 1) there is someone to teach it to you, and so you can ask your doubts and 2) this I believe is more important, it forces you to do practice problems, as you prepare for tests and evaluations. This sharpens your vocab and your ability to perform reactions in your head as you read a sentence that describes a wolf kishner reaction for instance.

Now, this is not to say that you cannot do it. If you self study, make damn sure that you do everysingle problem from that textbook. The only thing is, you'll have to give yourself more time to prep. I.e. a good chunk of your time will be on self studying and solving problems and then the rest of the time, study all the other subjects.

So to distill what I have said, if you are intent on self studying, study hard, study smart, and start studying early.

good luck. :thumbup:
 

Micahfeld

10+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2009
82
0
Mississippi
Status
Medical Student
I did it, but I don't recommend it. I rolled snake eyes and had three organic passages on my June 18 exam. I'm pretty sure I didn't achieve my average BS score of 10-11 that I was getting on the AAMC practice tests. I'll be ecstatic with an 8 or better.

I'll let you know how it worked out for me next week when the scores are released. I'm preparing myself mentally for an August/September retake as I will have completed both semesters of organic by the end of July.
 

Mattabet

Doctor Thunder
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Jun 8, 2008
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If you can get away with not taking any requirement, it'd be Orgo, but I wouldn't recommend it. You might try getting your hands on some BS review sections and seeing how you do with your self-study. It's conceivable that you could get away with it, especially if you have some background from undergrad.
 
Jun 25, 2009
223
0
The Woodlands, Texas
Status
Pre-Medical
Take the most recent practice Test (AAMC 10) and see how you do. If you score over 30 then go ahead and take the MCAT for real and apply. If you score less than 25, wait till after you take your classes. You can also take an intensive orgo 1 and 2 over the summer, but I don't recommend that. Definitely make sure you do Anatomy and Physiology BEFORE the MCAT. If you look at the Bio topics, a lot of them are over A and P. I almost took the MCAT before A and P and Orgo 2. I waited a year till after I took them. I feel much more comfortable.

Good luck!

If you can get away with not taking any requirement, it'd be Orgo, but I wouldn't recommend it. You might try getting your hands on some BS review sections and seeing how you do with your self-study. It's conceivable that you could get away with it, especially if you have some background from undergrad.