urMD2005

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I am a graduating senior who is planning on taking the August MCATs and starting Medical School in Fall 2006. I was wondering how feasible it would be to take the MCATs without having taken Physics. I was thinking that I would go to summer school and take biochemstry along with studying for the MCATs instead of taking Physics while studying for the MCATs. Afterwards, I would take physics while working full time throughout the year. What do you think?
 

Turkeyman

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Hmm...well since you're taking the august one you have some time. First things first --> prep classes go wayyyyy too fast for you to ever learn physics if you haven't taken it before, so it probably wouldn't be a good allocation of money if that was an option for you. It'd be good to start now and get an examkrackers physics manual(or just get the whole study set) as well as the examkrackers 1001 questions in physics. If you start now, it should be feasible --> developing the physics "sense" is difficult in some aspects and takes time, but you can do it :thumbup: .
 

Medikit

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You definitely want to take physics before taking the MCAT, the physical sciences section is mostly physics and you need to do well on every section.
 

RayhanS1282

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Turkeyman said:
Hmm...well since you're taking the august one you have some time. First things first --> prep classes go wayyyyy too fast for you to ever learn physics if you haven't taken it before, so it probably wouldn't be a good allocation of money if that was an option for you. It'd be good to start now and get an examkrackers physics manual(or just get the whole study set) as well as the examkrackers 1001 questions in physics. If you start now, it should be feasible --> developing the physics "sense" is difficult in some aspects and takes time, but you can do it :thumbup: .
I have to disagree with Turkeyman on this. I took Physics I and II in college and got A's both semester but I picked up the actual physics sense in my TPR classes. Most of the physics I did in college involved chugging numbers into formulas and had very little to do with fully understanding the concepts involved. However, I do agree that the Physics sense takes a while and is more difficult to develop.
 

NorCalGirl

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I would recommend that you take both physics AND biochem beofre taking the mcat. But, if you are going to do one or the other, take physics, hands down. There is much more physics on the mcat than biochem, and it is a much more conceptual topic as well, so it would be more beneficial to take a real class in it, and just try to memorize the biochem stuff from a review class.
 

KNightInBlue

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If there's one place I did NOT get the physics "sense", that was in a college classroom (and I aced all my college physics classes). All I did was memorise formulas and plug and chug.

Wierdly enough, I began to develop a physics "sense" in a Kaplan class. For example, anyone who took College Physics knows the basic principle of Bernoulli's Law - Pressure and Velocity are inversely proportional to each other in fluids. But can they make the jump from knowing that principle to applying it to real life scenarios? Like during a storm, why do windows in a room blow OUT of the room into the storm instead of into the room?

Knowing the principle is college physics. Applying it is MCAT Physics. I currently teach the MCAT for Kaplan and I stress to my students everyday that the best way to beat the test is to practice their asses off. Being that it is a standardised test, your best best would be master the format by enough practice so that test day seems like just another practice session.

Basically OP, I would advise taking Physics I, II in the summer while taking a prep course for the august test at the same time and leave Biochem for after. This way, you can get the concepts in class, learn to APPLY them in the prep class and practice them simultaneously. That's the best way to ace the Physics part of the MCAT.

Atleast, this is what I advise my students to do.

Good Luck,
KnightInBlue


P.S. In a storm, there are high speed winds outside. When air (a fluid) flows by at such a high speed outside the window, pressure is lowered outside the window (Bernoulli's principle). Since air inside the room is at a higher pressure than outside, the windows are blown OUT into the storm.
 

IAMS

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Since physics is a pre-req, you want to have it completed so the schools get your grades.

I took the mcat last august without physics or orgo, got a score over 30.. whew.., but now I'm at a disadvantage applying cuz I don't have grades in these courses. So now I'm looking like I'll have to reapply, and I'm thinking of retaking the MCAT again, because now that I am takin orgo and physics, i think i can do so much better on the Mcat, maybe get a high 30's score.. hmm...

Adcoms don't give a squat that you can do well on the mcat without the class, they want to see your grades in the pre-req's AND a high mcat score. Good luck.
 

Turkeyman

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RayhanS1282 said:
I have to disagree with Turkeyman on this. I took Physics I and II in college and got A's both semester but I picked up the actual physics sense in my TPR classes. Most of the physics I did in college involved chugging numbers into formulas and had very little to do with fully understanding the concepts involved. However, I do agree that the Physics sense takes a while and is more difficult to develop.
Yeaah its true prep classes do have ways of simplifying things trmendously while giving you a better perspective of the subject, but I guess I was going on the assumption that he had never been exposed to physics at all. With your college semesters you would have at least had some background knowledge on the topics covered.

Either way though, just my two cents =D
 

SanDiegoSOD

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Make sure you study for physics using a physics text and NOT simply using a prep book. Prep books are written with the assumption that you have taken all the necessary prereqs, so they skip many important explanations necessary for a true understanding of physics. If you only use a prep book to study for MCAT physics, I'm going to go ahead and guess that you will do poorly on the physical science sections.