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useful courses for mcat and med school

premedgurl

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    hey guys,

    i have heard that besides premed requirement, several classes are useful for mcat and med school.

    mcat: genetics, cell bio, anatomy and physiology
    med school: biochem

    is that right? if i don't take genetics, cell bio, anatomy and physiology before i take the mcat, will i lose a lot of points? Or is studying with kaplan or some other study guides (which ones do u guys recommend?) enough to fill those holes? Or should i audit those classes in a community college?

    and biochem isn't useful for mcat? so is that better to take it in senior year?

    thanks!!
     
    I didn't take any of those courses before I took the MCAT, and I exceeded my goal. Study hard. Genetics certainly won't hurt you, nor will Cell Bio. There's not much A&P on the MCAT, and you'll get a healthy dose of that in medical school.

    As for biochemistry, opinions are mixed. Some say it helped them in medical school, others say it didn't make a difference. If your BCPM GPA needs some work, those are all excellent classes to take and do well in!


    Best of luck!
    -z
     

    ryandote

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      hey guys,

      i have heard that besides premed requirement, several classes are useful for mcat and med school.

      mcat: genetics, cell bio, anatomy and physiology
      med school: biochem

      is that right? if i don't take genetics, cell bio, anatomy and physiology before i take the mcat, will i lose a lot of points? Or is studying with kaplan or some other study guides (which ones do u guys recommend?) enough to fill those holes? Or should i audit those classes in a community college?

      and biochem isn't useful for mcat? so is that better to take it in senior year?

      thanks!!


      Kaplan/Princeton/EK has everything you will need to review for the MCAT. It might be nice to take those classes, but far from essential.

      No Biochem on the MCAT, and only some med schools require it. they'll make you take it in med school, so if you think it helps to take it once before, go for it.
       
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      little pebble

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        At my uni, it's recommended that you take at least some of the following:

        Biochemestry
        Physiology
        Cell Biology
        and...some Microbiology wouldn't hurt either

        However, these aren't required, and people will do well without them. I will say that taking biochem taught me how to study the sciences effectively, and taking physiology made relearning some of the biology section easier to learn when I took Kaplan.
         

        Law2Doc

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          hey guys,

          i have heard that besides premed requirement, several classes are useful for mcat and med school.

          mcat: genetics, cell bio, anatomy and physiology
          med school: biochem

          is that right? if i don't take genetics, cell bio, anatomy and physiology before i take the mcat, will i lose a lot of points? Or is studying with kaplan or some other study guides (which ones do u guys recommend?) enough to fill those holes? Or should i audit those classes in a community college?

          and biochem isn't useful for mcat? so is that better to take it in senior year?

          thanks!!


          The prereqs are all you need for either the MCAT or med school (note that some med schools make biochem a prereq though). If your undergrad bio course was strong you should have covered all the genetics and A&P you would see on the MCAT. If it was weak, you may want to consider beefing up your knowledge with one or more of those. As for med school, a good percentage of your class won't have had beyond the prereqs and generally will still do fine.
           

          twick121

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            no biochem on the mcat? no physiology on the mcat? what mcat did you guys take??? that's my first question

            i would say physiology is the most important class to take before it. You need to know cardiac, renal, respiration, reproductive physiology. Physiology is a huge part of the test. Genetics would help, but the genetics on the MCAT is not hard to learn without the class. There is biochem, but it is just knowing the basics of glycolysis, krebs, and e- transport chain. Nothing too complicated there.

            This advice is also coming from a princeton review bio teacher if that means anything
             

            ryandote

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              no biochem on the mcat? no physiology on the mcat? what mcat did you guys take??? that's my first question

              i would say physiology is the most important class to take before it. You need to know cardiac, renal, respiration, reproductive physiology. Physiology is a huge part of the test. Genetics would help, but the genetics on the MCAT is not hard to learn without the class. There is biochem, but it is just knowing the basics of glycolysis, krebs, and e- transport chain. Nothing too complicated there.

              This advice is also coming from a princeton review bio teacher if that means anything

              Honestly, it is really just not that much physiology and anatomy. the very few things that you ought to know are quickly learned from Kaplan.

              .02
               

              Law2Doc

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                no biochem on the mcat? no physiology on the mcat? what mcat did you guys take??? that's my first question

                I can't speak for everyone, but there was no biochem or physio that wasn't covered in my undergrad bio and orgo courses. So if your prereq courses were strong you are fine. If not, supplement.
                 

                Law2Doc

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                  This advice is also coming from a princeton review bio teacher if that means anything

                  Whether it means anything depends on the score s/he got and what med school he got into, I would think. :laugh: But seriously, the prereqs are the prereqs for a reason -- those are the subjects you are expected to know for the MCAT and beyond. Anything else is your own deal.
                   

                  Sir Buckethead

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                    I was under the impression that prereqs+review can cover most everything that you "need to know" but that any of the above mentioned classes have an off chance of coming through in the clutch for you if you happen to score a passage in one of them.

                    But I havent taken it yet.
                     

                    gotmeds?

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                      There is some biochem, genetics, and mo bio on the MCAT, but you don't need to take those classes before the test. I think that it's more useful to take the MCAT as soon as possible after finishing the core pre-reqs than to take a bunch of upper division science classes. I took the test with only Bio, Chem, Ochem, and Physics and did very well. The thing is that you do have to learn some of the other stuff, but any decent review books will cover the material at the level that you need to know it. The genetics, mo bio, and biochem questions tend to be very simple while the questions on the pre-reqs tend to be much harder.
                       

                      MossPoh

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                        I can't testify what's actually on the MCAT since I haven't taken it....but I am not getting this no physiology thing. My physiology course pretty much followed my MCAT bio review book (EK) word for word...Is EK teaching me the wrong stuff? Should I get worried now? :p

                        Realistically, one doesn't NEED to take any of those bio classes, and I would much rather take chemistry and physics pre-reqs before the bio ones for the simple fact that bio isn't that dang complicated. It seems much easier to teach oneself than the other stuff...but that is a personal opinion.
                         
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                        MossPoh

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                          Whether it means anything depends on the score s/he got and what med school he got into, I would think. :laugh: But seriously, the prereqs are the prereqs for a reason -- those are the subjects you are expected to know for the MCAT and beyond. Anything else is your own deal.

                          Also, Pre-reqs are really vague. I know my last university doesnt HAVE a second general biology class, and the first biology class didn't seem to cover much of anything useful versus what I'm reviewing now...and by not much of anything...nothing. I think the pre-reqs are somewhat arbitrary....physics, chemistry and organic less so...but come on. Labs? I'm yet to do anything remotely beneficial in my chemistry labs or my bio labs. I follow steps in a book, do the problems they tell me to do, print it on a piece of paper (taking about 12-18 hours for those processes), and repeat the process. I'm a very hands on person when it comes to learning, but I'm yet to learn much of anything with these labs. May be the downfall of a large uni that can't really match up the two courses that well together though..
                           

                          anotherpremed

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                            As a MCAT teacher for one of the major test prep companies- i think that having phys before the MCAT would be really helpful. Though the companies do provide the info you need, it would really help ease your studying if it was reviewing phys rather than learning. just a hint
                             

                            nick_carraway

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                              As a MCAT teacher for one of the major test prep companies- i think that having phys before the MCAT would be really helpful. Though the companies do provide the info you need, it would really help ease your studying if it was reviewing phys rather than learning. just a hint
                              I agree that a strong physiology background will help a lot while studying for the MCAT. The depth that they go into just isn't enough.

                              It's akin to saying well you don't need those courses at all cuz the info will be in the passage on the MCAT. Well... sure but your chances at answering questions correctly increases by A LOT if you already know the material and don't have to struggle to find it in the passage.

                              The digestive hormones and the reproductive cycles of the female can be the most confusing so I'd suggest systemic physiology at the least and gastrointestinal physiology & reproductive physiology if you can fit them in.
                               

                              limpkitty

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                                i don't know what some of the people above are talking about--I think physiology really helped me on the bio section. besides that, a year of intro bio is all you need for the mcat (not too in depth on genetics). also, anatomy is definatly not necessary
                                 

                                Ari Gold

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                                  how can people say that there are no classes that are 'useful' for the MCAT except the basic requirements?

                                  The OP knows that those classes are the ones you need to take but thats not the question, she is asking about helpful additional classes.

                                  And definately not asking about advice for what she should do with her extra time so answers like "take an interesting class" or "learn a new language" are not helpful.

                                  Personally, I am very glad I took a couple phys classes (req. for my major) bc when some people are learning the definition of very, very basic things (from a crappy MCAT teacher not a professor) I didnt need to relearn anything and had more time for other things.
                                   

                                  ryandote

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                                    ...
                                    is that right? if i don't take genetics, cell bio, anatomy and physiology before i take the mcat, will i lose a lot of points? Or is studying with kaplan or some other study guides (which ones do u guys recommend?) enough to fill those holes?
                                    ...

                                    ...
                                    The OP knows that those classes are the ones you need to take but thats not the question, she is asking about helpful additional classes.
                                    ...

                                    .
                                     

                                    Polynikes

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                                      Anyone who says that there isn't any physiology on the MCAT is incorrect.

                                      Sounds like some of you guys haven't ever had any physiology.

                                      You're telling me that hormones aren't on the MCAT?

                                      There are always physiology passages on the MCAT, and knowing basic physiology will also make a lot of the other stuff easier to understand.

                                      After taking physiology my scores went up in Bio by 3 points.
                                       

                                      SeventhSon

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                                        Anyone who says that there isn't any physiology on the MCAT is incorrect.

                                        Sounds like some of you guys haven't ever had any physiology.

                                        You're telling me that hormones aren't on the MCAT?

                                        There are always physiology passages on the MCAT, and knowing basic physiology will also make a lot of the other stuff easier to understand.

                                        After taking physiology my scores went up in Bio by 3 points.

                                        i had 1 physiology question on my MCAT. Obviously, it varies.
                                         
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