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What Bio classes have you taken?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by brhill, Aug 1, 2001.

  1. Hi all, I'm wondering what bio classes people have taken by the time they sit for the mcat. I'll only have had Cell/Molec, Evolution/Ecology/Biodiversity, Zoology, Molecular bio and an upper division Evolutionary Ecology class. I think that there's a pretty big discrepency there in terms of material covered by the mcat. Any opinions slash suggestions on this?
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  3. mtritt2

    mtritt2 Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2001
    Not many people agree with me but I've always thought that you could take the MCAT with a small amount of knowledge on Orgo or Bio. Most, I repeat most of the questions you can infer from passages they have in there already. I think you'll be fine on the Bio section, this takes less prior knowledge than physical sciences.
  4. moo

    moo 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2000
    I only took organic I and II and a semester of intro bio and a year of biochem. I got a 12.
  5. Gotrob

    Gotrob Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2001
    Most if not all of the questions on the bio section on the April MCAT could have been answered by just taking a first year biology course. I studied organ systems, hormones, and many other bio subjects in great depth only to find out that I didn't need to. The bio questions were straight forward and most problems could be narrowed down from just reading the passage. The genetics questions were basic, only one organ system question that I remember (what would adh affect), and a few questions that pooled of your general knowledge through sample experiments.

    Hope this helps.
  6. jcd311

    jcd311 Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    new hampshire
    Before the MCAT, I had taken Intro. to Bio., Intro. to Cell. and Molec. Bio., Genetics and Evolution, Human Phys. I and II. I had also completed Organic I and II. I can honestly say that for the bio section of the exam I had, I needed almost all of the classes that I had taken. Maybe not Genetics and Evolution, but definitely the rest of them.
  7. sc

    sc Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    In general, if you are a good test taker, reader, and critical thinker, you can do well on the MCAT. I do believe a lot of the questions can be infered from the passage, but having an extensive advanced biology background was a definite plus. I know I could have done well with less of a biology background, but I wouldn't have felt as confident as I did and wouldn't have done as well. I hope this helps.
  8. 12R34Y

    12R34Y 10+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2000
    I'm one of those that has the philosophy for MCAT success is "the more the merrier" coursework that is.

    I had bio I, II, micro, genetics, human phys, mammalian phys. I thought that phys and micro helped the most.

  9. sc

    sc Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    oh, BTW, I had taken Vertebrate Zoology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Developmental Biology, Human Phys I and II, Microbiology, Anatomy and a year of organic by MCAT time. I agree with the idea..."the more the merrier" too! I was really lucky to get all those classes, though!
  10. Barton

    Barton Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    I think the required med school classes are all you need to do well on the MCAT. a year of bio and a year of organic for the bio. All assumed outside knowledge comes from those courses (at least the ones that were taught at my school). I am a history major. I've only taken 2 sem bio, 2 sem physics, and 4 sem chem. I got a 35 (11v, 12p, 12b). Just make sure you really know all the stuff from general bio and can apply it. The questions don't really require tons of knowledge, but they do require that you can take it all out of context and apply it to new situations. Don't memorize, just learn broad concepts and you'll do fine.
  11. Dylann FMD

    Dylann FMD Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2001
    I agree with the above posters who said that you don't need to take a bunch of bio classes, but they certainly don't hurt. For example, the first passage on the April MCAT had to do with a hemoglobin/myoglobin oxygen dissociation curve. Several weeks before the test, I had seen both of those curves in my biochem class. It really helped me jump start the section.

    Before the MCAT I took intro to bio, microbio, genetics, animal bio, human anat & phys I&II, endocrinology, cell bio, as well as orgo I,II,&lab and biochem I&II. The more information, the better! I ended up with a 14 on the section, I think, because of everything I knew beforehand.
  12. kornphan

    kornphan Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 11, 2001
    i took genetics, and cell bio..but i would suggest taking biochem if you can...just a thought.
  13. nashtrash

    nashtrash Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    hi--just wanted to say that although I think the biology section is more like reading comprehension than, for instance, the physical sciences section (as in you can infer most of the answers from the passage), i also think that all my upper level bio courses helped me out a lot (i'm a molecular biology major) just remember that you're going to be pressed for time and any little advantage on the material and the passages taht you can get is going to help you. classes that I would recommend you take (for the mcat and med school) if you have room are (in order) biochem I, human physiology (a course i didn't get to take but really wish i had), genetics, a micro or viruses class, and biochemII. you probably won't have room for all of those but i would think biochem I and human phys would help you out the most for the amount of time.
  14. Georgey

    Georgey Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2001
    Austin, TX
    Speaking only for myself, I would say that what classes were taken prior to the MCAT play a major role in the eventual scores one receives. I had only the Gen Phys and Gen Chem prereqs completed when taking the MCAT this spring, but in so far as the Bio Science were concerned I had Intro Bio, Biochem, Neurobio, and Genetics. I actually got better grades in physics and inorganic chem than I did in Bio and Orgo classes. My MCAT results: PS: 10, BS: 13. I know people have alluded to the April MCAT test, but I do not believe it was uniformly administered. I spoke with a friend who took it in April and we had been given none of the same passages in any of the sections. The version I took, for example, had three passages (out of 11) solely on genetics related material. I had not taken genetics I honestly feel my score would have been more like a 10, instead of 13. This of course is jut my opinion; it may work out different for a best test taker. I don't feel I perform up to my abilities on standardized tests.
  15. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Chicago suburbs
    I generally disagree with people (including the AAMC) who say that you can do just as well with only bio I/II. What they really mean is that given a lot of work, you can do just as well. Obviously, someone who has a masters in bio is likely to rock the bio section without having to put in a lot of work. Extreme example, but it serves my point. Someone with only bio I/II can do just as well as the person with a masters degree in bio, but will likely have to put in much more work to do so.
  16. moo

    moo 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2000
    I think you can get a good score with only the minimal but if you want a 12+ you'll need to have taken the higher level bio courses. Also, I found a lot of the bio was not memorization, but rather more to do with reasoning.
  17. synite

    synite Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 20, 2001
    i took the MCAT without any college classes in Biology (i took AP Bio in 12th grade). and i did fine. in college, before the MCAT, i took orgo 1 and 2. i honestly believe you dont need more than basic bio to do well. i took Kaplan, and just used their books to study. don't sweat if you feel you haven't taken enough bio. more than half the MCAT is getting used to the structure of the passages and the questions (i.e., practice practice practice....)
  18. figure five

    figure five Member 7+ Year Member

    i agree with synite...if you take a prep course like Kaplan or Princeton Review, you'll be amply prepared in terms of memorizable material. I hadn't had any bio in 2 years before I took the test -- and I still ended up with a 13 on the section b/c the Princeton Review practice materials were so thorough.

    my strategy: memorize the basics, then practice applying them to tricky questions and scenarios. :p

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