predrb

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Hey everybody. Sorry if this is sorta similar to a couple posts on here, but I wanted to get some feedback for my personal situation.

I am starting my senior year in Sept and need some advice on what to take. I decided to go pre-med my junior year so I am a little behind. I am taking O-Chem and Physics this coming year and plan to take the MCATs next spring. My question is, do you think I should also take anatomy and physiology. The reason I'm worried about taking it is because I want to make sure I get A's in Ochem and Physics, and am not sure I'd have enough time with A&P and another class. Its not required for my major (im a psyc major) so the only reason I would be taking it is to prep for the MCAT. I plan on going into a post-bac program so I can get some more bio background before med school, so I'm thinking I can teach myself a&p for the MCAT, and then take it later in post bac. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks a lot in advance!! :)
 

DoctorPardi

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Someone a few days ago mentioned that physiology took up 5 pages of the 11 pages in the mcat handbook thing which described what information would be tested from the biological sciences. So yeah I would take physiology before the mcat.
 
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jackieMD2007

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OP--I'm going to go with NO. Especially if you don't need it for your major. Work on those BCPM--its going to be hard enough taking O-Chem and Physics together. By "hard" I mean a considerable time commitment with labs, studying, etc. Take whatever bs stuff in your major along with it that you know you can do well in. Take a prep class like Kaplan and supplement your biology studies with EK's 1001 Questions in Biology. You'll be fine. There are no extra points from Adcoms for overloading yourself, especially if you get B's/C's when you could have gotten B's/A's. :luck:
 

Dancing Doctor

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jackieMD2007 said:
OP--I'm going to go with NO. Especially if you don't need it for your major. Work on those BCPM--its going to be hard enough taking O-Chem and Physics together. By "hard" I mean a considerable time commitment with labs, studying, etc. Take whatever bs stuff in your major along with it that you know you can do well in. Take a prep class like Kaplan and supplement your biology studies with EK's 1001 Questions in Biology. You'll be fine. There are no extra points from Adcoms for overloading yourself, especially if you get B's/C's when you could have gotten B's/A's. :luck:
I agree with Jackie. I didn't take A&P beforethe MCAT, and I think I did alright. I didn't take a prep course, but I did a lot of studying on my own (takes dicipline). I think if you are totally unfamiliar with the material a prep course may help you a lot. I think that you've already got a lot on your plate and overloading it will simply lower your grades rather than prepare you better. Also taking too many classes does not allow you to study as much for the MCAT-which can be like a class in and of itself.
 

jackieMD2007

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Yes. I think the structure of an MCAT prep class is good if you have other things going on (work, school, etc) and if you feel like you need the cliff's notes version of say, physiology. At most, OP, you're only going to get like one passage that's physio and maybe one discrete about it. But your whole MCAT world will change in '07 with the CBT. So many ways to practice.. :)
 

vp826

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I really had to go OT but I have a question along the same lines as the subject of this thread. I dont think I am gonna be able to fit Ochem in my schedule before taking the mcat. Is this gonna be a big disadvantage for me? Or would i be able to learn enough from the Mcat books and classes?
 

jackieMD2007

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Possibly. The Ochem on the MCAT is really basic, and not that hard. But no previous exposure to it would make it really, really, tough. Why can't you fit Ochem into your schedule in January? Or in Summer? '07 is going to offer a LOT more MCAT administrations.
 

vp826

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well i am going to be a junior this year. i have to start preparing in january.
 

DoctorPardi

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vp826 said:
I really had to go OT but I have a question along the same lines as the subject of this thread. I dont think I am gonna be able to fit Ochem in my schedule before taking the mcat. Is this gonna be a big disadvantage for me? Or would i be able to learn enough from the Mcat books and classes?
I will again second Jackie on the whole "MCAT being offered multiple times a year " deal. It seems like you could squeeze at least one semester of organic in. Personally I would not take the MCAT without taking the basic courses involved, intro biology, gen chem, organic, and physics. That's just me though, I would much rather learn it in a class that try to study something like organic on my own.

Explain your situation a little bit more and we might be able to help you out.
 

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vp826 said:
well i am going to be a junior this year. i have to start preparing in january.
At my school we had to take O Chem as a sophmore to keep "on track". I am not sure that I would want to take the MCAT without having taken O Chem. But I am not so great at Chemistry in general, it would have been a disaster if I'd tried to learn it on my own or from a prep course just before taking the MCAT.
 

jackieMD2007

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Yeah, you should at least be able to do nomenclature, recognize functional groups, etc, which is the kind of thing you do in first quarter orgo.
 

DoctorPardi

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vp826 said:
well i am going to be a junior this year. i have to start preparing in january.
I was in the same situation. What will you be taking this year? Gen chem, and then organic your senior year?

I am going into my senior year taking Organic, physics and physiology in fall. So I basically made the decision to put it off, a glide year after you graduate while you're applying isn't that bad of a thing.
 

vp826

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DoctorPardi said:
I was in the same situation. What will you be taking this year? Gen chem, and then organic your senior year?

I am going into my senior year taking Organic, physics and physiology in fall. So I basically made the decision to put it off, a glide year after you graduate while you're applying isn't that bad of a thing.
i am in the same exact situation. i have yet to take gen chem, physics, and ochem. freshman and sophmore year i got all my bio classes out of the way. i made a big mistake with organizing my schedule freshman and sophmore year :( . i am going to have to take a year off after i graduate. :scared:
 

DoctorPardi

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vp826 said:
i am in the same exact situation. i have yet to take gen chem, physics, and ochem. freshman and sophmore year i got all my bio classes out of the way. i made a big mistake with organizing my schedule freshman and sophmore year :( . i am going to have to take a year off after i graduate. :scared:
Yeah it isn't so bad. It gives you some flexibility. For example, if you want to take 5 years to finish your degree you could do that to better ensure good grades. Take all of your MCAT helpful courses before your fifth year, then take any extra courses unrelated to mcat performance your fifth year.

Or you could do things to help your application, like start getting involved in some research, using the extra time to volunteer, work in a hospital, or just take the extra time and study like a fiend for your classes and later for the mcat.
 

vp826

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yea i am going to work on my volunteer hours that last year. work in a hospital.

thanks for the reassurance.
 

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I'm with Jackie... take the Kaplan course, it'll make a difference. Sure it costs, but then if I'd not taken it and then got like a 25, would I have paid twice the price to have a better score? Hells yes. Plus, the 5 full, proctored practice exams were easily worth the price of admission. The first one stressed us (the class) out, and it got less so every one after that. When we took the actual MCAT, it was pretty old hat. Not "I went home knowing I got a 45" old hat, but still, it was much better than hitting it cold.

As far as Organic... I took the MCAT in the middle of 2nd semester Organic, and I would have been screwed if I had had no exposure.
 

SpeakLittleB

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i got a 15 in the bio section and never took a physio class in my life. just memorize the names of things from a kaplan or princeton review bio book. i think taking upper level bio classes really help, though, because (depending on the school) they teach you better how to think through biological problems.
 

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Church said:
I'm with Jackie... take the Kaplan course, it'll make a difference. Sure it costs, but then if I'd not taken it and then got like a 25, would I have paid twice the price to have a better score? Hells yes. Plus, the 5 full, proctored practice exams were easily worth the price of admission. The first one stressed us (the class) out, and it got less so every one after that. When we took the actual MCAT, it was pretty old hat. Not "I went home knowing I got a 45" old hat, but still, it was much better than hitting it cold.

As far as Organic... I took the MCAT in the middle of 2nd semester Organic, and I would have been screwed if I had had no exposure.
However be aware the Kaplan course provides no real guarantees. If you don't do well on standardized tests...well a miricle is not going to occur. One of my friends in undergrad went into the class thinking it would make a huge difference. She took the class twice and she never saw an improvement on her score. She did all the homework/readings, and went to every class. She even signed up for a personal tutor through the program. She paid them TONS of money, and didn't get accepted anywhere. She just doesn't do well on standarized tests.
 
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