I am planning on taking Physics 1 and General Chemistry this fall (provided there are no math pre-reqs). I meet with ASU this afternoon to figure this out. I’ve aced all of my college algebra, but beyond that, that’s the most math I’ve taken. I’ve never had a problem with math so I think I will be okay. Here’s my question. How much time does one typically need per week (on average) between classes, homework, whatever? I am trying to get a feel for how to balance this with work, family commitments, etc. I am an independent medical business software information systems consultant so my schedule is very flexible as far as my work is concerned. I would appreciate any feedback you could give. Thanks!
It’s been a while since I took my premeds (and certainly didn’t study enough for them!), but when I completed my SMP (grad school in MS1 classes) they recommended 3 hrs/night per subject: 1 hr to review previous material, 1 hour to learn the new material before lecture, and 1 hour to practice new material. I studied at least 2 hours/night per subject, outside of class and lab time. Some topics may go faster than others, but use any extra time to do additional problems (especially helpful for physics and chem) so your skills will be rock solid.
College Algebra is generally a prereq for gen chem 1 and physics (assuming non-calc based).
Chem 2 and physics require a lot of algebra use, so please actually know that you REMEMBER the algebra you took before you enroll. There is one person in my chem class who last had college algebra in 2000 and doesn’t ‘get it.’ She asks what “FOIL” is and doesn’t remember log, ln, or how to solve a quadratic equation. If any of the stuff I mentioned makes you say “huh?” you might want to brush up on algebra formally or informally ahead of time.
I’m not trying to worry you, but you don’t want math to be the reason you don’t understand a science class.
- Jerilyn Said:
You should be fine with Gen Chem, but do you have any background in trigonometry? I know that two of the math prereqs I needed for General physics (non-calc based), was precalclus algebra and trigonometry. I wold just make sure that isn't required in your program, though it still might be helpful.
Thanks for the tips everybody. I met with my advisor yesterday and all of their pre-med students take college algebra along with general chemistry in the first semester so I guess I will be ok. Will I need geomotry or trig classes before I take chem 2 or physics 2?
You might not need an entire class of trig/geometry, but as Kris mentioned the more basic trig skills are used heavily in Physics (vectors and such). I don’t know how your physics classes are broken up, but even the electromag and optics units require using sin. Get a review book of trig (or even the “math review” parts of MCAT prep books), and if you’re solid on those kinds of exercises you should be in good shape.
Physics and Gen Chem in the first year sounds brutal considering you’ve been out of school for a while. IMO it’s best to do Bio and Gen Chem so you only have one math-intensive course to deal with (although, Physics and Orgo together is even more brutal.)
You might want to visit both Bio and Physics classes in the beginning and/or talk with the professors about your background and get their advice.
Since you have done well in college algebra, you should be fine in Gen Chem. You will need (most likely) need to take trig before starting physics, so don’t be a rush to take physics until then.