Another Physics question

I didn’t want to hijack Scott’s thread on physics … so here’s another question for ya’ll …
I had physics back “in the day” (that day would be about 15 yrs ago - in my mechanical engineering curriculum). I didn’t do great - but then, during that college stint, my goal was to pass with the least amount of studying as possible. Till now, I didn’t understand what it meant to actually TRY to get A’s! Anyway - my previous physics was calculus based.
So this time around with physics, I’m undecided on WHICH physics to take: GenPhysics (calculus based) or CollegePhysics (algebra/trig based). My thought process is… since I’m (re)taking these classes at a CC, should I just “go for” the more difficult/calculus based? But, it has been a lonnnnnng time since I had calc. Or, should I just take the less-math-intensive physics series and concentrate on the classes that I will probably be taking at the same time (O-chem)? Hummmm - what to do?

Well, the physics you’ll encounter on the MCAT is algebra/trig-based physics. I’ve actually heard people say that calc-based physics is easier because you understand where the formulae are coming from, but as a calculus victim from long ago, I find that hard to believe. And I have also heard some people say that you’re not as well-prepared for the MCAT if you take calc-based physics.
I am pretty sure folks can do fine with either one. I do know that AdComs don’t care. Let me say that again, because there is a macho ethic among pre-meds that would have you believe that the harder the course, the more impressed the AdCom will be: AdComs do NOT care which physics you take!
I took algebra-based physics along with o-chem and eventually did fine (A’s) after a rocky start.

thanks Mary — esp for the insight into both what Adcoms consider and what the MCAT has in order. You’re right, seems that I keep thinking the harder, the better. Actually, since the alg/trig based seems less intimidating, I might be able (with my new job) and more willing to make the trekk to the Univ for this series — and start weening myself out of the very convenient CC.

OK having re-read my earlier post I do feel compelled to add a caveat to the “Adcoms don’t care which physics you take” comment:
Well, they care sort of. You don’t need to take the Physics sequence for physics majors, but you also should NOT take Physics for Poets - you do need the physics sequence that covers classical and modern physics in all its glory and of course it must include a lab. Be aware that AdComs tend to know the course numbers and sequences at various colleges, especially the ones in their states or localities, and they’ll spot a “ringer” course.
Yes, I know no one was even remotely proposing that. I just don’t want people to get the idea that you really could take any physics course.

Since it has been a long time you took calculus, you probably should consider general (non-calculus) physics. And, as Mary said, it will make it easier to do well on the MCAT. I suppose that an exception to this recommendation is if you are in a post-bacc or other program that offers only calculus-based physics, but you state that you are at a CC, so the choice is yours.
I my case, I took General (non-calculus) physics twenty-something years ago, and did well (A’s), but I can recall little of it now. But I’m in a science program (at the same university) that encouages calculus-based physics so that is the route I will take.

Algebra/trig based to be sure.
One of the rules of life that has served me well is to never needless complicate things.