Is the lab necessary?

If I’m taking Chemistry just as a refresher course to prepare myself for Organic Chem, do I also need to take the General Chem lab? I took General Chemistry and General Chemistry Lab seven years ago. Would simply going to the General Chemistry lectures be enough to prepare myself for Organic Chemistry?


Most schools require that you take the lab with the course but if you can just take the lecture it may suffice. I took organic chem I after not being in general chem for 16 years and I made an “A” but I did some self study on my own to prepare and it was at a community college. Good luck!

Wow, snowgirl, that’s amazing! I wish I could do that. How did you review your General Chemistry on your own in preparation for Organic Chemistry? What materials and study methods did you use?

I’m taking this General Chemistry course through an extension program where the lecture and lab are separate. I was hoping I didn’t have to take the lab again. Thanks for your help!

You may want to call a few medical schools and see if it’s ok to retake general chem without the lab, I would want to hear their opinion on this myself since normally they would prefer you to retake pre-reqs if they’re over 5 years old. I personally don’t see why it’d be an issue, since you have done the lab in the past, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Here is my guess (and that is all it is…):

An admission committee is making as fair a comparison of all of the applications as it can. Most medical school prerequisites include the standard 1 yr. of Biology, Chemistry, O-Chem, and Physics with the corresponding lab sections. If I expect my application to stand toe-to-toe with the application from a traditional college graduate, then I know it will have to include all the RECENT work that the traditional grad. has and then some. When I am reviewing my application spreadsheet (Thanks Judy, yours made a great starting point for me!), I always hear that Janet Jackson song in my head… “What have you done for me lately?!”


Some schools have “surveying” options, where they let you sit in through a class as an observer. In my institution, all that is needed is a quick chat with the instructor. If I wanted to refresh my gchem knowledge that would be my best bet. With some discipline, you can brush up on the fundamentals, without risking a “grade”.