MCAT before taking a prereq?

I took general chemistry over the summer, and I’m taking Biology and Organic Chemistry this fall and spring.
Based on my summer Chemistry experience, I have decided to postpone Physics until summer '05 or fall '05 in order to focus on these two courses and do well in them. I’m not working full time and I hope to spend 6-8 hours a day on course work.
However I might audit physics somewhere this fall or at least do the reading and problem sets as laid out in the syllabus. If nothing else this will help me to do well in Physics next summer.
Would it be realistic to aim for the MCAT this coming April without having officially taken Physics? I’ll have chemistry fairly fresh in my mind and be current on bio and orgo.
I know, I know, don’t rush things, it’s a marathon not a sprint, but for various reasons I would like to get the MCAT over with sooner rather than later.
The extra variable in the equation is that I’ll become a father in early January.

No do not even think of this…there is a LOT of physics in the MCAT and you never know if your section will be heavy on physics versus gen chem. Auditing a class is NOT the same IMHO as taking it where you actually have assignments and exams that you know you have to do well. Physics is very important for the MCAT so doing this would be a huge disadvantage…this is not like orgo II where you “may” be able to get away with taking the MCAT w/o it because there is much less orgo than bio in the BS section not so for PS just beware!

I agree with efex. A post bac friend of mine did that and definitely regrets it. I wouldn’t even consider it even though I’m a risk taker. I didn’t take orgo 2 before the MCAT but studied a couple of extra topics in orgo 2 for the exam. It paid off for me but physics is way different. It is very hard on the MCAT. You really need to understand the basics well enough to apply them quickly on the exam. Even after getting A’s in both physics 1 & 2 in the year prior to the MCAT and reviewing lots of physics (and learning things that were skipped in class), it was still a big challenge. Take our advice… there is way too much physics on this exam to skip it.

Yep, what they said! Physics was the hardest part of MCAT for me and the part that lowered my score - not enough to keep me out of med school, but enough to make me humble. I just want to add that everyone in my Physics class struggled through the material, like trying to run through a river. The algebra competent made it. There were a select few, and I do mean few who were algebra geniuses who breezed through it more like a paddler down that river. If you are such a person, then I would say your plan could work.
Be forewarned also that Physics is not a science class! It is a glorified advanced algebra class! The MCAT questions are not just Physics science theory (I wish) it is how quickly and accurately can you manipulate the fancy algebra.
Whatever you decide to do, I recommend that you get an MCAT prep book and work through it. I found that my classes left out entire sections of material covered on the MCAT that. I had to spend time teaching myself some of that.
Congrats on the baby! Babies = much less free time, so give yourself fudge factor in your time line. And, give yourself fudge factor in how your values and priorities will change. The little beauties are unpredictable and they change their parents in different ways, so I can’t tell you how it will pan out for you - just that you’ll be glad you didn’t set up your life and time line so rigidly that you can’t enjoy the ride.

Audit physics, take a few practice exams and see where you stand. Or, take a few practice exams NOW and you will see what the other folks are speaking about.

I would NOT consider taking the MCAT without 1 year of:
General Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
under your belt. Mastery of those four courses is critical to succeeding on the test. A semester of Biochemistry and a semester of Physiology would be helpful, too.

If you have taken Physics before or if your major is Engg or Math, I suggest that you go throug the MCAT Physics material and try to guage your own comfort level. Like other posters suggested do some practice exams and see how you feel. If you’ve never had phy or related subjects before, I dont recommend that you take MCAT without a class in physics.
Good Luck!

I agree with DRD - see where you stand. Do you have any physics previously to draw on? Remember - the MCAT is a 4 part test. I had a similar situation with respect to Organic Chem, though inorganic chem and physics were long ago and far away. I tried the practice tests and did ok on those parts, so I focused on O-chem for study, which was “in-progress” at test time. I used a Kaplan book I picked up on e-bay used. Net result was I did decent on the writing, reading/comprehension, and physics/chem sections, weaker on O-chem - but overall not bad for a total score.

Swy55 and everyone else, thanks for all your great comments.
I’ve decided to take the 3 science courses this year, thus completing the 4 requirements, then study all summer for the August MCAT.
The program advisor says April is preferable, but I just can’t do the MCAT in the spring, plus 3 courses, plus a newborn!!! So this is my compromise.
So far I’m not finding the 3 courses to be overly challenging. It’s a tremendous amount of work but it’s manageable and I’m enjoying it. Now if I could just resist turning on this computer…

Terry, the August MCAT is not nearly as big a deal as taking it without completing your prereqs. You’ve made a good decision!