I’m at the beginning of this journey. I am excited, nervous… all the feelings, you name it. I believe most of you have been there before. I drafted a schedule for all the pre-req classes and then changed it many many times. I decide to post it and get advice from all of you.
I currently enrolled in a pre-med program at a 4 year university and will start taking classes this fall. I plan to quit my job and go to school full time for next two/three years. I had 3.73 Undergrad GPA. I took very few science classes back in the college but the ones I took I got As(I will retake them anyway). Here is my schedule:
2008 Fall CHEM I, BIOL I-Cell
2009 Winter CHEM II, BIOL II-Animals
2009 Spring CHEM III, BIOL III-Plans, PHYS I
2009 Summer Org Chem I
2009 Fall Org Chem II, PHYS II, MATH-Calc
2010 Winter MCAT Prep (won’t take any classes)
will take MCAT at April
2010 Spring Org Chem III/Biochemistry, PHYS III
Apply for Med School in summer for 2011
Any input is appreciated. Thank you!
I would probably take calculus over the summer instead of physics and take organic during the regular fall/winter/spring sequence. Yes, you would be taking organic II while studying for the MCAT, but I don’t think that should be a problem, especially if you’re not working. Most people take classes while doing MCAT study. I’ve heard some people advise considering it the equivalent of one course. So - if you would normally take three courses, take two and use the additional time for MCAT study. Alternatively, if summer ochem is the same length as taking it any other time (which is possible on quarters), you could take calc during your MCAT study quarter.
My 2 cents - take it for what it’s worth.
One additional comment - if you aren’t degree seeking, you might consider not taking BIO III/ plant biology and instead taking a more relevant cell/micro/human biology course.
to be more specific,
- do you think this schedule will work consider the workload of each course?
- does this schedule leave me enough time to prepare for MCAT? Consider I am an average non-traditional pre-med.
- will the courses I finish by 2009 fall cover majority of the science topic that I need to know for MCAT?
any other comments/input is welcome.
Thank you for your advice. It is very helpful. I am revising my schedule now.
- helensun Said:
I think so, especially if you don't plan on working or not working full time. I took bio w/lab, physics w/lab, gen chem w/lab and calculus all at the same time for two consecutive quarters. While a bit hairy at times, it was doable. It's imperative that you keep up as you go along, though. At most schools, I don't think that schedule would be considered a full time load.
- In reply to:
Again, I think so, especially if you're not working full time
- In reply to:
Probably. The vast majority of MCAT topics are usually covered in the first semester/first two quarters of those courses. What you will want to do is download a copy of the MCAT topics (available here as PDF files for each section) and then when you start your MCAT prep, make sure to spend some extra time on any areas not previously covered.
Is there some reason why you aren't considering the May or June administration of the test? You could consider rearranging your schedule so that you are only taking one class spring quarter and doing MCAT prep. With a late May or June test date, I think you would have sufficient prep time. It may make you a little later in submitting your application, but you would still be relatively early and you may want to consider submitting your application a little later vs. taking the MCAT without having completed all of two courses that the test is based on.
Some more food for thought . . .
Thank you for all the advices. I really appreciate your help. The reason I am planning a whole quarter to study MCAT without taking any pre-req is I really worry about this test, a lot more than getting straght "A"s in the classes. Plus, I live in a town where the closest MCAT prep class is 80 miles away. I may have to commute to take these classes. I think I can take one more class (PHYS 1) in 2009 Winter, then I can finish the sequence of PHY classes in 2009 Fall which leaves only one class (Org Chem III) after the test. Do you think it will work?