post-bacc in a year

Hello everyone,

I am pretty new here, but wanted to know if anyone here was able to complete all the premeds in a year by attending classes full time.

Can you share your experiences?

I am not in a formal postbac, but I would think it would be hard to complete all of the required course b/c some are pre-reqs for others. Gen Chem is a year long course and you have to have it before you take the year long OChem. As far as being able to take all of the hours in a year I would say probably, but the way some classes build on other i think it would be impossible. You couldn’t take GChem and OChem at the same time unless maybe you had them before.

Depends on the school. At Stockton, you could start o-chem after one semester of gen chem. So you could actually finish your chemistry in Fall/Spring/Summer. Stuff in the second semester of gen chem- quantum states, coordination chemistry, etc- aren’t really that relevant to organic chem. Not many schools use this system, though.

Yes, I did it, but that was the way my post-bacc program was structured. We started in May or June, and did Gen Chem I and Gen Chem II with lab during the summer, in 9 weeks total. Without a program set up specifically for that, it would be impossible. As it was, it was quite difficult and definately full-time. The professor lectured 3 hours every day, and gave problems, and stayed to assist with problems 4 nights a week for several hours, plus we had TA’s available the one night a week he wasn’t.

Then we were theoretically supposed to take O chem, Physics, and Biology with labs the fall and spring semester. Most of us opted to do the O chem lab 2 in the summer rather than during 2nd semester as we were pretty overloaded and didn’t need it to take MCAT’s.

I’d hesitate to attempt it without being within a program - we got extra support all the way thru (a physics tutor, our own O Chem lab section, O Chem taught in a small group by the head of the Chemistry department, etc). Also, you need to be sharp academically as you don’t want trying to do it quickly to undermine doing it well.



My program is not structured in any way, but I do have an opportunity to take both General Chem I and General Chem II this summer.

I was then thinking of taking Org I, Bio I and Phy I in Fall and the rest plus MCAT in Spring.

I think that there could be a benefit to taking MCATs right after studying everything so that it is still fresh.

At the same time I’m not new to overloading myself with credits (I used to take 18 credits at a time, or even 21 credits per semester in college and pulled off a 3.89 GPA).

I also was able to do my MBA in 2 years while working full time in banking.

Of course I used to major in finance/mathematics, but I hope it is doable…

Anybody else with similar experience?

Is your goal to get into medical school or to get into medical school quickly

I tend to advise students against trying to do a postbacc in one calendar year, even in a structured program. As previous posters in this thread have noted it is a tremendous amount of work. In a DIY, you typically have to start with Chem and Bio in a summer (usually 15 week compressed into 5 weeks) and if you have been out school for a while, you may find yourself in over your head. Usually you end up with organic chem the following summer, which, again with compressed summer course structure, you can drown in just material overload. ThThis second scenario leads to a cascade of events that most students dont see until its upon them

If you take Organic in the summer, when do you have time to prepare and submit your application. While you can submit without having finished Organic, however than that grade and the weight in which adcoms view organic will not be on your transcript. Furthermore, each term of organic can be 3 exams and a comprehensive final in 5 weeks. How then do you study for the MCAT, which weighed as heavily as overall GPA by adcoms. And when do you take the MCAT? Late in the summer and thus late in the rolling applications cycle when the ratio of applicants to seats is getting higher and higher?

Trying to do all that at once risks doing badly in all of them and that will seriously reduce your competitiveness as an applicant. Adcoms won’t care that you tried to do all at once, they will care that you do well in them all.

So unless you are a top notch student with time dedicated to do this solely with the distractions of those trivial things in life such as family, job, sleep, etc, I would seriously consider a different time line for classes

Like I said my schedule would be as follows:

Summer Chemistry 1 in 5 weeks, Chemistry II

Fall: Org 1, Physics 1 and Bio 1

Spring: Org 2, Physics 2, Bio 2

Summer: nothing.

I don’t want to take organic chemistry in the summer. At the same time I think I can do well with general chem classes (I had 3 years of chemistry in a different country in high school and took one basic class during undergrad and never scored below 98% with close to no effort).

My issue is rather studying for the MCAT at that time. so that I could apply to schools next summer.

I would have no job, I have no family, my bf is away to do his MBA this year and I will see him every 3 weeks. I have no distractions other than volunteering and extra stuff.

Is it really that crazy?

Sounds reasonable without having too many other commitments. Like Gonnif was alluding to, it is imperative that you ace those pre-req classes. Physics and Orgo are going to be large time sinks no matter how intelligent you are, they just require lots of practice.

As far as the MCAT is concerned, it is best to take it right on the heels of as many pre-reqs as possible, but to spend a good deal of time prepping for the test itself before taking it. There are literally a handful of people who aced the MCAT without much putting much specific effort towards. For the rest of us it requires a lot of effort into studying to the MCAT, whether you do it on your own or take a prep course. Despite what AAMC may say studying for the test lets you develop strategies specific for it and will improve your score.

I took the MCAT in 2004 after just finishing undergrad and didn’t put much into studying for it since I felt I really understood all the course material. I scored a 28 which is a decent score, but I wanted to do better this time around. Compare that to the MCAT I took this past January and scored a 34 on, with my pre-regs >7 years old. I spent 3+ months studying specifically for the MCAT including as many practice tests that I could fit in. You start to learn certain ways they ask questions and certain ways they try to trick you.

So if you can find a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to MCAT prep in the spring you could take it early. Otherwise I would advise you to spend time over that summer prepping and take it in late July or August.

How many hours a day would you study for your MCAT? What did it accumulate to?

I’m hoping to apply in June/July and for some reason all the books recommend to take it in April. Why not May? How long does it take to get the results?

I studied for my CFA in the past while holding a full time job and training for my marathon. that added up to 400 hours over 6 months. is the MCAT study load anything similar to that?

Hi, Agnieszka.

I did exactly the course schedule that you have outlined, in addition to taking calculus in the summer (needed for at least one of the schools I was seriously looking at). I didn’t find it to be a problem at all and did well. I also worked around 25 hours a week.

I took my MCAT in late June I believe. I didn’t feel that I could study enough in the spring for the MCAT in addition to getting A’s in my courses. Turned out to be the right decision for me.

You will just need to be honest with yourself as far as whether you believe you can handle the academic rigor. It’s fine for some people to go that quickly, and for others it’s more prudent to spread things out.

Best wishes.

  • Agnieszka020 Said:

I'm hoping to apply in June/July and for some reason all the books recommend to take it in April. Why not May? How long does it take to get the results?

part of the reason is "historic" before the MCAT was computerized, it was only given a few times a year. So April was the big testing date with younger students still on campus to take it.

You can and should submit your application BEFORE you take the MCAT (you can do that) so that all is processed and just waiting for the score. a June or July MCAT is not too late