I will complete nursing school at age 26 and I’m considering applying to a post-bacc program with a linkage once I’m an RN. My problem is that I’ve never had trig, precalc, or calc. To get a solid math base, I would like to take the sequence of intermediate algebra, trig/precalc, and possibly calc. I won’t be able to take these courses during nursing school because it is accelerated and I won’t have time for ANYTHING but nursing classes Most of the post-baccs with linkages want candidates to already have a strong math base before enrolling. Thus, this may add on 1 extra year before I can actually start a post-bacc (being 27 years old).
How did any of you out there with low math skills incorporate math classes into your work schedule or post-bacc schedule?
Also, a linkage prevents the “lag year” (sounds terrific, right?) but it seems like med schools are really stressing the extra classes like biochem, cell bio, etc. to be taken BEFORE matriculating in med school. I’ve only researched linkage programs that just offer the basics (gen. chem., org.chem., physics, bio.) thus there would be no time to take the extra science classes if you get accepted for the linkage for the very next school term! For any of you that have experienced this, do you think you had a disadvantage over the other med students that had the biochem, cell bio, etc.? Also, what do you all think is more critical: getting into med school as soon as possible with just the basic courses under your belt or enrolling a little later but having had more advanced science courses?
Long post, but I value you guys’ advice. Thanks.
Hey there, tahitian3. I’m in the same boat with having low math skills, minus the nursing classes. I ended up being tutored this Spring for Algebra, and I enrolled in precalc for the Fall. My Postbac advisor tells me it’s better to put my premed courses off a year and get a firm, solid background in math before jumping into the sciences, and I tend to agree.
As for linkage, a lot of people like it but I’d rather take the lag year and put a Biochem course or two under my belt before tackling med school. It depends on your point of view, but I figure it’s a long road to the MD degree anyway, so I might as well take my time and give myself every possible chance to do well. If you think you can handle med school without any previous Biochem, then linkage may work for you; otherwise, I’ve heard a lot of linkage folks say they wish they had waited and taken undergrad Biochem courses first to make their M1 year a little easier. Just my two cents–your mileage may vary.
I started back to college after fifteen years, and although I had taken math, I decided to start over from the begining. I have also found that a good understanding in math is necessary for the sciences and it is also a prereq for most of them (ie. Algebra for Chem, Trig for Physics, Calculus for Advanced Physics etc.) Check with some of the Med schools that you wish to apply to, several require at least Calculus I.
On a side note, the premed requirements are not just there to prepare you for med school, but to prepare you for the MCAT. What I have done, and have found helpful, was purchase the Kaplan study guide, “MCAT: Comprehensive Review” (approx $65.00). You can then get an idea of the subject matter that will be on the test, and then decide if you think you will need a class on that subject. I still have two years to go before I plan to take the MCAT, but have used this book to help plan my courses as well as keeping fresh in the courses I have already taken. Hope this helps.
actually this is available for free at aamc.org under mcat it lists every subject that will be covered by the mcat.
thanks everyone for you input!