Re-take as undergrad or wait til post-bacc?

I have a question that I'm hoping some that are more experienced, wiser, more schooled etc… :wink: can help me with…
you've heard the story…previous crappy track record…I won't bore you with that…but I have some courses that were/are pre-reqs for med school that I didn't do so hot in…but got Cs. One I've already retaken (Gen Chem I) and gotten a B in…but others…I'm wondering if I should go ahead and retake them…or wait and see if it's necessary and take them post-bacc. These are bio and some math…I don't know if the math is a pre-req…but I'm just wondering if it would be better to replace those Cs with As or Bs. (I know they wouldn't ACTUALLY be replaced…but…well)…I spoke to my premed advisor about it some time ago and she said (speaking of bio 1 and 2) that she didn't think I should re-take them…but I am still wondering…(not that I really WANT) to take them over again…
What do y'all think?

Have you taken courses that build on Bio I & II and received good grades? If so, then I would think you can make the argument that you know the material well enough and can score well in Bio classes. On the other hand, if the poor grades are all you have to show for your prereq's, it might be wise to retake or follow up with some upperlevel Bio. (A&P or some such)
I believe the whole point of the GPA and the MCAT is proving you have the ability to comprehend and apply the knowledge needed to be a doctor. Just make sure something in your transcript reflects that.
Good luck!

Hey Andrea,
This is just my opinion but the safe thing to do is to retake the classes, especially with C's. Also, how long ago was your undergrad. If it was sometime ago I think that it would be even more important to retake the classes and demonstrate your capabillities. Particularly with the science classes. Although, most schools require a year of statistics, algebra, trig, and in some cases even calculus. I don't know where you are in the process but I would say take them. Good luck!

My bio courses were taken…um…10-11 years ago…man, has it been that long?
I'm currently taking an upper level bio type course (embryology). But I'm thinking maybe I will go back and take the Gen bio I and II again.
I have taken all Math except for Stats…through Calc II. I REALLY don't want to take them again…I LOATHE math. In fact, I have the option of not taking STATS. My school recommends a computer course or STATS. I might wimp out and just take the computer class.
I thought I'd ask you guys what you think. It's not that I don't trust my premed advisor…I'm just worried about my AMSA cumulative GPA. When they gather it all together, I'm just afraid it's not going to be good enough. I need all the help I can get. Of course, I still have quite a few courses to take and the MCAT…I'm not even close to being done yet…just checking on things…
Also, if I complete my degree and it's in biology, would it even be possible to go back and take biology courses post-bacc?
p.s. Thanks to all who've offered advice!

Okay, I am not 100% sure but many schools have a limit on how old the pre-reqs can be so check. If I remember correctly Duke, had a limit of 7 years at the time of matriculation not when you apply. Now, I do not know that if for example you take some other upper level undergraduate bio/chem courses that the above becomes a non-issue. What you have to ask yourself is this; if I was an adcom whom would I be more than likely to want to send an invitation to my school, the person that has old pre-reqs and nothing to prove that he/she can handle the rigor of med school curricula, or the person that has taken some recent coursework and demonstrated via A's and maybe some B's (more A's for non-trads) that he/she can handle it? this of course is on top of a decent MCAT for both situations. Put yourself in the shoes of the adcom what would YOU do with anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 applications to wade through? This has really helped me focus, and consider how to present myself in the best possible light knowing that there are thousands of folks better than me applying hence I have to make the adcoms want to meet me. Just my 0.2…

Efex is correct about the time limits that at least some (probably most) schools place on how far back you can have taken classes to be accepted as completing the pre-requisites. This probably is true for any math requirement they may have. Regarding her statement of whether taking upper division classes will make that a non issue; I asked the question to my alma mater (UNM) a few years ago and they stated that they would not accept upper division classes in lieu of the general bio and chem classes. The upper division classes will surely help distinguish you from someone who has not taken such classes but I still believe that the general courses will need to be taken, especially given how long ago you took the classes. Also, taking the general science courses will provide a good review for the MCAT.

it sounds like I need to make some phone calls, ask some questions…that kind of thing…I'd rather not retake all those courses…moneywise and timewise…but if I have to, I will…ugh!
I'll call the pre-med advisor tomorrow and ask her again.
Thanks to all!

I would not stress too much over it though, you never know, they might all say it's cool and you are good to go. Keep us posted.

Rather than speaking to the pre-med advisor at your school, I would recomend speaking to the admissions offices of the prospective med schools that you are thinking of applying to. Although many details are lost in a forum post, it sounds like she has already given you some erroneus advice. I understand about money and time issues but goes without saying that it will pay off to get all the details filled in now to avoid any nasty surprises (like thanks for sending us your application and money but you have to retake these six classes before we will even consider you). The whole process is a pain in the a$$ but you jsut have to resign yourself to jumping through the hoops.

I would have to agree with the advice to call a variety of med school admissions offices to see what they think from their perspective…don’t call your pre-med person again unless s/he is very knowledgeable about the specific requirements of many med schools. (Remember, when you have a specific question regarding what a med school will accept, go right to the horse’s mouth…don’t rely on information obtained second or third hand.)
Generally speaking, I don’t recommend that someone re-take intro classes in which s/he received a “C.” C-, yes, retake. Many med schools won’t accept C- as a “passing” grade for a pre-req. Rather than retaking a recent class with a “C,” consider taking a more advanced class in that subject, and getting an excellent grade. That way you show that you can do advanced work, and you have a track record of “improvement.”
As far as “how old?” can required classes be, the MSAR (Med School Admissions Requirements book published by the AAMC) often has this information for a med school in the school’s section on "Requirements for Entrance."