I think I've posted this before…I don't remember…and I don't remember the outcome of the before posting…so I thought I'd try it again with a caveat.
The caveat is…I'm going back to school full time in the Fall…no more part time crap for me…I'm finally going to do it…(I hope)…this is not widely known…so if you see my boss on the street…don't tell him…very few people know actually…including family members…
Anyway…I'm concentrating on finishing up…that is…I have a couple handfuls of courses left to take and then I should be able to graduate…I will, hopefully, be finished in less than 2 years full time. It should be less than that, especially if I take summer school… I haven't figured out exactly how I will be doing this, but that's the plan right now…
I took Biology 1 and 2 in 1991/1992. I retook Biology 1 and 2 in 1992. I got a C in both, the second time around.
I got married, transfered schools, was out for a year, went back for a year and then dropped out and had 2 kids.
So, fast forward it's 2003…I've called 1 of the schools that I intend to apply to for med school and they don't have a time limit on how long ago I could've taken a pre-requisite. Their only recommendation is that I know what I need to know to do well on the MCAT. I have talked to the premed advisor at the school where I attend now and she said that the other school that I hope to apply to also has no requirement. I haven't spoken with anyone there yet though (that's my next phone call)…
Im' trying to decide whether to retake bio 1 and bio 2…I'm torn. I don't want to use up time that I could be taking something else or spend extra money on these courses when I don't HAVe to have them…BUT…
if I retake them it'd be a major refresher course and I would hopefully boost my GPA substantially by getting As or Bs at the least.
So, the question is…should I do it?
I feel that I can independently study this stuff and get a grasp on it…I will be doing this when I study for the MCAT anyway…BUT, I'd love to have that GPA boost…I really would.
I'd GREATLY appreciate anyone's experience/opinion as I'm really torn and registration is Wednesday (yeah, leave it til the last minute of course).
Thanks in advance!
my college-level biology was not 10 years old (as yours is) but 20+ years old - and things had changed in biology since I took it - I think 9th grade biology students learn today what was graduate level theory my first time through -
it isn’t like other sciences that truly are about the same for what they teach in intro classes.
so, I don’t know if you can study independently and “get a grasp of it” or not - but since you are asking for advice, I’d say - take it again and get A’s.
It will expose you to everything that has been learned in the last 10+ years and let you know that not only can you learn it but you can learn it and succeed when being tested on it; it will also let you build a relationship with a biology professor (if you choose to) that might be a letter writer for you later.
I would take something upper level and kick @$$ in it. Take Anatomy, or Cell Bio, or Genetics. I am seeing a bunch of questions in the MCAT practice materials that relate to Cell/Developmental Biology, therefore it has been an enormous help, a) reiterating the basic biology concepts, and going into the menutia helped me grasp the subtle details the MCAT assumes I know.
PLUS!! It’s more interesting. Hope to see you Sunday night at the NC Chapter meeting!!
I would also suggest taking it again, what makes you think that now you can grasp it on your own? have you taken other upper level bio courses and done really well? if the answer is yes then maybe I would not retake. If the answer is no, like Lisa said because things have changed and the MCAT is expecting you to extrapolate a lot I would retake it.
How about you compromise and retake just one of them? At my school, only Bio I was really relevant for med schools stuff. Bio II was ecology, taxonomy, etc.
Then you could use that extra 4 hours to take something like A&P or Cell Bio.
I agree with Lisa that things may have changed quite a bit since you took Bio 10 years ago.
You’re getting good advice from those who have already chimed in. If you choose not to retake the bio, it would be good to take an upper division bio class to show that you can do the more advanced work. Cell bio or genetics would be good. However, bio has changed a lot in the past ten years, and you want to do well on the MCAT. Many schools do have a limit on how long it can be since you last took pre-reqs. When you talk to your pre-med adviser, ask if she is consulting the “Pre-medical Advisor’s Reference Manual” (7th edition) regarding the information about the schools’ requirements. And, of course, calling the schools themselves is the best way to get this information.
I would say study up over the summer on your own…don’t waste your time and money retaking the courses for the third time. Get a solid grasp on the material and then beef up your gpa with some more interesting upper-level classes.
I had a long talk with an adcom recently here in MN who went over my old transcripts from years ago and my transcripts from the last 5 years. The bottom line is that what mattered in his eyes was my most recent successes and not the less than stellar ‘character building experiences’ that I had years ago. I have had some bad grades to overcome as well, and I sometimes find myself literally obsessing over them…as if thinking about it enough would somehow make the grades go away…Anyway, I digress, the individual that I met with basically told me to cut the cord with history…what I’ve done in the last 5 years is what really counts. I’m sure that the same goes for everyone here…
So anyway…study up this summer and take a fun new biology class