Scheduling Advice

Hi everyone,

So, I’ve recently seen posts that advise against taking organic chemistry in the summer, but I’ve also seen posts that recommend taking as few courses as possible – if any – while prepping for the MCAT.

With that in mind, I’m trying to get a gauge on what people think might be the better approach between these two options:

  1. Organic Chemistry 1 over this coming summer full-time with an excellent professor. Then Organic Chem 2/Physics 1 in Fall, and Physics 2/Biochem in Spring while studying for the MCAT, taking the MCAT in May/June, and Statistics that summer.

  2. Statistics/self-study organic chem/volunteer work over the summer. Then Organic 1/Physics 1 in Fall, and Organic 2/Physics 2 in Spring while studying for the MCAT, and MCAT in May/June, and Biochem over that summer.

    The big question is: better to take Organic 1 over the summer and risk the shortened time-frame but free up extra time to study for the MCAT the following spring, or play it safer initially with an easier summer to prepare for physics and organic chemistry, but then have a fuller spring semester while also studying for and then taking the MCAT?

    I’ll also be working part-time through all of this (though self-employed, so I’ve got some flexibility; especially if I need to take organic chem over the summer).

    In your opinion, what’s the lesser of the two evils?

    Thanks so much for any thoughts or advice.

Personally, I would go with option #2. I’m taking Organic Chemistry right now, and while I’m doing well (and expect an A, assuming my final exam goes well), I couldn’t imagine cramming it into a summer course. But then, that’s just me.

Best wishes as you decide!

Can you separate the lab from the lecture? Then MAYBE could talk organic during the summer without lab, and Lab for 1, class for II in fall, lab for II in spring.


I vote option #2 as well. That’s actually what I’m doing right now. As I’m starting to prep for my April 28th MCAT (hitting it hard over semester break), I’m realizing that most of the organic covered on the MCAT is Orgo I, and most of the physics covered is pretty basic as well (especially since a calculator isn’t allowed.)

I feel certain that by the time spring break rolls around, I will have been exposed to most of the organic and physics that could possibly show up on the exam. Also, since I’m in continual study/active learning mode of this material for two straight semesters leading UP to the MCAT, I won’t have to devote as much brain power to that part of the MCAT prep…thus allowing me to focus that brain power towards 1)test taking strategy (a huge matter of importance for this exam), and 2) Biology and Gen Chem review.

I’ll just brush up on the orgo and physics a bit in the month leading up to the test–but for the most part, it will be fresh on the brain!

So that’s my reasoning! It’s working out pretty well so far… good luck with your choice!

Thank you guys so much for the feedback and opinions.

I really appreciate it.

Kate – I can in fact break up the organic chemistry lecture and lab if I take the lecture over the summer.

My chemistry teacher actually recommends doing that, since he thinks you’ll better understand the lab AFTER the lecture.

Tough choice, but in the end, I think we’ll be all right either way!

Thanks again everyone.