Summer Organic next year?

Hola. I need some advice on my plan here… Might be a little long.

My plan is this. When Fall starts I’ll only have the 4 chemistries left to take as my pre-reqs. I know taking organic isn’t easy during the Summer but at this point the plan is Fall: Chem 1, Spring: Chem 2, Summer 1: Organic 1, Summer 2: Organic 2.

I’m just doing it like this because if I can finish Organic by the summer I’ll have from August - January to study for the MCAT. If I don’t do as well as I want I’ll still have enough time to study for another 4 months and take it in April before applying in June 2012.

My finances may not allow me to take summer classes next year, however. I keep reading how the MCAT is putting less emphasis on Organic, and how some schools are allowing you to take biochem instead of organic 2.

So, if I try to take the safe way out and just take organic 1 during the Fall of 2011 and concurrently study for the MCAT would that be enough time to still prepare well for the Jan 2012 MCAT?

I’m not that far along in the process myself, so I don’t know how much I can help. All I can tell you is what my plans are, and why I’m doing things that way.

I don’t plan to take the MCAT until after I’ve taken Orgo 2 – just doesn’t seem wise. Even if there is less emphasis on Orgo, there are still questions on it, and your MCAT score is one of the most important factors in getting into med school (heard that statistic at the OldPreMeds conference this summer, so I’m not making it up).

As far as taking Biochem instead of Orgo 2, I’ve heard something similar – that some schools are accepting a swap – but I don’t know how universal that is. I don’t think it goes across the board. So I would be VERY cautious about going that route, unless you confirm with every single med school you’re applying to that they WILL take Biochem instead of Orgo 2.

Can you spread things out a bit more? It seems like if you did, you’d stand a better shot of getting a good MCAT score, and gaining admission to med school.

Yes that’s true, I did consider that myself. Taking all the pre-reqs is definitely wise. I think I’m going to end up taking Organic II instead of biochem.

I could postpone the MCAT and take organic I in the fall, and orgnaic II in the spring of 2012 and just bet all my luck on the 2012 April MCAT.

I just really want to apply early to maximize my chances of acceptance and if I don’t get a satisfactory score in April I won’t be able to retake it before June.

I don’t know if I can help but since I just took the MCAT less than a month ago I can tell you that organic chem II is definitely on the MCAT. I had one whole passage that was only organic chemistry II but you may not have anything at all. I only had some of the organic chemistry I material in the discrete questions. It is really hard to predict what is going to be on the MCAT. The biochemistry material you need to know will probably be adequately covered by the the biology classes you have taken (protein structure, etc). I have heard that taking biochemistry as a undergraduate is definitely a good idea so you don’t feel as lost when you take it in medical school.

As for biochem, it can be a class that you take during your glide year (the year after you finish all your prereqs and MCAT while you are applying to med school). It helps to keep your mind in the taking classes mode. It also helps to feel not as lost for the first week or two of biochem in med school.

I would add that you should put aside at least 2-3 months to prepare for the MCAT in isolation! Don’t try to cram that period with other courses as well. It is a lot of work and you want to take it just once and do well!


I studied for the MCAT while taking classes (Orgo II, Microbiology, A&P II). I took a review course two nights a week and treated prepping for the review class like it was one of my courses. I took the MCAT in April and my MCAT prep class was two nights per week from Jan-Apr.

I guess it will depend on how easy organic comes to you. Taking the science classes during summer sessions is rough in general. Figure that you’re taking in the material at 3 times the speed.

I know I just finished Biology I in five weeks, and it was tough at times. Close to a chapter a day, and some of those chapters have an unreal amount of info. Who knows, maybe it’s a better prep for getting hit from all sides in med school.

I know I’m thinking about not taking Biology 2 during the second summer session. It would be good for me to get them out of the way, but I maybe have barely scraped by with an A in Bio1. If Bio2 is more difficult, I don’t want to risk a bad grade.

Is Bio2 easier? I looked ahead in the material, and it doesn’t look as technical as Bio1, but doesn’t mean it will be easier.