Which summer classes to take?

So I’m in kind of a predicament. To cut a long story short, basically I need to take the majority of my year of biology or my year of organic chemistry during the summer this year in order to graduate on time in 2 years.

So which would you guys recommend, take bio 2 and 3 (zoology and botany) during the summer or ochem 1 & 2? I guess a better question would be which one can I take and not take too much of a dive on later if I don’t learn it as well because it was during the summer. Does zoology or botany (or anything covered in those courses) show up to an appreciable extent in classes later? How about the MCAT? Any comments, advice, etc. will be appreciated.

No question - take the biology. Taking ochem 1 and 2 over the summer is insanity (trust me - I did it). You’re going to want to remember far more from your ochem classes for the MCAT than from zoology or botany (if anything from those two).

I took organics over the summer, too!

Here’s what I loved about it:

  • it was the only class I took, so I could concentrate only on organic! I had 3 hours of lecture every Monday, Wednesday and most Friday night, and 3 labs a week (on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon!). It was great to be over with this horrendous class in 7 weeks! + the exams were only a week or so apart so it was easier to stay on top of things and do well

    What I didn’t like about it:

  • 7 weeks of summer almost didn’t happen

  • there is only so much you can learn in a given time interval - at least this is how it works for me! It meant that to make place for new information, I had to ‘forget’ the older stuff - end result? - I had to relearn a good chunk of organic before the MCAT (-and I didn’t have to do it with other classes, that I took much earlier, but during a regular semester).

    And now… the decision is yours!


My organic summer was lecture M,T,W,R,F from 8:30 - 12:30 and lab T,W,R from 1:30 - 5:30 for TEN weeks. I did pretty much nothing but organic chemistry from 8 am to midnight (or later many nights) five days a week. We also had a quiz and exam every week.

I totally agree with forgetting things. Good thing I took the MCAT less than a week after finishing organic or I also would have had to do some serious organic review later. It was definitely a binge and purge method of learning.

Hmm, ok yeah then it’s definitely a slam dunk if botany and zoology is barely covered if at all on the MCAT…that’s precisely why I asked, because I was wondering just how much I’d retain the information for later if I compressed it into such a short amount of time.

I don’t blame you for wanting to be over with it sooner madkasia, that idea’s pretty attractive, but I actually love chemistry so if anything I’d probably want it to last longer. well, I love chemistry in general, just not general chemistry, if that makes any sense. I frickin’ hate all the math in general chemistry, but from what I hear, many who hate gen chem love ochem.

Sounds like I’ll just get bot & zoo done in the summer then…I was surprised that bio 1 isn’t a pre-req for either class, but a pre-med classmate of mine is in zoology and he said they don’t really use anything from bio 1. Taking ochem and physics at the same time will suck but I have a feeling it’ll probably make for less time reviewing during MCAT prep over the summer after this school year.


Take biology instead of organic chemistry. Organic chemistry is intense as is, but now imagine you are taking both semesters in the same time you would be taking about 3/4 - 4/5 of ONE semester during the regular school year. I do not have fond memories of that.

Regarding zoology and botany, you are going to see very little of both on the MCATs. Actually, I think the only botany I saw on the MCATs was in a verbal passage. Have you considered other upper level biology courses like genetics or histology (or even animal histology)?

Tim -

You may also want to check out the listing of topics on the biological science section of the MCAT. They can be found at http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/prepari ng/bstopics.pdf

Botany and zoology are two different subjects with some similar biological concepts shared between them.

OII builds on OI. I don’t even think one can take OI and OII together and not screw up on one.


I myself will be taking biology classes for all the reasons that were given. I was going to take chemistry but I think with me working full time and the intensity of summer classes biology is best.

I am taking Che 1 & 2 during summer. I think it’s better.

  • PremedFla Said:
I am taking Che 1 & 2 during summer. I think it's better.

Both G Chem 1 and 2? Wow there's some pretty gutsy people on here!