Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

MCAT Requirements


medschoolrunner

Recommended Posts

Will I be okay for the MCAT with 1 year of General Bio, 1 year of Chem, 1 year of Organic, 1 year of Calculus, and 1/2 a year of physics? Do I need to go out of my way to take courses like Genetics and Cell Biology if they are not part of my major (I'm not a biology major).

 

Thanks,

medschoolrunner

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will I be okay for the MCAT with 1 year of General Bio, 1 year of Chem, 1 year of Organic, 1 year of Calculus, and 1/2 a year of physics? Do I need to go out of my way to take courses like Genetics and Cell Biology if they are not part of my major (I'm not a biology major).

 

Thanks,

medschoolrunner

 

It depends on your abilities and what you remember from your courses. These are great background courses to have taken, and you probably will not have problems with the knowledge component. You don't need to take those courses, because most of the information you can learn from an MCAT course. Because the MCAT is a critical thinking test, some of the information you may have learned might not help at all...so I would say maybe it will help in certain areas, but you should make sure to use an MCAT book or take a course to see what you need to learn or practice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I definitely plan to buy the Examkracker books and take a course etc, but I am getting worried about not chosing a biology major and only taking those courses and pursuing a business degree.

 

Should I be worried that I don't have those courses? I'm finding many threads stating that you basically need genetics/cell bio/physiology, but I'm also finding many that say you just need the basics.

 

I'm so confused and could really use some direction on if I am going to be okay with these courses or not or if I should go to biology while I still can. I would like to go with business if I can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I definitely plan to buy the Examkracker books and take a course etc, but I am getting worried about not chosing a biology major and only taking those courses and pursuing a business degree.

 

Should I be worried that I don't have those courses? I'm finding many threads stating that you basically need genetics/cell bio/physiology, but I'm also finding many that say you just need the basics.

 

I'm so confused and could really use some direction on if I am going to be okay with these courses or not or if I should go to biology while I still can. I would like to go with business if I can.

It is very hard to say, man. How comfortable are you with memorising hormone systems and organic chemistry reaction mechanisms? If you are good at this kind of stuff it's easy, if you are not the memorisation stuff will be hard. How good at self motivating are you? If you can drive yourself to do the work it's not necessary to do the courses, but if you need a teacher to tell you to hand stuff in then the courses help.

 

It's all a matter of how you learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pretty good with memorizing and self motivation, I know that recently they made the test more genetics and biochemistry heavy.

 

I know that I find lots of posts before 2008 saying that people did well without any of the prereqs, does this still happen as often?

 

Yes, in fact our good friend Erk above and many others just took the courses/used books and online material and scored very high.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will I be okay for the MCAT with 1 year of General Bio, 1 year of Chem, 1 year of Organic, 1 year of Calculus, and 1/2 a year of physics? Do I need to go out of my way to take courses like Genetics and Cell Biology if they are not part of my major (I'm not a biology major).

 

Thanks,

medschoolrunner

 

Hey there,

 

You'll be good. If you can get yourself on a MCAT book, you'll be fine. The thing with the MCAT is that it's how you use the knowledge, not how much you know. There is plenty of practice tests out there that you can gauge your strengths and weaknesses from. Best of luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well thans medschoolrunner, but in fact I did come at it with a degree in biochem, so unfortunately I'm not in the same boat. However, everything you need to know for the mcat is available online. I used wikipremed as a kind of start-point for resources. The only resource I personally bought was a princeton review exam book (for those following at home I said earlier it was kaplan but apparently I was wrong), the cheapest one they had just for practice questions, and as a gift I got the examkrackers audio stuff. That was the best resource I had. It would be a bit hard to use to start if you dont' have the background but the audio is a superb review/memorise tool. I listened to it every morning on my walk to school instead of music.

 

Bottom line is, the material is all online if you have the self-motivation to learn it on your own. If you do, good luck to you: I think it's a more rewarding and effective way to study if you seek everything out yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, so you took all the courses like genetics, cell biology, ect?

 

Do you think you would have been able to do just as well with just the pre-reqs?

 

When I look back on it now, all the genetics/biochem/cell bio concepts I needed for the MCAT were covered in first year bio/chem. However, having taken the upper year courses (cell bio/genetics etc.) meant I was already pretty comfortable with most of the material on the MCAT, since I had seen it a couple times already.

 

So it's definitely possible to score well on the MCAT after taking only the first year sciences and orgo. The difference is, I spent most of my summer getting better at taking the test (since the MCAT is pretty unique) instead of learning content. So it all depends on how self-motivated you are, and how well you can move through the content on your own.

 

I'd say you should get an MCAT review book from Kaplan or Princeton, scan through it, and see if anything seems completely foreign to you. If you flip through it, and recognize most of the stuff, then you should be off to a good start, and you can write the free AAMC full length to see where your strengths/weaknesses are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, so you took all the courses like genetics, cell biology, ect?

 

Do you think you would have been able to do just as well with just the pre-reqs?

 

It's really hard to say, but honestly I don't think I used much past 1st year except for physiology and organic chemistry. Like I said, I think you can learn those on your own, but I don't know how they'll be without a full background.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will I be okay for the MCAT with 1 year of General Bio, 1 year of Chem, 1 year of Organic, 1 year of Calculus, and 1/2 a year of physics? Do I need to go out of my way to take courses like Genetics and Cell Biology if they are not part of my major (I'm not a biology major).

 

Thanks,

medschoolrunner

 

I would say definitely do not go out of your way to take these courses. When I wrote the MCAT last summer, I had only taken general bio, general chem, and the first half of orgo. The rest of the bio material (genetics, physiology) is quite easy to learn, especially if you have the first year bio. Orgo took a while to learn but it was just a matter of memorizing reactions, and you should have covered all the material in your classes. Physics proved a little more difficult as I've always struggled with it, but ini any case I don't think it's worth it to take another course which could potentially jeopardize your GPA when you could just learn it from your books and prep course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say definitely do not go out of your way to take these courses. When I wrote the MCAT last summer, I had only taken general bio, general chem, and the first half of orgo. The rest of the bio material (genetics, physiology) is quite easy to learn, especially if you have the first year bio. Orgo took a while to learn but it was just a matter of memorizing reactions, and you should have covered all the material in your classes. Physics proved a little more difficult as I've always struggled with it, but ini any case I don't think it's worth it to take another course which could potentially jeopardize your GPA when you could just learn it from your books and prep course.

 

Thanks guys, I'm going to put a lot of effort into trying to learn physiology and cell biology and genetics, and study the MCAT books a lot.

 

Which books are the best, Kaplan, Princeton, Examkrackers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you use the search function above, there are many posts already discussing that with a lot of helpful information.

 

That being said, it depends what level you are at with the material. EK has gotten good reviews, and PR is known for being extensive with its material, good for individuals who may not have taken those courses in a while.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've only used princeton and EK, and only limited of each. Here's what I know from what I did find:

-princeton's VR tips were kinda bunk at least for me. I don't remember them specifically, I just remember thinking "yeah right" and going off to do it my own way.

-princeton's practice questions were HARD, way harder than the real mcat. They also don't test the same way, they use different tricks. EK was closer to the mark. However, if you know this going in, princeton is a great way to strengthen your weak points. Just don't be discouraged. I got a 25 on a princeton practice exam, and later the same day scored 36 on an AAMC practice exam; one week later on the real mcat I scored 38. In other words, the princeton score seems to have little bearing on your actual skill.

 

However I have heard princeton goes into more detail on actual raw information, which may be useful if you don't have previous knowledge. EK audio did tend to blaze through a lot of topics, which is why I bolstered them with online research when I didn't remember the details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i dont think bio, chem should be the problem

 

physics and verbal is another question

 

So you think physics and verbal is going to be more of a problem? I think I can learn physics II on my own, but I also may audit a physics course. For verbal what do you recommend I do? Biology degrees would not usually take any verbal courses specifically would they?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There aren't really 'courses' on verbal reasoning, it's a test of your ability to process information quickly from a written passage and critically understand it. If you are good at reading it's not usually terribly hard in my opinion...... but a lot of folk disagree with me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There aren't really 'courses' on verbal reasoning, it's a test of your ability to process information quickly from a written passage and critically understand it. If you are good at reading it's not usually terribly hard in my opinion...... but a lot of folk disagree with me.

 

I agree, verbal has always been my favourite section. I can see how it can be more frustrating than the other sections if you're not 'naturally' good at it (i.e. if you didn't spend your childhood devouring books like I did :P)

The one thing I recommend is practice practice practice! Read The Economic, The New Yorker, Scientific American. Practice reading the articles fairly quickly and at the end of each paragraph, VERY quickly (in your head) think about what the main point was, as well as the larger main point at the end of the passage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, verbal has always been my favourite section. I can see how it can be more frustrating than the other sections if you're not 'naturally' good at it (i.e. if you didn't spend your childhood devouring books like I did :P)

The one thing I recommend is practice practice practice! Read The Economic, The New Yorker, Scientific American. Practice reading the articles fairly quickly and at the end of each paragraph, VERY quickly (in your head) think about what the main point was, as well as the larger main point at the end of the passage.

 

+1.

Reading newspaper editorials and opinion pieces in the fashion mentioned above is also a great idea, as many verbal passages are written in an "opinion piece" style. That and using EK for Verbal worked well for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 37 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
×
×
  • Create New...