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No Physics??


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Physics isn't required for my program. I can take it, and I was planning to take it, but it is sort of getting in the way of my other course ( in terms of timetabling) How bad would it be if I didn't take physics before the mcat.I've not taken physics since gr 11.. How hard is it to teach my self?? Oh and I am planning on taking the prep course.


I'll eventaully take it though, since its a preq for some school.

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I agree with "thehumanmacbook", definitely expose yourself to SOME sort of basic physics at university level. Sebriz is right in the sense that a lot of the material such as optics, sound waves, newtonian mechanics, energy conservation from grade 11 is usable, and very helpfull, on the MCAT. However, the downfall of having taken ONLY grade 11 physics is that:


1. You will not have seen many conceptual questions that can me asked of you in physics (vector nature and vector manipulation of various quantities - something that is heavily emphasized in grade 12 physics and 1st year physics)


2. Although you may have covered most topics for physics, you may not have covered them in detail...or perhaps missed some topics all together. (For example - Momentum is discussed as a "new" topic in grade 12 physics...sure you can learn this from a test prep book...but you will be missing out on the type of questions and the level of understanding that is expected of you at the university level for such material - MCAT pretty much tests 1st year level of understanding for MCAT physics)


3. Sure, there are people that learn from prep. books and understand physics without having taken grade 12 and 1st year physics...these people are exceptional...in the NBA...most players are picked from college basketball teams, and have played at the college level for 1 or more years...this is the NORM (similar to how pretty much all premeds take physics)...HOWEVER...there are some exceptional basketball players (Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, etc.) who go into the NBA straight from High school!!! - No college level experience at all (These are the exceptional people that have not taken grade 12 or 1st year physics :P )


4. Keep in mind...beside learning physics, you will be learning a lot of other new material. I found that when I took the Princeton Review prep course...there was always new information that kept poping up in biology, chemistry, physics, organic...subjects I thought I knew well (since I had taken them in univeristy)...It may prove to be difficult to juggle new information in these subject areas...along with learning physics by yourself


All in all:


Is it possible to learn the physics material by yourself? - Yes

Will I be able to learn and understand the material to the level expected on the MCAT? - Maybe/Maybe Not (Depends on your natural ability)

Have people that do well on the MCAT taken Physics - 90% of the time = YES

Should I take physics at the University level - 100% Yes!

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  • 1 month later...
should i take the calc based one or the algebra based one? Which one is more mcat relavent?


Hi wall.flower,


The answer to this question lies in YOUR personal strength. If you are good with calculus, then the calculus one may be OK for you. However, as there is no calculus on the MCAT, and only algebra/conceptual physics questions, the "algebra" based one is the way to go.






PS - Generally speaking, calculus based physics courses are more rigorous then "algebra" based ones.

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I agree with the people who suggest taking non-calculus (basic?) physics. I can definitely say that I did well on my PS because I had taken physics in my first year and it was required for my program. Physics is 50% of PS so its definitely a big component. I think if anything it will only be advantageous. It won't disadvantage you in the PS to have taken physics before.

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Just to add another ball in the mix. I had never taken physics (only the small part you learn in grade 10 science). I took the Kaplan prep course and did the best on the PS section (11). Not saying it wouldn't have been easier had I taken a course, but certainly not impossible to do well without it. Just the other side of the coin.

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