I am considering doing a minor in biochem, which requires chem 260 rather than 230 (which most premed students take as U of M). What are the differences between the classes?
As a disclaimer, I actually have taken CHEM 230, but have talked to many peers and friends who have taken CHEM 260 and loved it! Although 230 covers more basic chemistry concepts, it is of popular opinion that the exams are very tricky. On the other hand, 260 material is more advanced but the grade distribution seems to be slightly higher, which ~might~ also be attributed to the fact that a higher proportion of chem/biochem majors take it, but may be just a product of the way the classes are set up: https://art.ai.umich.edu/course/CHEM%20260/ vs https://art.ai.umich.edu/course/CHEM%20230/.
However, one thing to note is that CHEM 230 has recently switched to a flipped classroom, which means that lectures are primarily watched at home and class time is used for groupwork and problem solving. There is not yet grade distribution information for the new CHEM 230, although many students who are taking it currently like it a lot better because it forces them to understand the material earlier and better.
Additionally, for information on how 230 relates to MCAT content, check out this older question: http://premedhubumich.com/question/pchem-before-the-mcat/ . One thing to keep in mind is that while 230 is geared toward pre-health students and MCAT prep (more of a gen chem 2), 260 is more of a typical physical chemistry class. It covers a lot more quantum mechanics and requires slightly more mathematical finesse–Calc 1 is an advisory prereq for CHEM 260.
Pooja, Pre-Med Hub Advisor