Hi, I am currently finishing up my sophomore year and am planning to take the MCAT around January 2022. However, I have a lot of pre-med requirements left and am not sure what order to take them in to maximize MCAT success. The remaining classes that I have are: Physics 1 + lab Physics 2 + lab Chem 230 Biochem I\\\’m not totally sure how to fit all of these in before my planned MCAT date. What would you suggest I do? Can I realistically take the MCAT at that time with the courses I have left? Thanks in advance!
To make sure I’ve got your timeline right, you’re currently a sophomore and you want to take the MCAT in January of your junior year, so you’ll have your junior fall semester to fit in the rest of your classes. In this case, I would definitely suggest taking a spring term to get Physics 1 and the lab in. You’ll want at least Physics 1 under your belt before tackling the physics that’s on the MCAT, and spring term would be ideal given that you’ll definitely want to take biochem during the fall. Biochem is the most important class to take before the MCAT, and taking it right before will help ensure you have everything memorized already. I would highly suggest taking a light course load for your other fall classes, as taking biochem and studying for the MCAT during the fall will consume a lot of study time. If you are able to go part time, you could also consider that.
That leaves Physics 2 and Chem 230 out of the equation. Some students are able to self-study the physics 2 material and end up doing fine – I think it depends on what your high school physics background was and how much time you’re willing to dedicate to learning that material on your own. Many students also don’t take Chem 230 before the MCAT and self-study the inorganic chem material just fine. Chem 230 is a class that, if you take it before the MCAT, you essentially won’t need to study the gen chem material at all, but if you don’t, what you’ll need to study is pretty manageable.
Ultimately, these are just my recommendations based on what I’ve had friends do and what I’ve heard Newnan advisors suggest to students. I would highly recommend making an appointment with or dropping by the office hours of a Newnan pre-health advisor to talk this decision over as well. And if you want, you are welcome to stop by Pre-Med Hub’s office hours any time – all of our advisors would be happy to help you work anything out.
Owen, PMH Co-President