Pre-Med Q&ACategory: MCATmcat-psychology-sociology
AvatarNiki asked 7 months ago

Hi! Next semester is my last semester of classes before the MCAT. I only have room in my schedule for either Psych 111 or Soc 302, and I’m wondering which to take. I’ve read the posts here with similar concerns, and it seems that neither class is typically required for med schools, but both can be helpful for the MCAT. I don’t have background knowledge of either subject, so I’d have to completely self study for one. Do you have any advice for how I’d be able to determine which is easier to self-study for? Are there other factors that I can consider? (For example, are the free study resources or one subject more helpful than the other?) 
I’m also taking biochem next semester so I don’t want the course load to be too heavy. It seems like psych 111 is easier, but Soc 302 isn’t necessarily “difficult”. …Is this an accurate assumption? 
Thank you in advance for the help!

1 Answers
AvatarPre-Med Hub Staff answered 7 months ago

Hi there!

Widely regarded as the most comprehensive study material for the behavioral sciences (psych and soc) section of the MCAT is a document, found here, created by the @MCATbros to summarize hours and hours of Khan Academy psychology and sociology videos. The diagrams, charts, bolded vocabulary, and bulleted format make this document really easy to get through and you can feel secure that you are covering all necessary material that you will see on the MCAT. If you are more of an auditory learner, you can also watch the physical videos for each of the topics on khanacademy.org or on youtube. I would also additionally suggest that you explore UWorld practice questions in the behavioral sciences section closer to your MCAT date for final review because these questions are closest to the psych/soc ones you will see on the real test.

In terms of your question about which class to take, I would say that neither class is necessarily difficult, but you have to still be prepared to work hard. Each of these classes assigns dozens of pages of readings each week, so you will still need to be spending a lot of time on these subjects. I will also say that psychology has more overall material (about 250 of the 330 pages on the document linked above) compared to sociology. You might choose to take PSYCH 111 because it may be higher yield on the MCAT. Additionally, the sociology you will see on the MCAT is also combined with a lot of statistical analysis instead of pure vocabulary/memorization as the psychology questions will be. If you are someone who is good at memorizing terms on your own and would rather take a course that allows you to think critically about our healthcare system and possibly write papers or debate in class, you could choose to take SOC 302 instead (which also comes a lot more in handy during secondary essay and interview season). Either class you decide to take, you will have to put in work both for the course and outside for your full-time MCAT studying, so be prepared for a busy semester!

Good luck, and definitely send us a live chat or respond back with any other questions.
Pooja, Co-pres

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