If I take MCDB 310 a year before my planned MCAT, how bad would that be. I have heard from prehealth advisors to take it as close to the MCAT as possible but the semester before my MCAT is filled with some more time intensive classes so I was try inking about fitting in MCDB in a less stressful semester but farther away from the MCAT?
Hi Jason! Thanks for much for your question.
The reason prehealth advisors and fellow peers often recommend taking biochemistry as close to the MCAT as possible is because the material from the course is very high yield on the MCAT. Biochem also requires a lot of memorization, so some students find it easier to retain the information from the semester before their MCAT. While some students have the flexibility to chose the semester they take biochem, many do not. And that is totally okay!
Doing well in biochem and gaining a throughout understanding of the material is much more important than the exact timing you take the class.
If you have the opportunity to take biochem during a quieter semester, I would definitely do that. You will likely be able to spend a lot more time learning the material in depth and this will help when it comes time to taking your MCAT.
Best of luck with biochem! Reach out with any other questions you have 🙂
Isabel, PMH Advisor
In addition to the great advice that Isabel provided, I’ll share my personal experience with biochem timing and my MCAT. I took MCDB 310 during the fall 2019 semester and took my MCAT in June of 2020. Personally, I found this timing to work out great. I was told by some friends that biochem is helpful if you take it the semester before starting to study for the MCAT, which I think is great advice. I was able to plan that fall semester to be relatively quiet with the exception of biochem so I could dedicate as much time as I felt I needed to the class. This worked out great, as I was able to really commit a lot of the concepts to memory, which allowed me to not have to teach myself or relearn certain concepts while I was studying. For example, I took a lot of time to memorize the amino acids during the semester, so by the time I started studying in January, I would write them all out probably once a month to make sure I still remembered them. I’d highly recommend revisiting info from your prior semester like this, just to make absolute sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
Owen, PMH Co-President