Avatarsanjana asked 4 years ago

I think this might have been asked before, but is pchem necessary before you take the mcat? The last time I took gen chem was in high school during AP chem, but if I try to fit pchem into my schedule for the upcoming fall/winter semesters, I end up taking 3 sciences (bio 225, physics 135/136, and pchem or physics2, biochem, and pchem). I wanted to take the mcat the summer after sophomore year, so would it be helpful to take pchem during a spring/summer term or to just push it until after the mcat? Also, what are the differences between chem 230, chem 260, and biophys 370 – do they all count as pchem? For physics, would it look bad if I took it at another university and transferred the credit & would it be okay to split up physics 1 and 2 by a semester? Thanks so much!!

1 Answers
AvatarLindsay Ma answered 4 years ago

Hi Sanjana,
Pchem (2nd semester of inorganic chemistry) is tested on the MCAT, and we generally recommend you take pchem before you study for and take the MCAT. People who have taken Pchem before the MCAT, specifically CHEM 230, say that taking pchem greatly contributed to their ability to do well on the chem/physics section. With that being said, ther are students who have been able to self study and do well without taking a traditional pchem course.
If you wanted to take pchem in the spring, I think that’s totally okay. You’ll likely have fewer things vying for you attention, so you’ll be able to focus and really learn pchem well so that you don’t have to spend as much of your MCAT review time on pchem material.  However, if you wanted to do this and still take the MCAT before the summer ends, I would be concerned if the summer term gives you enough time to prepare.
CHEM 230 and 260 are very similar in content, but CHEM 230 is algebra based and CHEM 260 is calculus based. More pre-meds take CHEM 230, but that’s not to say CHEM 260 is a bad course by any means. BIOPHYS 370 is a much smaller class compared to CHEM 230 and 260 and (in my humb opinion) won’t be as much help for MCAT prep because it spends more time on aspects of pchem that are outside of the scope of inorganic chemistry tested on the MCAT.
Generally, Med schools want you to take all pre-Med courses at your four year university. However, Med schools have said that if you need to take a pre-Med course elsewhere, it should be at a 4 year university (not a community college), and it’s more “okay” to take physics elsewhere. In contrast, medical schools like to see that you take biology and chemistry courses at your 4 year university. It’s okay to take both or either physics 1 or 2 at a different school. They really for have much bearing on each other in terms of content, so taking them even a year apart is okay and commonly done
I hope this was helpful!
Please stop by advising hours if you need any more in depth help, and if you need help with transferring and funding a course that will transfer as the UMICH class you want it to be.
-Lindsay  (Co-president)

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