I am planning to take CHEM 215 and PHYSIOL 201 this semester and was wondering if that would be a manageable schedule with two other elective courses? I am a little concerned as CHEM 210 was a challenge for me.
In addition, I will be a junior this year and was wondering when I would need to take the MCAT if I were not to take a gap year vs. if I were to take a gap year?
Thanks for you question! I took Physiol 201 with Dr. Rust a few semesters ago, and this class requires a lot of studying outside of lecture. I would say doing it with Chem 215 is manageable, as long as your elective courses won’t be demanding. Both of these classes taken together would require a majority of your attention and studying, so any remaining courses should be accounted for this. If you are unsure though, I would advise you to try this schedule out for the first two weeks, and consider adjusting your schedule once you have more insight as to how you think you could manage it. Physiol 201 is largely about comprehension, rather than rote memorization, so it helped me to go to GSI and professor office hours outside of class, which took up additional time outside of classes and studying. Chem 215 is more application and mechanism based which is a bit different than Chem 210, but 215 does build upon the content you learned in 210. However, I will say that for Chem 215, it also helped me to attend GSI office hours outside of class since this class is also more conceptual and practice based.
For the MCAT, it’s generally advised to take it with enough time before you apply. If you plan on applying straight through without a gap year, I would start to think about taking the MCAT in early 2022 (January/February), since application submission begins around May/June. Score releases take one month after you take your exam, and I would also advise you to leave some time after this score release in the event that you retake the exam. If you were to take a gap year, then you have an extra year to take the MCAT. Most students who take a gap year study for the MCAT over the summer before their senior year, and take it at the end of August / early September – but again this timeline should be tailored towards you!
I hope this helps, and let us know if you have any other questions. Feel free to stop by our advising hours that will start in a few weeks, and best of luck for the new school year!
Lakshmi, PMH Co-President