Next semester I\\\’m a little worried about which classes I\\\’m going to take. I plan to take the MCAT end of summer, so I will be spending the summer studying. I have MCDB 310, CHEM 230, STATS 250, and a sociology class left out of the recommended premed classes. I figured its no biggie if I don\\\’t take the sociology class before the MCAT. I also know I definitely need to take MCDB 310 before MCAT so I plan to take it in the winter. I don\\\’t know if MCDB 310, CHEM 230, and STATS 250 in one semester will be too much. So I need to decide which to take between CHEM 230 and STATS 250. First, do I need STATS 250 for MCAT? I have never taken a statistics class before, but is it something small I can self study? Second, if I am strong in CHEM 130 concepts, do I need to take CHEM 230 for the MCAT? As in is there anything on MCAT that would be something I would learn from CHEM 230 and not something I would have seen in CHEM 130/CHEM 210? Thanks!
Hi A.S., Great question! Speaking from personal experience, I am studying for the MCAT right now to take in January and finished all my pre-reqs last semester. That being said though, everyone has their own journey, so it is definitely not necessary to have every single one finished beforehand. For example, Physics II is a pre-req but is usually brushed off as something that not necessary to take before the MCAT. However, I will strongly emphasize, as I\’m sure anyone else would including advisors, that you absolutely should take MCDB 310 (biochem) and CHEM 230 (pchem) before you take it this summer. These are widely known to be the most important classes for the MCAT, so the simple answer is take those two and wait on STATS 250 and sociology (a lot of people resort to self-teaching this during studying). To answer your other secondary questions, STATS is not emphasized on the MCAT, so you do not have to worry about this other than knowing how to read/interpret graphs, which is already taught in other science courses. Next, even if you are strong in CHEM 130 topics, CHEM 230 is still strongly advised. There is some overlap, but not much–there are a number of other important topics that will be covered too. Also, having a solid base in organic chem (CHEM 210) has nothing to do with inorganic chem (130 and 230). Back to the main question: the only problem with recommending that you take biochem and pchem next semester is that is usually not advised that they are taken in the same semester since they are both very demanding courses. However, given that you want to take the MCAT at the end of the summer, this seems to be the only viable option. The only other thing I could recommend to avoid this is to postpone your MCAT to the following year (i.e., January) and take one of either biochem or pchem next semester and then the other in the spring/summer semester. I understand other factors likely play into your decision to take it in the summer, but this is a possible solution. If you were to do this, since you would be studying during fall semester next year (like I am now), I would suggest taking a very light course load so you can still allot time for MCAT studying. Overall, you definitely need to take biochem and pchem beforehand. I hope this helps! -Nick PMH Advisor
Hey so I read on here the not taking CHEM 230 before the MCAT would not be a big deal since 230 goes into a lot of depth? Since you are studying for the MCAT right now what’s your take on how much 230 shows up? Also currently I am taking Physics 2 and Orgo 2 together and its pretty hellish, will taking Chem 230 and MCDB 310 be similar amount fo work, less, or even more?
Oh I don’t know why it showed up three times, that looks really aggressive, my bad!
I ended up taking both Chem 230 and MCDB 310 (I took PChem right before studying). I found biochem to be helpful because I was forced to make synthesized notes that I could refer back to while studying. TO be honest though I found PChem to be more helpful because you are forced to study for that class all semester (with the five exams) meaning that a lot of the concepts will be engrained in your understanding of chemistry and so it is very helpful to have had that practice when solving MCAT problems (i.e. the Le Chatelier’s, thermodynamics, etc.). So if I had to choose I would say Pchem is more helpful to take before the MCAT. And definitely try not to take both biochem and pchem at the same time — each class is pretty overwhelming and you want to set yourself up for success as much as you can.