I was told by an adviser that I should complete the following prereqs before starting prep for the MCAT. If anyone who has taken the MCAT could give me their take on whether or not this looks about right, is too much, or not enough, I would REALLY appreciate it!
I want to give myself the best foundation on which to study for the MCAT, but I am hesitant to push back taking the MCAT in order to get all these classes in.
I have completed some of these classes already, and will eventually take all of these classes, I'm just wanting to see if I absolutely NEED to complete them before starting prep for the MCAT.
Bio I, II and Lab
Physics I, II and Labs
Gen Chem I, II and Labs
Org Chem I, II and Labs
I'm going to say yes on everything but the genetics and organic labs. I took the MCAT the *day* after my final organic lecture, and that was pretty much perfect. Genetics - if you have a *good* foundation, you won't use it in any depth on the MCAT, so don't worry about it. In general, labs don't teach you new material (in general), although they do reinforce what you've learned, and are thus helpful. I didn't finish my final organic lab till after the MCAT, and that was fine. MCAT prep should ideally be done while you're taking these classes - see what the MCAT asks, make sure you learn it in that class. Then it pops back much more easily. Practice tests can be taken before you have everything. Then you can see just how much you've learned. For instance, I took a practice biology section before I did anything and got half of my eventual score. It was so satisfying to see numerically how I was learning.
For me, I never took genetics and I didn't feel like I was missing anything for the MCAT or during the relatively small portion of genetics during med school. Some schools may require it, but mine didn't.
I actually never took biochem either. I did fine on the MCAT without it, it probably would have been nice for med school but I don't feel that I suffered from not having it. I know some schools require it, but mine again did not!
For bio, physics, and the chemistries, I took several of my labs after taking the MCAT. I personally didn't think that any of the labs added that much to my knowledge base for the MCAT.
I think that the basic sequences of bio, orgo, general chem, and physics are sufficient enough before taking the MCAT, but just my thoughts...
In a Princeton Review class I am taking now, they said that for the CBT of the MCAT, the Bio Section has 15% genetics/biochemistry and has removed that much of Organic Chem in order to fit it in. Of course, they also said that if you can do a basic Punnet Square and understand recessive and dominance, that's all you need to know.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9