Well, I know that credit is only given to students receiving 4s or 5s on the Chem AP. They get exempt out of CHEM 141 and 142 but not the labs.
That's not my question, though; I'm wondering about what kind of students take CHEM 181. What does "good background in high school chemistry" entail? Is the class generally filled with people who get 5s on APs and also take the Chem Olympiad and do research at labs during the summer? Or is it just kids who have just taken one or two high school chemistry classes and are exceptionally motivated?
It's generally pre-meds who want a better preparation for Ochem, people who took AP in high school but didn't get a 4 or 5 or just want to re-take it, or pre-meds who got a 4 or 5 on AP but need to take it for med school (they usually don't accept APs), or people with a good background in chem who want more of a challenge. The people I know who took 141 took it just for the science credit. Any pre-med I know took 181, as well as biology majors.
Since you took the AP test and got a 3 (which isn't bad at all), I'd go for Harman. I've heard good things as well about that class. I think you'll be okay, especially since you have a perfect number of credits.
Here is a belated thank you to all who've replied!
I just got back from Orientation and have a few follow-up questions. To start, my revised schedule:
Allow me to explain. While I'm fairly certain I will stay on the pre-med track, I'm not certain whether I want to major in biology or chemistry. So it's not just a matter of fulfilling requirements: I also want to get a better feel for both subjects at the college level, and I figured the earlier I did that, the better.
I chose 181 because I've heard Harman is a wonderful teacher and I wanted to keep the door open for a major in chemistry (I know the 40-series is acceptable, but 80 seems to be looked at as more legitimate for majors).
However, ISIS disagreed.
Everything worked fine except for biology. I got the lecture, but the lab lecture and lab were both filled.
Soooo, question: how weird would my schedule become if I just took the bio lecture? Could I even progress to bio202 next semester, since I assume I can't take bio204 without bio203? Is such a route even remotely advisable?
Also: suppose I defer bio until next year. I could take a language, which would be nice, and my schedule would be diversified. However, supposing I ultimately opted to be a biology major, how easy would it be to catch up (as I would be 1 year behind)?
You should be ready to be a serious student. You are taking quite a few epic weed out classes to be an incoming freshman.
Also, please do not think you have to major in a hard science subject to be attractive to med school adcoms, that is not true whatsoever. If I were you, I would take the chem 141/141L, Math 131 and drop the Bio201 (even though Kittlesen is a great professor). Take an interesting class and do bio your second year.
Why not spread that stuff out a little bit more? It's your first semester in college and those are important classes if you think you're interested in medical school. You don't even know if you want to major in any of those subjects.
I vote drop bio and take an easy, fun class that fills a req or a language. Gen Chem is good for Orgo I've heard, and many pre-meds take Bio second year. Also, I'm pretty sure both bio and chem majors have to take the intro chem and bio courses, so taking one or the other doesn't put you at a loss.
You may very well be able to add the Biology Lab (and associated Lab Lecture) when ISIS ropens for all students in mid-August. Another option would be to email Mr. Kittlesen and see if you can get into the Lab that way. If neither of those options work, you could look to do a Course Add once classes begin. That might be a bit difficult, as the Biol 203 Lab is generally fully enrolled.
If you wait to take Biology your second year, you'll likely be taking it at the same time you're enrolled in Organic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry Lab, which are right challenging classes. If you're a dedicated student with an aptitude for science subjects, I think it works well to get the two intro level Biology and Chemistry classes out of the way your first year. However, be forewarned that taking both of these classes and the associated labs at the same time requires a lot of work. If you want to do well in the classes grade wise (which you'll need to do if you plan to apply to Med school), count on working hard you first year.
More food for thought. Best wishes with whatever you choose!