Important Question! Looking for some Insight!

<p>Hello,</p>

<p>I am confused about something. I don't have physics background from High school due to scheduling problems. I , however, need physics for the MCATs... I had a question about intro physics courses at university... do they require a physics background from HS? Would students who DON'T have such a background suffer in terms of their marks? Does Intro Physics cover all that is needed for the physics portion of the MCATs? Is it common for students with NO physics background to take physics in university? I'm very confused. Someone please provide some insight. Btw, if someone knows specifically about my school... I'm going to Emory.</p>

<p>You don't need hs background to take physics, plenty of people take it in college without having taken it in high school. You need to take 2 semesters of physics as a pre-req for med school, and it covers all you'll need to know for the MCAT.</p>

<p>There are people that don't have much of a physics background, and intro physics classes won't have any physics prerequisites but you may need to have some sort of math. You won't need to take anything other than a year of general physics for the MCAT, and anything more won't be of much use when taking the test.</p>

<p>You're both pretty much angels in my book right now... its insane... I've asked this question to like 10 people... NOONE has been able to give me an answer until now. I actually took IB math in high school so I have Calculus, algebra etc. background that is needed. Couple of more question... so having ABSOLUTELY NO physics background will not hinder me from acheiving a good mark in the intro physics class? For example, all the equations and such that people learn in high school physics is no use to me in Intro physics in college? Will they teach these basic concepts all over again OR are they going to teach different things? I guess what I am asking is those people who took physics in high school ... will they have an advantage over me in intro physics classes?</p>

<p>Your college will have different levels of physics classes. Mine has a 100 and a 200. The 100 is for people who haven't had physics before so they go at a slower pace but don't go into as much depth as the higher level. The depth they do go into is MORE than enough for the mcat which tests physics at a very basic level In this class everything that will be taught to you will be taught like its new.</p>

<p>In the higher level course, they teach the basic stuff faster so that they can go into the more complicated stuff. However both courses cover the basic concepts just at different speeds.</p>

<p>Intro to Physics at Emory is a tough class (as are all intro science classes here). I took physics in high school, my junior year, but I still find the class challenging(I am currently taking it over the summer at emory....)</p>

<p>alam1, not having a SINGLE hint of a physics background will NOT hinder you in any way, shape, or form from attaining a high mark in the class. Everything will be covered along the way and it's really not so much that there's a voluminous amount of material to cover, but rather that the concepts take a ton of practice to master (btw, a lot of people don't even take physics in HS, it's not required). Most important thing you need to do in the physics class is PRACTICE PROBLEMS! Practice and practice more.</p>

<p>Thankyou EngineerHead... I am definitely willing to put in lots of effort. However, for the MCAT, I just need one intro physics class? Am I understanding everyone correctly? Also, you say that everything will be covered in intro physics... does that imply High school physics will be covered too? Therefore, having HS physics might be actually beneficial for intro Physics? Is that correct? OR maybe intro physics in college has nothing to do with High school physics? I'm not sure which one is true... can someone comment?</p>

<p>The issue with a lot of college classes is that the pace moves faster than you would in high school. Therefore, if you took physics in high school and remember the stuff, then yes you would have a slight advantage over students who have never seen the material before just because it's familiar to you and you have had more practice. However, a good professor will teach things adequately enough so that students who have never seen physics can still score just as highly. You will just need to make sure to study hard and do extra problems.</p>

<p>High school physics and college physics cover a lot of the same material. You'll probably start out with the basics like vectors and move on from there.</p>

<p>You can't say that they "cover a lot of the same material," that's misleading. They cover a lot of the same concepts with colleges diving MUCH deeper in understanding than high school, and also with colleges utilizing a MUCH more critical/analytical thinking styling + calculus than high school physics, which is almost literally plug and chug, plug and chug, plug and chug and you really only need an algebra 1 knowledge.</p>

<p>Pre-med level physics does not use calculus. </p>

<p>I never took physics in high school. I didn't find myself to be at a significant advantage. Most people, besides those who need it like pre-health kids, who took physics in high school either didn't take it in college, got AP credit, or did calculus based physics. For the MCAT you just need algebra based and you need general physics 1 and 2. This may not be the same thing as intro to physics, depending on your school. If that is the case, you shouldn't have to take intro to physics and skip straight into algebra based general physics.</p>

<p>I would not say that college dives much deeper in understanding of the material in some classes. My AP calculus class in high school gave me a much higher understanding than my college calculus classes did, which were pretty much "here's the material, here's one or two examples, go do the rest yourself." In high school we did a LOT more problems and I learned almost nothing new in college calculus I (and scored >100% in the class).</p>

<p>Also, you do not need to take calculus-based physics. Non-calculus based physics will suffice for medical school admissions. A lot of problems are plug and chug still, with some requiring more thought depending on the concepts being covered. My question to you, EngineerHead, is how can you compare the courses when you are entering college yourself in the fall (if I remember correctly)?</p>

<p>I'm finishing up my physics sequence now. Yes we covered more than I did in high school, but that's also because I only took a year of physics in high school which covered roughly a third of what the college class did. That's not necessarily because we went more "in-depth" in college, but rather because my high school class stayed on the same topic for weeks until the class understood it. We cover roughly a chapter a week in college physics, which doesn't leave as much time for understanding unless you do a lot of outside work on your own.</p>

<p>I never took any physics in high school and I got a 15 on the physical sciences section of the MCAT. </p>

<p>Prior physics isn't required for you to take intro physics in college. But, a lot of people in the class will have taken physics. So, you might have to study a bit harder than others. But, obviously, it's possible to do very well both in the class and on the MCAT with just intro physics.</p>

<p>sarahjudith, you must be confused - AP Calculus is a college-level course. If you're not going deeper in understanding in your college (calc-based) physics course compared to your high school academic physics course, then you are not learning what you should be learning, period. I was the top of my college calc-based physics class and I remember spending more than an hour on a single problem multiple times. Unless you're the next Einstein, if you've never experienced problems that took you this long to solve, then you're probably not going deep enough into the material. Anything I dare speak on is always fairly credible, and most certainly thought & reasoned out; on-lookers can (should, must) read and decide for themselves - take it or leave it.</p>

<p>wow norcalguy, thats inspiring. Thanks for the advice everyone so far. Keep discussing if you want. Good info on here.</p>

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Also, you say that everything will be covered in intro physics

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That's why it's called intro physics.</p>

<p>How did you graduate from HS? Physics is reguired to graduate from HS. You must have had some physics, just like everybody else. You do not need any for college. However, I am not aware of any "intro" physics, there is non-calc based and calc-based. Pre-meds usually take non-calc based, unless you are interested in physics.</p>

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How did you graduate from HS?

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</p>

<p>With a diploma. </p>

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Physics is reguired to graduate from HS.

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<p>Obviously not my high school. </p>

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However, I am not aware of any "intro" physics, there is non-calc based and calc-based. Pre-meds usually take non-calc based, unless you are interested in physics.

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<p>Intro physics is exactly what it sounds like. It's a low level physics course. You can introduce physics in a calculus format or in alg/trig format. It's still intro physics.</p>

<p>Intro physics, general physics, university physics, all the same crap. </p>

<p>In my state, the science requirement for a standard diploma is that you must take 3 core-science courses that are in at least 2 different fields of study. The science requirement for an advanced diploma in my state is that you must take 4 core-science courses in at least 3 different fields of study. So, you could take Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and AP Chemistry to meet the science requirements for the advanced diploma (no physics).</p>

<p>Pre-meds usually take non-calc-based physics? I was unaware of that, interesting fact (it is a fact?).</p>