I am junior student in UIC with economics major, my GPA overall GPA is 3.7, and 3.5 for science. I completed General Chem I and II, Physics I and II, Sociology, Psychology, Biology I, but it was in community college. Right now I transferred to UIC with junior standing, and by mistake didn’t take any science classes this semester, and even if I will take organic chem, Biology II in the spring, I will not have enough time to complete biochem before taking MCAT. I don’t want to loose 1 year. Does it able to prep for biochem at home, and do well on MCAT?
@WayOutWestMom can give you good feedback and direction, and re-direction as necessary
You have not had many responses, so I figured that I would give my opinion.
Medical school admissions is very difficult. Most students who arrive as university freshmen thinking that they are premed change their mind and never apply to medical school, and most students who apply to medical school do not get in anywhere. As such, I think that you want to give yourself every advantage that you can.
My best guess is that taking the MCAT without completing all prereqs would be a mistake.
Life is not a race. We should not all be rushing to get to the end. I think that “losing a year” is not a problem. This gives you a year to mature, to study for the MCAT, to do more volunteering in a hospital or other medical environment, and to complete all of your prereqs. I don’t think that you should rush this.
The answer is NO.
Biochem is tested heavily in MCAT and should not be taken lightly. You need strong Orgo+Biochem for MCAT, which you don’t have right now.
The subjects that could be prep’d by yourself are Physics (with the assumption you took AP Physics in HS) or Social/Psych. Since you already took them, so the answer is a big NO.
MCAT is an exam that any pre-med should never rush, but unfortunately rushing MCAT is one of the top mistakes made by failed pre-meds.
I would not recommend you try and take the MCAT before you have taken all the course requirements.
Most med school students did not apply/matriculate immediately after completing their undergrads. Because med school admission is so competitive having a few extra years to do a post-bac and/or gain more clinical experience is an advantage.
CC classes are going to be a red flag for admissions at any number of med schools.
Please see a UIC pre-health advisor ASAP. https://prehealth.las.uic.edu/
Organic chemistry, biochem and biology are some of the main topics on the MCAT. It is possible to self-study, but Orgo is a beast in terms of memorization. I would suggest waiting until after taking Orgo to take the MCAT.
While theoretically possible to take the MCAT without completing all your pre-reqs, why would you want to?
The MCAT is a career-determining exam that applicants are expected to take only once and do well on. Ochem and biochem are practically the only topics tested on biological sciences section of the exam (which comprises 1/3 of your score)
If you want to see what topics are covered and whether your CC classes provided adequate coverage of the material–see this document:
And you will still need to complete your pre-reqs before you can apply to med school. A number of med schools explicitly state that you must have ALL pre-reqs completed before they will review your application. (IOW, missing a pre-req is an automatic rejection.) So why not wait until you’ve completed the classes to take the MCAT? It will give a better knowledge base so you can score the best you can on the exam.
Additionally, since as of right now, you have not taken any science classes at a 4 year college, only CC classes, your application won’t be considered at a number of med schools which explicitly state that CC science coursework must be supplemented by additional UL coursework taken at a 4 year college. (In your case, that means bio and chem classes.) In fact, all med school will want to see 2 full years of completed grades from a 4 year college in your med school app since adcomms view CC classes as less competitive/less rigorous than classes taken at a CC. (Perhaps, not fair, but it is what it is. The quality and rigor of CC classes varies hugely from one CC to the next.)
As for losing a year— per the MSQ (AMCAS annual survey of all incoming med students), more than 65% report having taken taken one or more gap years between undergrad and med school. Gap years are the norm, not the exception.
So, I ask you: what do want to do --apply according to some arbitrary timetable you have in your head? Or apply with the strongest possible application, one has the best chance for getting an acceptance?
Don’t want to sound harsh, but with 3.5 science GPA from CC and without taking Organic chem and Biochem it’s suicidal to take MCAT and worrying about “loosing” a year is foolish. However If you are serious about it, take one full length practice test and see how you do.