Question about Honors Classes

<p>Hi,</p>

<p>Im an entering first year and a premed and was wondering if anyone had any advice between doing regular calc and regular gen chem versus honors calc and honors gen chem in terms to workload/ grading as well as if it is worth taking the classes based on their content/interestingness.</p>

<p>I can't speak for regular vs. honors chem, but I can talk about the difference between 150s and 160s calc. I took 160s; the workload is pretty heavy, especially if you're taking other honors classes... it takes around 10-13 hours a week, depending on how fast you can do the proofs. It's very, very rigorous proof based, so if "real" math isn't your thing, I wouldn't bother taking it. It is really interesting/valuable for people who really like math and want to take upper-level math classes. However, as a premed, it would probably be much more worth your time to take honors chem and focus on that.</p>

<p>Thanks! So are the tests based on proof work as well? Since being a grade grubber is kind of inherent in premeds unfortunately I have to ask if you have any idea how hard it is to get an A?</p>

<p>I would strongly suggest taking Honors Chem. I think that the difference in difficulty between Honors and Regular is not very large, but the smaller class size is great. The students in Honors Chem are at a much higher level, which, in my opinion, is a good thing. You don't have to deal with whiny pre-meds, most of the students really care about chemistry. It is not hard to get an A. It is probably the easiest of the Honors level classes, from what I can tell. As for Math, 150s will be a total breeze if you are strong in math. I'd at least start in 160s, and see how it goes for you. You can always drop down if you are worried about your grade.</p>

<p>D did honors chem, bio and O-chem. She got A's in all of them and enjoyed them a lot. </p>

<p>For chem and o-chem, the treatment is quite theoretical. IOW, no descriptive chem here, and no just memorize organic reagents and reaction pathways. For most that's good, for some maybe not so hot.</p>

<p>One thing to consider is that honors O chem is probably not the best prep for the MCAT o chem section.</p>

<p>reversepsych/newmassdad,
Is honors O chem and honrs bio very hard in the chicago? when should take physics class? if taking physics in third year, do you have time to prepare the MACT?</p>

<p>We do not call it "honors biology" here. We call it the AP 5 accelerated sequence (beginning with BIOS 20234). It's a three-quarter sequence, and from what I heard, it is exceptionally challenging. I do not recommend you to take the AP 5 accelerated sequence with other science classes. I do not recommend pre-meds to take honors Calculus along with science classes. However, I do think you should take honors chemistry. I took it and enjoyed it tremendously.</p>

<p>Depends on your background preparation and interests. The things my D liked the best about the AP5 bio sequence were that she did not need to repeat a lot of material that she already learned in AP bio, and that the third quarter was very seminar like and included grad student participation. In her mind, very interesting.</p>

<p>She took bio along with honors chem and had no problem with each. She loved science then, and even started working in a lab her first year. Was she time pressed? Did she work hard? Yes on both. But she had time for other things too.</p>

<p>One thing to keep in mind is that honors classes at UChicago aren't at all like honors classes in high school. Whereas you're expected to take the highest-level classes possible in high school to be admitted to a competitive college, this isn't the case here; honors classes are, generally speaking, for students who have already had a considerable amount of exposure to the topic at hand and want an in-depth, rigorous, and often theoretical introduction.</p>

<p>Since you're premed, I would advise against taking honors courses in fields you're not going to major in, just because GPA is important.</p>

<p>Because you're an entering first-year, though, I wouldn't even bother thinking about this stuff until you get your placements.</p>

<p>Welcome to UChicago!</p>

<p>"One thing to keep in mind is that honors classes at UChicago aren't at all like honors classes in high school. Whereas you're expected to take the highest-level classes possible in high school to be admitted to a competitive college, this isn't the case here; honors classes are, generally speaking, for students who have already had a considerable amount of exposure to the topic at hand and want an in-depth, rigorous, and often theoretical introduction."</p>

<p>Couldn't have said it better myself. Do wait until you've taken your placement tests and had meetings with your adviser in the fall before deciding firmly whether or not to pursue honors-level coursework; ALL of our courses are very rigorous, and honors coursework here will be very different than honors coursework in your high school. I like to encourage students to replace the word "honors" with the words "intensive" or "accelerated" in their minds, just so you don't feel like you HAVE to pursue it to look like you are taking a higher level of rigor-- these courses are really meant for students who already have advanced understanding of the subject material and are interested in perhaps pursuing that topic at the graduate/PhD level in the future.</p>