3 Essential Classes to Take For the MCAT

Although medical schools vary by what pre-med classes they require and which classes they simply recommend, it is important to understand how your pre-med classes will help you attain pre-med success. The MCAT doesn’t just test you on your ability to memorize countless scientific facts. It expects you to be able to use your science background to answer challenging questions in a logical manner. For this reason, the stronger your science background the better prepared you will be for the MCAT.

Many students wonder if they need a certain pre-med class before taking the MCAT. The truth is that you don’t need to take any classes before taking the MCAT. But, I highly recommended that you take as many pre-med classes as you can before taking the MCAT in order to build a solid science background. Even if a certain science class doesn’t explicitly cover a large volume of MCAT content, it can still be useful in building your scientific reasoning skills. Although a good rule of thumb is to finish all your pre-med classes before taking the MCAT, I would make sure to pay special attention to these three classes in order of priority:

  1. Biochemistry – Many top MCAT scorers report that Biochemistry is heavily tested on the new 2015 MCAT. You will want to take careful notes during this class, making sure to really master the metabolic pathways.
  2. Physiology – The MCAT wants to see if you can apply the basic sciences (chemistry, physics, etc) within the context of the human body. Physiology is where abstract subjects such as pressure and resistance take on a whole new meaning as they are applied to a real life context.
  3. Biology – The MCAT loves to see if you understand the dogma of molecular biology (DNA to RNA to Protein). My professor really pushed us to understand experimental protocols relating to this topic which helped immensely on the MCAT’s dense science passages.

Additional classes that will help expose you to MCAT content are as follows: Cell Biology, Physics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, and Genetics. Now, if you are unable to get all your pre-med classes done before you take the MCAT, don’t give up hope. If you are dedicated and work hard you can learn almost anything on your own. Our Free MCAT Prep Course covers every single MCAT concept as listed by the AAMC. Whether you need to learn the intricate details of a certain topic that you won’t be taking a class on or you just need to brush up on a topic that you recently took a class for, you’ll find that our eCourse meets your unique needs. If that’s not enough, consider signing up for a tutoring package with one of our Elite tutors!

And if you need help customizing your studying to your unique needs, be sure to reach out for a FREE consultation. I’m here to help!

Warm regards,

Andrew  George

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How we Matched up the Khan Academy Passages with the eCourse Lessons

Each lesson of the eCourse contains links to 1 to 5 Khan Academy science passages for the purpose of providing you with non-AAMC material to practice your science passage reading skills on. By completing all the linked passages within every lesson, you will have finished all the freely available Khan Academy science passages.

To match up the Khan Academy Science Passages with the eCourse lessons, we carefully examined the passage and question content of each one. Then we decided which lesson of the eCourse best correlated with that content. You may notice that some passages don’t match up perfectly with the current lesson. If they don’t match up with the current lesson, they should match up with one of the previous lessons in the module. We did this carefully so that you could practice your science passage reading skills on passages that contain the content you’ve already learned.

Why we don’t recommend non-AAMC CARS practice questions

We recommend practicing CARS by reading non-AAMC CARS passages but not doing the associated practice problems. The reason we don’t recommend doing the practice problems is because the MCAT is written by the AAMC. They have a very unique style in which they write CARS practice questions that third-party companies (try as they might) are unable to replicate. When students spend time on non-AAMC CARS practice problems, they get familiar with the wrong style of questioning, leading them to overthink and incorrectly respond to the questions written by the AAMC. Thus, it is in your best interest to solely practice on AAMC CARS practice questions.

That said, we highly recommend practicing your reading skills on non-AAMC CARS passages. In our Ultimate CARS Strategy Course, we provide you with 1,000 free CARS passages and 100+ homework assignments, giving you ample material to practice on. Reading countless passages while practicing the proper reading habits and strategies will prepare you well to conquer the CARS section as it was written by the AAMC.

Which books do the lessons match up with?

The books we use in each lesson are linked below. We plan to stick with these older editions of the books since very little has changed and the older editions are much more affordable:

First Edition of the Kaplan 7-book Series
First Edition of the Princeton 7-book Series

Do the chapters match up perfectly?

The Kaplan Books, Princeton Books, and Khan Academy Videos were all produced by different authors. For this reason, there are some chapters in the Kaplan Book or Princeton Book that are not even found in the Khan Academy Videos and vice versa. For instance, the Kaplan and Princeton Books have chapters that cover certain experimental procedures that the Khan Academy Videos do not cover.

Our goal in matching up the books with the videos was to correlate the content as best as possible while also covering ALL the content from every resource. For this reason, when nothing in the Kaplan Books matched up with one of the video playlists, instead of leaving the reading assignment for Kaplan blank, we inserted material that did not fit in anywhere else (i.e. one of those chapters on an experimental procedure that was not covered by Khan Academy). So, when the assignment doesn’t appear to match up right, please know that this was intentional.

*If you follow the reading assignments outlined, you will finish the entire Kaplan 7-book series and/or Princeton 7-book series by the time you finish all 10 content modules.

Do the sections match up perfectly?

If the sections assigned in our eCourse do not match up with the sections contained in your content review book, you may have a different edition. The sections should still match up the large majority of the time, but in the rare instance that they don’t, I’d recommend simply reading sections that do match up and saving the ones that do not for a future lesson.

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