In today’s episode, we talk more about MCAT prereqs, particularly about this idea of “hidden” prereqs.
Are there any other prereqs that the AAMC wants you to take that they’re not telling you, such as anatomy and physiology? Or what else can you possibly take that will make you a better MCAT test taker? Will genetics help? Will microbiology help?
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
The Standard MCAT Prereqs
There are two categories of MCAT prereqs: sciences and non-sciences. The AAMC official recommendations are to take a full year of general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biology, plus one semester of psychology, sociology, and biochemistry.
We covered a bit more about the standard MCAT prereqs in a previous episode: What Prereqs Do I Have to Have to Take the MCAT?
We also spent a separate episode discussing how to prepare for sociology on the MCAT, and whether you need to take a sociology class: Do I Need to Take Sociology to Do Well on the MCAT?
Two More Science Classes to Take Before the MCAT
- A medium- or upper-level cell biology course
- A medium- or upper-level molecular genetics course
The MCAT skews hard toward the micro. There are a lot of questions about cells, organelles, DNA, RNA, proteins, amino acids, and these smaller components of biology.Along with the standard prereqs, cell biology and molecular genetics will be two of the most beneficial classes you can take for the MCAT.Click To Tweet
Should I Take Anatomy & Physiology Before the MCAT? Is Anatomy on the MCAT?
Notice we didn’t list anatomy or physiology above. A lot of students have that question: Is anatomy on the MCAT? Is physiology on the MCAT? Of course, questions and passages on the MCAT will deal with anatomy and physiology to some degree. But it’s not going to be at a level where you can’t cover it adequately in general biology and your MCAT content review.
So anatomy and physiology, while it doesn’t hurt, is not going to be the most important class for you to take to prepare for the MCAT. Along with the standard prereqs, cell biology and molecular genetics will be more beneficial.Anatomy and physiology are not going to be the most important classes for you to take to prepare for the MCAT.Click To Tweet
How Many Humanities Courses to Take for the MCAT?
- How many Humanities courses have you taken? (English, Philosophy, History)
- These courses build up the critical reading muscles that can help you especially on the CARS (Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills) section.
- The MCAT is not a science test, but a reading test that happens to be about science.
- Courses that make you a better reader are going to make you a better test taker.
Links and Other Resources
- Check out my book about the MCAT, co-written with Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep): The Premed Playbook: Guide to the MCAT.
- Related video: Best MCAT Course (with a Promo Code).
- Related episode: How Do You Learn MCAT Testing Strategy?
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” for 10% off Next Step full-length practice tests or “MSHQTOC” for $50 off MCAT tutoring or the Next Step MCAT Course at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!