What To Study Before Medical School?


What To Study Before Medical School
Understanding Your Pre-Med Requirements – All pre-med students have certain core science classes they need to take. (The AAMC published a for each medical school in the country.) These always include biology, chemistry (general and organic), biochemistry, and physics, and often include math/statistics, psychology, and sociology.

  1. If you’re a natural sciences major, these will likely already be included in the requirements for your major.
  2. If you opt for a humanities or other non-overlapping major, you’ll need to ensure they can be fit into your schedule without overloading.
  3. A convenient way to fit everything into your schedule is to take courses during J-term (January term), the summer, or Maymester.

Regardless of your major, make sure you meet with your major and pre-med advisor at least once per semester to confirm that you are on the right path to graduate. Always keep both informed of any changes you make to your schedule. Working with both of them will help make your course selection smoother and medical school application process easier.
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What degree is best before med school?

Biology – Biology is one of the most common majors for those who want to pursue a medical career, especially aspiring physicians and surgeons. According to the BLS, 48.7 percent of all physicians and surgeons employed in 2015 chose biology as their undergraduate major,

  1. The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that over half of all 2021-2022 medical school applicants majored in biology or biological sciences for their undergraduate degrees,
  2. Majoring in biology is one way to ensure you take the prerequisite science courses and labs required by many medical schools.

You’ll study topics like human biology, anatomy, physiology, and genetics. However, if you choose this major, be sure you get a well-rounded education by taking several non-science courses. Every program is different, but some typical courses you’ll take as a biology major include:

Anatomy and physiology Biochemistry Biology I Biology II Biology labs Calculus Evolutionary biology Genetics Organic chemistry

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What subjects are best for med school?

Ultimate Guide – Choosing the Right Subjects for Medical School GCSE’s, or their equivalents, are coming to an end and it’s time to start thinking about what three subjects you’d like to take to A-Level. Each Medical School has their own individual breakdown of what three subjects they require at A-Level or equivalent, to get this in detail check our ultimate guide on ” “.

All individual subject requirements can be found there. What subjects are commonly requested? Typically, Medical Schools require two science or mathematics subjects. Science subjects being Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics and sometimes Psychology. Mathematics subjects being Maths or Further Maths.

Should You Pre-Study Before Starting Medical School?

Most Medical Schools specifically request applicants to have Chemistry and Biology amongst their science subjects and some request Chemistry or Biology amongst their science subjects. For most Medical Schools apart from Oxbridge, the third subject can be anything considered “academically rigorous” instead of being a specific subject.

Note; some Cambridge and Oxford Colleges do require the third subject to be either Science or Mathematics. Contrasting with Brighton and Sussex Medical school who actively encourage the third subject to be a humanities or arts subject in order to “broaden academic horizons.” Finally, there are a list of subjects which Medical Schools will disregard, these subjects are not deemed academically rigorous enough to form a part of any offer.

General Studies and Critical Thinking are almost always disregarded by Medical Schools so will not provide any advantage in the academic part of your application. Other “non-standard” subjects including Citizenship and Global Perspectives are sometimes disregarded.

  • Regarding “non-standard” subjects, some Medical Schools recommend contacting the admissions office beforehand to confirm whether or not they are acceptable.
  • How should I choose my third subject? Choose something you’re interested in.
  • You may have heard that Medical Schools only accept applicants with 3 science and mathematics A-Levels.

This is untrue. When choosing your third subject make sure it’s something, you’ll be able to stay motivated with and interested in for two years. Of course, if you’re wanting to go to Oxbridge, all your subjects should be a combination of Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Physics to keep all colleges open to you in application.

If Oxbridge isn’t for you, then there’s plenty of choice! To guarantee the subject is “academically rigorous” enough to meet requirements of most medical schools, taking a facilitating subject is recommended. Facilitating subjects are: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, English Literature, Geography, History, Modern and Classical Languages.

Non-facilitating subjects such as Religious Studies, Psychology and English Language are also acceptable. Do I need a fourth A-Level? Generally, no. Fourth subjects are not required and will not boost the academic section of your application. If there’s a subject you’re passionate about and you feel that by taking it, it’ll improve your performance at interview by giving you something extra to talk about then go for it! Fourth subjects can be valuable for this purpose as you could discuss how you required good time management skills and work ethic to accomplish the extra work load.

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All medical schools require at least two Science (Chemistry, Biology and Physics) and Mathematics (Maths and Further Maths) subjects. Certain Oxbridge Colleges require three Science and Mathematics subjects Taking Chemistry and Biology will keep most Medical Schools open to you Most Medical Schools accept applicants with a wide range of third subjects as long as they are “academically rigorous” so choose something that interests you!

Alternative qualifications to A-Levels Universities list individual requirements for Scottish Higher’s and the International Baccalaureate. The requirements vary more from medical school to Medical School than the requirements for A-Level subjects but there are some general rules.

Most Medical Schools require two or three science and mathematics subjects (usually including Chemistry and/or Biology) to be studied at Advanced Higher Level With 5-6 academic subjects to be studied at Standard Higher Level.

Alternative qualifications: International Baccalaureate

Three science or mathematics subjects at Higher Level (usually including Chemistry and/or Biology) The remainder of points (usually 32-36 points minimum) can be from Standard Level qualifications in academic subjects.

: Ultimate Guide – Choosing the Right Subjects for Medical School
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What is the easiest pre-med major?

What’s the easiest premed major? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer. If you’re looking for the most straightforward path, biological sciences, including majors like molecular biology, cell biology, and neuroscience, feature several courses that overlap with your medical school prerequisites.

  1. That’s why nearly 60% of all applicants choose this major.
  2. But the easiest premed major for one student will be different from another.
  3. Choosing the easiest premed major depends on your individual interests and how competitive you hope to be as an applicant.
  4. In a previous article, we examined the annual AAMC data on medical school applicants and matriculants to better understand what makes for the best premed major,

We interpreted the data and debunked some common myths about which majors lead to a better likelihood of acceptance. In this post, we’ll break down the most popular premed majors to help you choose the easiest, most straightforward premed path for you.
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What do most doctors major in?

A biology major will give you the science foundations you’ll need to take on the coursework once you get into medical school. Additionally, a biology major will include many of the prerequisite courses (including additional sciences and mathematics) you’ll need to fulfill medical school requirements.
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What is the hardest subject in pre-med?

What are the five hardest classes you can take in college? Determining the five hardest classes is very subjective. If you have always been good at math, for example, then you might not find college algebra that tough. On the other hand, if you favor classes like English and literature, you may find math in general, let alone college algebra, hard.

  1. Of course, any class can be a stressor if you don’t keep up with the homework, the assigned readings, and ask for help when you need it.
  2. Casper College, as well as all other colleges, provide help for their students.
  3. None of us wants to see anyone fail a class! If you are a Casper College student, check out the Student Success Center,

Center staff can help you with general studies advising, career services, testing, and more. Casper College also has plenty of tutoring and study resources, including the STEM Learning Center, the Writing Center, and the statistics lab. Now, on to those five hardest classes.


This course will separate those who have great study habits and the ability to memorize a lot of information from those who don’t and can’t. According to Webster’s, thermodynamics is “physics that deals with the mechanical action or relations of heat.” Students who make it through thermodynamics typically have no problem making it to graduation and usually get into the graduate programs of their choice.

Human Anatomy:

This class is tough because, again, there is a lot of memorization needed. Human anatomy deals with the structure of the human body and the parts that make up that structure like bones, muscles, tissues, organs, etc., and the way they interact or function together.


This particular class probably doesn’t come as a surprise to many readers. If you had trouble with math in high school, and many of us did, expect to find this one a challenge as well. Calculus is, according to Wikipedia, ” the mathematical study of continuous change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape and algebra is the study of generalizations of arithmetic operations.” BUT, don’t give up all hope if you need this class for your degree.

Quantum Physics/Mechanics:

This is a class that you will definitely need to have a strong math background to succeed. It also requires the memorization of many formulas, which you must then be able to apply to real-life problems. Quantum physics/mechanics deals with very small particles like atoms and subatomic particles and how they work.

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Organic Chemistry:

It shouldn’t surprise you that organic chemistry takes the No.1 spot as the hardest college course. This course is often referred to as the “pre-med killer” because it actually has caused many pre-med majors to switch their major. Like all the others, this class requires a strong commitment to consistent and serious studying.

  • Not only is there a lot of memorization needed, but there is also a lot of homework.
  • You just can’t memorize all the possible answers because there are simply too many of them.
  • That means that you will have to rely on your intuition on occasion and generalize from specific examples.
  • ~~~~~ How can you survive hard classes? First, remember that what might be hard for one person might not be for another.

In other words, just because these are considered hard courses doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed. Take responsibility for your education. Plan ahead and try not to take two of these in the same semester. Develop good study habits and set aside time each day for coursework and needed reading, and read ahead if you can.

Be sure to take notes in class, which will help you to remember information. Perhaps form a study group with your fell classmates. Give these classes the time and work they require. Finally, never hesitate to ask for help from your instructor, whether during office hours or through email. You will find that your instructors want you to succeed.

And don’t forget about the help available to you on your campus through math labs, writing centers, and more.
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What is the most popular major for pre-med?

Most Common Pre-Med Majors – The most common major for medical school applicants is biological or life sciences, representing almost 60% of allopathic medical school applicants and matriculants and 78% of osteopathic applicants. The next most common major for allopathic students is the catch-all “Other” (about 16% of applicants and 15% of enrolled students); for osteopathic students, the next most common major is Social Sciences, with 8.4% of applicants and 6.8% of enrolled students. Why do so many pre-meds major in Biological Sciences? Most students recognize that biology degree plans include the prerequisite courses and the subjects covered on the MCAT ( Medical College Admissions Test ). However, be aware that over half of all Biology majors end up regretting their choice, according to a Zip Recruiter survey.

Students who major in other fields can fit the prerequisite courses and concurrent labs into their schedule as electives. Pursuing a science minor or additional major can help those students access challenging upper-level courses that tend to be in demand or over-enrolled. Curious about which majors are most likely to be accepted to medical school? Before you scroll down to see the answer, enter your guess in our poll below: If you guessed one of the sciences, such as Biological Sciences or Physical Sciences – sorry, you are wrong.

Humanities majors have a higher chance of being accepted to allopathic medical school (at 44%), while the least likely majored in Other and Social Science. Interestingly, for osteopathic schools, the No Major category performed best, though that comprised only 42 applicants and 14 matriculants, followed by Life Sciences and Other.
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Which subject is best for doctor?

How to Become a Doctor in India after 10th – To become a doctor, students must complete their MBBS. After class 10th, students should take Science and Biology if they want to become doctors. Physics, Chemistry, and Biology are crucial, but it is up to the student if they wish to study mathematics or not.
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Does Harvard have a pre-med program?

Premedical Program at Harvard | Harvard Extension School Covid updates. The bivalent COVID-19 booster is required for on-campus presence. In the Premedical Program, you’ll take challenging core science courses, many of which are taught by Harvard University faculty.

Individualized curriculum to help you become a competitive applicant Personalized advising on course selection, the application process, & sponsorship Harvard faculty from such schools as the Medical School & School of Dental Medicine Flexible course schedules for the part-time student Clinical & research opportunities Engaged peer community & Harvard alumni network

The Premedical Program offers two tracks:

Premedical Program Track Pre-Physician Assistant Track
Prepares you for application to: Allopathic medical shcool Osteopathic medical school Dental school Veterinary school Prepares you for application to : Physician assistant (associate) program
Course format: Course format:
On campus:

Online (live and on-demand options) On campus (nights or weekends)

We’ll work with you to create a customized course curriculum to meet your academic needs based on:

Your chosen curriculum track An assessment of the courses you took as part of your undergraduate degree The courses you’ll need to fill gaps and complete prerequisites.

Most students take a mix of core courses and electives in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and math.
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What is the hardest thing to study in med school?

4. The board exams – The board exams to become a certified medical doctor are universally regarded as one of the most difficult parts of medical school. The first exam, the USMLE Step 1, is one of the hardest. Luckily, your knowledge of basic medical science will be about as good as it’s ever going to be at this point.

  • You’ll have the ability to pass the test if you’ve studied hard, and be able to move on.
  • The Step 2 exam (usually taken during the 3rd or 4th year) and the Step 3 final exam (usually taken during the 4th year or after graduation) will provide serious challenges as well.
  • Brainscape, the world’s most effective flashcards app, has flashcards on thousands of subjects, including (you guessed it) the USMLE prep flashcards,

Brainscape uses a system that teaches bite-sized concepts as fast as possible using spaced repetition, a technique proven by cognitive science your learn much more efficiently.
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What undergrad is easiest for med school?

The Most Popular Pre-Med Majors (Admissions Stats) – These statistics suggest that there’s no clear advantage to any major over the others. But which is the most popular pre-med major? Take a look at the following grid: What To Study Before Medical School Source: AAMC.org Students with an undergraduate major in the biological sciences make up over half of all medical school applicants and enjoy an acceptance rate of 41.5%. But only 342 math and statistics majors applied out of over 53,000 students, an astonishingly low 0.6%.
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What are good double majors for pre-med?

A double major in say, biochemistry/genetics, or chemistry/engineering, or biology/physics, will set you up for a life of devotion to your books.
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Which majors are most likely to get into medical school?

According to this data, there are three major groups— humanities, math and statistics, and physical sciences —that enjoy higher admissions rates than others. In fact, these are the only three groups (aside from biological sciences) that get into medical school at a rate greater than 40 percent.
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What are the hardest exams for medical students?

Final Thoughts – The MCAT and the USMLE are very different tests that determine very different qualifications, so it’s difficult to say which one is harder. If you’re pursuing a medical degree, you’ll take every section of both tests. You’ll probably find the final test — the USMLE Step 3 — the most difficult though because it tests everything you’ve ever learned.
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What is the hardest major to get into med school with?

Which pre med major has the highest chance of acceptance? – As demonstrated by the medical school acceptance rates by major section, acceptance rates vary between 36.7% – 47.7%. Specialized health sciences majors have the lowest acceptance rate while physical science majors have the highest acceptance rate.

  1. Biological science majors are the most popular in terms of both applicants and matriculants, however, the acceptance rate of these individuals falls somewhere in the middle of the majors.
  2. Interestingly, math and statistics majors are the least common, with only 344 applicants, however, they have the second-highest acceptance rate of 47.3%.

Specialized health science majors also have the lowest applicant and matriculant MCAT score, which may be part of the reason why those with this major have the lowest acceptance rate. Matriculants with math and statistics, physical science and humanities majors scored the highest on the MCAT, with scores of 514.8, 513.1 and 512.9 respectively.

The average accepted GPA between majors is close across the board with math and statistics and physical sciences majors tied with a 3.61. Social science majors have the lowest mean GPA of 3.52. It’s important to remember that the GPA and MCAT scores mentioned above refer to the mean scores of accepted students.

If you choose to major in the physical sciences it doesn’t mean that you have an advantage and are guaranteed admission. Similarly, if you major in the specialized health sciences, it doesn’t mean that you’re at a disadvantage and won’t get accepted. You are an individual, with individual scores and experiences.

  1. Regardless of your major, you’ll be a competitive applicant if all areas of your application stand out, including your grades, test scores, extracurriculars for medical school, primary essays, and medical school secondary essays,
  2. Make sure to read over some medical school personal statement examples to get some inspiration to write your own outstanding statement.

If your school requires its applicants to submit CASPer test scores, make sure to use CASPer sample questions to get ready for the test.
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What is a good double major for pre-med?

MCAT Scores by Undergrad Major – Your MCAT scores can make or break your medical school application. They serve as an indicator of your readiness for the rigor of medical school. The table below outlines the average MCAT score of medical school applicants and matriculants by undergraduate major: What To Study Before Medical School Source: AAMC Interestingly, students who pursue math and statistics, humanities, and physical sciences as pre-med majors tend to achieve higher scores on the MCAT than those who take other majors. While there are exceptions, these three majors are definitely good majors for pre-med students.
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