When you are starting to think about your pre-medical school requirements, biochemistry is one of those classes that is often wondered about. Is biochemistry hard? What is the best way to succeed in it? Succeeded in biochemistry comes down to:
- Hard work
- Understanding what the goal is
- Consistent studying
- Using your resources
In this article, we will answer these questions and give you some tips on how to do well in this tough course!
Biochemistry vs Organic Chemistry
Biochemistry is focused on chemical reactions that happen in us and other living creatures.
Organic chemistry is all about tracking all chemical reactions whether they occur in living organisms or not.
The main focus of biochemistry is on carbon-based molecules, which is why it is also called “carbon chemistry.”
The reason that biochemistry is important for medical school is because an understanding of biochemical processes is necessary to understand how the human body works.
For example, when we study metabolism, we are trying to understand how our cells use energy.
In order to understand metabolism, we need to understand the chemical reactions that are taking place in our cells.
Organic Chemistry is important for medical school as well, but it is not as much to the practice of medicine, more important in the admissions process for medical school.
This is because most of what is covered in organic chemistry is also covered in biochemistry.
A combination of biology and Chemistry courses
Biochemistry is tough because it is a combination of biology and chemistry.
You have to be good at both in order to do well in the class.
In addition, biochemistry is often a higher-level course than either biology or chemistry.
This means that the material is more difficult and challenging than what you might have seen before.
The nice thing about biochem as a pre Med is that it is incredibly useful for practicing medicine. If there is one course as a pre Med that is very useful it is this one!
Is there a lot of math in biochemistry?
There is some math that is involved in biochemistry but it is nothing that you can’t handle if you have taken a few math courses before. The math is used mostly for solving problems and understanding experiments.
It is typically simple math like adding and subtracting or multiplying and dividing.
The math is all centered around tracking hydrogen and oxygen in the chemical reactions that sustain life.
Instead of math, it is really more about tracking reactions.
Is biochemistry good for medical school?
Absolutely, this is way more useful that physics and mathematics courses that are other pre reqs.
Biochem is all about the human body and the chemical reactions that are needed to sustain life, make up proteins, and ultimately what makes us function.
Combining it with courses like cell biology and molecular biology can really help you understand chemical processes that involve amino acids, proteins, and other life sustaining elements.
Is Biochem or bio better for med school?
Both are needed, but biochem is more important.
You need to be able to understand how the human body works on a chemical level in order to be a good doctor.
There is also a ton of biochem in the first few years of Med school as well as a bunch on your board exams in Med school, so it is nice to have a good foundation in biochem for this reason.
Biochem is a difficult but rewarding class
Overall, biochemistry is not an easy class by any means.
It is a lot of work and you really need to put in the time to understand the material.
However, it is an incredibly useful class for medical school and your future career as a doctor.
Is a biochemistry major hard?
A biochemistry degree can be difficult, but it is definitely doable.
Doing well in biochem depends on making sure you understand the important stuff, which requires you constantly do practice questions and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need to.
The tough thing about a biochemistry degree is how many different courses you have to take that are tough.
Between organic chemistry, physical chemistry, cell biology, and all the other biology courses, a biochemistry degree is just downright consistently tough.
It is something that can help you stand out though when it comes to getting into medical school and is worth considering if you are thinking about a career in medicine.
Should you take biochemistry before the MCAT?
Absolutely! Taking biochem before the MCAT is a great idea.
This is because the MCAT is now covering biochemistry and you will want to have a strong foundation in the material before you take the test.
In addition, biochem is incredibly useful for medical school and your future career as a doctor.
Taking it before the MCAT will help you out a bunch by helping you build up your foundation. There is actually a decent amount of biochem on the MCAT and taking it before will hopefully help you get some extra points that other students miss out on.
One key to this strategy though is to use some MCAT prep material to know the high yield biochem things so that you can focus on them during your biochem course, and this should make it so you not only score higher on the MCAT , but you have an idea of the important aspects of biochemistry and can really build a strong foundation when you are taking the course! Then MCAT review will be a breeze, since you have already been through the high yield stuff!
Is biochemistry required for medical school
Simply put, not biochemistry is not required for medical school but it is recommended, and this is for a few reasons.
First off, as mentioned the MCAT is now covering biochemistry so it is a good idea to have a strong foundation in the material before taking the test.
In addition, biochem is incredibly useful for medical school and your future career as a doctor, as it builds the foundation for the things you will learn in Med school.
Taking it before the MCAT is smart, but this course is not one that most medical schools require by any means. This might be something that changes in the future, but as of now it isn’t required at most.
Hardest part of biochemistry
The hardest part of biochemistry is probably how much material is covered in the course.
There is a lot of ground to cover, and it can be tough to really understand everything.
In addition, the course is difficult because it involves a lot of abstract thinking like how proteins are made up and the process to create them, this is not something that is always easy to understand.
However, if you can put in the time to really understand the material it is an incredibly rewarding class!
Biochem is tough, but it can make a huge difference in your success in Med school if you can push through and build your foundation!
Resources for studying biochemistry
Good resources for biochem include:
- Textbooks: Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, David L. Nelson and Michael M. Cox
- Study Guides: Kaplan MCAT Biochemistry Review, Second Edition
- Online Courses: Khan Academy’s Biochemistry Course
All of these resources are great for different reasons, but they will all help you succeed in biochemistry!
The best way to use these resources is to figure out what works best for you and your learning style.
Some people prefer textbooks, others online courses, and others study guides.
Find what works for you and stick with it! You can also mix and match these resources to create a custom study plan that fits your needs.
Review videos like Kahn Academy are a great option to help you figure out the high yield information and to get a good explanation of the material from a different perspective.
Well, there you have it! A comprehensive guide to biochemistry and how to succeed in biochem, and what resources you can use to study.
This is a lot of information, but if you take it one step at a time you will be able to successfully navigate your way through this course.
Don’t get discouraged and push through, you can do it!
I hope this article was helpful, and if you have any questions feel free to reach out or leave a comment below.
Best of luck in your studies!