Q: CNS advisors say that we should take physics 1 and 2 our junior year. However, most pre-meds are obligated to take the MCAT during that year, and it seems like it would be hard learning physics so close to taking the MCAT. Should I take physics a semester early or do it during the summer? (Sophia T.) A: It's strongly advised that you take physics before you take your MCAT. The MCAT does have a physical science section after all, and while you may take a prep-course, having taken the class will be a better foundation; that way you can review, instead of learn, in your prep-course. Depending on when you take your MCAT (Fall or Spring of your junior year), try and take physics beforehand. For a freshman graduating in 2018, here are some suggested timelines to take physics:
If you take your MCAT the beginning of your junior year (i.e. September 2016) Fall 2015/Spring 2016 Spring 2016/Summer 2016
In addition, if you take your MCAT spring of your junior year (i.e. January 2017): Summer 2016/Fall 2016 Spring 2016/Fall 2016
Remember, you don't have to rush to take your MCAT. People sometimes take it earlier so that they can retake it if they don't achieve a good score, but you won't be applying to medical school until the summer before you graduate. Take physics before you take the MCAT, and take the MCAT before (though not necessarily immediately before) the summer you apply!