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Physics 1B03/Calculus 1A03 in the Summer

Old 07-28-2013 at 02:28 AM   #1
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Physics 1B03/Calculus 1A03 in the Summer
So, I'm going into Life Sciences first year. I took both calculus and physics in high school, but they ended up being my lowest marks (60 and 80 respectively - don't ask how that happened, I really have no idea).

I have a pretty horrible time understanding math (calculus mostly, application based is more my forte) and I want to take the harder math for a) Professional school, it looks better and b) I want to get better at math and I feel like University profs/textbooks/course material/etc is so much better then the unorganized mess that was high school.

My concern is that I'm taking both chemistry's, both biology's and a bunch of other courses and I'm not sure if I'll be able to focus entirely on these subjects (granted, it's in the block with Health Sci 1PA3/Enviro 1B03/Chemistry 1AA3). Should I take it in the summer? I want to go into Biochemistry - Biomedical Research Specialization, but I feel like if I don't take any physics or calculus that I'll get rejected from the program since it's more math heavy. Does anyone have any experience with this? If so, can you let me know asap? Course selection closes in 2 days and I'm really torn with what to do, and I would take physics without calculus but that's just impossible. I just have a strange feeling it's going to be difficult and I won't be able to handle it while trying to pull stellar marks in chemistry.
Old 07-28-2013 at 08:37 AM   #2
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You should take a math and a physics if you want to get in to biochem. If you don't take physics 1B03 now, you'll have to in the summer or next year - personally I preferred getting it over with in first year. As for the maths, there's nothing wrong with taking 1LS3 - just take a look at the professional schools you're interested in to make sure that 1LS3 works as a calculus credit. As long as it's considered equivalent, they don't care which one you take, so there's no reason to think that taking one "looks better" over taking another.

Plenty of people (at least a thousand each year) take both bios, both chems, physics, calc, both psychs and some other courses, and trust me, most of the people who do that aren't physics or math geniuses. It's totally doable. These are all intro courses, after all.
Old 07-28-2013 at 09:48 AM   #3
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I would as Starfish said definitely take Math 1LS3 ... you don't need anything else unless you plan to go into a Physics oriented program. In terms of Physics 1B03, with an 80, id say you are pretty solid and it shouldn't be a huge problem... Personally I haven't taken the course, but the course outline covers a lot of what was done in Highschool. You could also take Physics 1L03, though if you are interested in Biochem/Mol Bio/Multiple other "Level II Science Programs" you do need to take 1B03. I believe Honours Life Sci and Honours Bio do not require physics 1B03 and you can just take 1L03 to suit your first year physics requirement.
Science. Science is pretty cool.
- PK Health Science III
Old 07-28-2013 at 12:11 PM   #4
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Hello! I'll be entering second year in September and was just accepted into Honours Biochemistry (Biomedical Research Specialization).

I took math 1LS3. Math was always a poor subject for me as well, but I found 1LS3 to be very manageable and even easy as long as I did my work. If you don't plan on doing any more math in upper years and don't really like it, I encourage you to take 1LS3. Professional schools don't make a distinction as far as I know. 1LS3 really wants you to do well - they will drop your lowest test, the courseware contains last year's tests, the test questions are almost the same with the numbers changed, etc.

I also took physics 1B03 during the school year. That said, it is possible to get a conditional acceptance without it as long as you finish it by the end of second year. I found physics 1B03 to be one of the hardest courses in first year. I found math 1LS3 to be the easiest first year course. People are tempted to do physics 1B03 in the summer. But you should also know that everyone is scared of organic chem in second year (chem 2OA3, chem 2OB3), which you will be required to take as a biochemistry student. A lot of people take those in the summer before second year and you don't want to be doing that alongside physics.

As far as I know, the program is not math heavy whatsoever. The only further math course you're required to take is statistics 2B03, which is completely different from calculus. You can find the program requirements here: /calen...14/pg2432.html

Your electives are both supposedly on the easier side so that helps. I took health science 1PA3 and finished the week's work in an hour if I busy that week.

All in all, my recommendation is that you take both in the year. If you put in enough work, it is doable. Generally you will have to put more work in than you did in high school. What I found in my first year is that nothing was really harder, but there was a lot more you had to know. You also have to learn to manage your time because no one will make you work. Finally, ask for help if you need it. Seriously.

There's a lot of course reviews on MacInsiders so have a look at those. Might help you gauge the difficulty of the courses. Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

Last edited by Quiver : 07-28-2013 at 12:22 PM.

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