A Quick Recap of Pre Med Classes Thus Far
Although I am not entirely sure if I'll continue going on the pre-medical path, I'm currently on it, and I have taken a handful of classes to assess the difficulty of each. I hope these reviews will help current pre-meds and future (incoming '27s!!!) students when figuring out their course load.
CHEM 5: General Chemistry I (Difficulty: 6/10)
General chemistry is inevitably difficult. It involves quite a bit of calculations (math) as well as rote memorization of concepts. But, on the bright side, this class will generally be a repeat of high school chemistry. If you have taken AP Chemistry/IB Chemistry, you'll be well-prepared to jump into CHEM 5. In my opinion, I think it is a good class for freshmen to begin their pre-med journey with — also very good for people who want to perhaps try STEM classes out!
CHEM 6: General Chemistry II (Difficulty: 7/10)
This is the second iteration to CHEM 5, and it involves a lot more conceptual thinking. Unlike CHEM 5, which focuses more on calculations, this class is more thinking-heavy. The concepts introduced in-class are a lot harder to comprehend, and there is less and less repetition of what is learned in a general high school curriculum. But, regardless, I believe it is a class where if you put in an ample amount of time, it will pay off!
BIOL 12: Cell Structure and Function (Difficulty: 9/10)
BIOL 12 is easily one of the hardest classes I've taken at Dartmouth. Biology courses are much more difficult than chemistry ones in my opinion, but it also depends on which subject you're more suited for! BIOL 12 has a lot of discrepancies in class structure between professors as well. Some have cheat sheets, reverse classroom, etc. so be sure to research the professors in advance to see if it fits your learning style.
BIOL 13: Gene Expression and Inheritance (Difficulty: 10/10)
Personally, I struggled with BIOL 13 because of the immense workload. BIOL 13 consists of three midterms and a final, including a group midterm in between midterm 2 and 3. With this structure, you are constantly forced to study, review, and test-take, which gets quite tiring. If you're taking BIOL 13, I recommend taking two layups alongside.
MATH 10: Introductory Statistics (Difficulty: 2/10)
Surprisingly, MATH 10 was very easy going for me, as it mainly consists of weekly problem sets and a final. You can take this class with any other lab course and you'll be completely fine.
PHYS 3: General Physics I (Difficulty: 2/10)
PHYS 3 has revised its course structure recently where there are no midterms/finals, and there are just weekly problem sets that are leniently graded. I recommend taking this class in conjunction with general chemistry just to get over taking physics (ignore if you're a physics-lover).
CHEM 51: Organic Chemistry I (Difficulty: 7/10)
I know the fuzz about organic chemistry: the most difficult class ever, a GPA-killer, mental health-killer, et cetera. But, honestly, I believe these preconceived notions have their truths and lies (#goprofessorsandford). I pretty much think this class had a similar workload as CHEM 6, because it has a lot of conceptual thinking as well.