Find the Best MCAT Prep Courses
Compare Reviews for Top MCAT Prep Courses
|Varsity Tutors||Read 543 Reviews|
Varsity Tutors helps students accelerate academic achievement through its live learning platform. The company connects students and professionals with more than 33,000 highly-credentialed instructors in 1,000 subjects and tests.
|Kaplan Test Prep||Read 153 Reviews|
Kaplan has been offering students with standardized test prep solutions for over 75 years. In addition to other standardized tests, Kaplan offers over 150 hours of instruction from score-qualified instructors for the MCAT.
|Khan Academy||Read 26 Reviews|
Founded in 2006, Khan Academy is a nonprofit test prep company headquartered in Mountain View, Cali. They offer a variety of free practice material for parents, teachers and students across multiple skill levels and subjects.
|Altius Test Prep||Read Author Review|
Altius was founded in 2005 and is based in Salt Lake City. It has on-site MCAT programs at more than 30 universities across 7 states, and their online courses are offered in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.
|Examkrackers||Read Author Review|
Examkrackers started in 1997, and its first class was taught in 1998 on the campus of Columbia University. Since then it has been offering standardized exam preparation through books, online forums and live and online courses.
|Gold Standard MCAT Prep||Read Author Review|
Gold Standard MCAT Prep started in 1994 when founder Dr. Brett Ferdinand published its first MCAT textbook. Since then it has evolved into not only textbooks but doctor-led online practice exams and videos.
|Test Prep NY||Read Author Review|
Test Prep New York is headquartered in New York City and offers customized, online or personal tutoring sessions for standardized test prep. It also provides students with test anxiety coaching through specially designed courses.
|The Princeton Review MCAT Test Prep||Read Author Review|
The Princeton Review got its start in 1981 in New York City using computers to test students for the SAT. Today it provides consumers with tools for test prep, private tutoring, on-demand homework help and admission counseling.
|Top Test Prep||Read Author Review|
Available in fourteen states, Top Test Prep is a tutoring, test prep and admissions consulting company that provides consumers with private tutors to help prepare for all major standardized tests including the MCAT.
Considerations for choosing an MCAT prep course
Many test-takers must plan MCAT prep courses around school, work and family schedules. Providing different options concerning class location, times, course length and ways to connect with teachers and other students allows individuals to work around their personal schedules.
- Class times: Options for live, local and online class times can play a big role when deciding which MCAT prep course to take. Those who work full-time will need to attend classes at night or on the weekend.
- Online discussion: Access to online forums is a great option for students with busy schedules. Forums allow for live discussions of subject matter, test questions and solutions from anywhere with computer access.
- Mobile applications: Having course material, schedules and access to live forums in a mobile app is convenient for busy students. Students should check which MCAT prep companies offer free mobile apps.
MCAT prep companies typically offer multiple ways to prepare for the exam including in-person, live online, self-paced and intensive classes. Consumers should choose the style that best fits their personal schedule, learning style and budget.
- In-person: Students who live near a location that offers live classes may benefit from having live engaging discussion as part of their test prep. Classes are taught by score-qualified instructors.
- Live online: Consumers who do not live near a location that offers live local sessions can still get the benefit of a live class online. Almost all MCAT test prep companies offer multiple versions of live online courses including comprehensive MCAT prep.
- Self-paced: Students who are unable to stick to a set schedule for class can choose a company with self-paced courses. These are typically a one-time-fee course that provide all material up front so students can work at their own pace.
- Immersion: For college students, an immersion MCAT prep course may be the best option. Typically offered when students are out of school during winter and summer breaks, immersion courses are fast-paced classes designed to cover all comprehensive material in a short amount of time.
Pricing and payment options
MCAT prep companies generally have a few payment options depending on the kind of course a person signs up for. Price is based on course content, course duration and provided materials.
- One-time fee: Most comprehensive MCAT prep courses are offered for a one-time fee and are either live online or in-person. These classes will provide the most material to help students prepare for an upcoming MCAT exam.
- Monthly: Prep courses offered for a monthly fee are generally online and provide access to varying amounts of material. These courses are good for students who don’t need a comprehensive class but would still like a crash course or a specialized course.
- Free: Many MCAT test prep companies offer some free material such as an abbreviated practice exam or flash cards. Free material will not come with many of the important options included in a paid course, like test answers and solutions, but they can provide a good introduction to course material.
Depending on the individual need or skill level of each student, some people might not need a full-time comprehensive course. MCAT prep companies offer a few course options that contain varying degrees of coverage on MCAT subjects.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive courses are the most involved option for MCAT prep. They cover everything from explaining how the MCAT exam is scored to multiple full-length practice exams with solutions and discussion. Comprehensive plans typically include materials from any other plans offered.
- Focused tutoring: Focused tutoring is one-on-one help that involves pre-testing so companies can determine which test areas students need the most help with.
- Test taking practices: For people who struggle with taking tests because of test anxiety, poor time management skills or a lack of confidence, many companies offer courses that focus specifically on these subjects.
It is important to look at an MCAT prep company’s reputation for tutors and the courses they offer. Consumers should make sure courses and tutors coincide with what is offered on the actual AAMC designed MCAT exam.
- AAMC: Course material and tutoring sessions should be based on the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) MCAT exam. Most companies know the test well and base their curriculum around the AAMC’s chosen topics for the test.
- Tutor/teacher qualifications: Consumers should make sure the tutors employed by a prep company are qualified to teach the MCAT curriculum. Most companies employ teachers and tutors who have scored extremely high on the exam or have gone on to become doctors.
- Guarantees: Students should check for offers like money-back guarantees if test scores do not improve by a set number.
In addition to helping students prepare for the MCAT exam, many companies provide medical school admissions advice for free. From what to expect in medical school to how to make your application stand out, test-takers should be sure to take advantage of these free materials.
- Medical school advice: Many companies offer free material on what to expect in medical school. Companies may offer courses that provide advice about classwork strategies, what to expect in clinicals and choosing degree programs.
- Application help: Consumers should look for free tips and information on medical school admission timelines, how to make improve application material and tips on writing personal statements.
- Enrollment advisors: In many cases, enrollment advisors are available to answer questions, either by phone or online chat.
Types of MCAT prep courses
Online tutoring and classes
Most MCAT prep companies offer online tutoring and classes, giving consumers flexible options when preparing for the MCAT. Online material allows students to work around their schedules and at their own pace.
Some MCAT prep companies offer in-person classes in various locations. In-person classes can benefit students by giving them face-to-face interaction with teachers and students.
Private tutoring is an attractive option for students preparing for the MCAT exam. Using pre-issued forms and tests, MCAT prep companies can match students with highly qualified private tutors who customize prep material based on areas that need the most focused attention.
MCAT prep books
Some MCAT prep companies publish their own books and e-books designed around the Association of American Medical Colleges test curriculum. While online and local classes typically use these books, students can also purchase them separately without signing up for a course.
People who can benefit from MCAT prep
College students applying for medical school
Students who are going to apply for medical school should take the MCAT exam the year before they plan to apply for medical school. It is advised to only take the MCAT once, so students should wait until they are fully prepared before attempting the exam.
Adults looking to make a switch to the medical field by applying to and attending medical school will benefit from MCAT prep courses to help them prepare for the exam.
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Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.