How Good Is Each MCAT Course?

I get this question of picking an MCAT course from nearly every student who is preparing for application to medical school. They always want to know which is the BEST MCAT course out there so they can get the best score. That makes sense right? Well I always have to slow them down a bit and ask them to consider each program from their own personal point of view. Each student must KNOW exactly what they need to maximize their MCAT score. I explain how to do this on my MCAT practice tests page. So I suggest taking a look there before deciding on a program for you own study.

If You Want an MCAT Course That is Well Known

For most well known MCAT courses I try and make a single page for each of them. Here is what I've made so far. More will come as they become so well known that I can't keep all their information on this page.

Kaplan MCAT is one of the most versitile programs out there right now, they have a solution for pretty much every student as explained on their page I linked here.
Examkrackers MCAT I talk about as being one of the best values, since it is cheap and very good. It also is likely the best at teaching the critial thinking aspect of the MCAT.
Princeton MCAT review excels at giving a solid, comprehensive program to their students. They seem to be the best at teaching the sciences related to the MCAT.

Take a look at any or all of those. They are the most well known programs out there. Though that doesn't mean they are the best for YOU. You need to keep very close in your mind what your best options are based on your needs.

Less Well Known MCAT Course

MCAT Elite
One of the most interesting less well known programs to me is MCAT Elite. It seems to be run by just one person, which is why it is a bit smaller and less well known. However, what really got my attention in the program was how they go about teaching the material, which is extremely unique, and their guarantee.

They offer, for the same price as Kaplan and Princton's comprehensive review programs, both a comprehensive review program and several hours of one-on-one tutoring. In this tutoring the student is expected to teach the tutor all of the material they were responsible for studying. In this way the tutor gets an excellent idea of where the student is lacking in knowlege or understanding and can correct it. In theory, this would be fantastic for anyone because of the ability of the program to cater to the needs of each individual on the fly.

They also offer a guarantee that I have not seen anywhere else. They promise that through their program you will get 5 points on your MCAT or a 30 comprehensive score. A 30, by the way, is the average of those who matriculate into medical school so with a 30 (their minimum guarantee) you will be very competetive to get into school. The amazing thing about the guarantee is that it isn't a "if you don't get it you can keep studying with us" type of guarantee that everyone offers, but rather it is a money back guarantee. They literally put their money where their mouth is. I will be following those who use this program very closely for further information in the next few months.

MCAT prep
Also known as the Gold Standard books. This is one of the least expensive programs available. Though they claim to have had very good success with their students. As with MCAT Elite, I have not personally had clients that have used this as their primary means of reviewing for the MCAT, and cannot speak from personal experience. However, I have recently began to research much more into this company as I meet more and more people who have used them. They seem to excel at giving those students who are already well prepared a good review course that is affordable, but lack in the ability to raise scores significantly. I would recommend them if you MUST stay under a certain budget and think you can get away without some of the best programs available and still do well.

Other Programs

These are just the programs that I have been able to research at least a little bit. There are literally hundreds of different options out there for those interested in a different option. I hope, however, that you will heed my advice in finding a program. Ignore the opinions given you by past medical school applicants. What worked for them may not work for you. When you are talking to people about what they did to study, ask questions that force them to tell you the facts of what the program is and what it is not. Try to avoid the "it's the best program ever" comments and search for the "it spent most of its time teaching physics" type of comments that can really help you individualize your study.

Once you know what program you are using take a look at my MCAT study tips for information about how to take your program and tailor it to you as an individual.

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