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There are so many MCAT prep courses on the market that it can be difficult to know which ones will really make a difference. The road to med school is paved with anxiety and hard work, and along the way, it can be helpful to have a mentor or instructor in your corner. Other students prefer a self-paced prep course that they can pick up on the go, in the car, or at a coffee shop.
No matter your preferences, we've found the best MCAT prep courses for your needs. Read on to learn more about the best MCAT prep courses for every level of difficulty, one-on-one attention, and affordability.
Best Budget: Magoosh MCATMagoosh Buy on Magoosh.com
Magoosh's test prep courses are known for providing high-level instruction and realistic practice questions at budget prices, and the MCAT on-demand prep courses are no exception. One month of access to Magoosh's MCAT prep course will cost you only $79, and a full year of access costs only $99.
Magoosh MCAT prep works on nearly every kind of device. Nearly 400 expert video tutorials cover every nuance of the MCAT, while in-depth answer explanations for practice questions guide you through the application of certain skills step-by-step.
Magoosh also places a heavier emphasis than other prep companies on the Critical Analysis and Reasoning section (CARS), sometimes known as the verbal section. There are nine additional CARS passages alongside three full-length practice exams (nearly 750 practice questions total) in Magoosh's MCAT materials.
Remember, though, that except for homework help available by e-mail, Magoosh's courses are self-paced. If you prefer one-on-one guidance or a lot of live instruction, Magoosh is not the best choice for you.
Best Intensive MCAT Prep: Princeton ReviewThe Princeton Review Buy on Princetonreview.com
Don't have a long time to study for the MCAT? Princeton Review's intensive MCAT prep courses can help you brush up on the basics, get a comprehensive review of high-yield topics, and improve your score as quickly as possible.
Two immersive Winter Bootcamps will help you get ready for the MCAT in just four to six weeks. Both include access to 15 full-length practice exams, 235 practice drills, 11 MCAT prep books, and over 500 online video tutorials and interactive lessons. But the Strategy Bootcamp (slightly less expensive, at $2,299) focuses more on-you guessed it-specific test-taking strategies, such as data interpretation, the best ways to tackle difficult question types, mastering new parts of the MCAT, pacing, and time management. The Ultimate Bootcamp ($2,799) includes more live instruction (123 hours, to be exact) and more of a comprehensive review of each section.
Best Live Online Course: Kaplan Live Online MCAT PrepKaplan Buy on Kaptest.com
If your schedule or location doesn't allow for in-person MCAT prep, but you'd like a little more help than a self-paced course will give you, a live online course is the best compromise. Kaplan's Live Online MCAT Prep course stands out for its high level of live instruction, as well as instructors' accessibility to students.
Overall, the Kaplan MCAT course includes over 700 hours of live instruction and teacher-led practice sessions, which means more interactive teaching and coaching hours than any other company. Your purchase includes a number of valuable materials to make it worthwhile, from all seven Kaplan MCAT prep books to an adaptive MCAT question bank that tracks and adjusts to your progress, over 10,000 practice questions, interactive science review videos, and 15 full-length practice exams.
The Live Online MCAT course starts at $2,499, while the Live Online PLUS course, which includes reviews of behavioral science and biochemistry and three hours of one-on-one coaching, begins at $2,999.
Best Homework Help: Next Step MCAT
Next Step Test PrepBuy on Nextsteptestprep.com
Some test-takers like a lot of personal guidance, whether for a quick question about a homework assignment or a detailed walkthrough of a particular problem set. Next Step MCAT offers several options for one-on-one homework help and personal attention in their MCAT prep courses.
In addition to 10 full-length practice tests and 20 video tutorials on MCAT concepts, Next Step students get a customized study schedule based around their personal lifestyle and needs. Small group sessions are offered five days a week for several hours at a time, so students can ask questions of expert instructors (all of whom scored in at least the 99th percentile on the MCAT themselves) or work through problems whenever they like.
Expert support is also available 24/7 for quick questions or homework help. Some of the other test prep companies only offer small-group or personalized coaching for an extra fee, but Next Step includes everything in one package for $1,599.
Best Self-Paced Study: Examkrackers MCAT
ExamKrackersBuy on Examkrackers.com
Highly independent students who like to take control of their MCAT prep often prefer self-paced study to in-person or live online courses. Examkrackers' MCAT materials are highly regarded, focusing primarily on medium and hard practice questions so that you won't feel overwhelmed on the day of the exam. The company also offers an at-home study program that will equip you with all the tools you'll need to conquer MCAT prep on your own.
The Fundamental Examkrackers MCAT Self-Study package starts at $995 and comes with all of the company's official MCAT prep materials, plus a 10-week self-study syllabus, five practice exams, and six months of access to a forum where instructors can help you work through any questions or problems. Five check-ins with a National Program Director will help you track your progress, while you can ask questions during 12 hotline sessions per week with an expert instructor.
The Premium package includes an interactive workbook, 12 more sessions with an instructor, and in-depth reviews of each of your practice exams for $1,995. Finally, the Ultimate Examkracker MCAT Self-Study prep course includes more sessions with an instructor and even a consultation on your med school application personal statement for $2,995.
Best Score Guarantee: Altius MCAT
Altius MCAT PrepBuy on Altiustestprep.com
Not all test prep companies offer a rock-solid MCAT score improvement guarantee. Altius MCAT takes a bold approach, offering a guarantee that students who take their short-track or long-track Silver, Gold, or Platinum Mentoring Programs will score in the 90th percentile on the MCAT. If a test-taker fails to meet that standard, Altius offers free continued tutoring until the student meets or surpasses the 90th-percentile mark. They also offer a 14-day money-back guarantee for an initial trial period.
Altius' instruction differs from other mainstream MCAT test prep companies in several respects. Altius places a higher premium on one-on-one attention through tutoring and mentoring programs, supplemented by small classroom sessions that drill specific skills. Bronze-level packages start at $2,499, while Silver, Gold, and Platinum packages come in at $3,499, $4,699, and $6,999, respectively.
Every Altius student is paired with a specific one-on-one mentor and gets access to all official MCAT practice exams and 32 group-based practice sessions. Packages also include 105-200 hours of small group instruction, 4-10 practice tests (depending on the package), and additional help in small groups, called Mastery Sessions, Review Sessions, and Study Hall Sessions.
Best Variety of Options: Gold Standard MCAT
MCAT-prep.comBuy on Mcat-prep.com
Like a range of options to choose from? Gold Standard at MCAT-prep.com includes a wide variety of MCAT prep options at virtually every price point, so you can pick the exact course that fits your budget, unique needs, and schedule.
Gold Standard operates on a monthly subscription model, meaning that you can purchase your prep materials on-demand and cancel them anytime. You can also purchase long-term access for six months or a year at a time. This kind of flexible prep course can be a good option if you don't have long to study, if you aren't sure if you're quite ready to take the MCAT, or if you've already prepped but just want to brush up and keep practicing.
The MCAT Crash Course costs $29.95 a month, offering two full-length practice exams, over 30 hours of video tutorials on each MCAT section, and online chapters of the Gold Standard MCAT prep books followed by drills and practice questions. MCAT University, at $49.95 a month, offers the same, adding three more full-length practice exams (for a total of five) and 500 extra practice questions.
If you just need to work on a single section, the MCAT CARS Booster focuses on just the Critical Analysis and Reasoning section for $69. The Home Study courses ($599-1499, with three different packages available), give you a year of access to all the above online resources, plus official MCAT practice questions, flashcards and mobile apps for on-the-go practice, audio files so you can review MCAT concepts as you drive, 20 full-length practice MCATs, and boxed sets of prep books from major test prep companies.
Best Digital Tools: Adapt Prep MCAT
Adapt PrepBuy on Adaptprep.com
If you're a practice question junkie, you'll appreciate Adapt Prep's range of adaptive MCAT prep tools, which can serve as a self-paced MCAT prep course or as a supplemental study. You can purchase a section-specific bundle of realistic MCAT practice questions (between 800 and 1,300 questions, depending on the section) for $99. The complete Adapt Prep MCAT bundle includes all four full-length, dynamic section exams for $199.
You can access each complete bundle for 180 days after purchase, but there are cheaper tools available for as little as $29.99 if you won't need to practice for that long. Practice questions are available for 15-, 30-, 60-, 90-, and 120-day periods, all coming in at different prices.
The difficulty of the questions adapts to your progress, and a diagnostic tool tracks your improvement as you practice. You can customize your quizzes according to timing, length, topic, and difficulty level.
Interested in reading more reviews? Check out our best MCAT prep books article.