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Kaplan Review

Friday, February 23rd

2024 MCAT Test Prep Course Reviews

Kaplan Review 3.5 Star Rating

Kaplan

3.5 Star Rating
  • "On-demand" course $1,899
  • "Live-online" course at $2,399
  • 10 hours Tutoring+live online at $2,999
  • Premium Tutoring+live online at $4,199
  • "MCAT Bootcamp online" at $6,779
  • "Higher Score guarantee" for live-online courses
  • "515 or 15+ guarantee" for tutoring and premium tutoring services

Kaplan has a long history of providing test prep materials and tutoring services, and if you're preparing for the MCAT you likely already know about Kaplan due to the popularity of their series of MCAT test prep books. However, Kaplan also offers independent and structured MCAT test prep courses for those needing a bit more structure. Here is how their offerings break down:

Impressive collection of MCAT prep resources

All MCAT prep courses with Kaplan include the following:

  • 17 MCAT sample tests, 6 of which are sourced directly from the AAMC
  • 10,000 MCAT practice questions
  • 3,000+ QBank quizzes with 3-D models
  • Score reports, and explanations
  • A personalized and flexible MCAT study plan complete with targeted homework and 1-on-1 office hours
  • A VR study app "Librarium"
  • All official AAMC practice material
  • A mobile companion app
  • Access to MCAT video reviews and livestreams
  • and finally, Kaplan's bestselling 7-book subject review set, featuring up-to-date MCAT preparatory materials

While some features (such as the headset-requiring VR app Librarium) may not be for everyone, Kaplan's premium-priced course comes with an undeniably hefty set of practice materials and support. Your individual price is going to depend on which mode of instruction you choose, and the length of your subscription.

Well supported refund policy...

Kaplan offers some refund options with their "higher score guarantee" and a "515 or +15" guarantee for their live-online and tutoring/bootcamp offers respectively. Keep in mind, however, that such services come with a critical caveat; you need to have either previously taken the MCAT or complete a proctored Kaplan MCAT to establish a baseline score; if you do not do so, you are simply not eligible for their refund policies.

...but watch the caveats

Additionally, to qualify for the refund you need to complete all requirements of the course you paid for: every class, module, quiz, and piece of homework, which client testimonies state can be difficult due to the sheer volume of material they assign. If you do happen to score higher, but not high enough to your liking, Kaplan offers to re-activate students' accounts for an additional twelve weeks. So, while the refund option might seem attractive, keep in mind there is a significant amount of work required for you to be eligible for a refund.

Best MCAT Test Prep Courses

Self-paced, live-online, and premium study options

Kaplan offers a variety of MCAT study plans, ranging from just plain expensive to really expensive.

  • Kaplan's On-demand self-paced study costs $1,899 for 6 months of access, and includes access to all the previously mentioned resources
  • Kaplan's Live-online courses cost $2,399, which offers flexible scheduling for 14 separate, interactive 3-hour courses and even more personalized homework
  • Kaplan's Live-Online + tutoring option includes 10-hours of one-on-one tutoring at $2,999, integrated with your Live-online courses
  • Kaplan's Premium tutoring is an even more highly-tailored test-prep offering for $4,199, comes with a "515 or +15" score guarantee, gets you a tutor who scored 520 or higher on their MCAT, and a one-on-one consultation with a medical school admissions expert: an undeniably premium service for a definitively premium price.
  • For those who need to improve their MCAT score fast, Kaplan offers an eye-wateringly expensive 5-week Bootcamp for $6,799; with an absolutely intense daily schedule that includes weekday and weekend work, one-on-one tutoring, and access to Kaplan's best instructors, their Bootcamp is perfect for those "ready to eat, sleep, and breathe" MCAT prep, which includes their "515 or +15" MCAT guarantee.

Generally mixed reviews

Customer reviews on Kaplan are decidedly mixed; while they have glowing reviews on major aggregate review sites, they currently have a "B-" with the Better Business Bureau, and MCAT-dedicated forums generally are inconclusive regarding Kaplan's quality. This is common with many large test prep companies, and is likely representative of their expertise in reputation management on review boards.

Overall good, heavily-structured test prep

While known for their plethora of study materials, Kaplan's individual test prep, live-online, or premium tutoring options could be an excellent way to introduce heavily structured study into your MCAT preparation. So while not especially the best across any metric, and definitely suboptimal for independent learners, Kaplan is a good choice for those seeking a highly-structured online class, or online-class-integrated MCAT tutoring.

What's the Best Online MCAT Prep on the Market?

While the answer to that question is going to depend on your specific needs (tutoring vs. online classes, directed study vs. self-paced prep), the MCAT itself is unavoidable if you dream of being a doctor. Standing for the Medical College Admissions Test, the MCAT is a valuable metric that can set you apart from your peers in the gauntlet of admissions to prestigious and well-regarded medical institutions.

Scoring well on the MCAT is critically important in the medical school admissions process. Admissions committees use MCAT scores as a standardized metric to assess the academic preparedness of applicants. A strong MCAT score can significantly enhance an applicant's chances of gaining admission to their desired medical school, opening doors to a fulfilling career in medicine.

The Best MCAT Test Prep Courses Compare MCAT Test Prep Courses Compare MCAT Test Prep Course Reviews What are the best MCAT Test Prep Courses Best MCAT Test Prep Course Reviews

MCAT Test Prep Course FAQ

MCAT is short for "Medical College Admission Test". If you're looking to become a doctor, you'll need a competitive score on this test to get into the med school of your choice. The test is 7 hours and 30 minutes long, and it evaluates your skills in the areas of problem-solving, critical thinking, scientific concepts and more.
That depends on where you take the exam. In the United States, expect to pay $320. Prices can go up from year to year too.
Not only is the test expensive, but you're limited to how many times you can take it: three times in a single testing year, four times in two consecutive years, and seven attempts total over your lifetime. Plus, you might have to delay your entry into med school if you don't get a good score in time for admissions. A test prep program can help you get the best score possible the first time you take it, or improve your score right away if you didn't do well on your first attempt.
Some MCAT test prep providers will refund your money if your score doesn't improve by a certain number of points or if you don't get at or above a particular minimum score. To be eligible for those guarantees, you'll usually have to provide proof that you completed their entire prep program, as well as your before-and-after scores.
That depends on the type of MCAT test prep you select. Obviously if you choose anything with a live feature (e.g. tutoring, face-to-face classes, and so on), you'll be constrained to those scheduled times. But, the majority of MCAT test prep materials are designed to be used at your convenience, since you'll likely be fitting in your studies around school and work.
Whichever you prefer. If you live in a metropolitan area, you're more likely to find options for in-person classes and face-to-face tutoring, but even if you can only attend virtual lessons there are programs that offer them. Alternately, if you don't have the time for (or interest in) live test prep, you'll have many choices among 100% online platforms that let you study when and where you wish.
It's a wide spectrum: from $10 for a single practice test to $6499 for a summer intensive or bootcamp experience. Fortunately, there are several MCAT test prep options that give you ample practice questions, instructional videos, and full practice exams for under $500.
Start by thinking about your ideal learning environment: is it face-to-face with a skilled instructor, or is it on a tablet or mobile device while you commute to and from work or school? Decide which of those delivery methods is the best fit for you, and choose a program with that structure that fits your budget. Finally, it's always a good idea to see what other students have said about the MCAT test prep you're considering, to ensure that it's truly helping people prepare for - and score well on - the exam.
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Continued from above...

The MCAT is designed to assess a wide range of skills and knowledge crucial for success in medical education and practice. Beyond evaluating factual knowledge, the test looks at critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. These qualities are indispensable for medical professionals who must navigate complex medical cases, make timely decisions, and adapt to rapidly evolving medical advancements.

The MCAT also mirrors the evolving demands of the medical field. Medicine is becoming increasingly integrated and patient-centered, requiring professionals to understand not only the scientific aspects of health but also the socio-cultural and ethical dimensions. The MCAT's inclusion of sections that assess psychological, social, and ethical concepts acknowledges the need for physicians who are empathetic, culturally competent, and capable of delivering holistic care.

While far from perfect, the MCAT provides a benchmark for comparing applicants from diverse educational backgrounds, ensuring that medical schools admit students who possess the foundational knowledge required for their rigorous curricula. By incorporating an emphasis on natural sciences, critical analysis, and reasoning, the MCAT tries to ensure that candidates are well-rounded and equipped to tackle the interdisciplinary nature of modern healthcare. This uniform evaluation method helps institutions make informed and fair decisions when considering a large pool of candidates.

Before you start browsing our curated list of MCAT preparatory services, we have a few tips that might serve you well as you do your due diligence:

  • Time: First, do you have enough for a class, and second, how well can you manage your schedule? Be honest with yourself about your ability and availability, and choose a self-paced or live-online class accordingly.
  • Money: MCAT test prep is just plain expensive, even more so if you choose to take a class. As such, be strategic about which prep you choose based on your needs: a well-made self-paced prep package could net you higher scores than a mid-tier, ineffective classroom.
  • Score Guarantees: Many services come with various refunds and "score guarantees" , but contain caveats around them. Whether you have to establish a baseline score, or complete all provided coursework, be sure to check the parameters of their guarantee before you buy the service.

Here at Top Consumer Reviews we have done our due diligence to make your MCAT test preparations less strenuous (and, hopefully, less expensive). With a bit of elbow grease and determination, you will be able to improve your score. So take a deep breath, and start preparing with our curated list of the top MCAT test prep available today.

The Best Reviews of MCAT Test Prep Courses