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Friday, February 23rd
The Princeton Review has been providing test prep services since 1981, and offers materials for almost every admissions test out there, across almost every medium: in short, they are a test prep giant. Size isn't everything, however, so let's take a look at the specifics of The Princeton Review's MCAT prep.
An overwhelming website
Before we begin, beware that The Princeton Review's site seems designed to be overwhelming. With a horrendous countdown timer at the top (that follows you everywhere), yellow-on-pink branding, and hundreds of "slashed out" prices to reveal an eternally shifting set of "deals" , the whole experience feels like it is designed to overwhelm users into a purchase, as opposed to simply informing them. Additionally, The Princeton Review makes it difficult to compare offerings between their different price plans, all of which greatly detract from our opinion of their offerings. With that out of the way, let's take a closer look at what they actually offer.
4 plans to choose from
All that said, The Princeton Review offers four MCAT plans to choose from:
A guarantee for each class on offer
The Princeton Review's courses do come with guarantees, such as their "513+" and "515+" guarantees. However, qualifying for a refund based on these guarantees (whose refund specifics vary per plan) requires the completion of every single piece of homework, every assignment, every module, and every quiz. Customer testimony on popular MCAT study forums note that completing all these requirements is almost impossible due to the sheer volume of work The Princeton Review piles on their students. And, of course, you have to establish a baseline score before you are eligible. As such, keep in mind that The Princeton Review's guarantees have some significant caveats.
Reviews are mixed
Like many other major test prep companies, reviews here are mixed. Aggregate review sites are often very positive towards The Princeton Review, but those scores are sometimes subject to manipulation. On the other hand, testimony from MCAT study boards often complain of overwhelming courses that throw tons of inefficient content at the student.
A fine product with poor advertising practices
In any case, if you can stomach the insult of a countdown timer following you through the entire experience of purchasing, then The Princeton Review offers a comparable product to other high-priced and heavily-structured test prep services, with some good (if caveat-filled) refund guarantees. And, if accountability and structure are what you're looking for, you should consider The Princeton Review as an equal contender with other similarly-priced MCAT test prep options.
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 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:
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.
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