Medical College Admission Test or MCAT is recognized as a standardised, multiple-choice exam regulated by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). If you are looking for medical school options in the US and Canada, this exam happens to be a necessary requirement.
It focuses on conceptual understanding and highly disregards unnecessary memorization. This article focuses on the course offered by two popular companies and draw comparisons on various aspects of the course itself.
Right from 2015 this exam has been recognized as a reasoning-based exam in addition to basic knowledge. It is known that the MCAT exam will assess your know-how of behavioural, natural, and social scientific concepts along with fundamental principles. The course demands application of highly analytical and problem-solving skills.
There are more than 80,000 American as well as Canadian applicants who attend this exam and also submit their MCAT scores. Hence, all teaching methods are enhanced and the curriculum is made fully immersive for the benefits of students. The structure of the MCAT exam is quite elaborate and is divided in 4 sections. You must checkout this post about best MCAT courses to know other best alternatives for this course.
Structure Of MCAT Exam :
There are 4 sections in MCAT. They cover the subjects listed below:
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (MCAT CARS)
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior
There are a total of 230 questions in the exam and the time allotted for the same is 7 hours and 30 minutes. The course is open for international students and also for students who have already enrolled for MBBS degree program or students who hold a degree in Bachelor of Surgery or Bachelor of Medicine.
Kaplan Vs Princeton Review : Best Prep Courses For MCAT
For years, both these courses were focussed on classroom education. However, with changing needs and time, they moved to online mode of education as well.
In the present Kaplan Vs Princeton Review, you will get to know which one is the best prep course for MCAT. The corresponding review will highlight the features and benefits of each of these courses for appearing in the MCAT exam.
Let’s take a look at the in-depth details of the Princeton Review Vs Kaplan MCAT:
Princeton Review vs. Kaplan: Cost
As mentioned earlier, there are two types of courses offered, one being the self-paced and the other being live online classes. The cost of both the programmes obviously differ but each of the platforms offers their own unique add-ons and specialty packages.
The MCAT course offered by The Princeton Review is one of its most comprehensive course costing upto $2,799 with the self paced course valued at $1699. The Princeton Review also has ongoing discounts on these courses round the year, the details of which can be found on the official website. (link to the site)
There is also a price variation in the in-person course and live online classes offered by Kaplan. Both the standard MCAT in person course offered by Kaplan and the online course costs around $2499 each. However, the self- paced course is priced at $1,999. When calculating Kaplan vs Princeton Review, check the numbers closely, as the discounts can make the difference.
Our Winner: Kaplan
*Keep in mind that however, Kaplan is much cheaper than Princeton Review, The Princeton Review is giving an additional $500 off on their courses with Promocode – SUMMER500
Princeton Review vs. Kaplan: Class Time
The Princeton Review offers 34 live classroom sessions. Each class is conducted for a duration of 3 hours with an additional 21 hours of Psych/Soc. This constitutes for a total of 123 hours live classroom sessions. Another noticeable factor of this course is that all instructors are expert in their particular fields and are certified by competent authority.
MCAT strategy course is yet another type of course offered by the Princeton Review which consists of 22 classes focussing exclusively on strategic thinking. The regular in-person class comprises of a semester with 3 hours classes thrice a week. There are yet more crash course classes that take place more often, and some that take place only on weekends.
On the other hand, Kaplan offers a total of 540 hours classes. There are 13 sessions for online practice and 14 practice tests. It also offers semester long classes with 2-3 hour classes happening twice or thrice in a week. Kaplan also gives you the liberty of flexibility and customisation as it also has optional schedules that focus more on the weekend or add more weekday sessions, giving you the chance to choose that is best suited for you.
Our Winner: Tie
*Keep in mind that however, Kaplan has more duration live classes than Princeton Review but still both do what they say i.e prepares their student to the fullest and makes them able to compete with other students.
Princeton Review vs. Kaplan: Online Test
The Princeton MCAT Course comprises of a total of seven subject guides and 3 practice tests available online.The tests are comprehensive and tricky enabling students to face the actual exam confidently. Kaplan too provides a set of 3 realistic practice tests with detailed score report and in-depth explanation of each question.
Both these companies are quite similar in their study model and are considered the best institutions for MCAT preparation. Good scores are sure shot guaranteed.
Our Winner: Tie
Princeton Review vs. Kaplan: Practice Exams
There are 14 full-length practice exams comprising of the leading AAMC official exams. Each of the full-length practice exams increases the skill of students and prepares them for the actual exam.
Kaplan also has similar program set and offers 14 full-length tests including the top-rated AAMC official exams. Along with the AAMC exams, TPR’s proprietary full-length tests are considered top-notch. If you miss a session, you can make it up by listening to a recording of the class.
Our Winner: Kaplan
Princeton Review vs. Kaplan: Books
It is important to know about the books Princeton use before making a decision. Let’s look at the books used by the Princeton:
- MCAT Subject Review Complete Box Set: 3rd edition 2018 – Buy Now On Amazon
- MCAT Workout, 2nd edition: 725 Practice Questions and Passages for MCAT Scoring Success, 480 pages – Buy Now On Amazon
- Complete MCAT: New for MCAT 2015, 1,488 pages – Buy Now On Amazon
- MCAT Psychology and Sociology Review: 3rd edition 2018, 416 pages – Buy Now On Amazon
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Review: 2nd edition 2016, 384 pages – Buy Now On Amazon
- MCAT General Chemistry Review: 3rd edition 2016, 352 pages – Buy Now On Amazon
- MCAT Biology and Biochemistry Review, 704 pages – Buy Now On Amazon
- Biochemistry Review, 2016, 240 pages – Buy Now On Amazon
- MCAT Organic Chemistry Review, 3rd edition 2016, 272 pages – Buy Now On Amazon
- Physics and Math Review: 3rd edition 2016, 592 pages – Buy Now On Amazon
- Essential MCAT: Flashcards + Online, 1,102 pages, used from $15 – Buy Now On Amazon
On the other hand, Kaplan uses only 2 books for preparation and these are available on Kaplan’s official site and Amazon. Other than these books they have Online quiz tool and their mobile app which serve as a mind refreshing learning portal.
Our Winner: Princeton Review
Having Read That…
The choice for either Kaplan or Princeton Review MCAT depends on the students. Kaplan provides few high-end, premium options when it comes to intensive sessions and tutoring.
The Princeton Review MCAT makes sure the content for the course is readily available. It makes teachers available for the in-depth class as well as into the TPR books. When students are looking for additional subject area review books as well as group tutoring package the Princeton Review MCAT is a better option.
Unlike the Kaplan Review MCAT, the Princeton review makes sure you don’t spend extra money on the course materials once you have fully paid for the full course. There is the availability of all necessary books and resources. Moreover, it comes with the MCAT practice tests. The students can use a few individual MCAT Private Tutoring as well. This will benefit them to pay lesser which can be otherwise higher for Kaplan charges.
On the contrary, in case you don’t think you require a full course, but prefer some intense review of Physics, Organic, or Verbal then Kaplan MCAT course is the best. Such courses are more affordable than a full course. Kaplan offers easy access to QBank. If you want a classroom experience that provides full-length tests as well as a collection of books then Kaplan MCAT is a good choice.
Moreover, it allocates an MCAT prep teacher for students who assist them a lot. The Kaplan teachers are better at assisting the students with fundamental concepts. All the necessary books are made available. There is also the availability of live course options.
Kaplan won in 2 out of 4 categories and we have 2 tie here with one in Princeton Review took first spot.
To sum it up, it can be said both these courses are equally good in their own way. Choosing any of these options depends on the needs and budget of students.