Kaplan vs Princeton Review: best MCAT prep course, and why?

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Kaplan vs Princeton Review: best MCAT prep course, and why?

Kaplan vs Princeton Review MCAT prep course…what’s the best MCAT class? Kaplan vs Princeton Review are highly rated for their MCAT prep courses, with both in the top tier for MCAT prep courses overall.

Best MCAT prep course | Kaplan or Princeton Review | MCAT prep | premedfaq

Golly, Kaplan…or Princeton Review?

And…they offer premedFAQ.com visitors discounts up to $300 and sometimes more. Click here for the latest Princeton Review vs Kaplan MCAT prep class discounts.

Every MCAT prep company will try to convince you that:

  1. The MCAT is scary;
  2. You couldn’t possibly face it on your own; and
  3. So, of course theirs is the best MCAT prep class to help you prepare.
  4. So, we decided to review these two MCAT prep courses and give you more to go on when you’re making the all-important decision about the best MCAT course for YOU. There are plenty of other test prep companies out there, including ExamKrackers, Berkeley Review and Altius. The thing about Kaplan vs Princeton Review that makes them a natural choice for lots of pre-meds is that they’re offered in more places, and they both offer plenty of extra study resources.

Do I need a formal MCAT prep course?

***If you’ve decided you do, then scheduling early is a good idea. Some test locations fill up fast. We can help you take advantage the best discounts Princeton Review vs Kaplan offer!

It depends. If you’re a solitary type studier who isn’t into groups and gets distracted in big classrooms full of people, you may want to consider the self-study route.

But if you love the idea of having a coach, mentor and organizer to help you fit MCAT prep into your frenetic life, and would like someone to direct you in the best ways to approach this monumental task, then you’re the perfect MCAT prep course preppie.

Between 70 and 80% of all premeds who take the MCAT enroll in an MCAT prep course; half of premeds who take the MCAT have to do it a second time. The best advice I can offer you is to do whatever you can to avoid that unpleasant possibility!

But aren’t classes expensive?

Yes and no. It may be even more expensive to go through four years of pre-med and not get accepted to medical school. If you think you may need help, spring for a class. The best MCAT courses offer a “higher score guarantee” allowing you to repeat a class at no cost within a 3 month period if you’re not happy with your initial MCAT score.

So, is Kaplan or Princeton Review better for MCAT? Here are the B A S I C S…

THE PRINCETON REVIEW MCAT TEST PREP

The Princeton Review’s 3-month MCAT Ultimate Course is generally given high marks. I’ll encounter students occasionally who complain about instructors who were weird or condescending, but that’s the risk (albeit small) you take when signing up with any test prep company. The students I’ve talked to were very happy with the amount of class time and depth of study materials offered with The Princeton Review MCAT prep course.

Class time

The live classroom TPR MCAT prep course offers 34 3-hour class sessions plus 21 hours of Psych/Soc. That’s a whopping 123 hours of live instruction. It’s the best MCAT course in this area. Another plus: the instructors are all certified, which means they’re considered “subject experts” in the areas they teach.

There’s also an MCAT Strategy Course, which consists of 22 class sessions focused exclusively on the application of strategies to tackle every question type.

The typical in-person class is a semester long, and meets 3 days a week for 3 hours per session. There are more accelerated classes that meet more often, and some that meet only on weekends. There’s even an intensive Summer Immersion course and a compact course offered during the December break.

Practice exams

Another valuable piece of the TPR package is the practice exams—14 full-length tests including the top-rated AAMC official exams. These are golden, as TPR’s proprietary full-length tests are superb.

Cost

The MCAT Ultimate Course offered by TPR is its most comprehensive, costing $2,799 in most locations. The MCAT Strategy Course is next, at $2,299. The MCAT Self-Paced Course is $1,699. These prices are discounted for premedFAQ website visitors, so you can click on the links above for a $300 discount on the Ultimate course, and varying discounts on all other courses including the Summer Immersion Course. Check our main website for special one-time discounts Kaplan vs Princeton Review offer our visitors.

Added resources

-An online “dashboard” helps you make a custom schedule for study times.

-The higher score guarantee gives you the chance to take any TPR MCAT prep course again, at no cost, if you’re unhappy with your score.

KAPLAN MCAT TEST PREP

For some obvious reasons, Kaplan’s MCAT prep course is the most popular among pre-med students. For starters, their name recognition in the test prep industry is legend. Kaplan classes are also offered in more cities, which may make Kaplan your only option for a live MCAT prep course. My experience in talking with Kaplan MCAT preppers is that the courses are extremely well designed and effective in helping students get the material down.

Class time, online tests

Kaplan or Princeton Review | Best MCAT prep | MCAT prep courses | premedfaq

” yeah. just round to the neares integer and you’re fine, bro.”

A total of 540 hours of instruction and online practice include 13 class sessions and 14 full-length practice tests. As with TPR, Kaplan includes AAMC’s full-length practice tests, a must for those who want to succeed. The AAMC tests are most like the real MCAT since they’re written by the same people who created the MCAT.

Very much like TPR, Kaplan offers a live MCAT prep course that lasts a full semester with 2-3 hour classes 2-3 days per week. There are optional schedules that focus more on the weekend or add more weekday sessions, so you’ll have choices.

Practice exams

As with TPR, Kaplan 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.

Cost

The standard Live In-Person MCAT Prep Course costs $2,499. (If you use the premedFAQ link you’ll get the discount they offer our visitors.) Kaplan also has Live Online ($2,499) and Self-Paced ($1,999) Courses. When calculating Kaplan vs Princeton Review, check the numbers closely, as the discounts can make the difference.

Added resources

-The Kaplan MCAT prep course offers you access to The MCAT Channel and their QBank of some 11,000 practice questions that can be accessed online, as well as digital books and a flashcard app.

-You can access 130 interactive science videos.

-Kaplan helps you create a personalized study plan that takes into consideration your strengths and weaknesses.

-As with TPR, Kaplan offers a higher score guarantee so you can repeat any class within 2-3 months of your first try at no cost to you.

Comparing Books, Tests, Tutoring and Online Resources

Let’s start with tests. Both Princeton Review and Kaplan MCAT prep offers access to AAMC’s computer-based full-length MCAT tests. Each company has also created its own proprietary tests, which are a regular staple during the class periods. Most reviewers I’ve talked to agree that Kaplan’s MCAT practice material is slightly better than TPR’s. That’s because TPR tests and passages are not as reflective of the actual MCAT’s question style. TPR tests tend to over-emphasize memorization and calculation. In my estimation (and the reviews I’ve read by other students), Kaplan’s aren’t the best tests on the market either (see our review of several MCAT CBTs and how to best use them here), but they are still a respected resource, and slightly better than TPR’s.

Testing: slight edge to Kaplan

MCAT book sets

Prior to the 2015 MCAT changes, TPR was seen as being the best MCAT course for having better book sets, but looking at Kaplan vs Princeton Review MCAT prep books, the new test Kaplan comes out slightly ahead. The Kaplan books place greater focus on test skills and practice, while TPR focuses more on the science and strategies of taking the MCAT. That said, both book sets are well reviewed by MCAT studiers, so it’s a great idea to supplement your prep with either of these book brands. You can check out our review of both sets here. And we also have written a review of MCAT books by individual subject here. Your MCAT prep course comes with a full set of books, but that shouldn’t restrict you from getting some extra books to fill the gaps each prep company inevitably has.

Testing: edge to Kaplan

Tutoring

Kaplan’s MCAT prep class comes with three one-on-one sessions with a medical school mentor, plus some small group test review sessions led by MCAT instructors.

Granted, instructors can answer your questions in class, but if you need more than 20 hours of customized help, you’ll have to purchase extra tutoring with both Kaplan vs Princeton Review MCAT prep packages. With Kaplan you’ll have to purchase tutoring hours separately at around $265 per hour when you buy them in bulk. (Your options are 15 hours for $3,999, 25 for $4,899, or 35 for $5,799. The Princeton Review offers 10 hours for $2,000 and 60 hours for $11,000. So their pricing ($200 per hour) is less. Here are links to purchase tutoring time from The Princeton Review and from Kaplan as needed!

Tutoring: slight edge to Princeton

Self-paced Princeton Review MCAT prep vs Kaplan

Both Kaplan vs Princeton Review offer “self-paced” classes, which are basically their premium courses available in online videos. This is a super sweet option for pre-meds who want to jump on the MCAT prep train early, since you can begin at any time and direct your own progress. These self-paced courses also tend to be less expensive than the “live” or “live online” versions of the same course.

Online tools

Up until a couple years ago, Kaplan was the best MCAT prep course on this because TPR had nothing like QBank. Back then, even QBank wasn’t perceived as being especially helpful since Kaplan’s practice material wasn’t great, and QBank was just an extension of it. But TPR today has around 2,700 questions, more than Kaplan (2,300), so if you’ve got tons of time to burn, these features can be super helpful. What you need is something to prepare you for the break-neck pace of the real MCAT, and these questions are a boon.

So what about Kaplan vs Princeton Review MCAT online? Both Kaplan vs Princeton Review MCAT prep offer “Live Online” MCAT prep courses, where you attend a live lecture sitting in front of your best MCAT prep course | kaplan or the princeton review | mcat prep | premedfaqcomputer. This means you can still interact with your professor and fellow studiers, while sipping a latte in your pajamas. Or you can watch a video version of it at 2 a.m. if that works best for you. (Check out Kaplan’s Live Online MCAT Course here, and Kaplan’s here.)

Online tools: to Kaplan for quantity; Princeton Review for quality (both are important!)

The Classroom

As I mentioned above, TPR is the best MCAT course at diving deeper into the science and strategy of the MCAT during class (and in their books), while Kaplan MCAT teachers are focused more on helping students get the fundamentals down. At this point I should just say that you can’t go wrong with either company since their approaches in the classroom are both well respected, and neither company is too advanced or too elementary for most pre-meds. Whichever live class you take, you’ll have the chance to ask questions during class, then study outside of class at your own pace.

Classroom experience: Edge to Kaplan for beginners and non-traditional applicants; edge to Princeton Review for science geeks and purely classroom learners since more classroom hours and tutoring time are offered.

Princeton Review vs Kaplan MCAT Prep Course “Intangibles”

By intangibles, I mean extras and minutiae that don’t matter much, but are worth mentioning and may even make a serious difference to some. For example, Kaplan MCAT prep live courses are offered in more cities than The Princeton Review, and since any course is better than no course (if you’ve decided to take one), it’s probably worth taking MCAT prep from either company even if it’s not perfectly fitted to your needs. Kaplan one-ups its Live Online class with its MCAT Advantage-On Demand course, which offers 24/7 access to classroom lectures online for the same fee as a live prep course. The Princeton Review has a similar offering. If you have an irregular schedule, or need to hear or see something twice before it registers, this may be the perfect option. (Pause, replay. Pause, replay again!)

Kaplan used to have a bunch of courses and tools you could purchase separately from its MCAT prep courses. For example, it sells tutoring hours. Also, Kaplan has subject-centered courses like “Organic Edge,” “Physics Edge,” “Verbal Edge,” to give you what? And EDGE in your weakest subjects. There’s also a Kaplan Online Science Review—a whole set of tutorials to help you get a better grasp of the core pre-med sciences. Check out the full list of Kaplan MCAT prep courses here.

Edge: to Kaplan

WHY CHOOSE KAPLAN MCAT PREP VS PRINCETON REVIEW?

—If you don’t think you need a full course, but would like some heavy review of Organic, Physics, or Verbal. These courses are cheaper than a full course, and Kaplan gives you access to QBank with any of its courses. That’s good stuff.

—If you don’t care about extra fancy tools and don’t have time for them. You’re wanting the classroom experience that offers full-length tests and a set of books, along with an MCAT prep teacher who’ll help you navigate the experience.

—You need plenty of basic review (either you had trouble with your pre-med classes or took them years ago!), but don’t need a rigorous classroom experience. Kaplan teachers are better at helping students get their fundamentals down.

If any of these describes you, head to Kaplan to check out their Online/Live course options up-close. Here’s Kaplan’s MCAT Test Prep homepage with all available options. And check out our list of Kaplan MCAT prep books and study materials available through Amazon.

WHY CHOOSE THE PRINCETON REVIEW VS KAPLAN MCAT PREP?

—You have your content down pretty well, and want your teacher to help you go deeper in class and in the TPR books. You want help and tools to help you refine your MCAT reflexes.

—You don’t want to spend extra cash on more materials after you pay for the full course. TPR has great books and MCAT practice tests, so you are less likely to need other supplemental books.

—You could use some one-on-one MCAT Private Tutoring, but don’t want to spend the higher fee Kaplan charges.

If this sounds like you, why not surf around TPR’s site and check out how their courses work. You can also click here for a list of TPR books you can find on Amazon.

Take Note…

Since every Kaplan vs Princeton Review testing center is different depending on who’s running it and who’s teaching, you may want to put your ear to the ground to see what you can find out about your local center. It’s not a bad option to go with the best instructor(s), instead of honing in on a specific MCAT prep company. However, this one feature being equal, I’d still choose the best MCAT course to fit my needs.

Click here for the homepage for Kaplan vs Princeton Review MCAT prep, so you can check out their full list of course options.

Check out these other helpful posts:

Best MCAT study tips

Comprehensive list of MCAT prep books

Review of top four MCAT prep book sets

2018 MCAT dates

Best MCAT Prep Course: Kaplan or Princeton Review | Prepping for Med School | Pre MED FAQ

By | 2018-04-24T13:22:32+00:00 April 18th, 2018|MCAT Prep|50 Comments

About the Author:

Pre-med just finished my last year of university, sat for the MCAT in June and got acceptance to my preferred school. Awaiting news on one other med school where I'm on the wait list! Volleyball, sports and travel are my passions.

50 Comments

  1. Pre-Med Ask It! March 25, 2012 at 10:19 am - Reply

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  5. Jacob Schwyzer April 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    anyone I’ve asked has said the kaplan and princeton review courses are pretty much the same but they rarely have anything to back it up. but you’ve got all kinds of good info, especially the suggestions for who should take which prep courses. seriously, that was super helpful. the kaplan mcat course is definitely the one for me, since it’s been a couple years since undergrad and i want to do my mcat prep course online. thanks again for all the time you put in putting this site together.

    • Evan June 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      I live in Portland, OR… I initially signed up for Princeton Review and had my entire summer planned out to study and take the MCAT in September. One week before my class was set to start TPR changed my schedule to a miserable night schedule. I had a terrible time dealing with them and had to fight to get my money back. I called Altius and they were very nice and helpful and scrambled to get me a spot in one of their classes. Bottom line Princeton Review was difficult to deal with and did not care about my success in the slightest. Altius was very helpful and did everything they could to get me into the class that would be successful for me!

      • Sarah February 9, 2015 at 12:44 pm - Reply

        I had the same experience with Princeton. They suck with customer service, and cancelled my class a week before it started.

      • Sara February 9, 2015 at 12:45 pm - Reply

        Princeton sucks! They did the same thing to me!

  6. Dodgerwoman55 April 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Kaplan’s class also includes the 8 AAMC tests plus 11 more.  And all of the books are now available on the iphone and ipad which I thought was pretty cool.

    • Brycepj April 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the info. That has apparently changed since I posted this. I’ll update immediately.

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  14. Natalia May 24, 2012 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Thank you, this was very useful!

  15. Jessica July 12, 2012 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Hi. This article was really helpful. I began studying for the MCAT this summer, on my own. I was given a box of Kaplan MCAT subject books and a lesson book ( I believe the student who gave them to me took the course). However, I realized that studying on my own is not going as smoothly as I thought. I wanted to know if you suggest the Kaplan course or TPR. I have been using all Kaplan review books thus far, so I am worried if I sign up for the Kaplan, I will end up getting the same books and feel like its on repeat. Thanks!

    • Bryce July 12, 2012 at 11:48 am - Reply

      I guess it depends somewhat on whether or not you like the books you have from Kaplan. You might order a used book or two of TPR’s off of Amazon to see if you like their stuff better. But what you’ll really be paying for with a course will be the classtime, mentoring, and extra practice materials. That said, I think my post outlines pretty well who Kaplan’s good for and who TPR’s good for. If you have circumstances or strengths/weaknesses I don’t address in this post, click the “Submit a Question” button and send me an email with details and I’ll see if I can help you out.

  16. Marc November 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    I was thinking of prepping for the MCAT during a 6 month period. I have planned on taking the MCAT on August and start on January with the examcrackers supplement until March. Afterwards i was going to start with the Princeton classes from April through June. Is this a good idea or should i be doing both reviews at the same time?

    • Bryce November 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      Marc,

      Good question. I think that’s a good idea. With MCAT prep it’s really important to pace yourself, so it sounds like what you have in mind will do just that. Good thinking!

      Good luck!

  17. Sueki April 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    I found your review very helpful! Thanks! I’m debating on whether to take the Princeton Review or the Kaplan Prep Class. I’m particularly weak in physics and haven’t yet taken a genetics class, so I’ll be learning this for the first time. I want to have excellent instructors that will be able to re-teach the material but I also want to have great prep books that come with the course, with good explanations and questions similar to those in the actual MCAT but not too difficult so I’ll be completely lost and discouraged. Which course would I be better off with?
    Thanks!

    • Sarah April 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm - Reply

      dont do kaplan! or check the qualifications of the teachers for your program. mine was a guy that did 15 in verbal and not double digits in either of the sciences. he cant answer any questions.

  18. Sarah April 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    hi, I am in Kaplan right now and when I asked my instructor if I should focus more on concepts of all the little formulas that the books overwhelm you with he said just know everything. So I wasted a lot of time on useless stuff and my mcat is a month away and im a week away from finishing content. I went back and tried to focus more on concepts but I can NOT interpret graphs/experimental passages for the physical sections .. and Im getting 13s-14s on verbal so Its not that I cant do that in general. Do you have advice? Also should I push my test back to June 20th or is that too late? Im getting 11s in Bio …. But I am getting like 8s on physical due to passage problems. please help! super stressed. I was good at physics idk why I am doing so badly.

  19. Josephine Forsythe September 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Hey all,

    I began my MCAT prep last summer and a friend of a friend referred me to Tutor the People. I decided to Skype with a tutor twice a week for 2 hours per week instead of meeting in person. It was extremely helpful, and I was able to study with a few different prep books while also following my tutor’s specific study plan he created for me. I ended up scoring a 34 on my MCAT after tutoring with TTP. My original score was a 27.

    I definitely suggest everybody check this company out. Their 1-on-1 prices are very affordable and they offer free extended payment plans. I had a really good experience and I have already received interview invitations from 6 different schools!

    • Bryce Johnson September 30, 2013 at 7:54 am - Reply

      Thanks for the insight, Josephine!

    • Alarica January 30, 2014 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      Hi, I was wondering if you remember which MCAT tutor you worked with at one-on-one tutors? Thanks!

      • Bryce Johnson February 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm - Reply

        I didn’t do tutoring, but decided on a go-it-alone study regimen. I’d suggest going on the Student Doctor Network forum and asking that specific question. I’m pretty sure you’ll get some good input, as there have to be pre-meds there who have used that service. Good luck, and especially, good prep on the MCAT.

  20. Vyshnavi May 3, 2015 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Hi, I purchased the examcrackers books for 2015 mcat , but I want to either take the Kaplan or princeton review course, would that be a problem?

    • Bryce Johnson May 4, 2015 at 11:35 am - Reply

      You’re on the right track. As I explain in this post (https://premedfaq.com/examkrackers-or-berkeley-review-mcat-prep-books/), Examkrackers, along with Berkeley Review, produce the best MCAT prep books on the planet! But you’ll also want a set that corresponds to the learning you’re doing in a Kaplan or Princeton Review class. Why not invest in two sets of books? Every MCAT prep company has different methods of teaching, and focuses on different aspects of learning, so you may be surprised at which one you respond best to. I think it’s an advantage having two alternating sets of books, and you can find most of them on Amazon at a used price! Good luck.

      • Vyshnavi May 4, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

        do people who take the prep courses have a better advantage , cause I can’t decide on whether I want to study independently or take the prep course? Do you advice people to take them for the 2015 MCAT?

        • Bryce Johnson September 3, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

          So sorry this question was filed in my “lost” mail. It may be too late for me to answer, but given that the 2015 MCAT is all new I would recommend going with a prep class. Usually, I’ll recommend that for those who study well independently, they pick up the best package of prep books online and do it alone. But this new test is a new animal, and I’d want the extra help of the experts. There is enough information coming back from the first test takers that they can help you prepare in a way a book can’t! Let me know how you do.

  21. Joe May 21, 2015 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Helpful post! I’m looking at courses now and it seems like some of the numbers in the post are out of date. I think companies may have updated their programs for the new test. Like there’s now only 1 AAMC practice test as far as I can see? Any insights into who’s the best to help with the new Psychology and Sociology section?

    • Bryce Johnson September 3, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks Joe. We are updating a few of our sections. I’ll look at the psych and sociology question and get back to you!

  22. konwersroli.science October 24, 2015 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Both Princeton Review Kaplan will allow you to take the entire course over, no matter how much your score increased, if you’re dissatisfied with your test score.

    • Bryce Johnson November 1, 2015 at 12:54 am - Reply

      Thanks, yes the re-do for free is a great benefit! I’ll add that to my review of these two top-tier courses.

  23. Jane November 12, 2015 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    I am trying to decide what books to use and also which course to take. I have an engineering degree, so I have no biochem and limited chemistry, so I will need to start with the basics in these areas, but on the other hand I’m not worried about physics/math. I am planning to get a set of books asap and start myself, then take an online course starting in February, and then write at the end of May. I’m wondering what set of books would be best to start with?

    • Bryce Johnson June 21, 2016 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      Jane, sorry I didn’t answer your question from many months ago. Our problem was, with the new test, the new books coming out need review, and that’s what we’ve been doing. We’ll have reviews out in a few weeks. I know that doesn’t help you much, but I’m hoping you had a good experience with MCAT in May!

  24. Sarah April 8, 2016 at 2:07 am - Reply

    Great article! Thank you!

  25. Tayvon Smith July 14, 2016 at 2:10 am - Reply

    i have been doing my research and i was wondering what else was out there for preparation for the MCATS. i think im going to go with Kaplan, but im just curious for comparison and to see what the difference is.

    • Marci Judd July 21, 2016 at 3:21 pm - Reply

      Are you talking courses or books? Brooks Johnson, one of our reviewers, just wrote this post regarding several full study sets he used to study for the MCAT in June: https://premedfaq.com/best-mcat-prep-books/. He just got word this week that he scored 518. Not bad.

  26. Kim August 12, 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    I am trying to decide between Kaplan and Princeton for my MCAT Review but I can’t decide. Does anyone know if after doing the course and taking the exam if the score isn’t as expected do you get to continue getting help from them (retake course) since we are paying so much to begin?

    • Marci Judd August 12, 2016 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      Both Kaplan and Princeton Review have “better score guarantees” that allow you to retake their class if you don’t do better on the test than your base score, which would be either your first practice test, or the score on a test taken within the two previous months. Both have requirements in order to collect on the promise. If you don’t improve, you may also be able to get your money back entirely. Check out these links: http://www.princetonreview.com/legal/guarantee-better-scores, and for Kaplan https://www.kaptest.com/hsg.

  27. Lois Williams January 13, 2017 at 6:25 am - Reply

    Hi I’m actually in the process of signing up for an MCAT course. I’m debating between Kaplan and Princeton Review. Schedule wise Princeton fits with my schedule. Also I have ExamKrackers books. How do I supplement the course or my studying with EK books. I’ve heard some companies are good for particular subjects. Please enlighten me more on that please.

    • Marci Judd January 25, 2017 at 11:33 am - Reply

      I haven’t taken the Princeton class, but check out this review of Examkrackers, as well as other book sets: https://premedfaq.com/best-mcat-prep-books/
      I can give you my two cents on your question, though. So, I assume that the Princeton prep course includes books and a few practice tests. This is great. I liked the Princeton books, and their tests were pretty good, too. If you use the Princeton books as your primary source for content review, you won’t be missing out on anything. I would use the EK books to review content that is giving you trouble. It helps to review a difficult subject with multiple sources, as the approach to explaining each subject differs by book.
      EK has great practice questions in the books and full-length practice exams available on its website. Take full advantage of the EK practice questions in the book. If your book set doesn’t come with full-length practice exams included, I would encourage you to purchase them on their website at http://www.examkrackers.com/Store/View_Category.aspx?c=6 .
      So, in review, I would say you should rely on the Princeton books for most of your content review and use your EK books for their practice questions (and to review difficult subjects if necessary).

      Best of luck. Study hard!

      Brooks J

  28. Jessica March 8, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Hi, I’m looking at registering for the Kaplan summer intensive program. It is a big decision with respect to the cost, however, if anyone knows the benefits of this program over the others, and has a personal experience with this program I would love to know more about it. Thanks so much!

    • Marci Judd March 10, 2017 at 2:18 pm - Reply

      From everything I hear, it can be a boon to your grade IF you take up the challenge to work hard to ensure your own good MCAT score. What’s provided are some helpful tools: Kaplan’s full range of resources including small group, large lecture, one-on-one tutoring, and evening workshops, within a concentrated 6-week window. Not everyone does well. But not everyone does well in other MCAT prep courses either. Why? Some are better suited to individual study, and others think just paying for the class will ensure them a good grade. If you are motivated, and bring what Kaplan calls a good “work ethic,” the 6-week intense program gives you a chance to immerse yourself in all the subjects you’ll be facing on the MCAT. Whether you’re learning or re-learning material, if you come prepared to button down, it should be a good investment for you. Keep in mind that if you don’t get your preferred grade on the MCAT, Kaplan lets you re-take the class. Check out our review of Kaplan vs. Princeton Review here: https://premedfaq.com/best-mcat-prep-course/

  29. Marc Z May 4, 2017 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    In the section “Practice Tests and Books,” why do you say, “Before the changes to the MCAT, TPR was usually thought to have the better book sets, but things have seemed to change with the new test, and Kaplan appears to have come out slightly ahead,” and then at the end of the section give the edge to Princeton Review? Seems like if, when comparing the practice tests and books of the two companies, Kaplan’s practice tests and books “come out slightly ahead” of TPR’s, that would imply the edge for this category should go to Kaplan.

    • Brooks Johnson May 5, 2017 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      Hi Marc,
      Thanks for pointing that out! It is fixed. It was an honest mistake that we missed here at premedfaq. I hope that the content of the paragraph was helpful and indicative of the fact that we believe that the Kaplan books do have an edge over the TPR material!
      Thanks again!
      -Brooks

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