When it’s time to prepare for your MCAT test, you would want to consider the available prep options. Choosing one over another can determine the difference between passing and failing your test. You would want to go for an option that would give you a guarantee of doing well in your test. That’s why I want us to look at one of the best MCAT test prep providers around: Princeton Review.
So, who’s Princeton Review?
Princeton Review is a test preparation company that has been aroundsince 1981. Its core mandate is to offer tutoring and exam preparation servicesto students around the globe. The services and resources include those forofficial tests such as MCAT, SAT, NCLEX, LSAT, and more. Their test prepservices include admission services, online courses, and study guides with Random Houseas their publishers.
Why Choose Princeton Review for your MCAT Test Prep?
Here are reasons why Princeton Review would be the best way to prepare for your MCAT test:
Expert Course Instructors
Princeton Review has a team of well-trained tutors that are well-versed with the MCAT subject content. They have many years of experience having successfully trained many students. You also have an opportunity to speak one-on-one with your tutor.
A number of course options
Princeton Review offers you four options to choose from. They are the In-person, Winter Bootcamp, LiveOnline, and Self-paced courses. Each of these options except the self-paced course gives you a chance to choose between two different packages, namely, Strategy and Ultimate packages. It’s up to you to choose the one that suits your study needs better. Princeton offers you that flexibility to choose a course that perfectly fits your schedule.
Best Price and Affordability
You get to pick a course that you can afford. Inthis case, everyone has a chance to pick a course depending on the size oftheir pocket. The WinterBootcamp package goes for $2199 for the Strategy package and $2699for the Ultimate package, SummerImmersion for $9499, LiveOnlineStrategy goes for $2199 and the LiveOnlineUltimate package is $2699, while the self-pacedcourse will cost you $1699.
You can also opt for the MCATPrivate Tutoring packages that include Intro LiveOnline at $183/hr,Targeted LiveOnline at $200/hr, or the Comprehensive LiveOnline at $11,000 for60 hours.
You are eligible for a discount when you purchase a course from Princeton Review. The Strategy and the Ultimate course packages are currently offered at a discount of $100. They normally cost $2299 and $2799, respectively.
Comprehensive Video Course Coverage
Princeton Review leaves nothing to chance when it comes to giving you the right boost for your MCAT test prep. The video courses consist of long hours of intensive study. The Strategy package takes you up to 44 hours while the Ultimate package takes you up to 123 hours. Each of the course packages consist of more than 500 videos and practice tests that cover all the areas of the MCAT test subjects.
Topic Focus and CARS Accelerator Options
If you are weak in certain topics, Princeton Review ensures all that is taken care of. The MCAT test Topic Focus is designed to help you conquer those hard topics with the help of a qualified instructor. This will cost you $399.
CARS accelerator is for the purpose of helping you to polish up your skills in reading comprehension. Here, you get enough time for practicing using passages and also learning materials that are exclusive. This online course will cost you $499.
Up to 11 Study Guides
Study guides are the best way to prepare for yourtest. With Princeton MCAT Review, you will have an access to about 11 subject-specificcourse books prepared by experts. All the packages, except the Self-Pacedoption which has 10, consist of 11 MCAT books.
See our comparison of the best MCAT prep books here.
Each of the MCAT course packages includes a focus on practice test to give you the actual MCAT test experience. You get up to 15 practice tests that are full-length. The tests include some from AAMC, the body responsible for the designing of the MCAT test.
These are the kind of practice tests that you won’t find anywhere else. They are MCAT-styled, up-to 235 in number and consist of up to 1520 questions. These tests are meant to prepare you and help you test your readiness for the MCAT test.
As you study through the courses and take theinteractive practice and diagnostic tests, you will be able to identify yourweak areas. You will receive a score report for each test you take. You canthen use these score reports to review and identify the weak areas. This way itbecomes easier for you to improve on them.
Learn about the best strategies to pass the MCAT exam here.
Princeton Review believes that getting an entry into medical school is not all about your MCAT score. You would require help on how to apply for medical school, prepare, take and pass interviews, among other areas.
The counselling team is available to give you comprehensive guidance through this process. The counselling coach will assess you to check your current status and stand as an applicant, your own MCAT score, and your academic record. All this is done to enable you identify your weak areas and get advice on how you can improve. You are required to pay $3500 for this special package.
Looking at the above, you can tell why Princeton Review is one of thebest in as far as MCAT prep course options are concerned. With Princeton come flexibility,affordability and intensive training courses that give you all you’ll ever needto pass your MCAT.
See our comparison of the best MCAT prep courses here.
The Princeton Review MCAT Coupon Codes
Save $150 Off The Princeton Review MCAT
Get $500 off Princeton Review MCAT – Summer Immersion
Get $400 off Princeton Review MCAT-In Person
Get $250 Off The Princeton Review MCAT
Princeton MCAT Review Vs Kaplan MCAT Test Prep, Which is which?
Both Princeton and Kaplan have been offering MCAT prep courses andresources for many decades. But what are the substantive differences in theirMCAT course presentation? In the process of finding out, this was myconclusion: It is a bit difficult to compare the two, more especially becauseeach one of them offers different packages for this very crucial test. I guessit’s because MCAT is so crucial a test such that they have to provide a number ofoption to the students.
Both of them have the In-person, Winter, Summer, Live Online and Self-paced study packages. They also offer the admissions consulting or counselling packages. The other notable similarity concerns the fact that should you require any extra online help, you will have to pay. The extras don’t come complete with the courses.
There are also the Summer intensive training packages that go for $9499 for both Princeton and Kaplan.
But what are their differences?
1. Course packagesoffered: Each one of the two has a number of packages for their MCAT courses.For Princeton Review, the available courses are In-person, LiveOnline, Bootcampand Self-paced. Each one of them except the Self-Paced option has two packages.
For Kaplan MCAT, the courses are In-person, Live Online, Tutoring and Self-paced. Each one of them is further divided into two options.
Cost: Kaplan MCAT courses are more expensive thatPrinceton’s. Example is the Winter option that goes for $2199 with Princeton,while the same goes for $6999 at Kaplan’s. The self-paced course, on the otherhand, goes for $1699 at Princeton while Kaplan’s goes for $1999 for theSelf-paced and $2499 for the Self-paced Plus option.
The other courses are LiveOnline Strategy and Ultimate costing $2199 and $2699, respectively, at Princeton while the Live Online and Live Online Plus go for $2499 and $2999, respectively, at Kaplan.
2. MCAT Study Books: Princeton has up to 11books while Kaplan has only 7 books. In addition to the course books,Princeton’s study guides include MCAT Science Workbook, MCAT Science Reviewwith questions and answers, Strategy Manual and MCAT CARS Manual.
3. Duration: Princeton Review Tutoring prepcourses take up to 123 hours while the longest of the Kaplan MCAT Tutoring prepcourse which is the Tutoring package takes 35 hours. Princeton courses aretherefore quite intensive.
4. To get theone-on-one course from Princeton, you have to purchase the Tutoring package,while for Kaplan, this comes with the ‘Plus’ package options and lasts for upto 3 hours.
5. You can get bothprivate tutoring and tutoring for a small group from Princeton, while Kaplanoffers a private tutoring option only.
6. Each Princeton course package include over 500 videos that cover all the MCAT test subject content,while that for Kaplan has about 130 for each package that cover the Science subjects only.
7. Princeton has astudy package specifically dedicated to reading comprehension, that is, theCARS. Kaplan doesn’t have such a package. The other thing that Princeton has and is not available with Kaplan isthe Topic Focus course plan that enables you to have coaching on your mostchallenging topics.
Here is a table showing a summary of the similarities and differencesbetween Princeton MCAT Review and Kaplan MCAT Review:
Kaplan Test Prep
|Full-Length Practice Tests||15||15|
|Practice Drills||235||Not indicated|
|Most Popular||Live Online||In-person|
|No. Of Books||10-11||7|
|No. Of Videos||Over 500||About 130 Science-specific|
|Course Length||Strategy: 44 hours
Ultimate: 123 hours
|Tutoring: Up to 35 hrs|
So, is it Princeton MCAT Review or Kaplan MCAT Test Prep?
If you are looking for affordability and flexibility, then Princeton Review would be great for you. Besides these, Princeton also offers you intensive long hours of training and study that will guarantee your passing. But this is not to say that Kaplan Prep isn’t a nice fit. Kaplan MCAT has great courses,except that they are a bit pricey. The other thing about Kaplan is the fewer study books compared to Princeton’s. And if I’m to make a choice between them while considering cost, flexibility, intensive study and course books, then I would definitely go for Princeton MCAT Review.
Best PANCE/PANRE Review Course: Kaplan Test PrepFor aspiring PA’s who want to maximize their chances of passing the PANCE/PANRE on their first try, especially those who prefer live instruction, the resources provided by Kaplan’s educational packages are hands-down the best option.
Pro: High YieldThe most basic package offered by Kaplan for PANCE test prep is a suite of over 1,000 practice questions. However, they also offer an upgraded version of this package known as High Yield which includes a few additional features. In addition to several hours of video lectures, the Qbank + High Yield package includes a robust tutor guidance program and two books containing insight from professionals. These are features exclusive to Kaplan that can make a substantial impact on student’s grasp of the course material.
Pro: Live ClassesAlthough Kaplan offers educational material in their prep courses that are standard among many other educational offerings from competing companies, one thing that gives them the edge is their live classes. Students have the choice between sitting in a physical classroom with an instructor or livestreaming the same sessions from home. For some individuals, this method of teaching will be more effective for them and will greatly improve their ability to understand and recall information on the exam.
Con: PricingSince Kaplan offers a premium education service, it should come as no surprise that their PANCE review courses come at a premium price. Although they have attempted to make the process less painful for students with flexible pricing and trial offers, there’s no getting around the fact that this is one of the most expensive educational resources for students studying for the PANCE/PANRE. Individuals with budgetary concerns may want to try a different service that can offer a greater volume of material at a lower price, even if it is of a slightly diminished quality.
#1 Runner-up Pick: BoardVitalsAlthough it doesn’t quite measure up to our pick for best PANCE review course, the study materials offered by BoardVitals are still an excellent choice for aspiring PA’s. What they lack in diversity of materials, they make up for in quality of available resources.
Pro: Practice QuestionsBoardVitals offers over 1,100 practice questions covering different aspects of the exam: about 10% more than our #1 pick. Additionally, these questions all come with detailed answers that provide detailed explanations behind the rationale for each one. With this increased volume, students who prefer self-studying will find this prep program very effective.
Pro: Scheduling FlexibilityIt can be difficult to find time to study for the PANCE/PANRE in between other obligations, such as university education or employment. BoardVitals understands this obstacle and offers a few benefits to students who are looking for a more flexible prep program. These include 24/7 availability for all study materials and the option to delay starting the program for up to six months after paying.
Con: No LecturesWhile BoardVitals offers one of the best PANCE review courses in terms of practice questions for self-study, one thing they do not offer at all is any kind of lecture content. Even with a pricing scheme that complements their lack of this content, students may still be so dissatisfied with the lack of audio or video lessons that they will want to avoid this educational resource altogether.
#2 Runner-Up Pick: FTP LecturesAnother excellent choice for a particular kind of student is FTP Lectures. With their huge library of video lectures created by qualified professionals in medicine, the knowledge that can be gained from this educational resource is astounding.
Pro: Time ManagementAs previously mentioned, it can be difficult for a student to squeeze in a PANCE/PANRE study session while juggling other obligations in their day-to-day life. One major benefit that is inherent to video content, including the videos on FTP Lectures, is that they can be conveniently paused and resumed at a later date if an individual’s study session is interrupted. Another fantastic benefit provided by this program that is rare among video lecture resources is the ability to speed up all videos to twice their normal pace. This cuts the time it takes to view these lectures in half, further saving a student’s valuable time.
Pro: StaffAll of the team members behind the scenes at FTP Lectures are highly qualified medical professionals who have a deep working knowledge of all things medicine. Their team features an emergency physician, a pharmacist, a cardiologist, and a general practitioner. All of these individuals bring their own experience and knowledge into this educational resource, making it one of the best PANCE review courses around.
Con: No Practice MaterialAs the name implies, FTP Lectures only offers video lectures in their PANCE review course program online. This laser-focused approach helps them to offer some of the best video content for aspiring PA’s but it comes with the consequence of limiting the effectiveness of their prep course for students with different learning styles. An absence of practice tests, live classroom sessions, and supplementary textbooks will most likely require students to supplement this course with other study tools at an extra cost to them.
Have you already tried a course?We would love to hear from you! Your reviews will help students find the best course. Things to think about when writing your review:
- What was the course’s biggest advantage?
- How easy was the course to navigate?
- How was the course content (videos, textbooks etc.)
- What were some standout features?
- What could they improve on?
- What was the overall value?
- Would you recommend them to a friend?