Kaplan MCAT Prep Courses Review [2021]

 Preparing for the MCAT? Find out if the Kaplan MCAT Prep Course can help you score high enough to get into the medical school you’re determined to enter. 

If you’re readying yourself for the MCAT, you have to prepare for it seriously. Kaplan can help with that since the brand has been in the business of preparing review courses for standardized tests for about 80 years now. They offer a wide range of services, including an MCAT prep course. 

Actually, they offer a wide range of MCAT prep courses. So, are they any good? Which of these courses best suits your needs? 

How to Find the Best MCAT Prep Course from Kaplan

When you get into the Kaplan MCAT prep course website, you immediately get a short filtering quiz to identify the MCAT prep course that may best suit your needs. You’re asked a series of questions, and your answers filter the list to arrive at the ideal solution. 

Here are the possible results, depending on your responses. 

When are you taking the MCAT?  How much guidance do you need? How much 1-on-1 time do you need with a teacher?  Recommended Kaplan MCAT Prep Course
Less than a month from now, which means it’s crunch time.  Not much, since you’re used to studying solo and you just need the right tools Not much, really. Having a teacher to help is good, but it’s not really absolutely crucial.  Platinum Practice Bundle
Less than a month from now, which means it’s crunch time. Not much, since you’re used to studying solo and you just need the right tools Yes, you need a lot. You do your best when you get the personal touch of 1-on-1 support. DIY Course Plus
Less than a month from now, which means it’s crunch time.  A decent amount, though you can use some support along the way. Not much, really. Having a teacher to help is good, but it’s not really absolutely crucial. DIY Course
Less than a month from now, which means it’s crunch time. A decent amount, though you can use some support along the way. Yes, you need a lot. You do your best when you get the personal touch of 1-on-1 support. DIY Course Plus
Less than a month from now, which means it’s crunch time.  A lot, as you want structure and a person to keep you accountable Not much, really. Having a teacher to help is good, but it’s not really absolutely crucial. DIY Course Plus
Less than a month from now, which means it’s crunch time. A lot, as you want structure and a person to keep you accountable Yes, you need a lot. You do your best when you get the personal touch of 1-on-1 support. Tutoring + Online Course
In 1 to 3 months.  Not much, since you’re used to studying solo and you just need the right tools Not much, really. Having a teacher to help is good, but it’s not really absolutely crucial.  DIY Course
In 1 to 3 months. Not much, since you’re used to studying solo and you just need the right tools Yes, you need a lot. You do your best when you get the personal touch of 1-on-1 support. DIY Course Plus
In 1 to 3 months. A decent amount, though you can use some support along the way. Not much, really. Having a teacher to help is good, but it’s not really absolutely crucial. Online Course 
In 1 to 3 months. A decent amount, though you can use some support along the way. Yes, you need a lot. You do your best when you get the personal touch of 1-on-1 support. Online Course Plus
In 1 to 3 months. A lot, as you want structure and a person to keep you accountable Not much, really. Having a teacher to help is good, but it’s not really absolutely crucial. Online Course
In 1 to 3 months. A lot, as you want structure and a person to keep you accountable Yes, you need a lot. You do your best when you get the personal touch of 1-on-1 support. Tutoring + Online Course
You have more than 3 months to prepare.  Not much, since you’re used to studying solo and you just need the right tools Not much, really. Having a teacher to help is good, but it’s not really absolutely crucial.  DIY Course
You have more than 3 months to prepare.  Not much, since you’re used to studying solo and you just need the right tools Yes, you need a lot. You do your best when you get the personal touch of 1-on-1 support. DIY Course Plus
You have more than 3 months to prepare.  A decent amount, though you can use some support along the way. Not much, really. Having a teacher to help is good, but it’s not really absolutely crucial. Online Course
You have more than 3 months to prepare.  A decent amount, though you can use some support along the way. Yes, you need a lot. You do your best when you get the personal touch of 1-on-1 support. Tutoring +Online Course
You have more than 3 months to prepare.  A lot, as you want structure and a person to keep you accountable Not much, really. Having a teacher to help is good, but it’s not really absolutely crucial. Online Course
You have more than 3 months to prepare.  A lot, as you want structure and a person to keep you accountable Yes, you need a lot. You do your best when you get the personal touch of 1-on-1 support. Tutoring + Online Course

 

The Various Plans

Let’s take a closer look at these plans to help you check out your options. 

DIY Course

This costs $1,799 with online lessons you can take at your own pace. You can just play prerecorded lessons, with a teacher who can help you out. These include the 130 interactive Science Review videos. 

You can also access the MCAT channel, giving you at least 90 hours of prerecorded lessons plus live online lessons 6 days a week. 

The Qbank has at least 2,900 questions you can practice on, and it automatically adjusts to your current skill level so you’re able to improve. Then you also get the MCAT Subject Review set with its 7 books, plus another Lesson Book. 

Then it also offers a new practice test for the revised 2020 MCAT. You now have 11 revised practice tests that have been created to match the changes in the test. Each of these practice tests lasts 5 hours and 45 minutes, and in the end, you’re able to see your score. 

You have all these tests you can take at regular intervals to track your ongoing progress. You’re also able to check your deficiencies so that you can adjust your focus to concentrate more on your weaker subject areas. 

The various Kaplan courses also include the standard practice tests that last 7½ hours long, to familiarize you with what you’ll face in the MCAT today. All in all, you get 16 full-length practice tests, plus all the official AAMC practice materials available as well.  

DIY Course Plus

You get all the features in the standard DIY Course, but as you pay $2,299 ($500 more) your money gets you the following extras:

  • 3 hours of personalized one-on-one tutoring
  • MCAT Biochemistry Audio Review, MCAT Foundations of Behavioral Science, MCAT Foundations of Biochemistry
  • Specialized help for admission to medical school

Online Course

With this option, you now have a teacher giving lessons. If you’re more at ease with a school schedule instead of a self-paced study plan, this may be more to your liking. 

Here you also get the features found in the DIY Course. But for $2,499 you also get 12 classes with a team of carefully chosen MCAT teachers, and each class lasts 3 hours. 

Online Course Plus

This costs $2,999 and your extra $500 also gives you: 

  • 3 hours of personalized one-on-one tutoring
  • MCAT Biochemistry Audio Review, MCAT Foundations of Behavioral Science, MCAT Foundations of Biochemistry
  • Specialized help for admission to medical school

Yes, these are the same extras you find in the Plus version of the DIY Course. 

Other Options

In the past, Kaplan also offered an in-person course for $2,699 while a rigorous 5-week Bootcamp course was available for $6,999. 

However, you may want to check the current pandemic situation first before you try these options. 

Kaplan Pros

Here are some reasons why Kaplan may be suitable for you. 

  • Kaplan has been around for a long time, and they’ve established a serious reputation for effectiveness. 
  • This offers several options, so you may find one option that matches your needs and preferences. 
  • You get lots of content, with thousands of practice questions, hundreds of lessons, and plenty of diagnostic practice tests. 

Kaplan Cons

Is it perfect? Not quite. 

  • One reason why a few people don’t go with Kaplan is simply that it’s quite expensive. 
  • Another reason is that access to the study materials is limited to just 6 months. 

Comparison with Princeton Review

The Princeton Review MCAT prep courses are just as highly regarded as the Kaplan offerings. This is why the 2 brands are often directly compared. 

The main issue, at least from a definitive perspective, is that Princeton Review prices are lower. At the same time, Princeton Review also offers 12 months of access. 

Some Kaplan fans do say that the Kaplan MCAT prep courses are slightly better. But this is an entirely subjective view, and it’s not exactly a unanimous opinion. 

Conclusion

Kaplan is one of the great. No one’s really denying that since the quality of their study materials and the expertise of their teachers are obvious. The brand has a terrific track record, and thousands of people have confirmed that their MCAT prep courses have worked for them. 

It’s just that it’s expensive, and you may want a longer access period. In that case, Kaplan may be good, but there are better (as in more cost-effective) options out there.