Kaplan MCAT – Insider Review

Is Kaplan MCAT Really the Best?

Thinking RFID

The question of whether Kaplan MCAT or another MCAT prep course is the best is a hotly debated topic and an important question to answer. There are definitely strengths and weaknesses to this MCAT prep program, which we’ll be covering below. For a quick answer of whether this prep course is for you, I think that if you learn best by online lectures and practice questions, Kaplan MCAT is probably your best choice.

You’ll understand why and a lot of details about their many programs as you go through this page. Also, you can click here to see their current offers. They generally have new discounts each month.


As an added bonus, if you buy a Kaplan prep course through any of the links or banners on this page (that means you click one of the links that takes you to Kaplan, then buy a course), I will send you free copies of my eBooks 10 Steps to Accepted- An Insider’s Guide to Getting Into Medical School and Succeeding in Medical School– How I Landed My Top Choice Residency.

In these you’ll find my insider tips from my experience on the UCLA admissions committee on what it takes to get into a top medical school. You’ll also learn the tricks I used to ace your USMLE’s and land your top choice residency.

Just click on any Kaplan link or banner on this or any other page on the site, then once you make your purchase, email me the purchase receipt at [email protected] I’ll email you the books right away!

Get the MCAT score you want with Kaplan MCAT Test Prep!

P.S. If you would prefer to watch a video review, check out my YouTube video here.


Kaplan MCAT teachers (the on-site teachers) are generally students who have done well on certain sections of the MCAT. For example, a student who scored a 13 or higher on MCAT physics could be your MCAT tutor for physics. Some of my classmates at UCLA medical school were teachers for the Kaplan MCAT courses.

The Process

For any of the Kaplan MCAT courses, you’ll start with an initial test to establish your baseline.
This is
important for their “higher score guarantee,” which we’ll cover later.

It’s also just a good idea to begin with a practice test whether you choose Kaplan or not so that you can recognize where you’re starting.

Kaplan also has the advantage of their Smart Reports, which we’ll also cover later, but basically you’ll get a personalized map of where you are strong and where you are weak so you can tailor your studying. Definitely a bonus!


Kaplan MCAT Options/Packages and Prices

Kaplan MCAT prep offers a wide variety of options in their MCAT prep course. They were the first to do many of these, which have now also been implemented by other companies.

You should also be aware that Kaplan MCAT has promotions almost every month, so be on the lookout to save money compared to their normal prices. To check them out, click here.

In-Person Options

These Kaplan MCAT prep course options are good choices if you learn better in a traditional classroom setting where you are physically with other students and your teacher.

Included in your resources for any of these courses are all 8 AAMC practice tests and 11 Kaplan practice tests, as well as 11,000 practice questions with explanations.

You’ll also get online access to 130 hours of recorded lectures by great teachers, so you’ll be able to review material whenever you choose.

MCAT Advantage- On Site. $2099 or 3 Payments of $699.67


This is the traditional Kaplan MCAT course. You will attend class, usually during the evenings or on weekends, and go through a prescribed curriculum so that you cover all aspects of the MCAT.

There are a ton of sites around the country where these courses are offered for MCAT test prep. You should be able to find one pretty close to you.

What You Get
This program includes “54 classroom instructional hours and 32 testing hours spread across 24 sessions.” You will go to a local center for your Kaplan MCAT prep at a scheduled time each week. The MCAT course is spread across about 3.5 months.

You’ll cover each of the sections of the MCAT and take 5 practice tests as part of this course, so you’ll get a good feel for how you’re progressing.

It’s a good idea to take this course (and any MCAT prep course really) so that you finish right when you’re going to take the actual MCAT.

MCAT Summer Intensive. $8,499 or 3 Payments of $2,833 for this Kaplan MCAT course.

If you want to add housing to this, it will cost you $11,999 or 3 payments of $3999.67

These courses are located in Boston, MA or San Diego, CA. This is an extremely intense experience over 6 weeks.

What You Get

You’ll eat, sleep, breathe and dream MCAT with this Kaplan MCAT course. Here’s a rundown of the daily schedule:

8-11am: Small group study with instructor

11-12pm: One-on-One Tutoring

12-2pm: Lunch and Free Time

2-5pm: MCAT science lecture

5-7pm: Dinner and Free Time

7-11pm: Study Hall and Small Group Tutoring

The study halls have tutors wandering around to answer
questions, which is definitely a bonus.

Over the six weeks, you will take 5 full length practice
and have over 300 hours of instruction.

You’ll also have access to the same materials as the other classes, including 19 practice tests and 11,000 practice questions.

This might be a good idea if you really have a hard time focusing on your own or if you feel that you really need a lot of private attention to get your best MCAT score.

You’ll also get admissions consulting from some top notch advisers, which is a big benefit to this program. As I’ve mentioned before, a good MCAT score on its own won’t get you into medical school. Click here to find out the 8 things medical schools want.

Get the MCAT score you want with Kaplan MCAT Test Prep!

MCAT AdvantagePlus – On Site Course. Starting at $2,499 or 3 installments of $833

What You Get

This is a new offering from Kaplan and a good one if you want more personal
or small group sessions without going all the way to a private tutor.

Along with the online materials of the other courses, you’ll also get 3 one-on-one sessions with an MCAT tutor (called a Med School Mentor) to help focus your progress.

You’ll also have 5, 3-hour small group sessions, along with 12 in class sessions and 11 online classroom sessions with a live instructor.

I think this is a nice hybrid if you want small group and personal attention along with the bigger classes. Plus, you get extra classes compared to the on site, which is a definite bonus.

I was worried about the “starting at” price, but in SoCal, where things are usually more expensive, these courses are $2499.

MCAT One-on-One (Private MCAT tutor). 15 hours $2,799, 25 hours $3,899, 35 hours $4,999.

What You Get

This one is just like it sounds. You get a private MCAT tutor that’s been vetted by Kaplan, so you know that they’ll be good.

They will help you set goals, set a study plan, and will focus directly on your needs. You’ll be able to only focus on the points you need instead of going through a class that may cover many thing you already feel comfortable with.

If you learn best one-on-one, this could be a good option. It’s the most expensive, as you would expect for private tutoring. There’s also an option to do this tutoring online through MCAT Private Tutoring- Anywhere.

You’ll also get access to your choice of an MCAT Advantage course with your purchase of tutoring (online or classroom).


Kaplan MCAT Online Options

If the classroom isn’t your thing, Kaplan MCAT prep has several options that allow you to study from the convenience of your own

MCAT Advantage- Anywhere. $2,099 or 3 payments of $699.97.

What You Get

This is like doing the Kaplan MCAT advantage on site, but in your pajamas! The course is done online. However, the instructors are live.
This means that you will log into a live lecture for 24 sessions, again over about 3.5 months.

The online classes have feature that make it more like a classroom, including instant chat and polling (where they’ll ask the listeners questions that you answer and show the results).

This MCAT course includes 5 full length practice tests as part of the scheduled curriculum. You also get access to the same study materials of 19 practice tests and 11,000 practice questions.

MCAT Advanced-Anywhere. $2099 or 3 payments of $699.97.

What You Get

This program is geared for students aiming for top medical schools and very high MCAT scores (high 30s to 40s).

This program is very similar to the Kaplan MCAT Advantage-Anywhere MCAT test prep, except that you will be with other people who have scored a 27 or higher on their MCAT diagnostic test (you have to score a 27 yourself to get into this program). So, you’ll still be attending lectures by logging in.

You’ll also get more in-depth instruction on the topics that are often missed by students who score at or above the 90th percentile on the MCAT.

MCAT Advantage- On Demand. $1899 or 3 payments of $633.

What You Get

This course is a truly online program where you have access to the same 24 sessions of instruction that you get with any other MCAT
Advantage program,
but they are available to you online. This is like
having the lectures you would have gotten from a live session recorded. You can
access them whenever you want.

You also get access to the same online resources as the other programs (practice tests, QBank, SmartReports).

The drawback here is that you will not have access to a live instructor while the material is being taught.

However, you still have access to review materials and have access to instructors via email if you have questions for this MCAT course.

Also, keep in mind that Kaplan MCAT will choose its very best instructors as their recorded instructors. You can think of this as a bonus.

Access to this program is also included with any of the in-person options.

MCAT AdvantagePlus – Anywhere Course. Starting at $2,499 or 3 installments of $833

What You Get
This is a new offering from Kaplan and a good one if you want more personal or small group sessions without going all the way to a private tutor.

Along with the online materials of the other courses, you’ll also get 3 one-on-one sessions with an MCAT tutor (called a Med School Mentor) to help focus your progress.

You’ll also have 5, 3-hour small group sessions, along with 23 online classroom sessions.

I think this is a nice hybrid if you want small group and personal attention along with the bigger classes. Plus, you get extra classes compared to the on site, which is a definite bonus.

I was worried about the “starting at” price, but in SoCal, where things are usually more expensive, these courses are $2499.


Kaplan MCAT Prep Partial Programs

If you’re just looking for help in one particular section, Kaplan has several options to help you.

MCAT Online Science Review. $498.99 (3 payments of $166.33)

This MCAT course gives you 3 months of online access to 46 workshops of in-depth review of MCAT physics, organic chemistry, general
chemistry and biology. You will also have practice questions with this MCAT test prep, as well as strategies to help you get more points in less time on the test.

MCAT QBank. $199 for 3 months access.

This MCAT test prep gives you access to 1,000 MCAT style questions. You can also design your own quizzes and track your progress.
Performance tracking can help you find your weaker areas so you can adjust your preparation accordingly. Importantly, each answer comes with detailed explanations. Not an MCAT course, per se, but a good alternative if you want to study on your

MCAT Organic Edge, Physics
and Verbal Edge. $499 (3 payments of $166.33) each

These courses are designed to help you learn the material in organic chemistry, physics and verbal reasoning. They consist of lessons and practice questions designed to help you do well in your required classes in college and to help you do well on the MCAT. These might be a good precursor to a full-blown MCAT test prep.

Mike’s Take/Kaplan MCAT Pros and Cons

Kaplan MCAT prep is definitely a good option when choosing an MCAT prep course. As you can see there are many different options depending on your learning style. If you need a classroom setting to learn, the Advantage On Site program would be my pick. If you learn more on your own, I would go with the MCAT Advantage On Demand. Also, remember that no matter which course you choose you’re going to get the On Demand option, so you’ll have plenty of material to review no matter what you choose.


Crying Yuri - At home

Questions Too Detailed

In my experience with Kaplan, you definitely get the material you need to know, but their questions are slightly more detailed than
the real test. You may get questions that require you to have memorized formulas that you don’t really need to know for the MCAT. This is consistent with several reviews written by people who have taken the courses.

Also, the Kaplan MCAT practice tests actually very poor correlation to scores on the actual exam. For example, people who scored an average of 9 on the 3 MCAT sections on the real test (27 total), but could have scored anywhere between a 3 and a 12 on the Kaplan MCAT practice test!

The AAMC tests had the best correlation, which makes sense since the AAMC writes the MCAT. So, use your AAMC practice test results as a better gauge of what your actual score might be. For this analysis, click


Kaplan is on the higher end of MCAT test prep programs. But, you often get what you pay for. Princeton Review MCAT used to be a little
cheaper, but now has a similar price.



Online Options

Personally I like to study on my own, at my own pace, including for MCAT test prep. Kaplan MCAT prep courses offer several online
options, which are described above.

Another nice thing about the recorded lectures is that Kaplan gets to pick their very best teachers to make those recordings. That way you get access to the best teachers any time you want, espeically since the On Demand lectures are available no matter which Kaplan MCAT prep course you choose.

Higher Score Guarantee

The reason you are taking an MCAT prep course is to get a better score on the MCAT. Kaplan understands this and makes the following guarantee:

1. If you don’t feel ready for the test after your Kaplan MCAT prep, you can keep studying with Kaplan for three more months.

2. If you’re not satisfied with your score, you can study with Kaplan for three more months doing MCAT test prep.

3. If you don’t raise your overall score you can take a Kaplan MCAT prep course again for free or get your money back.

You do need to understand some of the fine print on this guarantee. You need to have attended every class. If you miss one, you have to do the makeup session. You also must do all of the homework you are assigned and take all of the practice tests. This also applies to private tutoring.

Also, remember this is based on your initial diagnostic test by Kaplan. Your score just needs to be higher than that initial test.

You also have to bring in your official score report and your test materials to claim a refund and do it within 90 days of finishing your Kaplan MCAT prep course.

Be Aware: You can only choose one of these three options. So, for example, if you don’t feel ready and choose to keep studying, you can’t then take your test 3 months later and get your money back. You also need to choose one of these options within 90 days of finishing your program. And, this does not apply to the summer intensive, exactly. If you want money back after that program, it will have to be reviewed by the directors who may or may not give you your money back. However, you can repeat a different comprehensive course for free or do private tutoring or the next year’s summer intensive program at a discounted rate.

Lots of practice tests and questions

Another great feature of Kaplan MCAT prep is the sheer volume of material you’ll get. You’ll get all 8 AAMC practice tests with any full prep course you choose, 11 practice MCAT tests, and then 11,000 practice questions. I like practice questions (it’s how I learn best), so it’s nice to have so many.

Far Reaching

Since Kaplan’s been around for a long time, it’s easier to get access to a course near you than for some of the other programs
that offer on-site programs.


Let’s face it, the setup is very attractive. It’s a pleasure to visit their website and look at their materials.
This can make those long hours of studying a little easier on the eyes. If you’re interested in making money with your own website, you can visit my About Me page.

Smart Reports

Kaplan treats its MCAT prep course seriously. They try to individualize the program to you using their Smart Reports program.

When you enter a Kaplan MCAT prep course, you will take an initial diagnostic test. This test is then analyzed to help find your unique strengths and weaknesses. It then gives you assignments based on this data, trying to help you improve your weaknesses.

I like this feature because it helps you maximize your time. You will be able to build up your weaknesses and not spenbd time learning things you already know.

Proven Track Record

Everybody knows about Kaplan because they’ve been around a long time and do a great job at test preparation. If their courses were not great, they would not still be in business, especially with their higher score guarantee. If you do buy this prep course, you can rest assured that you’re getting a solid program with great support to back it up. To check out their deals and sign up now for your best course, click here!


Kaplan MCAT prep is a great choice to get you ready for the MCAT. Many have gone through the course and had great success and you do have the higher score guarantee, which means Kaplan stands behind their work.

Kaplan is a great choice if you learn mainly by lecture/video and practice questions. You’ll get a ton of practice questions to give you the knowledge base you need to do well on the MCAT and SmartReports will help customize your study time so you focus on subjects where you are weak. You’ll also get access to a lot of videos so that you can review material in that way. In my opinion, Kaplan’s MCAT prep course is built more for the DIY people who need some structure and direction but mainly like to study on their own with practice questions and online materials.

Click here
to visit Kaplan’s site
They also have different promotions almost every month, so you’ll often pay less than their listed prices.

Click here to see their current offers.

And, remember that any purchase made from this site gets free copies of my two eBooks and lifetime membership to Medical School Inside Track! Just click on a link, make your purchase, then email me your purchase receipt to [email protected]

Get the MCAT score you want with Kaplan MCAT Test Prep!

Remember, a good MCAT prep course and score is only part of what it takes to get into medical school. Visit my page on admissions to find out the 8 things medical schools want!

For a more complete discussion of Princeton Review vs Kaplan, click here.

For more about the MCAT in general, you can visit my page here and the AAMC’s official page here.

Return from Kaplan MCAT to MCAT Prep Course Reviews

After you get a great MCAT score, find out how to get accepted in 10 Simple Steps to Top Medical Schools here.