The Medical College Admission Test is a standardized test that is required for applying for medical school in the US, Canada, Australia, and the Caribbean islands. The MCAT is developed for assessing critical thinking, problem-solving, scientific knowledge, and written analysis of the prospective medical students.
It is essential to get a good MCAT score if you want to get into the medical school of your dreams, especially the highly ranked ones, which are also more selective.
Kaplan and The Princeton Review are two of the test prep companies which can help you prepare for the MCAT, and offer comprehensive MCAT prep courses.
The question is – which one is better?
Read on for a complete Kaplan vs Princeton Review MCAT comparison.
About the Kaplan and The Princeton Review companies
Kaplan was founded back in 1938 and is among the oldest and well-known test prep and college admissions services in the USA.
The company offers a very wide range of test-prep and college admissions services at a very high level and with an impressive admissions success rate.
The company also publishes some of the best-standardized test prep books in the world, as you will see in our MCAT books Kaplan vs Princeton Review section.
The Princeton Review has been offering college admission and test prep services since 1982. It is another one of the top-ranked prep and consultancy services for prospective college and graduate students, and today has over 4,000 instructors and numerous franchises around the world.
Both of these companies offer some of the MCAT prep courses and services in the country, and the Princeton vs Kaplan MCAT competition has been ongoing for years.
Kaplan vs. Princeton MCAT prep program differences at a glance
Some of the most significant differences and the features which make each of the MCAT courses offered by Kaplan and The Princeton Review stand out include:
- The Princeton Review offers a unique 510+ score guaranteed prep program and a premium 515+ score immersion program, while Kaplan offers a higher score money-back or free course retake guarantee
- The Princeton Review offers 10 MCAT prep books while Kaplan offers 7
- Kaplan offers private tutoring in more different packages than The Princeton Review
- The Princeton Review offers 12 months of access, while Kaplan MCAT offers 5 months of access to the prep resources
- The Princeton Review offers a 14-day free trial of a complete biology MCAT course, and Kaplan doesn’t have a free trial but offers access to half a practice test with a review for free
The Princeton Review MCAT prep course
The Princeton Review test prep services are among the top-ranked among future medical students and medical schools in the US.
The company offers a variety of MCAT prep options suitable for all study styles and student needs. These include an MCAT 515+ immersion plan, an MCAT 510+ online or in-person plan, an Ultimate online or in-person plan, a Self-paced online plan, and a Winter Boot camp online or in-person.
The company also offers private tutoring services for students who need more guidance and a more personal approach during the prep process for the MCAT. The Princeton Review also offers a comprehensive admission counseling program, an MCAT topic focus, and a CARS accelerator plan.
- A wide variety of MCAT prep options
- High MCAT score guarantees
- Numerous practice MCAT tests
- Useful diagnostics and feedback MCAT course software
- Detailed score reports and diagnostic exams for each subject
- Excellent course diagnostics and report software
- Fewer practice questions than Kaplan MCAT
- The prices are higher than other MCAT prep programs
Kaplan MCAT prep course
Kaplan is one of the oldest and highly respected test prep companies with over 80 years of experience in the field.
The company offers a variety of MCAT prep courses, plans, and services, suitable for all types of study styles and schedules.
Kaplan also offers hour-based packages for private MCAT tutoring, as well as numerous MCAT practice materials such as Qbank, practice exams, and Gold Practice and Platinum Practice bundles, which you can buy separately.
- A money-back or a free repeat of the course if your MCAT score is not higher than your baseline score
- A wide variety of prep course types
- A lot of MCAT practice materials
- An MCAT channel with live interactive instructions
- No free trial
- High prices for some of the packages offered which are only 6 months
Princeton Review MCAT vs Kaplan MCAT head to head comparison
As you can see, both MCAT prep companies offer some excellent plans, guarantees, and prep materials and resources.
The question is – which one is better?
Read on for a head-to-head comparison of the main features of the Kaplan MCAT vs Princeton Review courses and services.
Kaplan vs Princeton Review – the price comparison
The Princeton Review’s MCAT courses start from 1,399 for the self-paced course and reach up to $6,499 for the MCAT 515+ Immersion course, which promises students an MCAT score of 515 points or up, which will place you in the top 92nd percentile.
Private tutoring comes in different packages, with the price being $183 per hour for comprehensive private tutoring and $200 per hour for MCAT targeted private tutoring.
The pricing of the Kaplan MCAT courses, tutoring, and other services are about the same range as those asked by The Princeton Review
The self-paced DIY course costs $1,799, the online course costs 2,499, the in-person course costs 2,699, and the Bootcamp costs $ 6,999.
The company’s private online or in-person tutoring is offered in blocks of 10, 20, 30, and 40 hours, with the price per package ranging from $3,699 for the 10 hours, to $6,899 for 40 hours. The private tutoring packages also include access to the in-person or live online MCAT courses and all books included, so the price is pretty fair.
Overall, when it comes to the great price for the value offered, the winner in the price category in the Kaplan vs Princeton Review comparison is Princeton Review, and the reason is that the access provided by them is up to 12 months, while Kaplan limits the access to only 6 months for a similar price.
Princeton Review vs Kaplan MCAT – the practice resources
Like with any standardized test, the best way to improve and perform better at the MCAT is by practicing a lot.
Each of the two test prep companies offers 16 full-length MCAT practice tests.
But when it comes to the practice questions, Kaplan has the lead with over 10,000 practice questions for the exam compared to the 1,000 practice questions offered by The Princeton Review.
It also has a Qbank, which includes another 3,000 practice questions which you can take in the form of quizzes, which can be customized by difficulty and type in accordance with your preferences.
The Princeton Review prep course shines with its better algorithm and analytics program, which personalizes the practice test in accordance with the performance of the student.
Still, overall with 10x more practice questions, and an added Qbank, Kaplan is the definite leader in the Kaplan or Princeton Review MCAT practice resources battle.
Princeton Review versus Kaplan MCAT – the guarantees and the trial offer comparison
Like with most other MCAT prep courses, both Kaplan and The Princeton Review offer guarantees for a higher score at the MCAT.
Unlike Kaplan, which doesn’t offer a trial for its MCAT courses, The Princeton review offers an amazing trial offer for students to take the entire 14-day MCAT biology course completely free! During the trial, you will receive access to all of the resources, diagnostic exams, on-demand video lessons, passage drills, a full-length practice exam, and a detailed score report with feedback.
The Princeton Review MCAT also offers prep courses that offer money-back guarantees for achieving at least 510 or at least 515 points at the test. Such scores will place you in the top 90th percentile and up.
Kaplan also offers a money-back guarantee or a free retake of the course if you don’t score higher than your baseline score at the MCAT after taking the course. You can also retake a course for free if you are not happy for some reason, be it your results or the prep process.
Even though Kaplan offers excellent guarantees for its courses, and access to a half practice test and live events for free, the guarantee offered by The Princeton Review for its MCAT review Princeton courses and the 14-day free biology course is much more attractive.
This is why in the Kaplan vs Princeton Review guarantees and trial period competition, the winner is the Princeton Review.
Kaplan vs Princeton Review MCAT classroom features comparison
The Princeton Review’s most popular 510+ Score Guaranteed prep plan includes a whopping 123 hours of live in-person or online instruction and 4-6 subject matter tutors. Also included in the plan is the MCAT topic-focused sessions plan, which includes 12 or more sessions to improve your test performance and work on your weaknesses. A team of experts will keep track of your prep time to ensure that you are using it efficiently and correctly.
The Kaplan online live course and in-person prep plans include 12 3-hour classes (36 hours in total) with expert teachers, more than 90 hours of recorded and live sessions on the MCAT Channel, 130 interactive Science Review videos, and personalized homework for students to practice problematic areas and questions, and to further improve their strong areas.
In this comparison, the result is a tie between the two MCAT prep companies.
MCAT Kaplan vs Princeton Review MCAT books and resources
Both companies will provide the enrolled students in their courses with a large number of premium quality MCAT prep books. So who wins the challenge in the MCAT Princeton Review vs Kaplan books challenge?
Kaplan offers its latest 2020 – 2021 MCAT Complete Subject Review in the form of 7 books to all people who enroll in the prep courses. These books include the latest updates and the most accurate test materials.
The Princeton Review offers 10 MCAT preparation books, including 7 MCAT review books, which are subject-specific, and 3, which are exclusive to the Princeton Review students. The books include all the latest MCAT practice information and content review, as well as tips and strategies for the score improvement and test-taking.
In the Princeton Review vs Kaplan MCAT books competition between the two companies, the result is a tie – both offer excellent MCAT prep books.
MCAT Princeton Review or Kaplan – the overall learning experience
No matter how many resources a test prep course offers, what matters the most is the overall learning experience. A good learning experience includes the customization of the course to the student’s skill level, the real-time tracking of the progress, and the motivation to complete the course and get a higher score on the test.
The Kaplan platform has a user-friendly interface that allows for tracking the current progress. The platform provides access to an interactive whiteboard for all online classrooms, and uses a Smart Report system that tracks your performance in real-time, analyses your strengths and weaknesses, and suggests which areas to focus on more. It also will inform you of how your test scores are doing compared to those of the other students.
The Princeton Review also offers an excellent learning experience. The company offers 235 practice drills, which include more than 1,520 questions. The live online instruction includes interaction with real instructors.
The student portal offers easy access to the MedFlix video collection, the drills, and all resources you will need to prep for the medical school standardized test within a click of the mouse.
The Princeton Review also offers students counseling for the med school application process, interview prep, school selection, and more.
As a whole, both test prep companies offer an excellent overall learning experience, so once again, the result in this part of the Princeton Review or Kaplan MCAT competition is a tie.
Princeton or Kaplan MCAT – tutoring comparison
The Kaplan MCAT prep course comes with 3 included one-on-one sessions with an expert medical school mentor and expert test review sessions for small groups by MCAT instructors. But if you need more personal guidance, you will have to purchase a private tutoring package that starts at a price of $3,699 for 10 hours and reaches $6,899 for 40 hours but also includes access to all resources of the online course.
The Princeton Review for MCAT online 510+ score guaranteed plan comes with a one-on-one study manager who will help students throughout the prep.
For additional personal tuition, you will need to pay for 10 hours or 60 hours of private tutoring. If you choose to sign up for the largest tutoring package, you will also receive 11 MCAT books, access to 16 full-length practice tests, two shorter practice tests, which are designed in accordance with the latest COVID-19 changes by the AAMC. The package also comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and will allow unhappy students to get another 60-hour package with another instructor for free.
Overall, when it comes to private tutoring, the packages and additional resources offered by Princeton Review are slightly better than those offered by Kaplan.
Kaplan vs Princeton Review – the conclusion
As you can see, both the Kaplan MCAT and The Princeton Review MCAT courses and services are top-tier and will help you prepare for and hopefully score better at your medical school MCAT exam.
The prices of the two companies are pretty similar, and both offer different self-paced or instructor-led as well as one-on-one tuition plans, so they are suitable for all study schedules and styles.
The Princeton Review prep courses could be a better option if you want access to practice questions, an excellent set of 10 prep books, study materials, and an analysis tool that will review and diagnose your skills and performance.
The Kaplan prep courses offer the most practice questions, access to interactive live instructions and an MCAT channel, the MCAT prep book, and a live instructor as part of the prep process.
Each of these test-prep courses offers a wide variety of prep plans, suitable for premeds with all different study styles and motivations. There are self-paced programs for the more organized solitary study types, live instruction, and in-person classes for students who prefer studying with guidance and need more personalized motivation.