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Choosing the Best MCAT Prep Course
The top MCAT prep course companies deliver high-quality instruction and flexible learning options to meet most students' needs. Although there are many providers in the market offering valuable test prep solutions, some companies outperform others in critical areas. The lists below are designed to help students easily identify the best companies in several of the most important categories.
The 3 Best MCAT Tutoring Services
Just about every major MCAT prep company offers at least a couple of solid tutoring options to choose from. However, only a few companies deliver both online and on-site tutoring plans with reasonably flexible scheduling options to meet a wide range of student needs. If you're looking to get some quality one-on-one MCAT tutoring to complement your MCAT course, consider these top companies first.
The 3 Best Online MCAT Prep Courses
If you're looking for a high-quality MCAT course, you don't have to live in a big city or a college town, and you don't have to commute to class every week. A good live online MCAT course delivers an interactive classroom environment right to your desktop or laptop computer, enabling you to participate in lecture classes, small-group review meetings, and private tutoring sessions no matter where you are. An on-demand online MCAT prep course is another solid option if you're looking to save some money and study at your own pace.
The 4 Best MCAT Practice Test Providers
Most standardized test prep courses integrate full-length practice tests into the regular curriculum for both training and diagnostic purposes. Completing full-length practice tests gives you the opportunity to experience the mental and physical pressures of test day and also helps you track your progress and identify problem areas as you continue through your course. While most MCAT prep companies provide sufficient MCAT practice tests to fulfill these basic purposes, several companies go above and beyond.
What MCAT Prep Course Features Matter and Why?
MCAT Course Delivery includes the different methods that MCAT prep companies use to deliver course instruction and content to enrolled students. Key MCAT Course Delivery methods include classroom lectures, live online lectures, and recorded lectures distributed on DVD or streaming video online. MCAT Course Delivery is a category of critical importance for students who do not live near an on-site classroom location or who have special scheduling needs. The category is also important to a lot of students who have a basic learning preference for one method over the others.
- Live Online - Students can take MCAT test preparation courses through live streaming video online.
- On-Site - Students can take MCAT test preparation courses at on-site locations.
- Streaming Video - MCAT test preparation courses are available through DVDs or online videos.
MCAT Learning Materials covers the different study tools that MCAT prep courses provide students to aid them in mastering MCAT content and test strategies. MCAT Learning Materials includes online quiz banks, interactive games, exercise books, flash cards, and study guides. This is a pretty important category to virtually all students, especially those who want to avoid researching and purchasing these types of study tools from third-party publishers.
- Blog - The company has a blog that discusses content relevant to the MCAT.
- Books - The company provides books/workbooks to help students prepare for the MCAT.
- FAQs - The company provides a list of answers to MCAT-related frequently asked questions.
- Flash Cards - The company provides flash cards featuring MCAT material.
- Forum - The company provides an interactive forum where users can post questions and answers.
MCAT Practice centers on the materials that MCAT prep courses give to students to prepare them for the questions they have to face on test day. A free MCAT practice test pack is one of the most important components of this category. Taking an MCAT practice test helps students build familiarity with the MCAT test structure and experience what it's like to work through a full-length test from beginning to end. Hard-copy quiz books and online quiz banks are another key component of this category. A good quiz bank enables students to get practice in specific content areas for efficient, targeted study. MCAT Practice plays a very important role in selecting an MCAT prep course as it provides essential tools for basic skills development and confidence building.
- Free Online Practice Test - The company provides access to a free online practice test.
- Free Proctored Practice Test - The company provides access to a free proctored test at an on-site location.
- Full-Length Practice Tests - The company provides access to full-length practice tests.
- Interactive Games - The company provides online drills, quizzes, or interactive games to help students learn the material.
- Practice Question Bank - Students have access to a test bank of practice questions.
- Practice Test Reports - Students receive feedback after practice tests that identifies areas of improvement.
Custom MCAT Instruction covers the different specialized programs that MCAT prep companies offer students who want personalized study help. The most important element of this category is private tutoring, which the best MCAT prep course providers offer both in person and online. Custom MCAT Instruction is a very important category for students who learn best in a one-on-one learning environment. However, many students get adequate instruction in a traditional classroom environment and don't place any special importance on Custom MCAT Instruction. This category also includes refresher courses and advanced courses designed for students who already have a grasp of basic MCAT content.
- Custom Study Strategy - The company provides a custom study strategy or study schedule.
- Online Tutoring - Students can receive MCAT tutoring online via webcam.
- On-Site Tutoring - Students can receive MCAT tutoring at an on-site location.
- Subject Refresher - The company provides instruction that focuses on a specific portion of the MCAT.
Student Support refers to programs that MCAT prep companies make available to aid students in their pursuit of a high test score. This category encompasses telephone, email, and other communication channels that connect students with their instructors and tutors for direct learning support. It also includes customer guarantees that enable dissatisfied students to retake a course for free. Although Student Support is not a category of services that every student ends up using during a course, it is certainly nice to have if the need arises.
- Email - Students can reach the instructor or tutor via email for assistance.
- Higher Score - Free Study Guarantee - The company enables students to study with them for free if they do not receive a higher MCAT test score.
- Higher Score - Money-Back Guarantee - The company offers a money-back guarantee if the student does not receive a higher MCAT test score.
- Live Chat - Students can reach the instructor or tutor via live chat for assistance.
- Phone - Students can contact the instructor or tutor by phone.
- Social Media - Students can contact the company with questions through social media websites.
Admissions Prep refers to the supplementary services that many MCAT prep course companies provide to help students navigate the medical school admissions process. Admissions Prep includes application evaluation services, admissions interview training, and general admissions consulting services. Although these kinds of services are valuable to a lot of students, the category is not nearly as crucial as the categories that focus more directly on MCAT preparation.
- Admissions Seminars - The company holds events or seminars discussing the admissions process to help strengthen candidacy.
- Application Assistance - The company provides guidance and input to help improve the student's application.
- Mock Interviews - The company provides mock interviews to help prepare students for admissions interviews.