Next Step Test Prep Review

Next Step Test Prep offers one-on-one MCAT tutoring programs built around a customized curriculum that targets each individual’s study needs. On-site and video conferencing options are available and plentiful, but the price tags can be a little overwhelming.

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  • Nov. 22, 2017: Next Step Prep has updated its online offerings since we first published our review. We’ve updated our content to reflect these changes.

The Good

Flexible one-on-one tutoring

Next Step Test Prep’s four tutoring packages each begin with a diagnostic MCAT test to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Your private tutor then works with you to develop a custom study plan to target your weaknesses and build on your strengths. Unlike the traditional classroom courses offered by many MCAT prep companies, all Next Step Test Prep tutoring programs have flexible start dates and meeting schedules. The company’s Crash Course package includes 16 hours of live tutoring scheduled over a one month period. The Comprehensive Plan offers 24 hours of live tutoring over two or three months, while the Intensive Review package provides 40 hours of tutoring over a period of three to six months. If you’re interested in a custom tutoring plan, the Premium Tutoring package enables you to schedule up to four tutoring sessions per week with one of the company’s top tutors. The company currently offers tutors in over 50 cities. There’s a small chance that you won’t have access to an in-person tutor if you don’t live near a major metropolitan area, but online tutoring is available nationwide, so you can still be matched with a tutor regardless of region.

AAMC practice exams included

All next Step Test Prep students receive actual past MCAT tests published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (the MCAT administrator). While many other MCAT prep companies offer practice tests, most are developed in-house or published by third parties. Third-party tests make for excellent practice, but access to past tests helps give you the practice and confidence to feel ready for the real thing. Students who enroll in the Crash Course receive 4 of Next Step’s full-length practice exams in addition to the AAMC exams. Comprehensive Plan, Intensive Review, and Premium tutoring students receive access to all of the available Next Step full-length practice exams in addition to the AAMC exams.

Alternative MCAT Course

If you don’t have the time or interest to work with a private tutor, Next Step offers an alternative online course. The course includes access to over 100 hours of video lessons as well as 10 hours of “live online” office hours a week — review sessions with Next Step instructors where students can ask questions. You also receive access to 10 of Next Step’s full-length practice exams, all AAMC practice tests, and 11 MCAT books. The course won’t give access to a tutor and is only offered online, but it does include a tool that lets you generate a custom study plan to keep yourself on track.

Solid Satisfaction Guarantees

Although Next Step Test Prep instructors are highly trained and experienced, if you’re not satisfied with your tutor for any reason, you can ask for an immediate rematch. This is an important policy, as Next Step Test Prep tutoring programs rely on a strong one-on-one student-teacher relationship to produce good results. If you’re unhappy for any other reason, the company also offers a no-questions-asked refund policy that returns your tuition for any unused tutoring hours. Simply cancel your plan and the balance of your payment will be returned immediately, minus the cost of materials and associated processing charges. MCAT course students are also protected by a guarantee: if you need more time to prepare for the MCAT, for any reason, you can qualify for one free six-month extension to your course access. Alternatively, if you take the MCAT and do not improve from a previous official or diagnostic score after completing the course, you may qualify for a full tuition refund.

The Bad

No Physical Classes

Unlike other MCAT prep services such as Kaplan or The Princeton Review, Next Step Test Prep does not have traditional classes or physical locations. If you’re looking for a classroom-style or in-person MCAT class, Next Step won’t be the best option for you.

Not as Many Materials as Competitors

Next Step Test Prep has a lot to be proud of in their expanded services. That said, they still don’t have as many study materials as competitors like Kaplan or The Princeton Review, which both offer a couple hundred hours’ worth of materials. You probably won’t make it through all the materials offered by any prep service and you might pay more for Kaplan and the Princeton Review’s plans (depending on which study program you choose), but having a larger library of online resources can help you get the most out of your study sessions.

The Details

General Information

  • Average Class Size: 1 (for one-on-one tutoring)
  • Delivery Methods: On-Site, Online/Video Conference
  • Hours of Instruction: 16 - 60
  • Number of Full Practice Tests: 10 Next Step exams and all of the released AAMC exams
  • Quiz Bank Questions: 1,000

Pricing

Online Course

  • Price: $1,299
  • Hours of Instruction: 100+
  • Delivery Method: Live Online Instruction

Tutoring

Crash Course

  • Price: $1,999
  • Hours of Instruction: 16
  • Delivery Method: On-Site, Live Online

Comprehensive Plan

  • Price: $2,899
  • Hours of Instruction: 24
  • Delivery Method: On-Site, Live Online

Intensive Review

  • Price: $4,699
  • Hours of Instruction: 40
  • Delivery Method: On-Site, Live Online

Premium Tutoring

  • Price: $8,999 - $13,999
  • Hours of Instruction: 24 - 60
  • Delivery Method: On-Site, Live Online

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