Choosing the Right MCAT Prep Course: Factors to Consider

Updated on August 25, 2021

After receiving your bachelor’s degree, the next step you need to take to become a doctor is to enter medical school. However, gaining admission into medical school can be tough and highly competitive, especially to some of the country’s more well-known schools.

This is why you need to score well on your MCAT, the exam most med schools require for admission. However, this is easier said than done, which is why taking a prep course for the MCAT can be particularly helpful.

However, many institutions offer prep courses, so how do you choose the best one for you? With that said, check out the following factors you need to consider when looking for the right MCAT prep course.

Course Focus

Identifying your prep course’s focus is one of the most significant factors to consider when looking for an MCAT prep course. Does the institution focus solely on the MCAT? Or does the course generally just teach you how to take standardized exams?

With that said, choosing a prep course that focuses only on preparing students for the MCAT is the ideal option. This is because these courses tend to have a more in-depth knowledge of what needs to be reviewed for you to ace the MCAT.

Choosing a prep course that deals exclusively with MCAT preparation will be better equipped to help you review for the exam. 

Not only can they give you tips about the ins and outs of the MCAT, but they can also better guide you on what will be covered on the exam. This will allow you to prepare accordingly and, hopefully, ace the test.

Availability of Lectures

Another aspect to consider is whether or not the course offers actual lectures as part of the preparation process. This is because some courses, especially online ones, simply give students materials to go over independently.

While this can be great for some students, it may not be helpful for others. After all, one of the potential reasons you’re taking a prep course in the first place is because you need more help with understanding the various subjects.

So, it doesn’t do much if you have to learn the subject matter yourself. With that said, it’s best if you choose a prep course that can offer you actual lectures during the course. Lectures can help you better digest the subject material, and you can ask the instructor when you have questions.

Course Teachers

Another aspect you need to evaluate is the teachers or instructors of the course themselves. When choosing an MCAT prep course, it would be best to choose one that qualified instructors teach.

After all, you’re striving to do well on the exam, and expert tutors can help you with that. Instructors who have a more profound knowledge of the subjects they teach will be better equipped to guide you when preparing for the exam.

Of course, not only should they have the technical knowledge of the subject they’re teaching, but they should also be skilled enough to impart the knowledge to their students. They should know how to effectively engage with their students so that they can better understand the course material.

Practice Tests

As they say, practice makes perfect, and this can also be applicable for prepping for the MCAT. This is why you should check out if your chosen prep course offers practice tests as part of their process.

The best practice tests for the MCAT can help you prepare better for the exam as these will give you a general idea of how the exam will actually be and what topics will be covered. It also has the bonus of showing you where your strengths and weaknesses lie, allowing you to improve on them further.

Moreover, studies have shown that practice tests can help you recall the information better, allowing you to perform better on the actual exam. Aside from this, these will help you familiarize yourself with the exam’s structure, reducing some of the nervousness you may feel beforehand.

An excellent prep course will often start slow, with low-pressure practice exams to help you become familiar with the exam. After this, they’ll slowly amp up the pressure, emulating actual test conditions the closer you get to the exam date.


Of course, budget is a significant factor to consider when choosing the right MCAT prep course for you. This is because some MCAT prep courses can be costly, with some going for thousands of dollars, and may not fit your established budget.

That’s why when looking for a prep course, look for something that fits within your budget but still offers comprehensive features that can help you prepare for the MCAT. You can also check out if these courses offer discounts for their courses.

While it’s always worthwhile to invest in your education, you shouldn’t have to break the bank to do so.

Becoming a doctor is a long journey, and the first step is passing the MCAT to get into a good med school. However, preparing for the exam by yourself can be tricky, which is why some opt to enroll in prep courses.

Finding the right course that meets their needs is a different matter, which is why it’s essential to consider the factors mentioned above. These are the most significant aspects you should consider when choosing the right MCAT prep course for you.

Every student learns in different ways, which is why it’s crucial to find a course that will help them master what they need to pass and ace the MCAT.

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