The MCAT is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and consists of multiple-choice questions on problem-solving; critical thinking; and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science required for students who want to study medicine.
The best MCAT prep courses are those that are engaging, offer strong student support, and a breadth of study materials. We compared a number of MCAT prep courses to find the best ones.
Best Overall : Blueprint
Why We Chose It: Blueprint is our choice for the best MCAT prep course because of its strong student support, impressive instructors, breadth of study materials, and access to full-length practice exams.
Live online office hours
Limited access in free trial
With live online office hours five-day a week, the ability to repeat a class to reinforce the lesson, access to thousands of practice questions, and the most representative full-length practice exams, Blueprint is our clear choice as the best overall MCAT prep course.
Blueprint (which merged with Next Step) offers two MCAT prep courses in addition to one-on-one tutoring. Its Live Online Course includes over 40 hours of live class instruction from two 519+ scoring instructors teaching live and on camera. The course also offers 160 learning modules, all AAMC resources, over 10,000 practice questions, 15 full-length practice exams, six MCAT content and strategy books, and the ability to reschedule classes. Pricing is $2,299 for six months of access.
Blueprint’s Online Course provides the same learning modules, practice questions, and full-length MCAT exams as the Live Online Course, but in a more mobile-friendly format. You pay $1,799 for six months of access, $2,199 for nine months of access, or $2,499 for 12 months of access.
Blueprint also offers a score increase guarantee. Students who complete the Live Online course and don’t see an increase in their score will receive another six months of MCAT Live for free or a full refund minus the cost of AAMC resources. Students taking an online course for six or more months will receive another three months of access for free or receive a full refund, minus the cost of AAMC resources.
If you want to give Blueprint a try before committing, you can start a free account to gain access to seven learning modules, the Study Planner Tool, and one full-length practice exam.
Best Live-Online Course : Kaplan
Why We Chose It: Kaplan is our choice for the best live-online course because of its full schedule and study plan, access to live classes, and the ability to ask questions to off-screen teachers throughout the lessons.
Score increase guarantee
Wide range of study materials
Live courses six days a week
Six-month access to course
No all-inclusive free trial
Kaplan was founded in 1938 and has since become a leader in the test prep industry offering a wide selection of MCAT prep courses, bootcamps, and tutoring. Its Live Online Course lets you study anytime, anywhere. You get 12 three-hour classes with access to a team of expert MCAT teachers; personalized homework assignments; access to over 90 hours of recorded lessons; 16 full-length, realistic practice exams; and all of the official AAMC practice materials.
Kaplan’s Live Online Course is available for six months for $2,499. You can also choose the Live Online Course Plus for $2,999 which includes everything in the Live Online Course plus three hours of one-on-one tutoring, MCAT foundation courses, and more.
Kaplan also offers a six-month-long On-Demand Course for $1,799 that includes pre-recorded, teacher-led lessons, access to live lessons six days per week, and over 90 hours of recorded lessons. Additionally, you can upgrade to the On-Demand Course Plus for $2,299 which includes everything in the On-Demand Course plus three hours of one-on-one tutoring, additional MCAT resources, and medical school admissions help.
If you’re looking to fast-track your studying, check out Kaplan’s Bootcamp sessions, which is a five- to six-month course for $6,999 and includes over 700 hours of online instruction, practice, and support, access to small study groups, 12 hours of one-on-one tutoring, 16 full-length realistic practice exams, and more.
Finally, Kaplan offers its students a general higher score guarantee. Eligible students who don’t score higher on the official test can continue their prep free of charge or get their money back for the course. If you want to give Kaplan a try before you invest, you can sign up for seven days of free MCAT prep and practice.
Best Customizable Prep Course : MCAT Self Prep
Why We Chose It: MCAT Self Prep offers customizable courses and study plans to best suit individual student needs.
Free prep-course option
Based on researched MCAT study best practices
Must purchase third-party materials
MCAT Self Prep was founded by Andrew George who developed his own study method when preparing for the MCAT. Today, the company offers four study prep options based on the research of the study habits of students who scored in the top fifth percentile on the MCAT.
MCAT Self Prep’s free course includes 10 content modules, over 300 hours of video, study tips, access to a Facebook study group as well as the ability to message the company's CEO. The Basic Pro Course starts at only $9 and includes everything offered in the free course as well as a create-your-own study plan option with a study plan spreadsheet, access to a study portal, and score tracker.
For $99.99 you can try the Advanced Pro Course which provides access to over 5,000 Quizlet flashcards and 120 end-of-lesson mastery quizzes featuring over 2,000 AAMC style questions. Finally, the Deluxe Pro Course includes everything previously mentioned as well as access to eight additional courses, discounted one-on-one tutoring sessions, and a score improvement guarantee for $999.
If you take any of MCAT Self Prep’s courses and don’t see any improvement in your score, you will get 100% of your money back. Note that you will have to purchase the AAMC practice question bundle separately for this course.
Best for Guarantees : Altius
Why We Chose It: Altius offers a 3X Guarantee which includes a 90th percentile score promise, a two-week money-back guarantee, and a lowest price guarantee.
Small group tutoring
14-day free trial
Outdated user interface
Altius was founded in 2005 and boasts that its graduates are over 500% more likely to score in the 99th percentile on the MCAT. The company is so confident in its materials and instructors that it offers a three-pronged guarantee.
First, if you fully complete one of its Silver, Gold, or Platinum MCAT Mentoring Programs, Altius guarantees you will score in at least the 90th percentile or they will continue working with you for free until you do. Second, if you enroll in an Elite, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum course, you have 14 days to obtain a tuition refund. Finally, Altius offers a lowest-price guarantee and will match any competitor’s regular or sale price on a comparable MCAT course or private tutoring.
Altius delivers its courses through private or small group tutoring and problem-based learning. It offers four one-on-one tutoring sessions ranging from Platinum for $6,999, Gold for $4,999. Silver for $3,699, and Elite for $2,499. Each course except the Elite option offers private one-on-one tutoring sessions.
All courses provide access to all available AAMC practice tests, small group instruction, problem-based group sessions, and study hall sessions. The Platinum course also offers exclusive review sessions.
Altius also offers a Summer Full-Immersion Program with a Gold and Platinum Option. For $8,499 you can sign up for the Gold option which comes with 135 hours of small group tutoring, problem-based group sessions, study hall sessions, mastery sessions, and ten practice tests. The Platinum option is $9,999 and includes everything in the Gold option as well as a free Silver Admissions package, additional study hall sessions, and small group tutoring hours.
Best Intensive Study Course : The Princeton Review
Why We Chose It: The Princeton Review wins for best intensive study course because of its MCAT 515+ course which promises students maximum results in a minimum amount of time.
24/7 on-demand tutoring
Wide-range of course materials
16 full-length practice exams
Some topics more in-depth than others
The Princeton Review offers several options for those looking to increase their score in a short amount of time. Each course comes with its own features, score guarantee, and refund policy.
The Princeton Review was founded in 1981 and has since become a top name in the prep course industry. Today it offers a wide selection of test prep courses including four MCAT prep options and a bootcamp.
The MCAT 515+ Immersion Course is designed for students who want to apply to the nation's top medical schools. You’ll receive access to over 195 hours of live instruction, unlimited 24/7 on-demand tutoring, 16-full length practice exams, and all available AAMC practice materials. The course regularly costs $6,999 but was on sale for $6,699 as of March 2021.
To be eligible for the 515+ score guarantee, you must have a starting score of 505+. If you don’t achieve a score of 515 or higher, you will be given a full refund minus the shipping fee for course materials, including 11 textbooks.
The Princeton Review also offers an MCAT 510+ course delivered online and in-person for a one-time price of $2,699. As of March 2021, however, the course was on sale for $2,399. You’ll receive 123 hours of in-person or live online instruction, access to between four and six experts, 16-full length practice tests, and thousands of practice questions. The 510+ score guarantee promises that if you don’t see an increase in your score of 10 points or a score over 510, you will get a full refund.
The Princeton Review’s Ultimate Course is regularly $2,099 but is on sale for $1,899 as of March 2021. It’s available online and in-person and includes 123 hours of live content and instruction with access to a team of subject matter experts. You can also access an extensive video library, MCAT textbooks, and thousands of practice questions. If, after completing the course, you don’t see an improvement in your score, The Princeton Review will refund your tuition. If you’re not satisfied with the course, the company will let you repeat it for free.
Those who prefer a self-paced course can try the Online Course for $1,499, which is on sale as of March 2021 down from $1,699. You can study whenever and wherever your schedule allows with a library of videos, 10 MCAT books, and thousands of practice questions. If you don’t see an improvement in your score after completing the course, you can get a full refund. If you’re not 100% satisfied with the course, you can take it again for free.
Best Value : Magoosh
Why We Chose It: Magoosh is our choice for the best value MCAT prep course because it offers strong student support, a score increase guarantee, and a budget-friendly price.
Monthly and annual pricing options
7-day free trial
Excellent customer support
No textbooks provided
Limited number of practice questions
Limited number of practice tests
Compared to prep course companies like The Princeton Review and Kaplan, Magoosh is a relative newcomer to the prep course scene. Founded in 2009, the company has since made an impact in the industry serving more than 1.5 million students. In 2016, Magoosh added the MCAT course to its study prep roster.
Magoosh offers a comprehensive, self-study MCAT prep course delivered completely online. It includes access to over 380 content review videos, over 700 practice questions, a customizable study schedule, a full-length practice test, and 24/7 email support. You can choose between a one-month subscription for $279 or 12 months of access for $299. For an extra $20, it’s probably worth it to spring for the full year of access, unless you’re cramming for the exam.
For students who have taken the MCAT exam before taking the prep course, Magoosh will also give you a full refund if you don’t score ten or more points higher once you complete the course and take your exam.
If you are interested in Magoosh, you can sign up for a free seven-day trial that includes 60 MCAT lessons and 16 practice questions. Is it commitment-free and no credit card is required.
When selecting the MCAT prep course that is right for you, consider your learning style, your timeline for study, the amount of support you want, and your budget. If you want a course that offers a breadth of study materials, and online support from 99th percentile instructors all on an easy-to-use platform, we recommend Blueprint.
Compare the Best MCAT Prep Courses
|$1,799 to $2,499||6-12 months||Free access to limited resources||Score guarantee|
Best Live Online
|$1,799 to $6,999||5 weeks to 6 months||7 days of free MCAT prep and practice||Score guarantee|
|MCAT Self Prep Best Customizable Option||Free to $999||Lifetime access||Free 90-min intro session; free MCAT Prep Course||Score guarantee|
|$2,499 to $9,999||12 months||2-week trial||Score, money-back, and price match|
|The Princeton Review
Best Intensive Option
|$1,499 to $6,699||9 months||Free class||Score guarantee|
|$279 to $299||1-12 months||7-day trial||Score guarantee|
What Is the MCAT?
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a computer-based standardized test developed and administered by the AAMC students must take if they want to enter medical school.
According to the AAMC, students who are planning to apply to a health professions school are eligible to take the MCAT. Health professions schools include the following as well as other health-related programs that will accept MCAT exam results to satisfy admission requirements:
- M.D. programs
- D.O. programs
- Podiatric (D.P.M)
- Veterinary medicine (D.V.M)
The MCAT can be taken up to three times in a single testing year, but there are limits to how many times you can take the exam. The MCAT can be taken up to four times in two consecutive years, and up to seven times in a lifetime. It’s important to note that all of your scored exams can be seen by medical schools.
How Do MCAT Prep Courses Help You Prepare for the Test?
An MCAT prep course can help students improve their test scores by providing access to thousands of prep questions, full-length practice exams, and a community of instructors and students. While a prep course is not needed to prepare for the MCAT, it can help students who benefit from a more structured study plan and a community of support.
Are MCAT Prep Courses Worth It?
Whether or not an MCAT prep course is worth it will depend on your individual needs. For instance, if you’re a self-starter who can stay motivated while studying alone, you might not need a prep course. But if you thrive in a more structured and collaborative environment or want additional support from a course instructor or private tutor, it could be a good choice.
How Far in Advance Should You Start an MCAT Prep Course?
When you should take an MCAT prep course depends on several factors, including how familiar you are with the MCAT content and your style of studying. Do you prefer to have lots of time or do you like to cram? The AAMC recommends that the average student spend between 300 and 350 hours preparing for the exam.
How Much Do MCAT Prep Courses Cost?
The cost of an MCAT prep course varies based on factors such as the style of delivery (self-paced vs. live), subscription length, and level of one-on-one support offered.
Students can access free online prep courses through providers like MCAT Self Prep while some of the more expensive courses offered by providers like Kaplan, Altius, and The Princeton Review can cost between $6,999 and $9,999 including one-on-one tutoring.
We evaluated 13 different MCAT prep courses for this review and considered factors such as cost, delivery options, the breadth of study materials, course length, student support, and the quality of instructors. We also considered if the MCAT prep course offered a score increase guarantee and a free trial so students can test out the program before committing.
All of the choices on our list offer a variety of MCAT prep plan options, a wide range of study materials, and highly qualified instructors.