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Are MCAT review courses worth it?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Barton, Jul 3, 2001.

  1. Barton

    Barton Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    I just want to see what other people think. MCAT courses (like Kaplan or Princeton Review) seem almost to be the norm these days. I know a lot of applicants, and most of them took some type of course. I just don't get it. Why pay $1200 for some dude to give you "study tips" and practice materials that can be found at the bookstore for much less (I spent about $300 on practice materials, including 8 full length tests and 2 1000-page review books). I have seen people do well both with and without prep courses. I've seen 22's from Kaplan users and 39's from people who studied on their own (as well as vice versa). I think that the people who put time into it and take it seriously will do well on the MCAT, whether they take a course or not. In light of this, why do people pay to take these courses? The "better score guarantee"? The test resources (how many full length practice tests are you really going to take)? I guess I think that Kaplan and PR and other prep courses are running a racket. Any opinions?
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  3. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2001
    Personally, I took TPR for a couple reasons. First, it had been six years since I graduated. A refresher course was probably the best way to review. This leads me to the next reason - I just didn't have time to relearn all the stuff on my own. The practice full-length tests are an extremely valuable tool to prepare you for the actual thing. Sitting in a room of people taking items you could see on a real MCAT administration is lot better than sitting at your desk at home looking at the same test, thinking about how good a cup of coffee would sound. Another bonus with these programs is that they teach how to take the test, not just teach you what's going to be on the test. This certainly helped me. I do think they're worth it, bu I didn't have to pay full-price as I had taken the course many years before.

  4. FisherKing

    FisherKing Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I'm taking TPR and I think it's worth it. I'm working and have been out of school for a couple of years. I find the course provides much needed structure for a LOT of material. The pleasant surprise has been how much I learn from my classmates and just getting to know them. Sure, you can study on your own but this was the best route for me. Oh, and one girl said that the diagnostic tests are very helpful simulations (but less messy).
  5. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    It's worth it if you use it.... it's as simple as that....
  6. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Popoy has nailed it down --it's that simple. I was in TPR hyperlearning and had a group of four friends with me whom I studied with nonstop on campus..did all the "homework", self-tests, and went over stuff, etc. The material is top-notch but you have to use it...some people in the class expected a good score just because they paid the 1200 buks and spent a few hours out of school on MCAT-related material...this is not the way it works...that's why i tell people, if you're still in school, go BUY the stupid hyperlearning books and do every problm, cover to cover, and read every book cover to cover.

    Moral of the story..they work, but only if you want them to, so why not do it yourself if yoyu are a motivated person?
  7. mcnugz

    mcnugz Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2001
    i personally can't afford the course but i'm going to buy the materials and just go for it by myself...i honestly think it doesn't matter if you take the course as long as you put the effort into studying
  8. strider

    strider Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2000
    portland, or
    I took the Kaplan. Worth it if you take it for the right reasons. If you take it for them to teach you the material, it is a waste of time. If you take it for their abundance of practice material, I think it is well worth it. I went into the class with a very good knowledge of the material, and improved my score considerably using their "library" of information (went from low 30's to high 30's). But, if you think that paying $1200 automatically implants information in your head, it's a waste of time. :)
  9. star23

    star23 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    I took TPR and was very happy with the results. I would not have done as well on the test without it. If you take TPR and do everything they tell you to do, you are ALMOST guaranteed a good score.

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