Pisiform

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Hey guys!!!

I have been taking Kaplan since a month right now and I did not find their lectures useful. Although they have good practice material which includes Topical and Quizes but the guy who teaches us is horrible. Today, I asked a question about fertilization and what he replied was: " Fertilization is like your mom and dad having sex inside you" :scared::wtf:

I am not paying 2G for that kind of answer.
I really dont feel a point going to that mundane class but since I spent money, I have too.

Any similar insight?
 

PunkmedGirl

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Hey guys!!!

I have been taking Kaplan since a month right now and I did not find their lectures useful. Although they have good practice material which includes Topical and Quizes but the guy who teaches us is horrible. Today, I asked a question about fertilization and what he replied was: " Fertilization is like your mom and dad having sex inside you" :scared::wtf:

I am not paying 2G for that kind of answer.
I really dont feel a point going to that mundane class but since I spent money, I have too.

Any similar insight?
Dang. That sucks.
 

Booster

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kaplan is useful for some. i have to agree that their materials are great. however, i took the class and then took the mcat, and didnt do that great. i took some time off, and studied on my own using exam krackers, and i ended up getting a 30. its all what you make of it. i felt like it was "do or die" the 2nd time around.
 

samuraiR

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i thought kaplan lectures were absolute garbage...the practice material tho...awesome. Worth 2k? no effing way... I shoulda saved the money and gotten the BR books
 

DbDan

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You just have some crappy teachers. My instructors were great, they were helpful and they powered through the material just fine. Their materials were extremely helpful as well. Granted I was scoring significantly higher on their practice tests than I did on the real test
 

JaggerPlate

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I was pretty much disappointed with Kaplan all around. Their BS review was alright, and it was nice to have a lot of VR practices, but their lectures/class based program did nothing for me, their 'techniques' were not helpful, and I thought their practice tests were wildly different than AAMC and the real thing. Probably works for some, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
 
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I hated using Kaplan materials. Exam krackers were more useful. It was also funny how the intro of the Exam krackers made fun of the other stupid techniques programs like Kaplan use.
 

Cheshyre

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I paid $80 for a Kaplan MCAT review book, ~$25 for their 3 practice tests, and paid for 3 AAMC MCAT practice tests + 1 free test. Did not sign up for their lectures.

35S, first time. I'm very satisfied with Kaplan's books.
 

Pisiform

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I paid $80 for a Kaplan MCAT review book, ~$25 for their 3 practice tests, and paid for 3 AAMC MCAT practice tests + 1 free test. Did not sign up for their lectures.

35S, first time. I'm very satisfied with Kaplan's books.

lucky you!! Unfortunately, I am already signed up for all they offer books, online and lectures. Ironically, my friends are finding Kaplan useful even though they are scoring lower than me :laugh:.

I paid alot more than that and the only thing I am finding useful is their online stuff. But God damn it has an expiry date :mad: . I tried copy and pasting but did not work , any clue how to save their online pracice questions.
 
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Princeton Review is probably better since they have different instructors for each subject. I doubt one person can have good knowledge of all the subjects and would be working for Kaplan's $20 per hour (or so).
 
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Princeton Review is probably better since they have different instructors for each subject. I doubt one person can have good knowledge of all the subjects and would be working for Kaplan's $20 per hour (or so).
I have 2 different teachers for Kaplan. One teaches verbal, bio and orgo, and another teaches physics and general chemistry. The original teacher (Verbal/Bio/Orgo) told Kaplan he wasn't comfortable enough to teach physics/gen chem to us well, and so we have someone else teaching those. My teacher also suggested that you call Kaplan and try to get like a 60-day extension for the online stuff, or ask them to extend access until your test day.
 
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I have 2 different teachers for Kaplan. One teaches verbal, bio and orgo, and another teaches physics and general chemistry. The original teacher (Verbal/Bio/Orgo) told Kaplan he wasn't comfortable enough to teach physics/gen chem to us well, and so we have someone else teaching those. My teacher also suggested that you call Kaplan and try to get like a 60-day extension for the online stuff, or ask them to extend access until your test day.
Princeton give us online access for 6 months (I forget if it is 6 months from the start of class or from the end of class. Actually, I think it is 6 months from the end of class).
 

Cheshyre

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I found Kaplan to be useful because it goes beyond facts - the books are, in my opinion, good for test strategy. This is important to me because my preparation method involves LOTS of practice exams. I already had a decent grasp of the material, and the practice exams would help me fill in any gaps. Since my actual science/verbal knowledge was adequate, strategy helped me maximize my score. I felt like I knew exactly what I had to instead of trying to relearn my freshman/sophomore year science courses in their entirety.

While it may work for some, I personally dislike the Princeton Review method of learning in more detail than necessary. I have no experience with Exam Krackers and can't comment, but I will say that somebody I know used EK and got a 44. I'm sure that's not due to the fact that he used EK though.

By the way, I find that the best predictor of verbal score is the amount of time a person spends reading. By that, I don't mean textbooks or magazines. All of my friends who read reasonably often had no problems on the verbal section (including me). On the other hand, my friends who admitted to "never reading" had extreme difficulty with verbal. They'd have scores of 10+ on the science sections and 6 on the verbal. I think of myself as a moderate reader. I don't keep up with the New York Times bestsellers and I hate classic literature, but I do enjoy short essays and modern stuff. Nothing amazing or difficult. Some recent reads include Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster, The Lovely Bones, David Biro's One Hundred Days, Atul Gawande's Complications, etc. Most libraries should have this stuff floating around.

The other reason for my preferring Kaplan is because their books are printed on higher quality paper. Call me bourgeosie or whatever, but I have a hard time staring at newsprint for hours. Kaplan's book had a clean, uncluttered layout on beautifully white paper. It's just easier to read, especially when you're going to be poring over facts for a long period of time.
 

tresrisque

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Politely butting in here, lol. When I read this thread, I was immediately reminded about how horrible my experience was with standardized-test teachers. In high school, I signed up for a one-day seminar for ACT prep. We went over answers, and the teacher said something like, "22 is B. 23 is J. You hear that, BJ!!! *snickers*" :mad::eyebrow:

Anyway, back to the subject. I considered taking the Kaplan course for the OAT until Kaplan came to my school and gave out a free practice test. Besides from the expensive price (even the $200 discount wouldn't make things MUCH better for me), I just felt like their strategies were obvious & that it would be a waste of time to sit there. I mean, of course I know to do the easier questions first then the hard ones, of course I know that I can eliminate obviously wrong answers, and of course I know that I should pace myself :boom:

There is something that I find a little odd about the Kaplan courses. My boyfriend got a 20 overall on the DAT and was invited to be an instructor for the DAT Kaplan course. While that isn't a bad score at all, it kinda makes me doubt the instructors' credibilities. I guess what I mean is that the instructor probably knows the material well ENOUGH, but not thoroughly. I don't see why they can't get professors to teach the course? :confused:

With that being said, my boyfriend and I mainly used the Kaplan books to study for the DAT and OAT, respectively. Neither of us took the course, but we felt that the course material was pretty sufficient.

Anyway, good luck to everyone who is applying to med school! :)
 

MegaSpectacular

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Hey guys!!!

I have been taking Kaplan since a month right now and I did not find their lectures useful. Although they have good practice material which includes Topical and Quizes but the guy who teaches us is horrible. Today, I asked a question about fertilization and what he replied was: " Fertilization is like your mom and dad having sex inside you" :scared::wtf:

I am not paying 2G for that kind of answer.
I really dont feel a point going to that mundane class but since I spent money, I have too.

Any similar insight?
I see a lot of people blaming prep companies, but I think your expectations may be too high.

First off, rudeness is not acceptable and unfortunately if the guy is an ass it that is something to deal with. BUT that isn't Kaplan's fault per se, except they hired him.

Heres what a prep company can deliver:

  • Practice passages / problems / FLs
  • Strategy
and also maybe a decent set of content review. No prep company has perfect content review and you may like how other companies describe things, BUT again the major thing is passages/FLs.

That is all. How you use them and what you get from them is up to you. Lots believe BR has better passages but many people go 40+ with Kaplan.
 

plsfoldthx

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My Kaplan teacher was really good.

The best thing about Kaplan I think is the online resources. Qbank is awesome!!! I also like the science portion of their study books... it's conceptually very strong.

The material for the lectures, however, are a bit lacking... BUT I did get me used to the style of the MCAT.
 

MegaSpectacular

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I will add one thing.

I'm sure it is very frustrating paying $1800. You don't really get anything extra except for structure and a babysitter, compared to spending 500-600 on materials for yourself.
 

DbDan

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My Kaplan teacher was really good.

The best thing about Kaplan I think is the online resources. Qbank is awesome!!! I also like the science portion of their study books... it's conceptually very strong.

The material for the lectures, however, are a bit lacking... BUT I did get me used to the style of the MCAT.
I agree with this. I didn't make full use of Qbank until near the end. I made sure to go through every part. The main thing it did for me was force me to keep pace and study every day. I have a habit of putting things off but having a structured coursework and wanting to constantly improve keeps you accountable.

Plus I'll be the first to admit that I wouldn't have studied verbal if Kaplan didn't force me to and I would have had major regrets. I would not have gotten the score I did if I didn't work hard on it.

Kaplan's teaching credentials are that they must score 90th or above percentile in any subject they wish to teach. For the MCAT that means they must score >11 on any given section.
 

plsfoldthx

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I will add one thing.

I'm sure it is very frustrating paying $1800. You don't really get anything extra except for structure and a babysitter, compared to spending 500-600 on materials for yourself.
Structure is extremely helpful. Maybe not worth a thousand bucks, but very very useful nonetheless... especially if you're like me.
 
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you are really paying for the volumes upon volumes of practice material. Either switch teachers or stop going to class and do the reading and practice.



Hey guys!!!

I have been taking Kaplan since a month right now and I did not find their lectures useful. Although they have good practice material which includes Topical and Quizes but the guy who teaches us is horrible. Today, I asked a question about fertilization and what he replied was: " Fertilization is like your mom and dad having sex inside you" :scared::wtf:

I am not paying 2G for that kind of answer.
I really dont feel a point going to that mundane class but since I spent money, I have too.

Any similar insight?
 

Moose A Moose

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I feel your pain, OP. My parents actually helped out with the payment for the full Kaplan course, and although helpful at times, I feel a majority of the money could have gone to much better use.

I think the materials are great, and although my three teachers are professional, I cannot stand the way the lectures are structured. It's horrible. Sure, I'm enlightened on a few concepts and methods/what to expect on the MCAT, but the [lecture portion] of the pricetag is no where worth it. Erghh.
 

Pisiform

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Haha , so finally I bunked my Kaplan Class yesterday and studied some kill - ass chemistry in the room next to where Kaplan class was taking place:D
Felt guilt for a while, but finally figured out its OK :laugh:
 

illegallysmooth

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My Kaplan instructor was great. I think you just had bad luck and got a crappy one. Perhaps try to ask more specific questions?
 
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I agree that the online materials for Kaplan were really useful for me. And you can get an extension if you need them to be available longer for you. I pushed my MCAT date back while I was in the course by 2 1/2 months, called Kaplan rep and told him about the change and they extended the availability of my online prep materials free of charge.

i took the course at a really discounted price, so that helped a lot.

As for the instructors, I had a few over the duration of the course. One of them, the one that we had most often, was an excellent teacher and really helped us learn the more difficult stuff. Others would just read through their lecture notes and not really know how to answer outside questions...so that was a little frustrating. However, they were all nice and willing to put in extra work to figure out an answer to a question if they didn't know the answer.

I ended up repeating the course through their higher score guarantee program although I didn't attend the lectures too much, instead I did the work at home and really used their online materials to study. Their strategy also really helped me prepare, but I think thats because i have trouble with standardized tests overall.

I agree that the usefullness of the course is determined by the kind of instructors you end up getting and whether or not you put in the kind of work and study time it requires.
 

slim78

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Depends on your style. I wasn't a science major so I needed some structure and some help in order to get through all the material.

Kaplan got me a 32Q. I can't complain about them.
 

Vita

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I work for Kaplan as an LSAT instructor (yeah I know, it is weird for a med. student to teach prelaw, it is just what I'm good at) and I can say that sometimes there are bad instructors that give the whole company a bad name. The resources are awesome, but it really is what you make of it.

The online courses for Kaplan are probably more consistent, as they have a highly rated professor (like in the Kaplan Live classes), and therefore are a good representation of how the course should work.

If you have problems with your instructors, tell the center. It will help students in the future if that particular instructor is given feedback.
 
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i thought kaplan lectures were absolute garbage...the practice material tho...awesome. Worth 2k? no effing way... I shoulda saved the money and gotten the BR books
Completely agree. Kaplan materials are great, but the lecture is pointless. Just get the Kaplan or BR books and pay for the old MCAT exams. That's all you really need. The online material can be useful, and there is an online only option. Stay away from Kaplan practice exams. I don't think they do a good job of preparing you for the real thing.
 

kdhmed

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Completely agree. Kaplan materials are great, but the lecture is pointless. Just get the Kaplan or BR books and pay for the old MCAT exams. That's all you really need. The online material can be useful, and there is an online only option. Stay away from Kaplan practice exams. I don't think they do a good job of preparing you for the real thing.
From what I've heard personally, most of those companies may just as well be scams. It depends on how much you time you put in. I didn't take a class, studied EK extensively, went from a 19 practice to a 23 the first time. Then to a 27 my 2nd time around. Guess it depends on your study habits, but if you're self motivated use that 2k and buy EK and practice test materials and have money left over
 
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Their class is lame but I agree with the others about their material being useful. I paid for the course and dropped after 2 lectures. A friend bought the $80 kaplan book and it was the exact same as my four smaller kaplan books(that cost me 2K):mad: combined into one big review book.

I am using examkrackers now because they are a lot more conscise and audio osmosis allows me to make my own "class" whenever I want. I only go back to kaplan books if I want more detail.

Buy the big Kaplan book if you want the detail and examkrackers for a quick refresher in subjects you do well in. And don't let kaplan make a big deal about all the practice tests you get with their course, chances are you won't have time to take them all, so buy them individually from aamc for $35.
 

DrDre2001

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I took a kaplan course as well. The teacher was pretty decent, but going to class wasn't really necessary (unless I had specific questions to ask the teacher) and so many others stopped going to the actual class (I only missed the amount of days allowed for you to keep the Guarantee).

The practice material they had online were pretty good though. And you get access to all the AAMC exams. The Kaplan exams themselves weren't very representative of the real thing, but i thought they were good practice.
 

Momentum70

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I used Kaplan, scored well and agree with above posters that their material is really good, but instructors can vary. I also taught for Kaplan after suggestion from my former teacher when I told him my score. As far as the can one instructor really do all the sections, yes. As another poster above said, you have to score 90% or higher for each section you teach. Also the good instructors will switch out when they dont feel as comfortable with material. I used to cover for one of the instructors at my center in Orgo because they only got a 10. Also they would do 2 of the writing sample intensive ones as I really didnt like or use the Kaplan method for that and couldnt teach something I didnt use myself.
 
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I took the princeton review course. In all honesty, it was not worth it. Not because it was not good, but because after the end, I felt like I did not need it, and I could push myself, but I dont know if it helped me or not. I ended up getting a 24, and did receive a few acceptances so Im not complaining. But definitely study, use online tools, buy AAMCs exams online if you dont take the course, and study hard.



I agree that the online materials for Kaplan were really useful for me. And you can get an extension if you need them to be available longer for you. I pushed my MCAT date back while I was in the course by 2 1/2 months, called Kaplan rep and told him about the change and they extended the availability of my online prep materials free of charge.

i took the course at a really discounted price, so that helped a lot.

As for the instructors, I had a few over the duration of the course. One of them, the one that we had most often, was an excellent teacher and really helped us learn the more difficult stuff. Others would just read through their lecture notes and not really know how to answer outside questions...so that was a little frustrating. However, they were all nice and willing to put in extra work to figure out an answer to a question if they didn't know the answer.

I ended up repeating the course through their higher score guarantee program although I didn't attend the lectures too much, instead I did the work at home and really used their online materials to study. Their strategy also really helped me prepare, but I think thats because i have trouble with standardized tests overall.

I agree that the usefullness of the course is determined by the kind of instructors you end up getting and whether or not you put in the kind of work and study time it requires.
 

Eobrien

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Shouldn't this thread be in the MCAT discussion forum? lolz
 
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Hey guys!!!

I have been taking Kaplan since a month right now and I did not find their lectures useful. Although they have good practice material which includes Topical and Quizes but the guy who teaches us is horrible. Today, I asked a question about fertilization and what he replied was: " Fertilization is like your mom and dad having sex inside you" :scared::wtf:

I am not paying 2G for that kind of answer.
I really dont feel a point going to that mundane class but since I spent money, I have too.

Any similar insight?
I was drinking something when I read that fertilization quote and almost lost it. :laugh::laugh:

Anyway, I'm glad this thread came up because quite honestly I am having the same feelings about my Kaplan On-demand course: The lectures seem to be kind of time consuming and low yield while the materials they provide are awesome. With my schedule, there's no way I can keep up with all the lectures...something's gotta give and I'd much rather focus on the actual material than their long and drawn out lectures.
 

TexasPhysician

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I think the OP just got unlucky with the teacher. I don't understand that fertilization thing.

I took the full Kaplan course years ago when it was cheaper and it was wonderful. Fantastic results that helped get me into numerous medical schools. I would definitely recommend Kaplan.
 

emjayel

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I took both Kaplan and Princeton Review (I was lucky enough to win a free Princeton Review prep course at a Pre-med club meeting)

Our Kaplan instructor was just an undergrad who took the course, and did relatively well on the MCAT.

At Princeton Review I had a different teacher for each subject. For physics we had a PhD student who had been teaching MCAT physics for a few years. Each teacher specialized in one subject. It was great.

Kaplan MCAT prep taught test taking tips and tricks more-so than actual knowledge. Princeton Review had more class time and I thought prepared me so much better.

As far as the materials go though, I think they are comparable.
 

Adaggiote

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The guy just got accepted into their janitorial program...or is an intern. Cut him some slack he is still learning.
 
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I took the Kaplan review course for another science-based exam way back in college and found it very useful.

Plus, the instructor was smoking hot!!! :wow:

For the MCAT last year, I used the online course. I feel it helped, but I augmented it heavily with my own studies.

ETA: RIF... DOwnage pretty much summed up my feelings a few posts above.
 

sonofva

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i like that you capitalized "DO" in your title. appropriate for pre-osteo.
 

Podiatry1

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Kaplan was the biggest waste of $2000 I have ever spent. I do not recommend anyone doing this.

Go to the MCAT forum and follow the SN2 guide.
 

JapaneseSakura

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i thought kaplan lectures were absolute garbage...the practice material tho...awesome. Worth 2k? no effing way... I shoulda saved the money and gotten the BR books
I found the book, practices exams, and notecards great!!!
The lectures though, were boring, crappy, dry, the teacher said the same tips and said a lot of info I could of read off the Kaplan books or exam krackers. I brought a lot of extra cheap practice exams on ebay anyways. I've stopped going, studied on my own and did fine. I would cry when I had to go to classes so I just didn't have the drive anymore to go. What a waste of money! It was not worth it at all!:sleep:
 

Swagster

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This seems like an odd thread to resurrect. I have read these same comments in several other threads and they all blend after a while. People are always complaining that the teaching is terrible. It's just the way it is.