Dismiss Notice
Hey Guest! Check out the 3 MCAT Study Plan Options listed in the 'stickies' area at the top of the forums (BoomBoom, SN2ed, and MCATJelly). Let us know which you like best.

Also, we now offer a MCAT Test-Prep Exhibitions Forum where you can ask questions directly from the test-prep services.
Dismiss Notice
SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Kaplan or PR?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by princessd3, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I'm going crazy here. I'm going to be taking MCAT in April. I'm ready to make my deposit on Kaplan but then I keep hearing that you're better of taking PR. I must admit I like the idea of PR having more classes and that they place special emphasis on verbal (so they say). On the other hand I feel as though Kaplan has a better rep, I could be wrong. What do you all think...Kaplan or TPR...honestly.
    Thanx
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. ocean11

    ocean11 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    4
    Princeton REVIEW the WHOLE WAY! best best best review course!

    I so highly recommend it
     
  4. SuzyQ

    SuzyQ Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    610
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took PR and I thought it has helped me out a lot. The review materials are awesome in my opinion. I guess it also depends on the instructors....My orgo, bio and verbal teacher were excellent however I wasnt impressed at all with the chem and physics teacher. It all really just comes down to the individual and how much work you are willing to put in. Ive heard people who hate kaplan and people who love kaplan....same about PR. Just work hard and you will do great. ;)
     
  5. mws99

    mws99 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    1
    I took tpr for the April test and it was great. I was thoroughly prepared for the test. They give you all of the materials so you don't have to go to the test center like kaplan. Also, our last 2 proctored tests were AAMC V and VI. I believe kaplan only gives you kaplan tests but I am not 100% sure.
     
  6. rCubed

    rCubed taiko master

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    0
    i would check to see how much practice material both of the companies provide.

    the science review material isn't as important, since u've probably covered all the topics in ur class, and u can always just get the review books from other test prep companies. (for example, i'm taking kaplan, but since i don't like their physics too much, i'm using the EK stuff)

    i know kaplan has a library, and while its annoying to go there, it has tons and tons of practice exams up there. IMO, doing practice exams is the best method to prepare for the real thing. u should check to see how much practice material PR provides, and if the kaplan library is close to u. if it turns out that its far enough so that u know u'll never go there, then beware that kaplan doesn't provide much practice material, except for the five full lenghts they give, but i know PR gives five also.........

    hope all this advice collectively helps u out
     
  7. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Messages:
    4,372
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Medical Student
    whichever of the two you take, buy some more old AAMC tests. when you've gotten most of your coursework done, those will be the most important materials you'll need
     
  8. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thanks so much for the feedback guys. I'm the type of person who loves study the text word for word. My question is, who gives you more text material...CD roms..and all that? Does TPR not have a library like Kaplan do where you can access alot of old exams and more text?
     
  9. DrBravesgirl

    DrBravesgirl Surgeon for a year

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    ok, i took the kaplan class before the april sitting, and i've used pr materials (haven't taken the class) for the aug. test. here's the breakdown:

    kaplan:
    pros- excellent training library...their videos really are helpful, and they have all sorts of practice items available...topical tests are available online....they have all the aamc practice tests on site (i believe...they MIGHT not have the more recent ones, i.e. V and VI, but I know they had a LOT of AAMC testing material.)
    cons- with the exception of verbal, all the teachers weren't really what i expected for the money i paid..the vast majority of the practice materials are only available on-site..the material that is online is not print-able....their books touch on all the high points that will be covered on the test (or that are fair game), but don't go much further

    princeton review:
    pros- VERY thorough books...tons of practice material, and all of it is in book form, so you can use it when you please, where you please.
    cons- the reading material is very thorough, and can get a little daunting at times...again..didn't take the class, so i have no way of telling you anything about the instructors, but i will tell you this: i teach for kaplan, and they will not let me teach an MCAT class that has anyone i go to school with enrolled in it, for fear that i would have a friend in the class, and they wouldn't take me seriously. conversely, i have a lot of friends who teach for PR, and they taught their friends MCAT stuff. i'm not going to comment on which way i think is better, just be aware that this is how it works sometimes.....the practice tests (a-d) are really tough and can be a bit discouraging

    in the end, it's your call. PR held classes on our campus, so a lot of people ended up choosing it b/c of the added convenience. kaplan's staff is super-friendly, and they really went out of their way to help out during mcat week (general stress-busting stuff, snacks and drinks in the test rooms, etc etc etc). good luck deciding :)
     
  10. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thank You Brave...You answered alot of my questions. I just have one that was not answered. Don't want to seem like a pest but does PR have a library with reference materials like Kaplan do....That's all I want to know now.
     
  11. mws99

    mws99 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    1
    When I took pr there was no library, they just gave us everything.
     
  12. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    For those who took kaplan is it true that the material isn't thorough enough? Did you feel completely prepared?
     
  13. rCubed

    rCubed taiko master

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    0
    i've been taking kaplan, and at the moment, i do feel completely prepared, but ask me again after saturday and i'll let u know then
     
  14. thirdangel

    thirdangel Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi! I took both review courses and I think that PR helped me out a lot. Kaplan's library is good. They offer a lot of practice materials at the center and online, but I definately prefered having all the brand new materials with me than going to the center because a few of the practice materials were marked up and erased so many times you could still see another person's answers.
    PR offers you a lot of practice materials too and I think that what they offer is more than enough, especially since you get to take it home with you. Also, the last tests you take before the real thing are AAMC exams.
    I guess it also really depends on how you learn and study. If you want more focus on the actual test, I would recommend Kaplan, but if you want more focus on the subjects behind the test, than I would recommend PR.
     
  15. jmanwaring

    jmanwaring VH Superfan

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2002
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Kaplan material is sufficiently thorough in my modest opinion. You have to realize that the MCAT covers difficult material studied over numerous semesters in college. With that in mind, the MCAT tests on general understanding of the topics, not so much details that we learned in the courses. If you have a long to time to study and prepare for the MCAT, maybe a very thorough preparation is in line. But, if you're devoting three straight months in the summer to studying (like me) then understanding the basics for the MCAT through Kaplan is sufficient.
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I've heard some good things about Kaplan, I've heard some bad. I must say through it all I've heard nothing negative about Kaplan. Think my decision has been made.
     
  18. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    rcubbed, now do you feel like you were sufficiently prepared?
     
  19. WISC-ite

    WISC-ite Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Are you smoking Crack? If you do not take ExamKackers with Jordan and Jon you must be beyond fixin'.... PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE due a little better research than hearsay on this website. You live in NY and coincidentally krackers is based in NY and you are not taking advantage of this???? I don't care if you live in Rochester, it is worth the drive to Columbia.


    PM for specific questions.

    Cheers,
    WISC-ite
     
  20. chapinsita

    chapinsita from premed to med!

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I know examkrackers say that they teach you ONLY what you will need to know for the exam.....now if PR has sooo much material, aren't they teaching you a whole lot of stuff that you will not even be tested on? Any experiences with learning stuff not on the MCAT after taking PR or Kaplan?
     
  21. dpark74

    dpark74 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took Kaplan and found that it was an extremely effective course. My instructor was very good and also took the time to explain the admissions process and what pitfalls to avoid.

    I admit that it does require a lot of time in the library, but it sure did pay off. Before I took Kaplan I took a practice exam and got a 21 (7,7,7) and for the April 2002 exam, I got a 34 (9V,12P,13B). Their library is comprehensive and I took advantage of that. Thousands of pertinent questions with detailed explanations; I went through all of their material. All other students in my class hardly used it and complained that Kaplan sucked! Obviously, they are in denial that they are the ones that suck.

    Good luck!
     
  22. thirdangel

    thirdangel Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    So what if people don't like Kaplan or any other review course. They DO NOT suck, but perhaps maybe you should get over your resentment towards people who need more than what Kaplan offers. Just because the class helped you doesn't mean that it will help everyone else. There are different MCAT review courses for a reason. It's just a matter of choosing the one that best fits the way you learn.
    I personally got more out of PR by doing passages in class and hearing what mistakes myself and others made than doing passage after passage on my own at a center where the material was used so many times that you could see previous answers. That was my experience with the center, but I'm glad to see that other people were able to take advantage of it.
     
  23. dpark74

    dpark74 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kaplan also does passages in class. In fact, most of the class is devoted to passages and isolated questions.

    As always, everyone has their own opinions, so don't ruffle your feathers because I said people were in denial that they were the ones that sucked. The ones that complained invariably studied very little if at all. (Were you in my class? I don't think so, so how would you know?)

    I agree with you on the point that people have their unique effective study habits. But the underlying reason for numerous test prep courses has to do more with business than education. It offers the consumers more options, but ultimately there is considerable overlap between the available courses.
     
  24. thirdangel

    thirdangel Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, how do you know that they didn't study and why do you care if they did or not? It's their problem if they get a low score because they did not prepare as well as they could have, not yours. It could also be a reflection on their opinion of the course. I know that I was not half as motivated to study while I was taking Kaplan as I was with PR because of the way the classes were structured (I know others who felt the same after going through both Kaplan and PR). I also know that there are some people who were more satisfied with Kaplan than with PR.

    Again, it all depends on how you learn... and you shouldn't take it so personally if other people didn't get as much out of the class as you did, including it's ability to motivate because that is partly why some people take review courses in the first place.
     
  25. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2002
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    0
    All:

    I've taught for both PR (Undergrad Senior year and MSI) and Kaplan (MSII) and have experience with both from the teaching side.Overall, I think I agree with previous posts that it depends on your learning style. My personal opinions are:

    PR - Lot's of time spent in class - about 1/3-1/2 of it is spent going over passages and reasoning things through. The reading is great, IF YOU READ IT (ie I had many students who didn't have a problem paying the $$$ and thinking their score would improve automatically).

    Kaplan - Class time is almost exclusively lectures, with problems really only from the lecture notes. Evidently this may have changed, according to previous posts in this thread. I tried to bring in extra material, but I'm not sure the other instructors did. The library is fantastic, once again IF YOU USE IT! Sometimes the open hours don't mesh with your schedule, so remember that. Classes are larger than PR (I had one with 40 students) and I thing less personal.

    Overall - the material they teach is the same. I would say Kaplan goes through it quicker, and PR reiterates it through in-class problems.

    If I had to choose? Honestly, I'd go with PR. I like having all the material up-front and not be reliant upon a center to be open.

    Airborne
     
  26. tbo

    tbo MS-4

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I took Kaplan this past summer and in retrospect, I think I would have felt more prepared with PR.

    The verbal and bio preps were not very solid, in my opinion. In the August MCAT, I actually didn't finish the verbal... and found the bio to be quite difficult, relative to the Kaplan practice tests (even though going in, this was my strongest section). I don't know my score yet, and this is the first time I've taken it, so I can't really go beyond "gut feeling". I did find that Kaplan had a great library of practice tests. I don't even think I took half of them, although that was my #1 priority- practice practice practice.

    I will say, however, that the amount of class time in PR was a strong deterrent for me. I just can't handle being in a classroom that long to be able to digest this stuff.... I'm more of a stay-at-home and absorb type of studyier. Nonetheless, from what I've heard from other MCATers, PR is very comprehensive and does a good job at preparing you. In the end, I think you'll find that it is less about the curriculum and more about how you are "thirsty" for a good score. Motivation is key. If PR or Kaplan can help you get it, then all the more power in choosing a prep class. Good luck
     
  27. 3-D

    3-D Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took the Kaplan course this summer. The library is excellent and i was able to print off material for the web site very easily which made things very convenient for me. Kaplan requires a lot of disipline since there is less class time. Our teacher kept telling us to make sure that we understood the concepts and not worry much about memorizing specific details. I did not believe him at first but after taking the August MCAT I know he was absolutely right. The biological sciences review was a little weak but overall I was pleased with my experience. My best friend took the PR. She loved it because of the extra class time. It helped to keep her focused. I think it definately comes down to learning styles.
     

Share This Page