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Kaplan vs. Princeton Review

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by becool5, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. becool5

    becool5 Member
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    Hello Everyone,
    I tried to find some information on this using the forum and the respective websites for Kaplan and PR but was unable to find anything. Which of these two programs give you books on the actual material presented in the MCAT? I always thought each program just went over test strategies and had the students take multiple practice tests, but I remember a friend of mine (who I lost contact with) took one of the programs and she showed me that they actually taught specific material like physics, o.chem, etc and they had various books for these subjects? Can someone help me out? Do both programs other this? Thanks so much.
     
  2. bluesTank

    bluesTank Zombie
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    I'm in TPR and it definatly goes over material in detail, and you get like 5 huge books. You have a phys, g.chem, o.chem, bio and verbal class and supposedly a teacher for each one.

    TPR said that their teachers were so great when I registered, and the guy lied and told me they had a PhD. teaching there. Turns out we got ONE guy teaching us both g.chem and verbal who is a senior undergrad, a guy who's in one of my classes for bio, who eventually gets fired cause everyone complains, and they are desperatly scrambling to get more teachers for the classes...pretty rediculous, so I dont know

    Bottom line, they both go over materials, they arent just gonna teach you strategies.
     
  3. TX_NFS

    TX_NFS Steel melanoleuca
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    I'll clarify what bluesTank mentioned and also add my own experiences with TPR.

    IIRC I believe you actually receive seven books: an In-Class Compendium (ICC, passages you work on during class), a review/studying book that covers each main section of the MCAT (Verbal, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences), and then a workbook for each main section (same three). Biological Sciences breaks down into Biology + O. Chem., Physical Sciences into Physics + G. Chem.

    I think the class I was in (and I guess where I live) was a little more fortunate in selection of our teachers. We did have a separate teacher for each subject, five total. Two were current medical students, one was a senior undergrad, one was an undergrad who had graduated, and one was a doctorate-seeker in the subject she was teaching.

    Can't say I know anything about how Kaplan teaches their stuff, but I would imagine they would follow the same general strategy. One thing that TPR makes a point of is that they have more class hours than Kaplan, so if you want some more guidance and 'structure' to your prep course, I would consider TPR. Kaplan I think has more practice tests available (?) and other resources widely available online. I only took five practice tests, online, though there were supposed to be another four "super-hard" practice tests in a paper/pencil format that we never got... :(
     
  4. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member
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    I had TPR as well. It was okay. The teachers were pretty good (they were all undergrads or applying to med school except one PhD candidate; she was actually the worst one out of them all). You are elegible to teach TPR as long as you meet certain score requirements so you may very well get undergrad teachers. The grading on the TPR practice tests tends to deflate your score by a couple of points and TPR's goal is for you to get a 30. They teach to that goal so if you want a 35+, you're going to have to do some studying on your own. They give you more practice problems than you can possible do though.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    becool5

    becool5 Member
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    Hey Everyone, thanks for the info this is very helpful. bluesTank, I am sorry you had such a bad experience with the teachers :(.
     
  6. Richter915

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    what's key for me is material. Both services give a ton of material but I'm in kaplan and we get 11 full lengths along with the 8 AAMC practice exams. What I have noticed about TPR is that they kinda give little tips and tricks in the reading for how to remember things whereas kaplan does not. TPR also asks questions throughout the reading while Kaplan gives practice questions. Kaplan's strategy sessions are eh mediocre. The lessons are not the most helpful things in the world but whatever. Almost all Kaplan practice material is online which is key for getting used to the CBT format.
     
  7. xucardsfan08

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    What you pay for in the Kaplan course is the amount of information. The strict "online-course" is nearly the same cost as the "classroom-course".
    I'm not sure at all about TPR's materials, but Kaplan provides you with books for each subject, including a High-Yield Problem Solving guide that goes step-by-step through the most common problems (ex. thermodynamics prob.), and tells you common mistakes, how to work through them, etc. In addition to the books, you have subject tests and workshops available online for every topic.
    If that's not enough, there is access to all Kaplan-made mock MCATs and the official AAMC MCAT's 3-10 (which cost $35/piece through aamc.org without Kaplan)

    The classroom portion is mostly just to get you to come to class for 6 hours/week and "force" you to review. The entire time isn't spent reviewing though, as you work through passages indepently and together.
     

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