Kaplan vs. Princeton Review?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MCWIHEA, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. MCWIHEA

    MCWIHEA Member

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    Does anyone have an opinion between these two review courses? I am trying to decide between the two and have noticed PR has a ton more class hours than Kaplan. I don't necessarily know that this means it's better or just more fluff. Kaplan actually works better with my schedule, but I am willing to do the one that will help me get the best scores. Pros and cons on either one?
     
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  3. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member

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    I have only taken Kaplan, so I can't offer any insight about Princeton in-class sessions. What I can tell you is that no matter what prep class you take, the review material will be about the same. All will encompass the basic science stuff you need to know for the exam, plus give you the chance to take practice exams. In my opinion, it all comes down to the instructor.

    I signed up for a Kaplan deal, sort of a buy-one-get-one-free, where I could take all of the April exam prep classes and then prep again for August free. I was planning to take the test in Aug, so I figured twice the reinfocement would be helpful. The only problem was the instructors!! The person teaching the April class was a total ding-bat. He was just reading straight from our prep book, and to top off the monotone voice, he was goofing formulas and facts. I left the class bored, frustrated, and more confused that before I came in.

    HOWEVER, the person who taught the second class was AWESOME. She was an MD, and had tons of tips and useful outside of class stuff that really helped the review info stick. She also took the time to calm pre-test nerves and gave us useful exam strategies. I felt cool, calm, and collected when I took my exam. So, my best advice to you would be to ask other pre-meds in your area about who their instructor was and how they liked their teaching style.

    Also call the center and ask them who is teaching which sections. At the end of our class, we filled out surveys giving our rating of the quality of instruction. I am not sure if the test prep centers will be willing to give you an instructors stats in they suck, but if the person got rave reviews, I doubt they would hide the info from prospective students.

    Hope all of this rambling helps you!
     
  4. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member

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    I took Kaplan before the April MCAT. I found it very useful and I believe it helped me get a good score. The main benefit is not in the course, but in the library materials and the practice tests.

    I don't really know much about TPR, but I would suggest taking whichever course has a library/test center close to you. You'll probably be spending a lot of time there. I think I heard that TPR lets you take home more stuff than Kaplan so that might be a factor also.
     
  5. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    I actually took both. I didn't attend either of the classes, but on the basis of the books, Kaplan is far superior. Princeton Review's O-chem was missing a ton of stuff but their Verbal was better. That being said, you could just go and but the Kaplan book and it has the same stuff as in the class. But I recommend Berkeley Review out of all of those. I'm not sure if it is just on the west coast, but they had the best books and teachers far and away.
     
  6. KG

    KG Member

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    I also took the "buy one, get one free" Kaplan course, and it was the way to go for me. I started studying out of the big Kaplan book you can buy at a bookstore, but as I'd taken most of my basic science courses several years ago, I'm glad I took the course. The big book contains the same information they give you during the course except that another book or two come with the course. The first time around I mainly sat through the classes and picked up what I could, but the second time I tried to read each of the chapters thoroughly and did practice problems before the classes. I also took six full-length practice tests, which was very, very beneficial in learning to pace myself for the real thing. The library also has other subject tests. There was one genetics question on the MCAT that contained information I did not have in the Kaplan review books (I looked for it later). I think that everything else I knew or should have known from the materials. I went through the books about three times each before the test, and felt fairly well prepared. I learned more studying the materials on my own than I did from the classes themselves.
     
  7. TwoSteveSquared

    TwoSteveSquared Senior Member

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    I liked the materials much better from TPR. But, its all subjective. Both programs work IF you put forth a tremendous effort. (it's the effort that really works).
     
  8. Wu-Tang Killa Bee

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    I would agree with twostevesquared
     
  9. rennairda

    rennairda Junior Member

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    I've never taken either course, but I've used the Princeton Review materials since high school, so I actually don't know anything at all about Kaplan. What I like about PR, though, is that they find little ways to make the material funny or interesting, and also teach some strategy, which is more important than you would at first think. As nerdy as it sounds, though, the most helpful thing was coming back to school midway through spring break and taking full practice tests without anyone around to distract me. going through the books really isn't that helpful if you made decent grades in your premed classes.
     
  10. old lady

    old lady Member

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    I took Kaplan in St Petersburg, FL for this April's test. The teachers and the organization of the program were terrible. I would never recommend it to anyone. We would show up for practice exams or classes which were cancelled or delayed and noone had bothered to call us. The teachers were clueless - the people in the class knew more than they did. I can't compare it to Princeton Review, but there is no way they could be worse than Kaplan! What a waste of money. I did well on the MCAT because I studied, and I could have done that buying a $50 book rather than spending over $1000 on that class.
     
  11. mj

    mj Senior Member

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    I agree with old lady. I've heard so not great things about both organizations teachers.

    However, I thought the Kaplan material was great. I realized I'm a flash card junkie!
    If you do decide to do it yourself, try to find someone's Kaplan stuff to buy.

    mj
     

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