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Magoosh vs Kaplan MCAT

Find out which MCAT prep course is best for you in this detailed Kaplan vs Magoosh comparison

Believe it or not, one of the most crucial decisions you’ll have to make as you start your journey towards med school is which MCAT prep course to use. Choose a good prep course and you’ll be well on your on way to a top-rated medical school. Choose a bad one and you might very well find yourself back at the beginning of the process. Luckily for you, we compare and contrast two of the most popular MCAT prep companies around (Magoosh and Kaplan) to help make that decision a little easier.

  • Price
  • Video Instruction
  • Live Class Hours
  • Practice Questions
  • Practice Tests
  • Books
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Kaplan MCAT Live Online Course 12% OFF Code: PREP12MCAT
    12% OFF Code: PREP12MCAT
    Claim Discount
    • $2,399
    • 130+ Lessons
    • 42
    • 3,000+
    • 17
    • Hardcopy
  • Magoosh MCAT Self-Paced Sale: 15% OFF Code: TPI15
    Sale: 15% OFF Code: TPI15
    Claim Discount
    • $399
    • 380+ Lessons
    • None
    • 740+
    • 3
    • None

Outline: Kaplan vs Magoosh MCAT

Given that this is a lengthy comparison, we’ve included jump-to links above for easy navigation.

Video Review: How These Courses Compare

In the above video, team member John breaks down our thoughts on how these two MCAT prep options stack up. Please continue reading for more detail.

Kaplan MCAT Live Online Course

Kaplan MCAT

  • Higher Score Guarantee
  • Four Course Options
  • Higher Score Guarantee
  • Four Course Options
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Crazy amount of study material (over 700 hours in total)
  • High-quality, engaging video lessons (far superior to Magoosh's)
  • Live classes are fantastic (Magoosh does not offer any live MCAT classes)
  • Top-notch hardcopy MCAT prep books
  • Unlimited access to live MCAT workshops for extra instruction
  • Courses are fairly expensive compared to Magoosh
  • Practice problem explanations could use more detail
Kaplan MCAT Live Online Course
12% OFF Code: PREP12MCAT

Why Choose Kaplan MCAT Over Magoosh

If you want to achieve an elite score on the MCAT, selecting the right MCAT course is crucial. Here are the primary reasons why you may want to opt for Kaplan over Magoosh for your MCAT prep.

Course Options & Study Materials

Before we dive into the nitty gritty details, let’s first talk about the different course options Kaplan offers. In short, there are 4 different packages to choose from:

  • On Demand package that costs approximately $1,900;
  • Live Online package that costs approximately $2,400;
  • In-Person course that costs approximately $3,000; and
  • Live Online + Private Tutoring bundle that runs for approximately $3,300.

Now obviously, there’s no denying that the Kaplan courses are more expensive than Magoosh’s. But you also get what you pay for. To put it simply, Kaplan and Magoosh are not even in the same ballpark in terms of quality and quantity of study materials.

Kaplan MCAT Study Schedule
Kaplan MCAT study schedule

Between their video lessons, live classes, prep books, live online workshops, quizzes, and practice tests, there is over 700 hours of Kaplan prep materials.

However, it’s not just the volume of study materials that Kaplan provides, it’s the structure and curriculum within their courses that should be highlighted as well.

Whereas Magoosh takes a more passive, self-paced approach in which students sort of pick and choose what they want to study and when, the Kaplan courses are more organized and carefully formulated.

MCAT Practice Tests

Another category in which Kaplan dominates Magoosh is practice tests. Kaplan offers 16 full-length simulated practice exams, whereas Magoosh offers just 3. That’s a big difference.

As we all know, taking practice tests under exam like conditions is extremely valuable during the prep process, so the fact that Kaplan provides 13 more of those opportunities is pretty meaningful.

Kaplan MCAT practice problems
Kaplan MCAT practice problem

I mean, let’s face it, taking and reviewing practice tests is often where students make the biggest gains so the fact that Kaplan provides more than 4x the amount of practice tests than Magoosh should not be taken lightly.

Plus, almost more importantly, we found Kaplan’s practice tests to be a better match for the difficulty, style, content, and length of real MCAT passages. Simply put, Kaplan beats Magoosh with respect to practice material. 

Also Worth Reading: Kaplan vs Altius MCAT Comparison

Live Class Options

The next big advantage for Kaplan are their live classes. Whether you choose Kaplan’s live online course or in-person package, students get 42 hours of live instruction. In contrast, with Magoosh, there are no live classes. It’s all self-study.

Needless to say that if you’re not the type of student who does well self-studying, and instead prefers learning in a live class setting so you can ask instructors questions on the fly and mingle with your peers, Kaplan will be your clear choice.

Kaplan MCAT Video Lesson
Kaplan MCAT video lecture

Not to mention, if you simply want a clearly defined class schedule to help hold yourself accountable and stay organized, which is important in MCAT prep, then I think Kaplan is clearly the winner.

Top-Notch MCAT Prep Books

The final win for Kaplan is their hardcopy prep books. Again, this is a pretty clear win as Magoosh does not offer any hardcopy prep books. All of the content Magoosh provides is digital.

On the other hand, Kaplan provides students with a 7-book MCAT subject review set.

Kaplan MCAT books
The Kaplan MCAT books

So bottom line, if you’re more of an old-school type of student that prefers having a physical study tool so you can prep on the go, highlight key points, dog ear pages, and take notes in the margins, then Kaplan is your best bet.

➡ Also Worth Reading: Kaplan MCAT Prep Review

Magoosh MCAT Self-Paced

Magoosh MCAT

  • Self-Paced Online
  • +10 Score Guarantee
  • Self-Paced Online
  • +10 Score Guarantee
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Courses cost considerably less than Kaplan's (value driven)
  • Over 380 practical video lessons covering high-yield topics
  • Detailed text explanations for each practice problem
  • 24/7 email support available for students
  • 10-point score improvement guarantee
  • No live class options
  • Limited number of practice tests
  • No hardcopy MCAT prep books
Magoosh MCAT Self-Paced
Sale: 15% OFF Code: TPI15

Reasons To Choose Magoosh MCAT Over Kaplan

Now that you have an idea of the areas in which Kaplan beats Magoosh, let’s turn the tables and cover the areas in which our team sees Magoosh winning over Kaplan when it comes to MCAT Prep.

Magoosh Is Much More Affordable

Magoosh offers just one course format: a self-paced, on-demand package. You can choose the 1-month option for $380 or the 12-month option for $400.

Given that there is only a $20 difference between the two, I think it’s safe to say most people opt for the 12-month plan.

Regardless, if you’re on a tight budget, Magoosh is clearly the way to go. You’ll likely save at least $1,600 by going with Magoosh rather than Kaplan.

Even though Magoosh doesn’t provide nearly the amount of study materials that Kaplan does, I still think Magoosh is, one of, if not the, best values in the entire MCAT prep industry.

It’s just plain hard to argue with their price point. $400 is an absolute steal when it comes to MCAT prep.

➡ Check out Magoosh promo codes and sales here

MCAT Score Guarantee

The second win for Magoosh would be their score guarantee. The short story here is that Magoosh offers a 10-point score increase guarantee. This is pretty amazing considering that the cost of their course is less than $400.

Magoosh MCAT video lesson
Magoosh MCAT video lesson

To be clear, there is some fine print attached to that guarantee, which you should definitely check out.

Nonetheless, compared to Kaplan, who just guarantees that you will “raise your score” (in other words, Kaplan only offers a one point score increase guarantee), Magoosh wins. They clearly separate themselves from Kaplan in this department.

24/7 Email Assistance

The third win for Magoosh is the fact they offer students 24/7 email support. Essentially, how it works is that if you ever get puzzled by a practice problem or don’t understand a specific topic, concept, or testing strategy, instead of wasting a bunch of time trying to figure it out yourself, you can instead email one of Magoosh’s remote MCAT tutors.

Magoosh MCAT review questions
Magoosh MCAT problem review

They will then respond with a detailed answer typically within 24 hours. It’s pretty helpful, and I actually thought this structure worked well. It’s just nice knowing you always have a backstop in case you get hung up as you progress through your study materials.

Content Access Period

The final advantage for Magoosh is content access period. As noted above, if you purchase Magoosh’s premium course, you get 12 months of access. By comparison, Kaplan’s courses come with just six months of access to start.

Magoosh MCAT prep dashboard
Magoosh MCAT prep dashboard

Now, Kaplan does offer students the option to extend the access period to 12 months if they want, but unfortunately, it does cost an extra $500 to do so.

Thus, if you plan on taking the MCAT twice, whether because you plan on treating your first attempt as a trial run or you’re super busy and plan on spreading your studying out over an extended period of time, Magoosh is better option.

➡ Also Worth Reading: Magoosh MCAT Prep Review

Kaplan MCAT Live Online Course
12% OFF Code: PREP12MCAT

Verdict: Which MCAT Prep Course Is Better?

Should you choose Kaplan or Magoosh to help you prepare for the MCAT? Well, in my mind, the answer to this question simply boils down to your budget.

If you’re working with a limited budget and you simply can’t afford to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a prep course, then Magoosh is clearly the answer. For just $400, the bang for the buck value you get with Magoosh is incredible. Plus, Magoosh offers the better score increase guarantee as well.

With that being said, if money is not an issue and you just want the best MCAT course period, then there’s no question that Kaplan wins. Kaplan’s MCAT course is more comprehensive and much more well-rounded than Magoosh’s.

Not only does Kaplan smash Magoosh in terms of quantity of study materials and features, but the quality is also superior. Plus, our team values the fact that Kaplan actually offers live classes and prep books.

Bottom line, if your goal is to score over 510 on the MCAT, Kaplan will likely give you the best shot of doing so.

➡ READ NEXT: Best MCAT Prep Courses Guide


What is the difference between the Kaplan and Magoosh MCAT courses?

The biggest difference between the MCAT prep courses from Kaplan and Magoosh is pricing. The courses from Magoosh are much more affordable than those from Kaplan. That being said, Kaplan’s MCAT course is incredibly more robust.

Which MCAT prep course is better, Magoosh or Kaplan?

In terms of overall quality of study materials, Kaplan is much better than Magoosh. Kaplan beats Magoosh when it comes to video lessons, live classes, prep books, and practice tests.

How accurate are the practice tests from Magoosh and Kaplan?

The MCAT practice tests from Magoosh and Kaplan both closely resemble the real exam. Both companies do a good job mimicking the question content and format of the MCAT to help prepare you for actual test day. That being said, head-to-head, we think Kaplan’s are a closer match for the real thing.