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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 important decisions you’ll have to make as you start your journey towards medical school is which MCAT prep course to use to help you prepare for the exam. 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.
Given that this is a lengthy comparison, we’ve included jump-to links above for easy navigation.
Video Review: Kaplan or Magoosh for MCAT Prep?
In the video above, team member John covers everything you need to know in under 10 minutes about how these two MCAT prep courses stack up. As always, you can continue reading for more detail.
MCAT Course Price Comparison
Let’s start with one of the most important topics (especially when stacking these two courses up), pricing.
Kaplan offers 4 different course options:
an On Demand package that costs approximately $2,000;
a Live Online package that costs approximately $2,600;
an In-Person course that costs approximately $3,000; and
a Live Online + Private Tutoring bundle that runs for approximately $3,300.
Magoosh, on the other hand, really just offers 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.
Overall, given the difference in course formats between the two companies, it’s a little difficult to compare these two companies. Nonetheless, Magoosh is obviously the cheaper option by a pretty wide margin. Therefore, if money is tight, you can save at least $1,600 by going with Magoosh, if not more.
Now that you have an idea of how these two prep companies compare in terms of cost, let’s get into the nitty gritty details of their respective courses. To start, let’s cover the areas in which our team sees Magoosh winning over Kaplan when it comes to MCAT Prep.
Bank For Your Buck Pricing
The first win for Magoosh is obviously pricing. Simply put, the courses from Magoosh are far more affordable than the courses from Kaplan, and honestly, I 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 comprehensive MCAT prep.
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 $500.
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.
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.
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.
Now that you understand the areas in which Magoosh excels, let’s turn the tables and discuss the main advantages of choosing Kaplan for your MCAT prep.
More Practice Tests
The first win for Kaplan is practice tests. In short, 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.
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.
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 a great choice as well.
Top-Notch 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 hand, Kaplan provides students with a 7-book MCAT subject review set.
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.
Should you choose Kaplan or Magoosh to help you prepare for the MCAT? Well, the answer to that question largely boils down to how important live classes are to you. If you’re the type of person who absolutely needs live instruction or a set-in-stone schedule to keep yourself on track, then Kaplan is clearly the way to go considering this is something that Magoosh simply doesn’t offer.
However, if you don’t fall into that bucket and instead feel comfortable with a self-paced course, then I think Magoosh is the winner. 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.
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.
Which MCAT prep course is better, Magoosh or Kaplan?
In terms of overall study materials, Kaplan is better than Magoosh. However, in terms of value, the Magoosh MCAT course provides much more bang for your buck.
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.