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Prep101 vs Princeton Review MCAT

Trying to decide between Princeton Review and Prep101? Determine which MCAT course is best for you in this guide

Princeton Review has been one of the most popular names in MCAT prep for decades. However, new companies like Prep101 have recently emerged to give aspiring medical school students more choices than ever. In this comparison, we cover the pros and cons you need to be aware of so you can make a final decision as to which prep course is the better fit for your learning style and budget.

  • Price
  • Video Instruction
  • Live Class Hours
  • Practice Questions
  • Practice Tests
  • Books
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Princeton Review MCAT Live Online SALE: 15% OFF Code: AZTEC15
    SALE: 15% OFF Code: AZTEC15
    Claim Discount
    • $2,899
    • 500+ Lessons
    • 123
    • 3,000+
    • 17
    • Hardcopy
  • Prep101 MCAT $100 OFF Code: TPI222
    $100 OFF Code: TPI222
    Claim Discount
    • $2,395
    • 130+ Hours
    • 146
    • 10,000+
    • 25
    • Hardcopy & Digital

Outline: Princeton Review vs Prep101

Given that this is a lengthy, detailed comparison, we’ve included jump-to links above for your convenience.

Video: Princeton Review or Prep101?

In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team compares and contrasts the MCAT prep courses from Prep101 and Princeton Review. For more detail, be sure to continue reading our full, written comparison below.

Princeton Review MCAT Live Online

Princeton Review

  • Several Course Options
  • Higher Score Guarantee
  • Several Course Options
  • Higher Score Guarantee
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Unlimited access to "Topic Focus" livestream workshops and office hours
  • Detailed performance analytics to help you identify weaknesses
  • Smart course structure that builds on itself progressively
  • Top-notch prep books that are detailed and well-written
  • Excellent practice problem explanations
  • Solid MCAT score guarantees
  • Live class course options are more expensive than Prep101
  • Fewer practice questions than other prep providers
  • On demand video lessons could use a little improvement
Princeton Review MCAT Live Online
SALE: 15% OFF Code: AZTEC15

Why Princeton Review MCAT Is Better Than Prep101

In order to keep this comparison narrowly focused, I’m going to run down the key areas where I see each company winning and having an advantage over the other. I’ll do this as opposed to simply providing an overview of each prep course, as we have full reviews for that.

Therefore, let’s start with Princeton Review. I have them winning in six key categories.

Smart Course Structure

I love the design of the Princeton Review MCAT curriculum. It smartly builds on itself from the ground up and only advances to more complex tested topics after building a base in the fundamentals.

Learning modules follow the same repeated pattern, with assigned work before class, followed by the class itself, and then homework. Around this structure, you also have optional assigned readings and Topic Focus livestreams.

Princeton Review MCAT lessons
Princeton Review dashboard with look at their MCAT lessons

I found this coursework structure to better align with how my brain works and found it to be more effective overall. In terms of curriculum design, I’d say Princeton Review is right there with Blueprint and Kaplan for best in the space.

Better Prep Books

There may not be a better prep provider in the MCAT prep industry than Princeton Review when it comes to books. When you sign up for Princeton Review’s course, they will ship you 11 hardcopy prep books. 

Seven of these cover subject specific review, while the other four are course-related workbooks.

Princeton Review MCAT prep books
The Princeton Review MCAT prep books

In short, they are detailed yet readable, and provide some amazing graphics and key point callouts. They are simply some of my favorite MCAT prep books.

Live Workshops & Office Hours

Next, I like that with Princeton Review, you get unlimited access to their Topic Focus livestream workshops and office hours.

Basically, Princeton Review’s MCAT instructors hold live webinars almost every night where they dive deep into specific MCAT topic weaknesses, and answer any questions that may have popped up during your studying.

Princeton Review MCAT Topic Focus
One of Princeton Review’s Topic Focus sessions

And just to be clear, even students who purchase the basic self-paced course from Princeton Review get access to these sessions, which is very cool.

In my opinion, these livestream workshops and Q&A opportunities add a ton of value. Note that Kaplan’s MCAT courses also include access to these kind of livestream workshops.

Detailed Score Reports

Although Prep101 technically offers more practice tests, I’m actually a big fan of the score reports Princeton Review provides their students after exams.

Princeton Review MCAT Score Report
Princeton Review MCAT score report

Their report metrics are super detailed, and really help you identify your weaknesses so that you know how to allocate your time moving forward in order to improve.

👉 Also Worth Reading: Princeton Review vs Blueprint MCAT

MCAT Score Guarantees

With Princeton Review’s Self-Paced and Ultimate (Live Online) courses, the company offers a higher score guarantee or your money back.

Then for students who are looking to really crush the MCAT, Princeton also offers 515+ and 515+ Immersion courses, which as their names imply, include a guarantee that you will score at least 515 on the MCAT, which is pretty awesome.

These are some of the best guarantees in the entire MCAT prep space, and other companies just aren’t willing to make these kind of promises. For comparison purposes, Prep101 does not offer any sort of guarantee (only offer a free course repeat policy).

Admissions Assistance

Lastly, with Princeton Review, once you’re finished with the MCAT, you also get access to the company’s Medical School Admissions Advantage sessions to help you prep for the application process.

These sessions include all sorts of insights into what admissions committees are actually looking for and helpful tips and tricks to help your application stand out from the crowd. This is a cool feature that a lot of other prep companies charge for.

👉 Read our full Princeton Review MCAT evaluation here

Prep101 MCAT


  • Free Repeat Policy
  • Includes 1:1 Coaching
  • Free Repeat Policy
  • Includes 1:1 Coaching
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Tons of live class time (over 130 hours)
  • Realistic practice material (from Examkrackers)
  • 1-on-1 MCAT coaching for personalized attention and direction
  • Impressive instructors with great communication skills
  • Includes Examkracker books (some of the best)
  • Only one course option
  • No score improvement guarantee
  • Problem solutions could be improved
Prep101 MCAT
$100 OFF Code: TPI222

Why Prep101 Is Better Than Princeton Review

Now that you have an idea of the areas in which Princeton Review excels, let’s turn the tables and discuss the major advantages of using Prep101 to help you get ready for the MCAT.

Prep101 Is More Affordable

Simply put, the Prep101 course is more affordable than the offerings from Princeton Review (except their Self-Paced course).

The Prep101 course costs around $2,300, while the comparable courses from Princeton Review cost upwards of $2,900. So all in all, you’re looking at savings of least $600 by opting to go with Prep101.

With that said, it’s worth mentioning that Princeton Review seems to be more aggressive with sales and special promotions. In fact, Princeton Review regularly offers discounts in the 15% off range.

👉 If both Prep101 and Princeton Review are outside your budget, you may want to consider the MCAT prep courses from Magoosh or MCAT Self Prep.

Live MCAT Classes

Next, Prep101 beats Princeton Review when it comes to live class time. Prep101 provides 138 hours of live instruction, while the Princeton Review Ultimate course comes with 123 hours. However, it’s not just quantity that matters. We also loved Prep101’s classes themselves.

prep101 mcat live class
The Prep101 course is built around live classes

The Prep101 instructors are awesome, and the classes are great for driving home need-to-know, high-yield material. The live classes are very good, with a smart structure each session, and are right up there with Kaplan and Blueprint. You really can’t go wrong with Prep101’s classes.

MCAT Coaching

Next, I like that with Prep101, each student gets their own MCAT coach to essentially hold their hand throughout the entire prep process.

Your coach will help you design your specific study plan, they’ll answer any strategy-related questions you may have, and just generally help keep you motivated and on-track to reach your goal.

Overall, this feature just helps give the Prep101 course a more intimate and personalized feel.

Annotated Notes

Lastly, I’m a big fan of the Prep101 workbooks that track with the live classes. And I’m not really talking about the workbooks themselves, but rather the annotated notes that the Prep101 instructors have marked up in the margins for you.

prep101 mcat annotated notes
Our team really likes the workbooks from Prep101

Not only do these notes help the material sink-in, but they’re also great for sort of flagging you where to direct your focus and attention. These annotated notes save you a lot of time and add real value.

👉 Read our full Prep101 MCAT review here

Princeton Review MCAT Live Online
SALE: 15% OFF Code: AZTEC15

Verdict: Prep101 or Princeton Review?

It’s a really close call between these two companies. The Prep101 course definitely has a lot going for it with its lower price point and 100+ hours of quality live instruction, but ultimately, our team gives Princeton Review the slight edge in this matchup. This is primarily due to their course structure, video lessons, unlimited access to live workshops and Q&A sessions, prep books, and their score guarantees.

Collectively, if our team had to choose one, it would be Princeton Review.

👉 Next: Princeton Review vs Kaplan MCAT Comparison


What is the difference between Prep101 and Princeton Review?

The MCAT prep courses from Prep101 and Princeton Review differ in several ways, including pricing, live instruction, video lessons, and score guarantees. Prep101 is great for MCAT coaching and class time, while Princeton excels in just about everything else.

Which MCAT prep course is better, Prep101 or Princeton Review?

After testing and evaluating the MCAT study materials from both companies, it’s an extremely difficult decision, but our team ultimately thinks Princeton Review provides the more effective MCAT courses from top to bottom.

Does Princeton Review and Prep101 offer money back guarantees?

Princeton Review offers a score improvement guarantee or your money back, while Prep101 does not.