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MCAT Self Prep Review
A detailed review and analysis of the MCAT Self Prep courses
The Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT, is known to be a difficult yet vital step on your path to becoming a health care professional. As such, many students employ some form of test prep before undergoing the exam. MCAT Self Prep delivers their prep courses with their “Your MCAT, Your Way” school of thought. But will their self-directed courses designed by founder Andrew George, who himself scored in the 99th percentile and was accepted into several top 25 medical schools, be enough for you to achieve your desired score on the MCAT? We will answer that question and more in this detailed review and analysis of the MCAT Self Prep courses.
MCAT Self Prep Review Outline
Since we tend to write fairly long reviews, we’ve included a jump-to table of contents below for your convenience.
One of the biggest advantages of MCAT Self Prep is that it’s among the least expensive options for getting ready for the exam. You won’t have to spend anywhere near the thousands of dollars that other services cost.
In fact, the MCAT Self Prep courses start at just under $10, and that’s no typo. With the basic plan your 10 bucks will get you access to their video collection, ten content modules, MCAT bootcamp, and a Study Plan Course that teaches you how customize your own Study Plan Spreadsheet, Study Portal, and Score Tracker. From there, you can then add on modules and elements as you like.
With the Advanced Pro plan at just under $100, you’ll have access to MCAT Self Prep’s Quizlet Flashcard Collection of more than 5,000 comprehensive flashcards that cover all aspects of the MCAT. Completing the different options is the Deluxe Pro Plan, which costs around $1,000. With this plan, you’ll have access to their all-inclusive suite of features that includes 9 Memorization and Strategy courses which are sure to help you master the skills needed for a good score.
On a side note, if you find those pop-up adds that often appear in the middle of your study sessions extremely annoying, you’ll be glad to know that MCAT Self Prep’s Basic, Advanced and Deluxe plans are all ad-free. If you’re still not sure and you want to try it out before you buy, there’s a limited free prep course option. It’s worth checking it out to see the modules and take a peek at the videos, however, it is a bare-bones course with the most limited of resources. Also, it is ad-supported, so you’ll have to deal with that.
It is also worth noting that you will need access to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) practice question bundle, which is not provided by the MCAT Self Prep courses or available as an add-on. You’ll need to purchase this separately from the AAMC directly or a third party, which is kind of annoying, but not really that big of a deal
By the way, if you’re looking for additional prep books or study materials to supplement the MCAT Self Prep course, make sure to check out our list of the best MCAT prep books here.
Evaluation of MCAT Self Prep Study Materials
The MCAT Self Prep study materials are quite comprehensive regardless of which level you choose. Before selecting which option best suits your needs, you may want to know more about specific features of each level of study. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at the individual components offered with MCAT Self Prep.
10 Content Modules
All three levels of MCAT Self Prep offer full access to 10 full-content modules in all of the areas you need. Within these content modules you’ll find approximately 150 lessons that are designed to be easy to complete while at the same time enhancing and building the skills and knowledge you’ll need for the test. The modules include:
Behavioral Science I
Behavioral Science II
300+ Hours of Video Lessons
The MCAT Video Collection is also available at all three levels. These videos are part of the modules and include lesson plans and lectures covering every MCAT topic listed by the AAMC. The videos are ideal for refreshing your knowledge and are approachable for those taking the exam for the first time or those retaking it. Each video is presented by content experts in their fields.
The videos are comprehensive, though I found them a tad bit boring in their delivery. I do realize though, that at such a low price point I shouldn’t expect over-the-top excitement in the videos. That’s not to say that the videos don’t deliver a lot essential information, because they do. Personally, I just found them to be a bit dull.
5,000+ Quizlet Flashcards
MCAT Self Prep’s quizlet flashcards allow you to instantly drill yourself on important topics that will be covered on the exam. The collection includes over 5,000 flashcards covering every MCAT concept as outlined by the AAMC. These flashcards are convenient, comprehensive, and above all, effective. Flashcards typically have a topic or question on one side, with the definition or answer on the back. These, however, are not your average flashcards. While some of these cards target information to be memorized, others are formatted as comparisons, and still others are in the form of questions with answers to choose from.
I found the quizlet flashcards to be a highly effective tool that forced me to use the knowledge I’d learned and helped me more fully understand the concepts. The flashcards can also be accessed from your mobile device by simply logging into your account and selecting your lesson, which makes it convenient to study wherever and whenever it works best for you. The quizlet flashcards are not available with the Basic Pro course, but in my opinion, they are worth far more than the jump in price from the Basic Pro to the Advanced Pro option.
In addition to the Create-your-own Study Plan Course, the Deluxe Pro Plan provides 9 mastery courses. MCAT Self Prep believes that to succeed on the MCAT, you need a balance of memorization and strategy. As such, their mastery courses are two-fold, as they include both memory courses and strategy courses to help you with the most detailed and difficult aspects of the exam.
The mastery courses offered with the Deluxe Pro Plan are: 1) Amino Acids Mastery, 2) Behavioral Science Booster Course, 3) Metabolic Pathways Mastery, 4) 100 Most Essential MCAT Equations Mastery, 5) High-speed Math Mastery, 6) 10 Most Commonly Missed Concepts, 7) Science Passage Reading Strategy, 8) Medical School Application Course, and 9) Ultimate CARS Strategy Course. For me, the most helpful of the mastery courses were the Behavioral Science Booster Course and the 100 Most Essential MCAT Equations Mastery. And, while I’ve always felt comfortable with my ability to read and interpret passages, I am confident that the 10 key strategies covered in the Ultimate CARS Strategy Course gave me the edge I needed to improve my performance on test day.
When you sign up for an MCAT Self Prep course, you’ll get an ”MCAT Question of the Day” via email every morning, written in the exact style you’ll encounter on the exams. Every one of these questions also comes with a video explanation by Andrew George, who guides you step by step through the question and its solution. Not only will you learn the proper answer and how to get there, but you’ll also pick up key strategies and tips to approach the exam, which will help you in greater ways than just memorizing material.
At first, I thought these daily questions were just another thing junking up my inbox, but I soon realized that they provide a great review of topics covered on the exam. As with many of the video lessons, Andrew George provides strategies to break down a problem, and I really liked the mnemonics he introduced to help with memorization.
Facebook Study Group
MCAT Self Prep gives you access to a vibrant and active Facebook Study Group community with thousands of members that continues to grow every day. Not only is this group a great way to get fast answers to all of your questions, but it also lets you find study buddies, support fellow MCAT students and blow off steam when you need to.
If you don’t have a Facebook account to access this group, you’ll want to get one. I found it refreshing to be part of group where everyone shared their tips, experiences, humor, and support while studying for the MCAT.
Andrew George is also available to offer personalized support to all who take the program. In fact, if you’re looking at the program and you aren’t sure which level to sign up for, you can request a direct conversation with him to discuss your needs and the way you learn. He will then give you tips, thoughts, advice and guidance on which level you might want to pursue. I did not personally seek his help when selecting my course, but I think it’s nice that he makes himself available if you want to consult with him.
MCAT Self Prep’s Elite Tutoring takes an already great program and pushes it to the next level for you. The Elite Tutoring program offers private tutoring services that are available to purchase as a stand-alone feature or can be bundled at a discount with Deluxe Pro Plan access. Elite tutoring offers private, one-on-one time with a tutor who scored above the 97th percentile on the MCAT and has several years of active tutoring experience.
Private tutoring lessons are scheduled at your convenience, and the Elite Tutors are ready to help you with any question or topic you’re struggling with at that time. Sessions are designed to meet your specific and personalized needs, and sessions start at only $149, which is less than half of what some other companies charge. The strategies used are proven and backed by research, and MCAT Self Prep advertises that some students in the program even achieve the 100th percentile. The only downside to Elite Tutoring is that it isn’t included at any course level and carries an additional cost.
I chose to work with a tutor a couple of times during my final month of studying. It started with me asking for help with areas of concern through the Study Portal. Before even meeting with me, my tutor had reviewed my questions. As a result, he came to our meeting armed with the tools he needed to address my needs and reduce my anxiety. From there, my tutor prepared a plan for me and adjusted my study plan as needed. He reviewed my progress often, and it was evident that he truly cared about teaching me, and not just lecturing. Yes, it did come at a cost, but as far as tutoring costs go, their fees are actually quite reasonable compared to those of other providers. I’m glad I spent the extra money and utilized this feature.
Content Access Period
If there is one single advantage that puts the MCAT Self Prep ahead of other programs, it’s that there aren’t any limited content access periods. Once you sign up and pay for your program, you get lifetime access to all of the materials and add-ons available. No matter how many times you need to take the MCAT, the materials will be there.
Want to go back after you take the exam just to keep your knowledge and skills sharp? You can do that, even years down the line. Looking to upgrade? You can do that as well, and you’ll only pay the difference. That means if you pay the $100 for the Advanced Pro Plan, you have a $100 credit toward your purchase of the Deluxe Pro Plan.
Verdict: MCAT Self Prep Course Review
If you’re looking for a self-guided plan to help you progress in your studies and improve your chances of acing the exam, the MCAT Self Prep program is a great option. Few other programs offer the same level of content at such a low cost, with even the top level of the program being less expensive than similar programs, while still being full-featured. The two drawbacks we found are that the content delivery through their videos isn’t too dynamic, and you will incur an additional expense for the requisite AAMC practice question bundle that is not included. These are worth mentioning, but are really just small quibbles in the end. We find MCAT Self Prep is a good choice for personalized, self-guided MCAT preparation.
Depending on the level of prep you need, you can plan on spending around $10, $100, or $1,000. Tutoring prices range anywhere from around $150 – $300 per session, determined by how many sessions you purchase.
Does MCAT Self Prep have a mobile app?
While there is not currently a mobile app for the course, it is mobile friendly and the features of the course can be easily accessed from your mobile device.
Are there any books or workbooks included?
Unfortunately, no. You will need the (AAMC) practice question bundle to partner with the course. Neither this bundle nor any other printed material is included in the course cost, and must be purchased separately from the AAMC or a third party.