My Experience with Kaplan’s MCAT Advantage Course
When preparing for my MCAT, I initially went a haphazard self-study route that included reading materials from various MCAT preparation providers; Kaplan, ExamKrackers, Princeton Review, MCAT-Prep.com, etc. I would pick up one book, use it and then suddenly I would pick up another text and begin using that. The one tip that I will remember is that I need to organize myself when studying for any exam or undesirable results will become an all too familiar encounter.
The best resource I used was the Kaplan MCAT Advantage On-site course.
What is the Kaplan MCAT Advantage?
The Kaplan MCAT Advantage is a test preparation course that is offered in two main formats: Anywhere and On Site. The MCAT Advantage – Anywhere program is the format that is completely online based. All lectures are presented online allowing for you to communicate with your instructor with a chatroom and your computer’s microphone. This format might be useful to the student that does not want to sit in a lecture room or prefers the completely online based communication and interaction with the program’s material.
The MCAT Advantage – On Site program is the format that I selected after watching a free preview of the “Anywhere” format. I did not enjoy it and I was never satisfied with online courses in the past. This then encouraged me to select the On Site program which included lectures at the Kaplan Test Center with an incredible instructor as well as an online portion to the course. The course was approximately three months long, twice a week, for three hours each session. It is possible to select any duration, session meetings per week, location, etc.
The on site lectures also provided me with the opportunity to communicate with other students not only on the topic of the MCAT but plans for medical school. You can develop an impression of the students who are basically your competition. Some students studied together and met on the weekends to complete practice exams, some shared tips about studying and it was interesting talking about different experiences or lack thereof for some students.
What Do You Get in the Kaplan Package?
After dishing out the first installment of the three, Kaplan shipped a MCAT Advantage package with:
- A Lesson Book; the book contains all the material required for review during each lecture.
- Review Notes Textbooks for: Physics, General Chemistry, Verbal Reasoning/Writing Samples, Organic Chemistry, and Biology
- Flashcards for: Physics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biology
- A “Quicksheet” study guide with equations, examples, and information for Physics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biology.
- Access to the hundreds of online resources: Question banks, Chapter Review Quizzes, Workshops, Kaplan Full Length MCAT Exams, AAMC Exams, Section Tests, Topical Tests, etc.
My favorite materials of all were the review notes textbooks, flashcards, and the online resources. If you complete all of the assignments and review the material constantly the chances of performing well on the exam increase (obviously…). The flashcards were perfect to flip through while on my lunch break, sitting in the waiting room or on-call room, traveling, etc.
Kaplan Mobile for iPad & iPhone
My favorite but occasionally the most annoying aspect of enrolling in Kaplan was the access to the Kaplan Mobile App. The application is available for FREE download in the iTunes store for the iPhone and the iPad. Below, I have some screenshots of what can be viewed when the eBook versions of the books are downloaded:
iPhone/iPod Touch Version
The best part about having a mobile version of the books on the iPad was the luxury of having all of the books with me and reviewing them as I would view the actual book. The iPhone version was awful. Bottom line. The pages were small and only three or four sentences per page would show up with a distorted diagram of the fetal circulatory system or digestive system. The bottom line is, reading anything on an iPhone can be a pain but when it comes to studying, I tried to eliminate annoyances and stick with the actual book or the iPad.
- The program is a bit expensive ($1999 or three installments of $666.33) but discounts are available!
- For example, I received an alumni discount and some other discount for registering in the summer (I think?).
- It took off just enough to make me happy
- There are several formats of the Kaplan MCAT program. Selecting the best format varies in preference, the available resources, and price.
- Kaplan MCAT Advantage is available “Anywhere” and “On Site“.
- The resources are amazing and can be purchased individually at various places like Target, Amazon, and eBay.
- However, the access to the online resources [Kaplan Full Length Exams (More than 10), Actual AAMC MCAT Exams, Section Tests, Subject Tests, and more] is unique to Kaplan.
- Kaplan review books on the go? There’s an app for that and it works–most of the time. It’s great on the iPad but awful on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
- This review was not written as per request of Kaplan.
- I am not associated with the company.
- My opinions and photographs are my own and not a reflection of the test-preparation provider unless otherwise noted.
- Kaplan Logo Image – Kaptest.com