A good MCAT test prep course not only goes over the basic information but delves deeper into areas that may cause a student to pause and falter on exam day. There are many types of prep classes available for the MCAT and many benefits to investing in and completing a test prep program before taking the exam.
What Is the MCAT?
The Medical College Admission Test has been a big part of the medical school admissions process for nearly a century. More than 85,000 students take this lengthy exam each year. Health care schools, graduate programs and medical schools typically require a candidate to submit their MCAT scores as part of the application process.
It is a multiple-choice, standardized, computer-based test that examines the skills and knowledge that are a prerequisite to entering and passing medical school.
What Is on the MCAT?
The MCAT is divided into four sections that show the knowledge and preparedness of the student for medical school.
The sections on the MCAT are:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
The test is developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges. It is administered from late January through September.
Benefits of MCAT Test Prep
Taking the time to complete MCAT prep for the exam can raise your score as well as your sense of confidence before stepping into the testing center. There are books with comprehensive questions and practice tests, free online programs and classes that can range from $600 to upwards of $1,000.
There is a Fee Assistance Program to offset the costs of registering for an MCAT test prep program through the AAMC. The benefits of the program can change; however, a student can expect a reduction in the registration fee, a waiver for all AMCAS fees for one application submission with up to 20 medical school designations as well as access to the Medical School Admission Requirements.
MCAT Ultimate Live Online 123 Hour Review
It is easily one of the most comprehensive MCAT test preps available. The MCAT ultimate live online 123 hour review is given by Princeton Review.
It is a 12-week course that is designed to diagnose your weaknesses as well as improve your current strengths in preparation for this lengthy exam. The expense includes a personalized team of four to six experts on the subjects within the MCAT. Each expert is certified in a topic area that you need to cover in order to conquer complex topics within the test.
Users find the lengthy and rather expensive test prep course to be user-friendly and comprehensive. It shores up confidence while also providing most of what you will need to increase your overall MCAT score. The on-demand videos and subject-specific diagnostic exams in the student’s dashboard provide continued support along with open lines of communication to MCAT experts.
What to Look for in MCAT Test Prep
Not all MCAT test prep is created equal. A good test prep class, program or book will have a few important features.
A well-designed MCAT test prep will:
- Allow you to assess where you need to work the most in order to pass the MCAT.
- Cover all four subjects of the exam.
- Offer online practice tests at the very least in conjunction with coursework.
Top 5 MCAT Prep Courses
There are a few test prep programs that continually top the charts among reviewers and users. These include:
- The Princeton Review MCAT Prep Course
- The Gold Standard MCAT Exam Course Software
- Kaplan MCAT Prep Courses
- Magoosh MCAT Prep Course
- Adapt Prep MCAT Study Materials
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.