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This article is an in-depth exploration into the pros and cons of using the Kaplan MCAT Prep Course. I'll give some personal testimony to help decide if it is worth the investment.

As you prepare for your upcoming MCAT exam, a source that you will hear time and time again about as you research different options to aid your studies would be Kaplan.  Kaplan specializes in study guides to help in multiple specialties but the one that is most popular among MCAT Prep courses in the Pre-Med community is the Kaplan MCAT Prep course.  The MCAT is a very important exam to determine success in a Medical School and 51% of Admissions Board Directors stated that the numerical score was the key determinate to decide whether a candidate would be offered an interview.  With such an emphasis placed on this test, it is no surprise that 85% of all MCAT test-takers take some type of supplemental study course in order to increase their scores to their maximum potential.  Kaplan is the most popular course students will enroll in and I will breakdown the advantages and disadvantages of using this resource.  

The Positives About Using Kaplan 

The Kaplan MCAT Prep Course is close to a one-stop shop when it comes to MCAT preparation.  You have a extensive platform to utilize with Kaplan and can decide what study platform is the most appropriate for you.  You are able to purchase reviews for specific subjects like Organic Chemistry and Physics if these are your weakest areas and save some time and money without needed to enroll in the In-Class Course.  

If you prefer to have a structured experience, then you also have the option of enrolling in a classroom-style review.  Kaplan caps the number of students per each review class to about 14 but when I completed my course, the center would only allow 7 in a room at a time.  This allows you the opportunity to meet with the tutor directly and answer issues you have specifically going over some of the material.  Rather than regurgitating your textbook material at you verbatim, tutors expect you to have mastered most of the class material before the lecture begins so you spend the majority of the class time reviewing only the confusing aspects of the material to make sure that all possible questions coming from that field as answered properly.  

What more, Kaplan also offers a "high MCAT scores" guarantee where if a student is unsatisfied with his results during the first attempt at the MCAT, he has the option to retake all the Kaplan courses and have total access to the materials free of an additional charge.  The tutors that Kaplan uses also have to pass the MCAT with high scores and complete a rigorous training regimen so they are fully prepared to answer any question when you review difficult concepts in class.  

Kaplan also has the advantage of having many more store-fronts compared to the rest of the bunch so you will be able to find a convenient location in your city.  My University had 4 Kaplan Centers around it and the same can be seen in other locations across the US so you can move around locations and find a tutor that is able to better explain the material to you.  

Another advantage of using Kaplan is the extensive database of questions that you have access to during a membership in the program.  Kaplan provides you access to a Qbank section that has 2,300 practice questions with explanations that can help you master the material.  These questions are written by the same test writers that design the MCAT and STEP tests so you will become quite familiar with the style of the questions well before even taking your first practice exam.  

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