So you’re studying for the MCAT. For hours upon hours all alone, with only your MCAT study guide for company. Your last potential date didn’t get your joke about chemistry and reactions — because you phrased it as a multiple choice question. Of course you’re interested in an MCAT prep course or MCAT study guide if it can help boost your score and put you on the same playing field as your premed peers!
Anybody who’s tried MCAT practice questions knows the test’s content is half the challenge, but the test’s structure and format is the other half of the challenge. While fellow students can help you identify solutions to challenging MCAT practice questions, you need a skilled test prep instructor to teach you how to beat the structure and format of the test.
Plenty of people pick their MCAT prep course without much thought, using one of these methods:
- Word of Mouth — Many people will find out who’s son in law or cousin is currently enrolled in a given course.
- Promotional Materials — Swanky-looking pamphlets that cite improvements and credentials can make selection seem a no-brainer.
- Affiliations — Your premed club president, or a website online, may advertise or reference a particular prep course. Or the book you bought includes an ad for a course.
While this can lead to a perfectly good MCAT prep course, such measures are no guarantee of success. First off, what are the recommendations for? An MCAT prep course from an organization like Kaplan? A specific type of class? An instructor? An MCAT prep course is not like MCAT practice questions — not everyone needs to study the same thing.
Much like clothes, ensuring the MCAT prep course you pick is a good fit requires one thing — trying it on for size. Even when a prep course seems a good fit, how will that feeling last? What’s the quality?
Try these different methods to find your ideal MCAT prep course:
- Sitting In- Sample the class a few times to see if it jives with you. If the instructor doesn’t seem like a good fit for you, then keep searching.
- Research Reviews — Look around online and see what other people have to say about the organization or instructor.
- Meet Classmates- While you sit in on a class, meet with your classmates to see how they are reacting to the course. But don’t get yourself kicked out of class — meet with your classmates before or after class!
- Meet the Instructor- Talking to the instructor will give you a good indication for their teaching style and will show you how willing they are to give you personalized attention. You want a lot of that!
While these methods can certainly lead to finding the right course, there are other factors that you need to consider. That’s why I strongly recommend you read “How to Shop for An MCAT Course” now to know what prep course is right for you.