Ever heard of MCAT prep classes offered at schools

I caught wind of an MCAT prep course that is offered by one of the “local” universities. It’s not Kaplan, I’m assuming… I guess it’s their own program. Anyway…has anyone ever heard of such things? If you have, do you know if they’re “as good” or better than Kaplan?
It’s substantially less expensive than Kaplan… and that’s one of the big draws for me… I could also purchase some of the Kaplan resources to work on along with it… the class lasts 12 weeks I think… from the end of Jan-beginning of April, right before the test administration… Is this something that I should run away from and just drop cash for Kaplan or would it be ok to do instead…
I’ve got a lot riding on the MCAT, so it’s VERY important that I do well on it. I’m willing to sacrifice the time and cash if necessary (I’ll find it somewhere)… but I’m just wondering if this other course is just as good.

I’d want to know a lot more about the instructional staff. One of my Kaplan instructors had a Ph.D. in chemistry, had never taken the MCAT herself, had been trained to teach “Kaplan style” but couldn’t relate personally to the questions… not sure I’m explaining it too well but it was frustrating to attend her classes. Our other instructor was a first-year medical student and not only was she a good course instructor but she KNEW about the MCAT.
I guess I’m thinking suspiciously of folks’ experiences with premed advisors who clearly don’t know what they’re talking about. Wondering if someone thinks that MCAT prep is basically review of the subjects rather than key test-taking strategies.
I’d find out a LOT more about the course, Andrea, before committing to it. It could be great - it shouldn’t be too hard to find folks who’ve taken it before or who know someone else who did.
MCAT prep is so much more than subject review - in fact review is the least important part. The key stuff that you want to get from prep is thinking like the MCAT writers think, getting used to the style of questions, learning to glean information from the passages even if it’s something so totally unfamiliar that your initial reaction is that you would need a Ph.D. in genetics to answer the question.
This is the kind of stuff Kaplan and TPR do as part of the review class - they cover material, and then do questions and talk about how to approach the questions, why one answer is right vs. another wrong, etc. This sort of approach is KEY for a prep course.

There are two sides to this issue - Mary definitely describes one. The other is that there are a number of very fine universities that sponsor their own MCAT review courses and these are markedly less expensive than the corporate review courses and equally well taught. The schools feel that they can provide excellent instruction for their own students, and save them some money as well. There is usually a strong commitment to helping their students achieve success in the application process.
What you don’t hear about, and I wouldn’t have known about if I weren’t on a list.serve which discusses some of these matters, is that some of the expensive courses often will play hardball with the schools which are trying to provide in-house review classes. As you might imagine, expensive programs don’t like it when they lose students to less-expensive school-sponsored programs. I would investigate the in-house program thoroughly - talk to applicants who have gone through the course and see how they liked it, how they scored on the MCAT, and what they would recommend. Ask the pre-med office for the stats for students who have gone through their program. (You know, do your market research. :slight_smile: ) For ANY of the programs, it’s always "buyer beware."

There is one offered at our local med school. It is half the price of the commercial courses. It offers much more contact with people at the med school itself, and advice for the admissions process. Its instructors are med students who are very well-intentioned, but they do not use a uniform curriculum, really only offer the AAMC full-length tests, and the class runs only on Saturdays, all day. To my mind, you are going to end up having to spend a bunch of money on other review materials as well, so factor that in as a hidden cost.
By contrast, the commercial courses are very expensive, and many of them are taught by mediocre teachers. Be sure you understand what they are offering; don’t just go for the big name. Find out what they will do if the instructor is inadequate.
In short, you should look at the courses and decide what best suits your needs, independent of price. Making a decision like this based on price only, if you have the money, is unwise.

I took a similar course at UNC-Chapel Hill and found it EXTREMELY helpful!