Princeton Review vs. Kaplan

I could not recall where I posted this question and I am new here.

I ask: Is the Princeton Review classes better than the Kaplan classes? I would like to read the opinions and experiences of those who took the MCAT.

Thank you!

Welcome to OPM Everyone’s going to have their own opinions, and many are posted around here - it may pay to search and see if it’s been answered already.

I haven’t taken the classes, but I’ve read through both groups’ books. Each has its own ups and downs. I think Princeton pushes you a little harder (maybe learning e.g. physics formulas that you don’t necessarily need) while Kaplan focuses on their own method of doing things (which is more likely to push you into the midrange as needed, but perhaps not beyond). I actually got a fair bit of use out of most of the ExamKrackers material, though with some glaring exceptions.

As always, YMMV.

Thank you! I am using the Examkrackers series now as a review for the review. I study the chapter sections from EK and then from a text book- but only what is outlined in EK.

I am paying on the PR course, but wondering about Kaplan.

Thank you for your response and warm welcome: I appreciate both very much.

Well… I am paying on the Kaplan course and am now wondering about the PR course! I start at the end of September. I guess we shall see!

i don’t know much about the princeton review course or the examkrackers books, but i took a kaplan course this spring and was pretty happy with them. they have an endless supply of practice questions and exams which is really the best way to prepare for the mcat, imho.

My cousin took the Kaplan review course and felt her mcat score should have been higher. Although she graduated med school, she would have taking the PR course if had a choice. Another medical student told me PR course is better because their test questions are mirror image of the actual MCAT. Why? He told me princeton review also help develop the questions for the actual MCAT. That is why they are so successful. Has anyone heard of this? I will be taking the PR review course. I chose this route because after reading both kaplan and PR review books, the PR mcat course book is much more organized, thorough, and easy to understand. The Kaplan book seems to skim over some concepts that are needed to understand the big picture. I say check out both books and see which one is more easier to understand. Then, chose the in class course from that.

I used only the Examkrackers package, supplemented by the Idiots Guide to Organic Chemistry, after 12 years of no science at all, and got a 33R, so I have to endorse the EK DIY method.

Took the Princeton, didn’t like it and dropped out and got a partial refund.

A year later took Kaplan and really liked it. Our initial instructor got admitted to a medschool and left and we got a second instructor. It was actually a blessing in disguise cause he was awesome. If you take Kaplan find the instructor whose been there the longest.

I used Princeton this last summer and I think their system works great. I like the structured classes and homework assignments. And I enjoyed making friends in the course to share the experience with. We all worked together to keep each other motivated.

I also used the Princeton system over ten years ago, back when it was called Hyper Learning. I got scores above the 90th percentile both times.

I haven’t taken the MCAT yet. I took the Kaplan course last semester, along with 18 credits and work. Though I was not ready to take the actual exam, my practice scores for Kaplan have been in the low 30’s, and my AAMC (old exam) scores have been in the mid 30’s. Since I didn’t take the exam, I’m planning to take the course again (for free, a Kaplan benefit). I think that it will pay off, since the instructor at my university happens to be excellent. That said, go by the instructor reviews rather than the corporate name.

BTW, I agree with Dazed. Find an instructor who’s well-reputed AND who has been there. My Kaplan instructor went to an Ivy League school and scored in the 40’s on his MCAT, then decided medicine was not his calling. He’s been pursuing another field (academically and professionally), and teaching this course pays his bills. He’s amazing. You may find a similarly talented instructor with PR or EK or another test review service. Don’t settle for the average student who has attained a decent score on the MCAT and is planning to teach until they actually get into med school! Find someone who truly knows how to teach the test to everyone, not just someone who did well on their own.

Hello, is there a way to get reviews on specific instructors that are teaching these courses? Is there an online forum/review site?


I am currently reviewing the PR and the presentation of the material seems pretty good. I will be taking my prereq’s this spring.

I have heard from friends that kaplan has more content review and TPR is more organized and concentrates on test taking. I am planning on Kaplan as I need physical science review. Has anyone tried or heard anything about the live online classrooms for kaplan?