We don’t want to scare you, but surely you’ve heard how difficult the MCAT can be, and when you decide when to take the MCAT you really need to know your stuff because along with a good GPA, your MCAT score is going to play a big role in if you are asked to interview for a medical school. In this article we go over the question – are online MCAT prep courses worth it?
So, how do you study? Well, you could study on your own or you could take MCAT prep courses online. There are many people who do go the self-study route, but there are even more who prefer the online prep courses.
What Is An Online MCAT Prep Course?
An online MCAT prep course is a program you can enroll in that will give you all the information you need to pass the MCAT. These courses are ideal for those who aren’t near a school that offers in-person MCAT prep.
They create an interactive classroom feel, without having to leave your home. You can participate in lectures, small group reviews, and even have private tutoring sessions.
There are also on-demand online courses if you are hoping to save some money and you’d prefer to study at your own speed.
Benefits Of These Online Courses
An online prep course is going to be beneficial for those who have busy schedules or have limited mobility and they cannot make it to a regular classroom.
These classes give you the flexibility you may need to get your studying done, while still working and having a little bit of a social life (sad to say, studying is going to take a lot of your time!).
You might be afraid that because you’re taking the prep course online, you aren’t going to get the same experience as if you were studying in person with a tutor. That isn’t necessarily the case.
Many programs are interactive and you can chat or talk to your tutor in real time. Many people feel as though they are right there in the same room with their tutor when they take these classes.
We particularly like these courses because you can set aside some time each night to study without distractions. When you try to study on your own, it’s very easy to get distracted.
However, since the courses are interactive, you’ll be less inclined to click away from the course to watch the latest YouTube video or check out what is going on in your Facebook feed.
People who have purchased the course said that just having the online material provided by the courses is great to have because they were able to study the material outside of the course when it was most convenient for you.
Drawbacks Of These Online Courses
While it is true that these online courses can beneficial for those who take it, the truth of the matter is, they aren’t going to be for everyone. One of the biggest drawbacks that prevents people from taking the course is that they are expensive.
Let’s not forget that you have to pay money to take the test itself. By the time you’re done with the entire test taking process (the test and study courses), you could be spending several thousands of dollars.
By studying on your own, you aren’t spending any money on materials. Maybe you’ll send money on notebooks, highlighters, and gas or bus fare to get to the library, but other than that—it’s nearly free.
Another drawback of these courses is that they aren’t custom tailored to your needs. For example, if you love anatomy and you aced the course, you will still have to take that section in the prep course. If you have trouble with physics or chemistry, you aren’t going to get extra help in those areas.
Many people who are self-learners get bored with the prep courses. They feel like the course doesn’t move along at a comfortable pace and they get bored. Some people feel that the courses doesn’t teach them useful strategies, and you may feel like you’re wasting your time.
Several people found it frustrating that there isn’t an actual person to talk to about the material. You could come to a section of the material that you don’t fully understand, and you can’t ask anyone to explain it to you at that time.
Of course, you have the internet to turn to, but sometimes you aren’t going to find the answers you’re looking for.
Your MCAT exam is a very important factor in whether or not you get into med school. There are many ways that you can prepare, but the important thing is that you actually do sit down and prepare. It doesn’t matter if you take an online course or if you’re a self-learner—just as long as you are able to learn the material.
In our opinion, these courses are excellent resources to help you achieve your goal of getting in to your preferred program. The course will cost money, yes, but it shouldn’t be thought of as an expense. It should be thought of as an investment for your future.
The shortage of healthcare professionals is a very serious problem our country faces. With more and more baby boomers looking to retire, the need for younger doctors and nurses will continue to increase. By deciding to get into the medical field, take the MCAT, and become a doctor, you can be part of that solution.