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Blog / MCAT Study Options Which Is Better MCAT Tutoring Self Study Or Online Courses

MCAT Study Options: Which Is Better? MCAT Tutoring, Self Study, or Online Courses

Written by Nassim on Aug 23, 2022

You shouldn’t take the MCAT for granted. Nervousness about the MCAT is understandable if you consider attending medical school. It’s essential to keep in mind that you aren’t alone in this. Many people before you have taken and passed the MCAT, so you can learn from their experiences and accomplishments to improve your performance. Read on to learn more about MCAT, including the value of a good score, the benefits of MCAT tutoring, and how MCAT prep compares to other study methods.

The Importance of the MCAT

It takes about seven and a half hours to complete the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). You’ll need to be able to learn and retain a great deal of fundamental medical material, as well as demonstrate your mettle in timed, high-stakes tests. You must pass this exam and do well to get accepted into medical school. However, a good MCAT score is one of the essential parts of your medical school application and can influence which schools you are eligible to apply to. The four-part multiple-choice format of the MCAT is intended to test a candidate’s familiarity with basic scientific concepts and analytical reasoning.

For a perfect score on the MCAT, you’ll need to get 528 across all three sections.

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (Bio/BioChem)
    • Time: 95 minutes
    • Score Range: 118-132
    • Number of Questions: 59 total (44 passage-related,15 standalone)
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (Chem/Phys)
    • Time: 95 minutes
    • Score Range: 118-132
    • Number of Questions: 59 total (44 passage-related,15 standalone)
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior (Psych/Soc)
    • Time: 95 minutes
    • Score Range: 118-132
    • Number of Questions: 59 total (44 passage-related,15 standalone)
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)
    • Time: 90 minutes
    • Score Range: 118-132
    • Number of questions: 53 total (all passage-related)

What’s a Good MCAT Score?

Most schools in the field of medicine advise students to have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and a 500 on the MCAT (125 in each section). But frankly, you’ll need a lot better score to be a real competitor.

Average MCAT score for Entry-level students:

  • AMCAS MCAT Score Average: 511.90
  • AACOMAS MCAT Score Average: 504.31
  • TMDSAS MCAT Score Average: 510.80.

It would help if you also gave some thought to the individual colleges to which you are applying. Some universities are more selective than others, and MCAT scores vary from institution to institution.

MCAT Tutoring Assesses Your Strengths and Weaknesses

A good MCAT coach will evaluate your strengths and weaknesses before you begin studying for the exam. When it comes to learning, one size does not fit all. Each of us learns and studies uniquely, and our abilities help us succeed. But how effective are your study methods, and will they help you on such an important exam?

It can be tough to prioritize what material to study for the MCAT because there is a lot of medical information on the exam. How, when, and where do you do the most effective studying, in addition to your academic talents and weaknesses? You should remember that you have never taken an exam like the MCAT before, but that your tutors have. Leverage their knowledge so that you don’t approach your MCAT preparation with ineffective study tactics that don’t match your skills and shortcomings.

MCAT Tutoring Makes Efficient Use of Your Time

The best way to prepare for the MCAT is to work with a tutor who can help you create a study plan tailored to your specific needs. There’s no use in starting from scratch. Tutors for the MCAT are experts at guiding students through the preparation process and are dedicated to helping them succeed. With their guidance, you can go into the studying phase with proven methods for absorbing and retaining as much knowledge as possible, methods that are personalized to your unique set of strengths, limitations, and study habits. Spending most of your time studying is not enough if that time is not well spent. Working with an MCAT tutor aims to increase the quality rather than quantity,

MCAT Tutoring Helps You Determine When You Are Ready

The decision of when to take the MCAT might be stressful. But how can you know if you’re up for such a daunting and impossible challenge?

Far too many would-be medical school applicants put off taking the MCAT because they feel unprepared, even though they are. It is not necessarily true that studying for 12-18 months will yield better results than looking for a total of 2-4 months. If you allow yourself too much time to study, you risk forgetting what you’ve learned and getting burned out on the Process. Tutors for the MCAT can provide an unbiased evaluation of your study progress, practice tests, and the potential benefits of procrastinating. They will advise you when to take the MCAT to do your best on the test.

MCAT Tutoring Provides Peace of Mind

There is nothing benefit to tackling this ordeal on your own. So many others have been in your shoes before, and they were able to make it into medical school. If you’re stressed about taking the MCAT, talking to and getting guidance from MCAT professionals is a great way to relieve some of that pressure. Having a private tutor for the MCAT can be a great asset since they can give you insider tips and strategies to help you succeed in your studies and on test days. They will eliminate any uncertainty, allowing you to approach your examination confidently. Don’t let your worries overwhelm you to the point that you stop trying to find help. Use the many resources for the MCAT that are at your disposal to improve your score.

MCAT Tutoring is a Comparatively Small Expense

You may be putting off getting MCAT prep help because you don’t think you can afford it. Despite the fact that private MCAT instruction might rack up a hefty bill, it pales in comparison to the overall cost of medical school. Spending money on a medical school is a big deal. Tuition at a public medical school is around $38,000 per year for in-state students and can be as high as $62,000 per year for out-of-state students. Expect to pay over $60,000 per year on tuition and living expenses at a private medical school, regardless of whether you live in the same state as the school or not. But that’s assuming you have the grades for medical school in the first place. It also costs money to take the MCAT. Taking the MCAT more than once will cost you an additional $320, on top of the $320 registration fee the first time around. Funding your education cost-effectively is ultimately what matters. Having an MCAT tutor will cost you money, but it will be well spent if you want to feel prepared and confident on test day and end up with a higher score than you could have gotten on your own.

Comparing MCAT Studying Options

However, you should know that tutoring isn’t your only choice. Numerous options exist for learning, such as conventional classroom instruction, online learning, and even the development of one’s unique learning method.

Do It Alone — Advantages

  • There will be no extra fees.
  • Work at your own pace to finish.
  • Can tailor a method to your unique learning style and schedule.

Do It Alone — Disadvantages

  • You’ll need to come up with your plan from scratch.
  • Less effective and more time-consuming.
  • Hard to evaluate one’s abilities and shortcomings.
  • You’ll miss out on the advice of experts familiar with the system.
  • It is challenging to adapt study strategies to one’s demands when one follows generic instructions.
  • There is less structure, and there is a great deal of variation in efficiency.

 MCAT Classroom — Advantages

  • A strict schedule of classes might help students focus on their studies.
  • One of the most common places where education occurs is in a classroom setting.
  • Costs are about average.

MCAT Classroom — Disadvantages

  • Unsuitable for your learning style and demands.
  • Instead of focusing on your strengths and flaws, give each topic the same attention.
  • Less effective since it increases the likelihood of rehashing old information.
  • If attending in person, travel time to and from class is a consideration.
  • Only certain times and dates will be available.
  • They are taught to the lowest common denominator, which slows everyone down.

Online Course — Advantages

  • It’s up to you to determine when and how you’ll study.
  • It allows you to avoid leaving the comfort of your home or office to get things done.
  • Costs are about average.

Online Course — Disadvantages

  • Not adapted to your specific learning style or needs.
  • Instead of focusing on your strengths and improving your deficiencies, you divide your time evenly.
  • Some students may not benefit as much as others from online courses.
  • Less effective since you are more likely to rehash old information.

MCAT Tutoring — Advantages

  • Direct, individual help
  • An individual plan that fits your lifestyle and study habits
  • An approach tailored to your unique abilities and limitations
  • An individualized strategy maximizes the utilization of your time.
  • Determines if you’re prepared to take the exam
  • flexible enough to fit your schedule
  • Someone is keeping tabs on you to ensure you do what you’re supposed to.

MCAT Tutoring — Disadvantages

  • More expensive than studying independently or in a small group.
  • Having faith in your instructor is essential.


The ultimate goal of enrolling in an MCAT prep course is to raise your overall score. You can accomplish this goal in less time and with greater efficiency with the help of study schedules and tactics tailored by actual professionals to your skills, weaknesses, and study habits.

Spend money on MCAT prep to give yourself the best chance of success. Sure, there’s a lot of rivalry from other would-be medical school students. But in the end, the only person you need to beat is yourself. Unless you have absolute faith in your ability to get a perfect score, there is always more you can do to improve. You can reach your full potential with the assistance of a tutor.

You can take the MCAT more than once, so you might believe getting a lower score this time isn’t a big deal. However, you should not decide to retake the MCAT lightly. Without guaranteed, experienced guidance—guidance you can acquire from a tutor, you may end up paying more in the long run.


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