Magoosh MCAT Course Review
Hello Pre-Meds! In this article I will be reviewing Magoosh’s online MCAT course. I will break this review down into the following sections: pros and cons, personal experience, pricing, and conclusion. With the MCAT coming up, you probably want to find an affordable way to prepare for it. After all, the MCAT is one of the most important components of your medical school application; it definitely is worth it to have good MCAT study materials. When it comes to having a good MCAT prep course there are several factors that are essential for success. It is important to have good quality questions that can mimic the difficulty and style of the AAMC MCAT questions, answers to those questions that are clear and thorough, the ability to analyze and review how you are doing, and resources that allow you to study and review material that will be on the MCAT. With that being said let’s get into this!
Let’s start off with the positives about Magoosh’s online MCAT prep course. And there are definitely many positives to be found in this course, with one of the most useful being how in-depth it allows you to see your progress.
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- Has plenty of questions to practice from.
- You can choose to focus on only one section at a time.
- Question difficulty is around equal to a bit harder than the AAMC practice MCAT questions.
- Questions have a timer on it so you know how long you take on each question (Very helpful for the CARS section)
- Has in-depth data to review about how well you are doing.
- Has helpful MCAT video tutorials and lessons.
- Provide several additional resources. However, these aren’t that helpful.
You can choose to focus on only one section at a time. This is actually very useful and one of the reasons I chose to use Magoosh. You have the ability to choose which of the four MCAT sections you want to focus on. These sections are: Biological and Biochemical, Chemical and Physical, Psychological and Social, and CARS. This allows you to really focus on what you need to work on the most. For me, that was the CARS section. So I was able to just do CARS practice problems all day with it. If you purchased the practice MCAT tests from the AAMC you will know that you have to take it as if it were the real exam. It will not allow you to just do problems from one of the sections.
Question difficulty is around equal to a bit harder than the AAMC practice MCAT questions. Many of the questions on Magoosh were actually a lot more challenging than the ones on the AAMC practice MCAT. There is also a mix of passage-based questions and stand-alone questions on Magoosh. I found that after doing Magoosh questions for a month I was able to come back and do the AAMC practice questions more easily. The question difficulty was not too hard but it was definitely hard enough to make you learn what you need to work on.
Questions have a timer on it so you know how long you take on each question. This has to be one of the best parts of using Magoosh. Whoever decided to add the timer to the questions deserves a raise! This is especially important for the MCAT as you know how important it is to maintain a certain pace through the exam. Not only that but you can see how your time compares to other students. This feature is tremendously helpful for the CARS section. Typically you want to aim for reading the CARS passage in 3-4 minutes, and with the timer, it is a lot easier to keep track. This is a feature you will find very helpful in your studying.
Has in-depth data to review about how well you are doing. This is another area that Magoosh does very well. They have in-depth data to analyze that many other MCAT prep courses simply don’t offer. You can see things such as your average time per question for each section, the percentage of questions you get right and wrong, how your pace compares to others, and data specific to each individual question. This is a valuable asset to have when preparing for the MCAT because it is important to analyze why you are missing certain problems and areas where you can improve.
Helpful MCAT video tutorials and lessons. Magoosh hosts an impressive video library that covers topics from every section of the MCAT. These videos are quick and straight to the point. I found that these videos were best used as review due to their concise nature.
Provide several additional resources. There are several other resources that Magoosh offers you if you sign up. These include flashcards, lecture notes, list of sociology and psychology terms, list of topics for each section of the MCAT, a link to download their mobile app. These resources are a nice addition but I didn’t personally find much use out of them.
The main cons for me were the lack of a good practice test and that the questions did not exactly replicate the AAMC practice question’s style. It does have a practice test and it is certainly not bad. My main complaint is that it could do a better job imitating the AAMC practice test in formatting. This is obviously a minor complaint but it is important to be as close to the real thing as possible. For instance, if you take the Princeton Review’s online practice tests, they do a great job of mimicking the “feel” of the real MCAT test. The second con for me is that while the questions are of equal difficulty (probably a bit harder) to the real MCAT questions, the wording was a bit different. This is also a minor complaint but I noticed that many of the Magoosh questions phrased things differently than how I feel the real MCAT did. This is not to say that the questions were easier but it just felt like a different teacher was asking the same question. In some ways, this could be seen as a good thing because it is good to be able to answer questions asked in a variety of ways. But I found it important to develop a feel for understanding how the MCAT asks questions and how they want it answered. These questions are great nonetheless. However, they should supplement your AAMC practice tests to make sure all your bases are covered. For me, I found that after doing the Magoosh problems the questions asked on the AAMC practice test were easier. The only other complaint I can give is that the video lesson library was not fully comprehensive. The video lesson library contains all of the “core” essential topics you need to understand for the MCAT, but by no means it covers everything that will be on the exam. It is best used as a review, instead of trying to learn everything for the exam from it. There are not many cons about the course, only minor complaints.
This is the dashboard section. We can see a summary of our results for each of the sections. Also there is a quick link to practice each section.
This is an example question from the Chemical and Physical section.
In the answer explanation section, we can see an explanation for why each choice was right or wrong. It also provides us with how our pace compared to other students.
Answer explanation – Notes
Also included in the answer explanation section is an opportunity to write down any notes about why you may have missed or got the problem right.
Reviewing your progress
This is the review section. You have the ability to filter your questions to focus on only the ones you want to. Also, there is a summary section for quick analysis.
Reviewing individual questions
In the review section, you can review individual questions.
This is the video library. You can see that it is organized by course topic (Intro to MCAT, Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning, Biology, Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Social Psychology, CARS (Verbal).
*Note: The reason the text is greyed is because my trial has expired. Also, the eyes next to the topic indicate that I have watched it.
Individual video lesson
This is what an individual video lesson looks like. You have the ability to save notes about it for future reference if desired. There is also a feature to show the transcript.
These are the additional resources that Magoosh offers you.
My story with the MCAT was kind of interesting. I actually had to push my MCAT back a month because I didn’t feel ready for my first test date. When I pushed my MCAT back, I felt that I needed more practice problems. Specifically, I needed more practice problems for the CARS section. I bought the AAMC practice tests 1 and 2, but those are good for testing your progress and not so much just grinding out a ton of practice problems. Looking for a solution, I found Magoosh’s online MCAT course. I signed up for the free trial to see how it was and within a day I realized that it was exactly what I was looking for. So I upgraded to the 1-month premium and began doing hours of problems every day. I had exactly one month and a week to get ready for my next test date. I went through a ton of Magoosh’s video lessons and almost every single problem they offered. Even though I was studying like a madman, I couldn’t get through all of their questions. At the end of my 1 month trial, I took another AAMC practice test and found that my score went up by over 10 points. What made Magoosh so useful to me was that I was able to focus on each specific section at a time and I was able to keep track of my time as I took questions. This really helped me hone my skills on each section. Taking the Magoosh MCAT course really helped me get in those necessary practice problems to be fully ready for the MCAT.
The pricing is affordable compared to many other MCAT prep courses. For what is offered, I believe it is a fair price. I personally did the 1 Month Premium plan and felt that I got my money’s worth. Also it is worth noting that they have a 7-day money back guarantee.
Magoosh’s online MCAT course provides you with a lot of practice problems so you can focus specifically on one section at a time. The timer added to each question helps you stay wary of how long you are spending on each question. This is especially useful for the CARS section. The questions themselves are of equal or greater difficulty than those you will find on the real MCAT. The questions use wording that differs from how the real MCAT asks questions but still provide great practice for the exam. Great analysis and review features allow you to figure out what to focus on. The video lesson library contains a huge collection of topics, however, does not cover every single topic that will appear on the MCAT. The videos are best used as a review instead of covering everything that will be on the exam. My personal experience with Magoosh was one that helped me improve my score. Due to the difficulty and large magnitude of problems, I was able to gain a lot of quality practice in a short period of time. The practice I did with Magoosh carried over well to the practice AAMC MCAT exams and to the real MCAT. With an affordable price and a 7-day money back guarantee, I think that Magoosh’s online MCAT course is well worth a try for any pre-med who needs more practice problems.