In this Blueprint vs Kaplan MCAT review, we’ll compare and contrast these two test prep powerhouses to help you decide which is best suited to aid you in your quest to conquer the daunting med school entrance exam.
Content Access Period
Hard Copy Books?
Money Back Guarantee?
4.7/5 Star Rating
4.6/5 Star Rating
MCAT Course Overviews
Kaplan and Blueprint respectively have established excellent reputations over the years as leading MCAT prep companies. Let’s briefly get you caught up on each.
Kaplan MCAT Prep Review
Kaplan claims the title of the most widely used test prep provider in history. Have a gander at our detailed Kaplan MCAT Review for more program details.
Here’s a solid Reddit thread with previous Kaplan users offering their respective two cents on the program.
Kaplan has a 4.6/5 star rating on TrustPilot.
Blueprint MCAT Prep
Blueprint isn’t as old as Kaplan, but it’s been an industry mainstay for years. Peruse our Blueprint MCAT review to learn more specifics.
Blueprint self-reports that 40% of its students boosted their MCAT scores by 13 points or more.
This Reddit user, skibud123, offers a comprehensive and honest review of Blueprint’s MCAT course.
Blueprint MCAT currently has a 4.7/5-star rating on TrustPilot.
A top-tier MCAT prep program that allows for custom study plans and analytics for targeting weaknesses.
- Generous unlimited 2-hour Live-Online Office Hours outside of class
- New mobile-friendly format
- Can test out of content you already know
- Day-by-day study plan tool with simple drag-and-drop feature
- Superb 6-book series called MCAT Review Book
- Lack of student reviews who have taken this course
- It’s expensive for an on demand course
Blueprint vs Kaplan MCAT – Features Face to Face
Let’s get into a face-to-face Kaplan vs Blueprint MCAT matchup on a feature-by-feature basis.
Of course, unless you are blessed financially, the price tag is either the most important or one of the most important factors when selecting an MCAT course.
Most Affordable MCAT Course
$1,999 (self-paced online)
$1,999 (6 month online)
Most Expensive MCAT Course
$9,999 (intensive bootcamp)
$3,499 (12 month live online)
The prices for the self-paced online options, as you can see, are at parity. Kaplan offers a wider range of course designs with unique corresponding price tags, so there’s more flexibility in that regard for Kaplan over Blueprint.
Practice Questions & Tests
The practice questions and tests are where the rubber meets the road – the heart and soul of any MCAT Prep. The platform, student support, and score guarantees are important, but MCAT course quality ultimately boils down to the material.
Blueprint’s sizeable QBank contains 4,000+ unique questions, which can be customized to filter out topics that you already excel at to provide a greater focus on the content you need more help with. You also enjoy access to 15 practice tests. You’ll also get access to 1600 high-yield flash cards for daily study with spaced repetition.
Kaplan’s vast online resources that you can access through all courses include 400+ hours of material to work through, including 2,900+ practice questions through its vaunted QBank, plus 16 practice tests. Add to that the seven MCAT hardcopy prep books, and it’s almost literally impossible to exhaust them, even for the most devoted preppers.
The general consensus from Kaplan users is that you should add about ten points to your practice test score to get a realistic sense of what your actual MCAT score would look like. Blueprint’s MCAT practice tests are more realistic so that your scores give a more accurate representation of your score come exam day.
Blueprint’s books, in my estimation, are arguably even better than Kaplan’s and are one of the major advantages of Blueprint over its competition, although both companies’ offerings in this department are hands-down the best in the business. Blueprint’s six books that come with every prep course include:
- Chemistry & Organic Chemistry
- Psychology & Sociology
The Kaplan platform is well-polished and intuitive. It’s hands-down better than Blueprint’s, as it’s clear how much effort and resources went into its development.
What Kaplan does best is to merge text-based lessons with visual representations against a digital whiteboard with clear audio for an integrated learning experience – which I think is great for accommodating the varied and unique learning styles that each of us has (which research shows is important for medical education).
Blueprint’s analytics program — which identifies your areas of greatest weakness to target for improvement — is excellent and the standout component of its platform. The major benefit of this is that your study time is maximally optimized to gain the greatest benefit in terms of a score increase.
As far as the mobile app goes, Blueprint slightly edges out Kaplan in terms of usability and aesthetic appeal, so if you’re going to be doing the majority of your prep on a mobile phone (which I wouldn’t personally recommend but understand that for some people it’s logistically more convenient), that’s another consideration.
Kaplan’s live online courses and its bootcamp courses (both in-person and online) feature live instruction. The basic live online course features 14 3-hour classes with experienced MCAT teachers.
Blueprint’s live online courses come with 16-40 hours of live instruction, depending on the course option. With the Premium Package, your instructor is guaranteed to be a 520+ MCAT scorer.
Both companies’ instructors are bona fide MCAT experts with a wealth of insight to offer. The only appreciable difference between the two is that Kaplan’s instruction is more scripted and “stiffer,” whereas Blueprint’s instruction is more free-wheeling with a more generous sprinkling of humor to break up the seriousness of the course material, which I personally appreciate.
Nonetheless, in the Blueprint vs Kaplan MCAT instructor face-off, I can’t recommend either one over the other because both companies’ instructors are legitimate pros.
Score Guarantees and Refunds
Both companies underpin their courses with score guarantees backed by refunds.
Kaplan’s much-touted Higher Score Guarantee (HSG) is the gold standard for test prep score guarantees. It’s robust, but one of the downsides is that there is no guarantee of any particular score — merely that you will have improved your score on the actual test as measured against a previous actual MCAT score or a practice test score at the start of the program.
Kaplan’s refund policy is likewise generous compared to other test prep companies; you qualify for a full refund for whatever reason provided that you cancel your subscription within three days of purchasing the course.
Blueprint’s refund policy is stricter since you only have a 24-hour window in which to apply for a full refund. Blueprint also offers a score guarantee very similar to Kaplan’s.
Blueprint vs Kaplan MCAT – Standout Features
Here’s a pair of standout features to better inform your MCAT course selection.
Blueprint offers a range of free resources, including a free practice exam, 1,600 flashcards, MCAT question of the day delivered to your inbox, a study planner and other nifty goodies. You do have to register with the company to access them, though.
Kaplan offers a plethora of contact methods – by phone, live chat, or various social media platforms.
Blueprint’s Help Center provides various troubleshooting assistance to help with billing issues, book shipping, etc. They also have an online chat box and usually respond quickly.
The Bottom Line on Kaplan vs Blueprint MCAT
Use a Kaplan MCAT course if:
- You want a higher-quality online platform/videos
- You need more content (400+ hours of online content)
- The quality of practice questions is important
Use a Blueprint MCAT course if:
- The quality of hardcopy books is the deciding factor
- You want more practice questions (4,000+ vs. Kaplan’s 2,900+)
- A superior mobile app is important (for those who study mostly on the go)
Our Overall Recommendation:
When it comes to bang for your buck, all factors considered carefully, Kaplan gets the nod here. The platform is easier and frankly more fun to use, the video content is more instructive and engaging, and the question bank outdoes Blueprint’s.
For more of our top picks for MCAT prep, consider these 7 Best MCAT Prep Courses for 2023.
Blueprint vs Kaplan MCAT FAQs
Here are a few burning and frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding Kaplan vs Blueprint MCAT courses.
Is Blueprint harder than the actual MCAT?
No. Blueprint’s practice tests, as opposed to Kaplan, reflect accurately the difficulty level of the actual MCAT.
Which books are better – Blueprint’s or Kaplan’s?
Blueprint’s books are better by a hair, but both are excellent and comprehensive.
Do Blueprint and Kaplan both offer free trials for their courses?
Yes. Both offer various free features that you can use to try the programs out and get a feel for form and function.
Are there higher score guarantees for both courses?
Yes. Each company offers similar score guarantees.