Blueprint vs Princeton Review MCAT

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You’ll want to take a hard look at this Blueprint vs Princeton review MCAT if you are one of the roughly 85,000 people a year taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Let’s dive into the review without further ado.

princeton review logo
blueprint mcat

TrustPilot Reviews

4.5/5
4.7/5

Practice Tests

16

15

Practice Questions

2,500+

4,000+

Packages

$1,700-$3,400

$2,000-$6,500

Books Provided

Hardcopy 

Hardcopy

Content Access Period

270 Days + Early Enrollment

6 Months

Live Class Hours

123 

40+

Video Instruction

500+ Lessons

150+ Hours

Money-back Guarantees

Yes

Yes

Blueprint MCAT

A couple of years ago, Blueprint and Next Step Test Preparation merged into a new MCAT prep course, now referred to as Blueprint MCAT. Accordingly, students can now enjoy the benefits of two high-powered prep course providers:

  • Detailed curriculum
  • Test-taking strategies
  • Detail-oriented video lessons
  • Appealing graphics
  • Scoring analytics (advanced) 
  • Simple user interface

Let’s review some pros and cons of Blueprint as an MCAT study course:

Pros

  • Video lessons are pretty good, packed with visual animations and entertaining language
  • The course structure integrates learning modules in an impressively effective manner
  • There are over 4,000 first-rate practice problems that come with intuitive examples
  • Live online courses are offered (for students who need a little nudge in the way of accountability and motivation)

Cons

  • No minimum score is guaranteed 
  • The content access period is only 6 months, as opposed to the 9+ months other companies offer

Of the 346 reviews on Trustpilot, Blueprint has amassed a nearly unheard-of score of 4.7/5, which is considered “Excellent.”

blueprint mcat reviews
Blueprint Prep | MCAT Online Course Blueprint Prep | MCAT Online Course
4.5
$1999

A top-tier MCAT prep program that allows for custom study plans and analytics for targeting weaknesses.

Pros:
  • 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
  • Includes 6 MCAT Review Book Series
Cons:
  • Lack of student reviews who have taken this course
  • MCAT review books included in this course are outdated
  • It’s expensive – the equivalent of popular commercial courses

The Princeton Review MCAT

princeton review mcat

The Princeton Review has been considered an MCAT prep course industry star for many years; it has helped thousands of future medical professionals aspire to and achieve admission to the medical school of their dreams for decades.

Let’s survey the pros and cons of The Princeton Review’s MCAT offerings:

Pros

  • The online classes are well-reviewed and are led by a team of between four and six MCAT experts
  • For students in need of detail-oriented content review, the curriculum is expansive and deep
  • For people who learn more efficiently with text-based materials, it comes with 11 immersive MCAT prep books

Cons

  • The on-demand video lessons are largely considered to be inferior to what Blueprint has to offer
  • The mobile app only contains flashcards and is relatively unhelpful compared to other mobile apps, including Blueprint’s app

Of the 1,445 reviews on Trustpilot, The Princeton Review has amassed a score of 4.5, which is also considered “Excellent.”

princeton reviews
The Princeton Review | Score Guarantee MCAT Test Prep The Princeton Review | Score Guarantee MCAT Test Prep
4.5

One of the highest-rated MCAT prep courses that offer in-person, on-demand, and live-online MCAT prep as well as high score guarantees.

Pros:
  • Subject-specific diagnostic exams pinpoint strengths & weaknesses
  • Personalized homework is assigned after every lecture
  • Up-to-date MCAT Complete 7-book set is included
  • 15 full-length practice tests simulate the format and time restraints of real MCAT
  • Access to all AAMC material
Cons:
  • In-person classes are subject to change after enrollment
  • 510 guarantee is optional (you are not guaranteed a 510 unless you pay extra)

Blueprint Vs Princeton Review MCAT Prep Features

Both Blueprint and The Princeton Review offer video instruction, live class hours, practice questions, and practice tests. However, there are important differences.

Blueprint is a bit more affordable, but you get more bang for your buck with The Princeton Review due to additional lessons and live class hours. Fortunately, both companies come with a hardcopy book and a money-back guarantee. Today, we will weigh all the options to help you make the best decision.

Ultimately, I feel that both The Princeton Review and Blueprint offer MCAT prep courses that will sufficiently prepare you for the MCAT. Understandably, deciding which course works best for you is a difficult process. It really boils down to what type of learner you are, what your learning preference is, and what type of learning environment you excel in the most. 

To help flesh out the differences between the two and determine which one will best meet your needs, let’s compare the features of both Blueprint and The Princeton Review.

Price

We know that, for students especially, the price tag can be one of the biggest considerations when it comes to choosing what prep course to use. Both The Princeton Review and Blueprint are competitive when it comes to their respective online self-paced and live classroom structures – although there are notably more affordable options out there.

princeton review logo
blueprint mcat

Most Affordable GRE Course

$1,700

$2,000

Most Expensive GRE Course

$3,400

$5,600

If you need a little more in-depth program, Blueprint offers a one-on-one learning environment through their essential ($3,600), comprehensive ($3,850), or intensive tutoring packages ($5,600). Though these options cost a bit more, you receive a personalized and detailed study plan that has been designed by your tutor specifically for you. 

Pricing for every other option in Blueprint’s offerings generally starts at around $2,000, but that depends on your choice of content access periods. Though this price might seem high (especially for cash-strapped students), it does include 15 full-length MCAT exams and Blueprint’s “Qbank” – which gives you over 4,000 individual passages, problems, and questions. 

blueprint qbank
Blueprint Qbank sells for $249 as a standalone product

Taking a look at The Princeton Review, if you’re looking for a live classroom experience, you’ll likely want to choose their Live Online Course.

This course comes with everything you get from the Self-Paced course, but also includes 123 hours of LiveOnline or in-person classroom coursework. Also, you’ll get a team of 4-6 subject matter experts at your disposal, who create homework personalized for you based on your diagnostic exam. The course costs around $2,800. Although it’s a bit more expensive than Blueprint’s live course, you’ll receive 80+ additional hours of classroom instruction.

The Princeton Review’s MCAT 513+ promises you will get a 513 or better if you start the course with a diagnostic exam base score of 500 or higher. Generally, this course costs around $3,499, but Princeton Review has been known to offer discounts. 

On a Budget? Consider MCAT Self Prep’s Affordable MCAT Prep

Practice Questions and Tests

Both Blueprint and Princeton offer excellent practice tests and questions, so this category is virtually a tie.

The Princeton Review offers sixteen full-length practice exams, while Blueprint offers fifteen. Princeton Review’s question bank features 2500+ practice questions, and Blueprint’s offers 4,000+.

blueprint mcat practice

Both do a decent job of duplicating the true MCAT questions across three domains: difficulty, length, and content. In my personal opinion, merely based on user experience, Blueprint stands out slightly due to its advantageous test scoring analytics.

Class Materials and Instructions

The respective core curriculums of Blueprint and The Princeton Review are fully decent. The structure and flow of the lessons themselves are well-designed and effective in terms of prepping you for MCAT game day.

Each prep company has a slight edge over the other when it comes to this category: Blueprint provides relatively more entertaining, visually stimulating, and fact-filled video lessons, while Princeton provides a plethora of coursework that gives students more options than its competitor.

Blueprint’s courses are self-paced and online; they include a study planner that is customizable based on your needs. There are over 160 learning models, all of which integrate assessments, quizzes, strategies, and videos. If statistical reasoning skills aren’t your strong suit, there are over 30 learning modules intended to help you get better. 

blueprint mcat book set
Blueprint Prep Books

While Blueprint’s prep books serve as more of a supplement to its course curriculum, Princeton’s prep books offer more pertinent info than I could have imagined before giving them a whirl. The bottom line: Blueprint has the online edge, while Princeton’s books are comparatively comprehensive and thorough. 

Princeton and Blueprint both offer students additional resources that other MCAT prep providers don’t. Blueprint provides a customizable study plan for students, extensive office hours, and advanced and focused data and metrics. The Princeton Review offers MCAT Topic Focus, Admissions Advantage sessions, Student Guides, and other excellent bundle services.

Ultimately, my verdict is that you can’t go wrong with either company when it comes to class materials and instructions. 

Learning Experience/Platform

I found that the digital interface and learning experience for both The Princeton Review and Blueprint were easy to maneuver, visually appealing, and intuitive. Each company has clearly put a plethora of resources into the development of its digital platforms and its overall user experience. However, overall, we think Blueprint’s functionality slightly surpasses the functionality of Princeton. 

Princeton’s and Blueprint’s online courses (not the live classes) are self-paced, which means students can learn and study at their own speed. There are 500+ online videos with extensively detailed MCAT core content. Their multiple practice tools, made up of thousands of paragraph length questions and explanations, are among the better in my long career of test-taking (sometimes it really does feel like my actual career).

Blueprint Learning Module Example – Biochemistry

On occasion, students need a little accountability and motivation from a real person. Blueprint understands this; they offer live instructors and a class schedule through their Live Online course. The courses are held by two instructors who have already mastered the MCAT (and have received a score of 519 or higher themselves), so you can rest easy knowing they know what they’re talking about. 

Instructors

Blueprint was founded by a group of former teachers. Accordingly, they’re intimately acquainted with the real-world classroom experience. Plus, they underwent the stresses of studying themselves – and isn’t empathy a valuable commodity?

All the classroom instructors who work for Blueprint are bona fide MCAT masters; they must take and receive a score of at least 519 in order to work for Blueprint. They are trained strenuously in both communication and content skills, and they keep you engaged by providing you with humorous and witty jokes.

blueprint vs princeton review mcat

Regardless, The Princeton Review’s classroom component – arguably its strongest advantage over Blueprint — outshines the Blueprint classroom component in both quantity and quality of instruction.

Score Guarantees and Refunds

The journey to break through into medical school can be an intimidating odyssey to undertake. To get accepted into a reputable program and eventually graduate into doctorhood with bright career prospects, it all starts with obtaining a high MCAT score. And you have to study to make that happen.

Wouldn’t you like some kind of guarantee that all your hard work will pay off? If you’re like me, you do.

Score guarantees and refunds are offered by both The Princeton Review and Blueprint. While Princeton gives students a refund component for seven days, Blueprint only provides one for 24 hours after purchase. Additionally, Blueprint offers a guarantee of a score increase, but students usually only see about a 10-point increase on average. Especially in their 513+ and 515+ Immersion Packages, Princeton has a score increase guarantee that is equally strong. 

The Princeton Review’s MCAT 513+ course essentially guarantees students that they’ll earn the score and results they need to enter their medical school of choice. According to medical school entrance data, if you raise your MCAT score from 500 to 510, your chance of being accepted to the school of your dreams almost triples!

blueprint vs princeton review mcat

Most refund policies and score guarantees come with multiple qualifiers and conditions, all of which depend on an array of variables and course selections. Accordingly, my best advice is that you read the fine print of both before deciding.

Caveats of due diligence aside, Princeton’s Immersion Package and the score guarantees that come with it are particularly hard to pass up. 

Standout Features

Now, let’s take a hard look at some of the standout features each prep course has to offer. Before making your ultimate decision, you’ll want to understand the free trials, student support, and payment plans offered by both companies.

Free Trials  

In order to access all the free options Blueprint has to offer, you simply have to sign up for an account. This will allow you to get a head start on your studying and see what Blueprint is all about without putting down a dime. The practice account includes:

  • Flashcards: over 1,600 flashcards! All cover MCAT content with analytics and spaced repetition. 
  • To get a performance baseline and see where your skills are, they also offer a half-length diagnostic MCAT. 
  • A full-length practice exam! This comes with explanations, answers, and analytics (see this list for more free MCAT practice tests)
  • Learning modules: One from each subject area. This self-paced MCAT online course has been proven to increase student scores by an average of 13 points. 
  • Study Planner tool access
  • Emails: Question of the Day, content review videos, and more
Free MCAT Practice Resources | Blueprint Prep (formerly Next Step) Free MCAT Practice Resources | Blueprint Prep (formerly Next Step)
5.0

Blueprint offers a host of free MCAT resources, including a free full-length MCAT practice test, their online study planner, MCAT Question of the Day, and MCAT flashcards!

If you like what you see and want to get Blueprint after sampling the product, only then will you have to invest your hard-earned money (or, if you’re so fortunate, your generous benefactor’s money).

blueprint mcat free course

Fortunately, The Princeton Review also offers its own free test runs. By registering online, you gain free access to: 

  • Full-length practice tests – this helps you discover your MCAT strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ten-question assessment MCAT quiz – this helps you decide how ready you are for the MCAT. 

The Princeton Review also hooks you up with an online MCAT flashcards app that can be easily downloaded to your phone and used on the go. This includes: 

  • Alerts that motivate you and track your progress
  • 550 content flashcards
  • The ability to create your own custom 

As with Blueprint, if you like Princeton Review’s free content and want to see what else they have to offer, only then will you pay.

free princeton review mcat course

Love Free Stuff? Check Out This List of 53 Free MCAT Resources

Student Support

Both Blueprint and The Princeton Review offer online support for students who are struggling with a variety of issues. 

When troubleshooting issues (whether technical or content-oriented in nature), Blueprint asks you to answer a couple of questions (about your membership status, what you need, etc.) and then immediately connects you to a real person.

The Princeton Review uses what they call the “Princeton Review Bot.” You have the ability to speak to a real person if you need it, but they try to let the Review Bot help first (likely for operational-cost-savings reasons).

Both sites have a presence on Facebook. The Princeton Review also has a Twitter. You can reach out to them on their social media platforms as well, where they are each highly responsive.

Payment Plans

What sort of pre-med student has thousands of dollars around, just waiting to be spent on a test prep course? If you’re like me in my test prep days, you might barely afford ramen noodles. Fortunately, Blueprint and The Princeton Review both have their own respective iterations of payment plans. 

Blueprint offers their payment plan through Affirm. Though not all products are eligible, there are three simple steps to qualifying for their plan:

  • First, get a free assessment and see if you qualify
  • Receive a quote for three, six, or twelve-month payment plans
  • Accept the conditions and enroll

To inquire about The Princeton Review’s payment plan, you’ll need to call them at 1-800-2Review to give details about your finances and see if you qualify. If you’re able to enroll under a payment plan, your seat in a course will be guaranteed and your discount will be locked in (with a refundable deposit). 

The Bottom Line: Princeton Review vs Blueprint MCAT

Now that we’ve compared the pros and cons of each test prep course, let’s look to the bottom line: which of these courses will specifically work for YOU? Let’s review the highlights of all the info we’ve covered here to aid in your decision-making.

You’ll want to use Blueprint if you: 

  • Prefer to learn via technology, since Blueprint offers engaging video lessons and a sleek interface
  • Benefit from accountability and online instruction, since Blueprint offers a variety of options regarding this
  • Want a lot of options to choose from, since Blueprint allows you to skip lessons you know well and purchase larger packages
Blueprint Prep | MCAT Online Course Blueprint Prep | MCAT Online Course
4.5
$1999

A top-tier MCAT prep program that allows for custom study plans and analytics for targeting weaknesses.

Pros:
  • 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
  • Includes 6 MCAT Review Book Series
Cons:
  • Lack of student reviews who have taken this course
  • MCAT review books included in this course are outdated
  • It’s expensive – the equivalent of popular commercial courses

You’ll want to choose The Princeton Review MCAT if you: 

  • Are on a budget, since The Princeton Review offers (overall) cheaper courses
  • Enjoy a less technology-based study experience, since The Princeton Review sends workbooks and has fewer visually appealing videos and more text-based content
  • Benefit from live instruction, since The Princeton Review provides multiple opportunities at varying levels
The Princeton Review | Score Guarantee MCAT Test Prep The Princeton Review | Score Guarantee MCAT Test Prep
4.5

One of the highest-rated MCAT prep courses that offer in-person, on-demand, and live-online MCAT prep as well as high score guarantees.

Pros:
  • Subject-specific diagnostic exams pinpoint strengths & weaknesses
  • Personalized homework is assigned after every lecture
  • Up-to-date MCAT Complete 7-book set is included
  • 15 full-length practice tests simulate the format and time restraints of real MCAT
  • Access to all AAMC material
Cons:
  • In-person classes are subject to change after enrollment
  • 510 guarantee is optional (you are not guaranteed a 510 unless you pay extra)

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