Gold Standard MCAT Review: A Little Something for Everyone

A course that includes all the book sets & AAMC practice material you’d need to study at home.
Written by: Kristine Thorndyke
Gold Standard mcat review

Editor's Ranking


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Gold Standard is one of the best resources for MCAT review materials that an aspiring medical student can utilize. They provide various products and packages that are tailored to the needs of prospective test takers.

Gold Standard MCAT Prep Gold Standard MCAT Prep

A suite of options for home study, Gold Standard provides eBooks for a low rental fee each month as well as live online classes.

  • Includes MCAT prep books
  • Easy to include all AAMC content
  • Can choose among top MCAT prep book sets
  • No refund guarantee
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About Gold Standard MCAT Prep

The first edition of the Gold Standard MCAT textbook was published all the way back in 1994 and now boasts 16 editions!  Since then, Gold Standard has helped thousands of students prepare for the MCAT and has evolved to take a media-rich approach to their prep materials.

Gold Standard has come a long way since their initial textbook and now offers several different options with their courses in order to fit the needs of different types of students. They offer low-cost subscription services as well as premium packages that include sessions with instructors.

gold standard courses

One of their strengths is including industry-leading materials in their packages and users who opt for the Home Study Package have the option of mixing and matching books from Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Examcrackers in addition to the material provided by Gold Standard – not bad, right?

Curriculum Review

Gold Standard MCAT Prep offers an extensive curriculum to help test takers get ready for their MCAT exams. Regardless of the package that you’re considering, Gold Standard offers a large collection of content-rich eBooks that cover several subjects that are featured on the MCAT. This helps a student reinforce the foundational knowledge they need for the exam.

Gold Standard offers several MCAT practice tests that prepare students for the types of questions that will be asked on the MCAT. Depending on the plan, you may have as many as 20 full-length practice tests at your disposal. This gives you several opportunities to see where you stand in relation to the actual exam.

gold standard mcat review

Furthermore, they offer more than 30 hours of MCAT content videos as well as thousands of review questions. This will help you nail down the content that you need to know before taking the exam. There are even options to meet with a small group and an instructor over the internet to learn MCAT specific test-taking strategies.

In short, Gold Standard MCAT offers everything that you need to pass the MCAT as long as you are interested in self-study.

Platform Review

Accessing the MCAT review material varies based on the package that you choose. For the most part, their content is online, especially for the more affordable products. This includes review videos, practice questions, and full-length practice exams.

With Gold Standard, the practice exams resemble the actual MCAT exam in almost every way. The question quality, length, difficulty, complexity, and even the interface are all similar to the MCAT and will help you get familiar with their style and look.

For people that buy the Home Study Course and Premium Package, you can also utilize the Gold Standard app while on the go. This allows you to study on your mobile device when you aren’t home with your laptop or physical materials.

gold standard nclex app

Unlike some other review MCAT review companies, Gold Standard doesn’t provide analytics that detail the subjects with which you are struggling or track your improvements. They also do not describe their questions as adaptive, though many of their competitors use adaptive question banks to best prepare prospective test takers. Gold Standard does offer the unique ability to discuss questions on their forums, which is an interesting element of their platform that other providers don’t offer.

Although their content is easily accessible and resembles the real MCAT, they don’t use newer tracking tools or adaptive software. This keeps them a step below other MCAT prep courses based on platform and website features, but they do offer comprehensive and affordable prep packages.

Gold Standard MCAT Course Reviews

Harder than the real MCAT

I thought Gold Standard was great for MCAT preparation. The science on the PS section was harder than the actual MCAT, which made the real one seem easier.


Outstanding MCAT Questions

The breadth of content and difficulty of questions that Gold Standard MCAT uses is outstanding. I can’t tell you how many times I found my areas of weakness while using these tests.


The Gold Standard works

I can now finally say that the Gold Standard works. I received my MCAT scores and scored slightly higher than I had been scoring on the Gold Standard exams. As long as you can see yourself making progress in the History section of the website, you’re on the right track.


Who Needs This Course

Gold Standard MCAT Prep is a great resource for most students. Their wide selection of products allows the majority of test takers to pick out the resources that they’ll need to be successful on the MCAT. There is a product line that fits almost any situation that prospective test takers can be in.

With that being said, their packages are generally best for self-motivated students that can do all of their studying without direct guidance. Only the MCAT Platinum Package provides any interaction with an instructor, so most students that work with Gold Standard will be reviewing the materials on their own. Driven individuals that can set goals and deadlines for themselves should succeed with Gold Standard because students are provided the content needed to pass the MCAT.

Gold Standard Pricing Options

MCAT Crash Course

Price: $29.95 per month

Summary: The MCAT Crash Course package is a completely online subscription plan that provides content rich eBooks on several MCAT subjects, more than 30 hours of MCAT videos, 2 full-length MCAT practice tests with explanations, an abbreviated new MCAT practice test, over 3000 practice questions with solutions, access to the MCAT prep discussion boards, unlimited exam submissions and corrections saved to your history section, and their MCAT CARS program.

MCAT University

Price: $49.95 per month

Summary: The MCAT University package is a completely online subscription plan that includes everything from the MCAT Crash Course package plus 3 more full-length MCAT practice tests (5 in total), an additional 5 MCAT CARS practice tests with different content from the other 5 full-length exams, more than 3500 practice questions and solutions, and unlimited practice exam attempts saved to your history section.


Price: $69

Summary: MCAT Cars is a stand-alone product (included in both online subscription plans) that is also sold separately. It includes 5 full-length timed tests with explanations, warm up exercises and test-taking tips, and unlimited user exam attempts that are saved to your history section. Access to this product is included for 3 months.

MCAT Home Study Course

Price: $599 to $799

Summary: The MCAT Home Study Course consists of several different test prep offerings including both physical and online material. The price range depends on which study package you pick; you’ll have several choices depending on which books, practice tests, and review question materials meet your goals.

This package includes online MCAT subject eBooks, over 30 hours of MCAT review videos, the MCAT CARS program, a medical school interview online video, MP3 audio files with brief summaries, and the Gold Standard phone app. You’ll have upwards of 8000 review questions depending on which package you choose.

MCAT Platinum Package

Price: $1350 to $1499

Summary: This package offers everything in the Home Study course, but it also includes over 10,000 review questions, 20 full-length practice tests, a comprehensive bundle of physical study materials that you select, and 10 weekly study sessions with a group and instructor online. You choose the physical study material that you desire from Kaplan, Princeton Review, or Examkrackers.

Gold Standard MCAT Review FAQ

Are the Gold Standard MCAT practice tests good?

Many students who have used both the Gold Standard and Next Step (Blueprint) FLs prefer Next Step’s due to better formatting, question wording, and content.

How many MCAT practice tests do you get with Gold Standard MCAT Prep?

The cheapest option, MCAT Crash Course ($29.95/month), comes with 2 full-length practice tests whereas their most expensive option, the Platinum Package ($1350-$1499), comes with 20 full-length MCAT practice tests.

Does Gold Standard MCAT Prep have live classes?

None of their courses have a live online or in person component. The courses are all online and include on-demand content as well as physical book sets (if you purchase the EK/Kaplan/TPR set).

How much do the Gold Standard MCAT Prep courses cost?

Their cheapest course is $29.95 and it includes content, practice, and 2 FL practice tests and the most expensive course caps at $1,499, which includes books, content, practice, and 20 FL practice tests.

Similar MCAT Course Reviews

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Khan Academy MCAT – Is It Comprehensive Enough as a Standalone?

Kaplan Review MCAT Course Detailed Review

What’s Next

If you’re still sold on Gold Standard, we’ve got you covered! Check out our list of the 8 top-ranked MCAT prep courses and decide for yourself which is the best MCAT prep course for your learning style. 

Do you like free money? Then check out and apply for our Med School Scholarship