Blueprint MCAT (formerly known as Next Step) is a trendy study option that’s getting a lot of traction among students. The combination of the rebrand and in-depth nature of the course has made it rather popular.
This review of Blueprint MCAT will cover the pros and cons, as well as give you our final opinion on the product.
Table of Contents
About Blueprint MCAT
Launched in 2020, Blueprint is one of the newest MCAT prep courses to hit the scene. But don’t let its young age deter you. This course is years in the making and is the product of a successful merger between two power players.
Before it launched with a fresh take on MCAT preparation, Blueprint was known as Next Step. The previous version of the course was pretty solid, offering a detailed content review and plenty of topic-based study tools. Next Step had a deep understanding of MCAT strategies, resulting in a comprehensive study experience that successfully helped thousands of students tackle the MCAT.
The merger with Blueprint was about more than just a name change. Before the merger, Blueprint Test Preparation focused its efforts on creating premium video content. The company was mostly known for its ability to produce engaging media to supplement traditional studying.
Combining these two products resulted in what we have today: the Blueprint MCAT preparation course! It has the best of both worlds, utilizing the strengths of the pre-merger organizations into a product that caters to the masses.
The course is well-designed and takes advantage of modern technology and old-school MCAT strategies to help you make the most out of your limited study time.
Unlike other courses, Blueprint keeps things simple as far as pricing goes. There are two plans available. They are:
- Blueprint Online Course package
- Blueprint Live Online plan
Both plans are nearly identical as far as study materials go. You gain access to over 150 hours of video, a sizable Qbank of more than 4,000 practice questions, and a slew of full-length practice exams. Blueprint even sends you some physical reading material to go over.
So, what’s the difference between the packages?
The Blueprint Live Online course plan includes more than 40 hours of live instruction. The 40 hours are split into 16 classes, which last about two and half hours each. Two instructors work together to explain the content and help you prepare.
The Live Online package is an excellent choice for those who do best with live interaction and a traditional course structure. While everything is done online, the live real-time connection with skilled instructors can make all the difference!
The Blueprint Live Online course will set you back $2,499 for the base-level plan. In addition to the live instruction, you also get six months of access to the course material. If you need more time preparing, Blueprint also offers 9-month and 12-month plans. They cost $2,899 and $3,199, respectively.
Those looking to take a self-paced approach can turn to the Blueprint Online Course package. It excludes the 40 hours of live instruction, but it provides access to the same online course material.
The Blueprint Online Course plans start at $1,799 for six months. Nine months of access will cost $2,199, while an entire year has a price of $2,499.
Blueprint’s prices are comparable to industry leaders like Kaplan or The Princeton Review. However, Blueprint regularly offers discounts, so it pays to keep an eye on the website!
Curriculum & Coursework
The curriculum at Blueprint is delivered in a pretty unique way. If you go for the Live Online course, you can follow a basic schedule that covers all of the topics you need in a small time frame. But the self-paced content gives you a little more flexibility in how you tackle those complex topics.
Blueprint separates everything into discrete learning modules. They’re small, bite-sized lessons that cover specific subtopics. Multiple modules are then grouped up to create broader lessons.
Module-based learning is surprisingly effective with content retention. You’re free to repeat individual modules until you master them. The smaller lessons are straightforward and much easier to remember because you’re not trying to focus on a million little facts at once.
In total, there are about 160 learning modules. On top of that, Blueprint offers 30 additional modules that prioritize strategy, reasoning, and other skills you’ll need to master the MCAT.
Of course, the learning modules aren’t just basic facts. They all contain at least one video, which is where Blueprint shines the brightest.
The video lessons are some of the best in the industry. Videos are pretty simple at face value, featuring an instructor speaking in front of a green screen. But the supplemental information that surrounds the instructor is what makes each video experience unique.
Text notes, graphics, illustrations, and animations help you remember the core concepts. They visualize the subject matter and keep you engaged as you learn. What more could you want?
After you complete a video, Blueprint provides a short quiz. The format of the examinations depends on the content. It’s not just multiple choice answers. Some may ask you to fill in the blank, drag and drop graphics, or even create lists. The various formats help break up the monotony and keep things interesting.
Like other prep courses, Blueprint provides detailed explanations to help you better understand concepts you might have missed. Blueprint does an excellent job of highlighting pertinent content, which is helpful for those long-form passage-based questions.
Blueprint has a sizable Qbank with over 4,000 questions. They’re pretty challenging and give you a good taste of what to expect during the actual exam.
Overall, Blueprint’s curriculum is well-designed. It’s versatile enough to meet the needs of most. Plus, the video content is engaging and easy to consume.
No discussion about MCAT preparation is complete without talking about practice tests. It’s one of the most crucial parts of your preparation efforts. Not only do practice exams prepare you for the question styles and subject matter you’ll encounter, but they also teach you how to manage your time and stress levels.
Blueprint provides 15 MCAT practice tests, which is a lot compared to some of the other providers. It’s not the most in the industry (some companies like Gold Standard provide 20), but 15 tests is more than enough for most students.
The tests replicate the real exam to a tee. Questions are well-designed, and you have to work on a time crunch to complete the entire thing. On top of all that, Blueprint’s practice exam portal is nearly identical to the MCAT.
It has the same design aesthetic and interactivity, allowing you to get familiar with the platform before the test date. Attention to those more minor details makes all the difference.
The quality of the questions are top-notch. Blueprint designs the questions to be nearly indistinguishable from real problems as far as length and difficulty go.
Five of the 15 exams belong to the AAMC and are created by the organization directly. The AAMC is responsible for building and administering the MCAT, so there’s no better way to prepare than by using AAMC-supplied exams. At Blueprint, you can do just that.
How The Content Is Delivered
Blueprint provides its content in a couple of different ways.
Those who prefer traditional studying techniques will benefit from the included MCAT prep books. Blueprint sends each student who signs up six hardcopy books as part of the prep package. Each book covers a primary MCAT topic.
You’ll receive a book for:
- Psychology and Sociology
- Chemistry and Organic Chemistry
The books are well-written and do a fine job of explaining the topics. The CARS book is particularly helpful, as it provides some guidance into how to analyze passages and flex your critical thinking skills.
Beyond the physical books, most of Blueprint’s MCAT preparation material is accessed online. The digital platform provides quick and easy access to all the items you need to study.
While it’s not the most critical factor to look into, how a course delivers content can make or break the experience! Some providers fall behind in this regard, but we’re happy to say that Blueprint is not one of them.
Blueprint’s platform was designed from the ground up after the merger and rebranding. As a result, it’s fresh, clean, and oozing with modern appeal. You don’t have to worry about outdated graphics or clunky navigation here!
Everything is smooth and surprisingly responsive. Whether you’re navigating through the menus to find your next module or looking through the detailed analytics, the online platform is a joy to use.
Speaking of analytics, Blueprint has a lot of data for you to peruse! It measures your performance as you complete modules, practice questions, and mock exams to give you a better idea of your progress.
There’s a lot to look through. In fact, some may find that there’s far too much data than you truly need. However, having the ability to compare your performance with others and identify gaps in your preparation efforts is always a plus.
Blueprint MCAT is an excellent product that many students will find helpful as they prepare for the biggest test of their lives.
The best part of the Blueprint MCAT course is the curriculum. For content review, it’s top-notch! The module-based learning structure is one of the best around, allowing you to study at your own pace while maximizing your ability to retain information.
Short and to the point, the modules don’t hit you over the head with tons of information. That way, you can focus on retaining information and getting a good grasp of core concepts. Repeat modules, customize your schedule to address knowledge gaps, and make the most out of your time studying!
Blueprint’s videos are another strong suit worth mentioning. The video content is well-produced and provides information without tiptoeing the line of boredom. Many prep courses use presentation-style videos that are nothing more than powerpoints filled with stagnant slides.
That’s not the case with Blueprint. The videos are engaging and feature tons of illustrations. Gorgeous animations do a fantastic job of explaining topics while keeping your interest high.
The course’s digital platform deserves praise as well. It’s well-made and intuitive enough for most people to use without any issues. The system is easy to navigate and responds quickly to input without any lagging.
On top of all that, you get some in-depth analytics. Whether or not you use that data is up to you, but having access to performance metrics can do a lot to help guide you in the right direction. The analytics come in handy most for those who are completing the self-paced course.
Finally, let’s talk about Blueprint’s guarantee. The Blueprint MCAT course comes with a score increase guarantee, which is a massive perk for those concerned with the hefty price tag. The provider is so confident with the course that it promises to take action if you don’t experience the score increase you’re looking to achieve.
There are some limitations here. The guarantee only applies after you complete a good portion of the course. The exact parameters vary depending on the package you choose.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you’re free to request a refund or course extension. With the extension, you get more time to go through the content and try again.
While it’s not the most generous guarantee out there, we have to give credit where credit is due. Preparing for the MCAT is a massive undertaking with some significant financial investment. Having that peace of mind that the guarantee brings makes a world of difference in your quest to getting a good MCAT score.
Even with all the good that Blueprint does, there are a couple of drawbacks. Fortunately, there aren’t too many disadvantages involved.
One issue that we have is the depth of content review explanations. When you complete lesson quizzes and Qbank questions, you get a description of the material. This feature can help you spot issues and learn why you got a question wrong.
We like that those descriptions exist, but we wish they were a little more in-depth than they currently are. The explanations don’t dive deep enough to help you fill significant knowledge gaps. Other prep course providers do more to address those weaknesses than Blueprint does.
Another major issue we have with the Blueprint MCAT course is accessibility.
The Blueprint digital material is accessible online through most browsers. You can log on, go through lessons, and complete quizzes all from the same platform. That part is good.
The issue, however, is mobile access. There’s no dedicated mobile app, which is strange considering that most prep course providers have an MCAT prep app for you to utilize!
Now, that doesn’t mean that Blueprint ignores mobile accessibility altogether. The site is optimized for mobile browsers, so you can easily log onto the platform with your smartphone or tablet. However, some may find going through the material on mobile devices less intuitive.
It would be nice if Blueprint made standalone apps to appeal to more study styles. An option to download content for access without an Internet connection would be beneficial as well.
Blueprint is still a new company. As a result, those changes could come in the future. They’re not a dealbreaker now, as the quality of the course more than makes up for the shortcomings. But, these are details you should keep in mind if you’re considering Blueprint as a study tool for your MCAT preparation endeavors.
All in all, the Blueprint MCAT course is a solid choice for those looking to prepare for the MCAT.
The content is well-designed and marries the strength of modern technology with the tradition of established MCAT strategies. The course material is engaging, easy to follow, and detailed enough to help most students.
It’s not going to teach you new material. Like most MCAT courses, it’s designed for content review rather than filling major knowledge gaps. It can provide clarity and prepare you for what’s to come. But, you should have some basic knowledge about the material before starting the course.
The merger of Next Step and Blueprint has resulted in a brand-new product that’s sure to make waves in the MCAT prep world. While it’s not as popular or well-known as some bigger competitors, Blueprint has the potential to reach the upper echelons of MCAT preparation.
All that said, Blueprint does not replace customized or study plans. MCAT prep is about addressing your unique needs and studying material in a way that’s beneficial to you.
All students are different, and stock plans like Blueprint can’t help everyone. It’s a great supplement that can fill in gaps and help you review content. But if you want a personalized experience, it’s best to go to a tutor and create a structured study routine that works for your unique needs.
Blueprint is ultimately a solid choice for most. It’s worth a shot and can work wonders to help you tackle the MCAT.