Magoosh MCAT Review: The Good & The Bad (2021 Update)

The Magoosh MCAT prep product has been growing in popularity recently. In a world of very traditional and expensive alternatives, it really stands out!

With so many people giving this affordable option a shot, we wanted to take a look for ourselves and put together a Magoosh MCAT review to help students make an educated decision about what they’re getting.

Give it a read to find out if it’s for you!

About Magoosh MCAT

Magoosh isn’t as well-known as some of the test prep juggernauts like Kaplan or Princeton Review. However, the company is quickly growing in popularity due to its self-paced study methods and flexible platform.

Launched in 2009, Magoosh was founded with the sole purpose of creating an innovative study product that focused on the individual user experience. Back then, the founders sought out to create a platform with crowd-sourced questions and answers. After successfully launching a GMAT course, Magoosh expanded to offer coverage for other tests like the GRE, SAT, ACT, LSAT, and more.

The Magoosh MCAT prep course launched in 2016.

The thing that sets Magoosh apart from other MCAT prep courses is its approach to studying. With other services, would-be medical students spend months following strict practice regimes. But, that’s not the case with Magoosh.

The courses are entirely self-paced. You can choose between several established schedules based on your testing timeline. However, those schedules are flexible enough to work with your unique needs.

Magoosh does not hold your hand throughout the study process like some other test prep services. As a result, it’s a favorite among working professionals or those who prefer a more independent approach.

Of course, Magoosh doesn’t leave you high and dry. The MCAT prep course includes hundreds of videos, practice questions, and versatile study resources to help you prepare. But the key difference is that you’re free to take advantage of those resources as you see fit!

Pricing

When many students see the pricing for Magoosh MCAT, they have to do a double-take!

Preparing for the MCAT is not a cheap endeavor by any means! Some of Magoosh’s biggest competitors can charge several thousand dollars. In most cases, those hefty price tags are for core access to the study material only.

Magoosh is one of the most affordable MCAT prep companies out there! The company offers two pricing options for the MCAT course. One month of access costs just $279. Meanwhile, a full 12 months of access costs $299.

That’s significantly less than other prep courses, and it’s one of the biggest draws of Magoosh! Plus, Magoosh offers deals pretty frequently, allowing you to save even more.

With both plans, you get full access to:

  • Over 380 review videos
  • Over 740 practice questions
  • Up to three full-length practice tests
  • Customizable study schedules
  • Email assistance

There’s no difference between the one-month plan and the 12-month plan as far as content goes. No student is going to be able to fully prepare for the MCAT in a single month. Seeing as how the 12 months of access is a mere 20 bucks extra, it’s definitely worth springing for the top-tier plan!

However, price shouldn’t be your only goal when looking for help on the MCAT. While the Magoosh format can work for some, it’s definitely not for everyone. In our experience, the best results still come from a custom plan that’s created by experts.

Curriculum & Coursework

With the low cost of Magoosh, the biggest question looming over the heads of many students is the quality of the curriculum. If you’re paying only a fraction of what other review courses charge, the quality can’t be that good, right?

Well, it all depends on your style of learning. All of the information is there for you to take advantage of. However, the style that it’s presented in might not be the best for everyone.

Magoosh offers a respectable curriculum plan that covers all of your bases. Content spans all of the MCAT sections and everything is broken down by topic for easy navigation. As you progress through the course, you’ll complete lessons that you can easily review later if you need a bit more work.

Magoosh says that the course focuses on high-yield topics. Does that mean you’re going to see every single thing that’s going to be on the MCAT? Probably not. But, you will have the chance to review the vast majority of the curriculum you need to succeed on the test.

Most of the coursework is presented in the form of videos. Magoosh has over 380 content review videos as well as accompanying text explanations. Each video comes with transcripts as well as an area for you to take notes if necessary.

Now, the videos are rather informative. The MCAT experts at Magoosh do a fine job of presenting the pertinent information in a clear and concise way. Lessons are surprisingly detailed and feature graphics and animations to deliver complex concepts. Plus, the videos provide actionable tips to help you improve your grasp of those tough concepts.

All that said, Magoosh videos aren’t as engaging as the videos you see in other courses. They’re basic whiteboard-style videos with voiceovers. You won’t see a virtual presenter or teacher there.

Whether or not that works for you is all up to personal preference. Some find that engagement is key for absorbing a lot of dense material. But those that prefer to-the-point lessons will gain a lot from the videos!

Practice Tests

Beyond the video-style reviews, Magoosh offers hundreds of practice questions for you to go over. In total, there are more than 700. That’s not nearly as much as you get with other courses, but Magoosh has a nice mix between standard multiple-choice and essay-style questions, which is a big plus.

Magoosh MCAT practice tests are very flexible. You can jump right in on a certain topic or filter through the questions to create a custom quiz. Parameters are plentiful, allowing you to choose specific topics, difficulty levels, previous results, and more.

One thing we liked about the practice questions is the depth of the explanations. When you complete these questions, you have the choice to do so in “practice mode” and “quiz mode.”

With “practice mode,” you get explanations to learn more about the topic at hand. It’s a great feature that can help you understand how or why the correct answer is what it is. Like with video lessons, you can jot down some notes or mark the question for later review. Magoosh even recommends related lessons if you need more help with the topic.

Another useful feature is the comparison data. This calls back to Magoosh’s original crowd-sourced prep style. Every practice test you take is timed and scored. Afterward, you can compare your pace to others to see how you stack up.

This particular feature might not seem like much. But when you need to understand how you perform against other would-be medical students, it comes in handy. It’s particularly useful when studying for the CARS section.

As for difficulty, many students say that Magoosh is on par or slightly more difficult than AAMC practice questions. This can work to your advantage come test-time. Studying with harder questions may make those on the MCAT seem easier. 

But, the style of questioning does veer from AAMC question-style a bit.

One thing we’re not too crazy about is the “full-length practice tests.” Magoosh gives you up to three practice tests that are meant to simulate the true MCAT experience. However, they don’t contain any new questions or utilize official AAMC questions.

All of the full-length tests pull from the existing bank of over 700 practice questions. This is a bit of a let-down, as other prep courses have standalone tests that are unique.

How The Content Is Delivered

As a self-paced and independent course, Magoosh has no choice but to have an intuitive and well-thought-out platform. Luckily, it doesn’t disappoint in this regard.

When you sign up, you’ll instantly gain access to the Magoosh dashboard. Typically, MCAT review courses have pretty static dashboards. They’re meant to connect you to the content and nothing more.

Magoosh’s is interactive and ever-changing. The user interface should be fairly easy to navigate for most people. It doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles, but it’s laid out in a way that puts all of the important stuff within view.

You can take a peek at the study schedule, find quick links to lessons, and even jump in to take a practice exam.

One part of the dashboard that we can see many students utilizing is the “Score Predictor.” Always on the front page, it displays your potential MCAT score based on your performance so far during your studies. As you complete more study sections and answer at least 25 questions in each one, the score will update.

The further you progress, the more accurate the predicted score gets. While it’s not an exact science, it’s a nice little feature that can help you get a better idea of how you’re doing.

To help guide you in the right direction, the dashboard also displays some personalized recommendations. It will show you suggested lessons to help you brush up on topics you may be struggling with.

The Magoosh MCAT prep course is accessible entirely online. There are no prep books or even standalone software you have to download.

The only exception is with mobile apps. Magoosh has two mobile MCAT apps that let you study on the go with your smartphone or tablet. Available for both Android and iOS devices, these apps are handy tools for getting some quick study time when you have a spare moment.

The first app is Magoosh’s dedicated MCAT app. This isn’t a basic app with only a handful of features. You’re basically getting full access to the web platform.

With the mobile app, you can view all of the video lessons and access all of the same quizzes. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can take full advantage of the course from anywhere.

The second app is the Magoosh flashcard app. Also available for Android and iOS, this app has over 200 digital flashcards covering a wide range of topics. It’s a useful app for mastering vocabulary and understanding several concepts. The app tracks your progress and shows you what cards you’ve mastered.

Overall, Magoosh does a solid job of delivering content. The platform is well-designed and provides easy access to all of the course contents with only a few clicks.

The main downside to Magoosh delivery is a lack of hands-on or interactive studying. Magoosh doesn’t offer one-on-one time with an MCAT professional. There aren’t any tutoring options to speak of. You don’t have access to live courses, either.

However, that’s a tradeoff when studying with a self-paced course. Magoosh is all about independent MCAT preparations, so it’s no surprise that tutoring is off the table.

Pros & Cons

To make things easy, here’s a quick list of pros and cons for you to consider.

Pros

  • Very affordable compared to other course
  • Flexible enough for independent students
  • Customizable practice quizzes
  • Large bank of difficult practice questions
  • Content review videos are in-depth and to-the-point
  • Identifies gaps and areas that need work
  • Compares performance to other test-takers
  • Integrated timer for pacing improvements
  • Innovative Score Predictor feature
  • Mobile access
  • Includes access to many additional study sources
  • Reliable email support 24-hours a day, seven days a week
  • 10-point score improvement guarantee
  • Limited seven-day free trial and seven-day refund policy

Cons

  • No live online course components
  • No one-on-one tutoring is available
  • Doesn’t come with any printed material
  • No true passage grading
  • Less practice question than other courses
  • Full-length tests don’t include unique questions
  • Questions don’t imitate AAMC style
  • Video lessons aren’t super engaging

Our Opinion

All in all, our Magoosh MCAT review concludes that this prep course definitely has a lot to offer. It’s a respectable option for the price and can do a lot to help you get a better grasp of the core curriculum.

However, Magoosh just isn’t a viable replacement for more hands-on courses or tutoring. Sure, you’ll potentially save thousands. But for such a hard test that will impact your future career like the MCAT, you can’t beat truly customizable study plans.

Magoosh is made for a very specific type of student. It’s for those who thrive on independent study. But for most, it’s not going to provide the learning environment you need to truly succeed on the MCAT.

Magoosh simply can’t offer the custom learning experience MCAT test prep requires. Its lack of live interactive lessons and experienced tutoring will always limit just how effective the course can really be.

While it has a lot to offer, we consider it to be more of a supplementary service than anything else. It’s good for brushing up your knowledge and practicing on your own. But, it’s not a full replacement for in-depth study courses with full instructor guidance and custom lessons.

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