UWorld MCAT Review: Is It Worth It? (2021 Update)

The UWorld MCAT study resource is a fantastic tool for many students. However, it’s not the “one-stop shop” that you might be hoping for.

This review of UWorld MCAT covers the pros and cons of this product, and gives you our honest opinion.

About UWorld MCAT

UWorld is a relative newcomer in the world of MCAT prep. But, those preparing for other pivotal exams might be familiar with the course provider. UWorld initially made a name by providing study materials for college readiness exams and professional licensing exams, such as the USMLE and NCLEX. In 2017, UWorld started offering the MCAT Qbank.

It has since nearly doubled in size, providing even more content for test-takers to utilize.

The UWorld MCAT product is not like traditional courses. It’s not going to compete with the likes of Kaplan, Princeton Review, or even budget-friendly options. The service isn’t designed to replace those courses.

Instead, it’s meant to act more like a supplement. UWorld offers a premium question bank filled with MCAT-style problems. It covers all of the topics you’ll encounter during the exam and provides rationales to help you cover small knowledge gaps as you study.

With a user-friendly platform, broad accessibility, and some innovative performance metrics in tow, UWorld MCAT is a unique study tool that will only add to your preparation efforts.

Pricing

Compared to full-blown prep courses, the cost of accessing the UWorld MCAT Qbank is pretty reasonable. UWorld has a few different prices depending on what plan you go with.

Each plan comes with the same content and digital platform. The only difference is how long you have access.

  • The most affordable option is the Basic plan. With a price of $239, you get access to the Qbank for a full 90 days.
  • Next up is the Standard plan, which costs $289. It provides full access for 180 days.
  • Finally, there’s the Elite tier. It includes 360 days of access for $339. Most would agree that the Elite option is the most economical, as it’s only $100 more than the 90-day plan.

If you’re not ready to commit to a paid plan, UWorld does offer a free sampler. The Sample plan comes with seven days of access. The features are limited, as you can only go through 100 of the Qbank questions. But, it does give you a good taste of what UWorld has to offer.

Curriculum & Coursework

It’s important to remember that UWorld is not meant for in-depth content review or learning new information. The Qbank is about refreshing your existing knowledge and clarifying topics you might struggle to remember.

It’s also a powerful tool for familiarizing yourself with MCAT-style questions and getting a taste of the critical reasoning skills you’ll need to know.

With that in mind, UWorld does an excellent job of providing pertinent information that’s easy to understand. The curriculum is delivered in the form of digital flashcards. One side will ask the question while the other provides a detailed answer.

Vivid imagery and tons of illustrations help with knowledge retention and clarity. Most of the flashcards feature graphs, diagrams, and more. 

UWorld also highlights the most important concepts. Bold text makes things easier to remember. However, there’s also the option to dive deeper with “exhibit” links if you want even more information.

The UWorld MCAT Qbank provides comprehensive explanations on a wide range of crucial topics. These include biology, biochemistry, physics, psychology, sociology, and more. The questions are written by experts in the respective fields and are designed to resemble the MCAT as closely as possible.

How The Content Is Delivered

One of UWorld’s strongest features is the content delivery platform. The MCAT Qbank is entirely digital and uses the same technology that UWorld’s other products utilize.

From a design standpoint, it’s top-notch. The digital platform is sleek, simple, and easy to navigate. Simple menus on the side help you find the features you’re looking for, while the digital cards are well-designed and vivid enough to stand out.

The platform is accessible in a couple of different ways. You can log onto your account and view the Qbank from any computer. However, it’s also available on mobile. Downloadable apps for iOS, Android, and even Amazon are available to let you study on the go.

The UWorld MCAT Qbank is much more than just simple digital cards. Several features help you customize the experience and make the most out of your study session.

You can browse cards to create custom tests and organize sections how you see fit. There’s also the option to flag content, add your own notes, and more. UWorld also utilizes spaced repetition, which balances how often cards come up based on your performance. It helps you grasp complex concepts and cement them into your mind for long-term retention.

UWorld doesn’t offer full-length MCAT practice tests like most prep courses. But, there are optional timers. The Qbank will also measure your progress to provide feedback. The performance metrics compare you to other students, giving you a better idea of how you’re doing at any given point.

Overall, the digital platform is well-designed. It lacks many of the more versatile features you might encounter on complete prep courses. But as far as review and studying goes, it has everything you need.

Pros

The UWorld MCAT Qbank can do a lot to supplement your preparation efforts.

The content itself is detailed enough for most students. It highlights the key concepts you must know while also giving you opportunities to go a little deeper if you need to. The digital cards are well-designed, and the use of vivid imagery can do a lot to help students remember challenging information.

You get access to 2,000 strategically designed questions. While no full-length practice exams exist, the Qbank questions are a suitable example of what you’ll experience on test day. UWorld’s passages are in the upper range of difficulty, which may help you go above and beyond as you prepare.

Finally, we can’t forget to mention the digital platform. Some current MCAT prep courses are severely lacking when it comes to design and intuitive navigation. That’s not an issue with UWorld.

The platform is sleek, flexible, and straightforward. Thanks to all the customization options, there are many ways to make the material work for you. Plus, it’s accessible on the go.

Cons

The UWorld MCAT Qbank does a lot of good, but there are also many significant issues.

For one, UWorld is not a proper MCAT prep course (and it’s not meant to be). Compared to heavy-hitters like Kaplan or Princeton Review, the features of UWorld are downright slim! While it’s clear that this product isn’t meant to compete with MCAT courses, some students might have trouble finding value in it.

In many cases, MCAT prep courses come with digital flashcards and a slew of other review materials. There would be no need for a separate service like UWorld if you already have comparable content in your course.

Another potential problem is the lack of practice tests. One of the most crucial parts of your preparation journey is completing practice exams. It’s not just about reviewing the material and ensuring that you know everything.

The MCAT is a multi-section exam that takes a full day to complete. You must learn to manage your time and stress levels to succeed, which is why practice exams are so imperative.

UWorld does offer integrated timers. You also have the option to customize the card orders to simulate the MCAT sections. But compared to an AAMC practice exam, those features aren’t sufficient.

Finally, let’s talk about the CARS prep. The Critical Analysis and Reasoning section of the MCAT is one of the most difficult. Many of the passages have a touch of ambiguity and questions that are difficult to decipher.

UWorld annotates passages for CARS preparation. However, they sorely lack in quality. The UWorld MCAT Qbank is not ideal for CARS practice.

The study content centers more on scientific principles and factual information. Some students may find opportunities to flex their critical thinking and reasoning skills, but those instances are few and far between. If you want to prioritize CARS prep, the UWorld Qbank is not the study tool for you.

Our Opinion

Aside from CARS practice, the UWorld MCAT Qbank is an excellent tool for reviewing content and brushing up on your science knowledge. The intuitive platform is easy to use and provides a dash of flexibility to your schedule.

All that said, it should not be your primary study tool. The UWorld Qbank is supplementary by design. It’s supposed to complement other preparation techniques to help you get a good MCAT score, not replace them!

Ultimately, it’s no substitute for hands-on preparation and a truly customized study plan. Working with a tutor and advisor is one of the best ways to get ready for the MCAT. UWorld doesn’t offer the flexibility you need to cater your study routine for your strengths and weaknesses.

It offers some degree of versatility, but it’s not enough to take the place of a fully customized study schedule.

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