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Money Saving Tips for the MCAT

Mar 31, 2021

There are many costs associated with becoming a doctor. Undergrad tuition, rent, groceries, car payments, medical school application fees, the list goes on. Although the price to become a doctor is different for all of us, we can all agree it is not cheap. Therefore, saving money at any point in the process is a good idea. In this article, we will share some tips on how to save money for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). 

Buy used MCAT Books 

MCAT books can be very expensive. At the date of this writing, a full set of MCAT books from Kaplan costs $300 and Princeton costs $215. Having new things is nice, but you don’t need brand new books to ace the MCAT. As long as you have MCAT books written after 2015, you have what you need to succeed. 

To save money preparing for the MCAT, we recommend buying used and unmarked books. Try searching for a full set of MCAT books from websites like facebook marketplace, craigslist, offerup, ebay, or letgo. You can also contact students who have recently completed the exam. 

While having MCAT books is a good idea, don’t limit your study methods to book studies. There are many websites that offer free learning tools for premeds. These tools can help you master topics tested on the MCAT. 

Save on MCAT Registration fees 

AAMC offers a fee assistance program that can save you money in MCAT Official Prep materials and MCAT registration fees. If you qualify for the MCAT fee assistance program, your MCAT registration fee is reduced from $320 to $130. Qualifying for the MCAT fee assistance program will also grant you access to many other benefits for your medical school application process. For instance, you can save on MSAR and MCAT official prep materials written by the AAMC. You can also save money on medical school application fees from AAMAS, TMDSAS, and AACOMAS.

Choose a High Value MCAT Prep Course

Choosing which MCAT course is right for you is very important for your success on the MCAT. Keep in mind, the price of an MCAT course is not equal to the value of the MCAT course. In other words, don’t determine the value of an MCAT course based on its price or approved testimonials. Companies usually only showcase their good reviews and hide their bad ones. To make an informed decision, read student forums to figure out what courses have worked for other students. Also, take a look at what is included in each MCAT course when making your decision. 

MCAT prep courses can range from $0 to $10,000. The top 10 best MCAT prep courses in 2021 include: 

  1. Khan Academy MCAT Prep Course
  2. Magoosh MCAT
  3. Kaplan MCAT Prep
  4. Altuis MCAT Prep Course
  5. Aptare Prep MCAT
  6. Blueprint Online MCAT Prep Course
  7. Examkrackers MCAT 
  8. Gold Standard MCAT Prep Course
  9. MCAT Self-prep
  10. The Princeton Review MCAT 

Study Groups

Private MCAT tutors can be very expensive. On some websites, these specialized tutors can cost between $200 and $400 an hour. Instead of paying these high fees, create an online or in-person study group with fellow students. You get the same benefits of group study and mentorship while saving money. Meeting with a study group regularly can also keep you accountable in your studies. 

Check out our post on how to form effective study groups


In summary, there are many ways you can save money when preparing for the MCAT. The cost of becoming a doctor can be expensive, but with budgeting, hard work and dedication, it will all be worth it. 

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