How to Find and Choose the Best MCAT Tutor?

June 25, 2024

minute read

If you started studying and preparing for the MCAT and feel like you might need an expert to help guide you through the process, you may need an MCAT tutor. But where would you find one?

If you are considering hiring an MCAT tutor and wondering how to choose the best one for you – you have come to the right page. We are here to help you find the best MCAT tutor suited for you,  so let’s get started!

Should You Get an MCAT Tutor?

Although hiring a tutor is not required for MCAT preparation, it might be worth the cost in some circumstances. 

Many students find the cost of tutoring a significant obstacle, but retaking the MCAT is also very expensive in terms of money, effort, and frustration. In addition, you will actually lose a year's worth of your future physician's salary if you apply later to your medical school of choice

Nevertheless, in the end, having an MCAT tutor is still your decision. 

Here are five things you must consider when deciding whether to hire an MCAT tutor.

Exams You Have Taken in the Past

Try to recall the last time you studied for a class at school. Was learning easier in a group setting on on your own?

Before hiring a tutor, it can be a good idea to attempt studying on your own if you have previously been successful at doing so for classes or standardized examinations. This could help you save a lot of money. 

You can make your personalized MCAT study plan or use one already created, like the well-organized subject review modules from different MCAT prep websites

A tailored study calendar will show you how much studying you need to do and track your progress as you go along. If you need a more specific timetable and you can hold yourself accountable.

Your Current Score vs. Your Target Score

Use resources like the AAMC Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) database or the websites of your top-choice medical schools to determine your target score before organizing your MCAT preparation. 

If your performance on practice tests or questions has been inconsistent for some time and if it is not going in the direction you want it to go –  you might think about making a change. That change can be as simple as trying a new study technique.

It can also be as complex as having an MCAT tutor for guidance on the best move to make if you are unsure of which new study techniques to try. 

However, if you have noticed continuous improvements in your grade when studying individually, your strategies are undoubtedly effective, so keep up the excellent work!

Your Budget

There is no doubt that spending money on MCAT prep and medical school applications will be necessary. 

However, while many test-prep companies offer MCAT classes, one-on-one tutoring provides the best value because it is the most specialized assistance you will receive. 

Once you are determined that hiring this tutor is worthwhile, you should carefully consider how many sessions your budget will allow. 

The best way to maximize your lessons is to concentrate on creating a long-term study plan with a tutor or working through challenging passages and questions to discover durable solutions that you can then put into practice alone.

Previous MCAT Attempts

You should take the MCAT once and aim for your ideal score in a perfect world. 

However, there is a possibility that you might have to retake it. 

The number of times you retake the exam should be kept to a minimum. The next time you take it, it should be your last. This is to save money and ensure that your application to medical school is as strong as possible. 

When retaking, you should genuinely consider how you prepared the last time and think about what you can do differently this time around. For example, you might not require a tutor if you can accurately pinpoint the mistakes you made prior and correct them this time. 

Working one-on-one with a tutor can provide the customized support you require to finally achieve your objective, if you are unsure of what you can do differently or have previously retaken the test several times.

Your Background Understanding of the MCAT

Even if there are numerous resources available online today, it can be very challenging to acquire a clear answer about how to prepare for the MCAT. In addition, everyone may have a different idea of what is "correct", making this challenge more difficult. 

A tutor with specific skills in this area might be a helpful resource if you lack any previous knowledge about how to prepare or if you do not know someone who has gone through this process before. 

If you are in a special circumstance and unsure how to balance studying and other obligations, a tutor can offer professional advice.

How to Find the Best MCAT Tutor For You: Tips and Advice 

Finding the best MCAT tutor might be a challenging task when there are a lot of options. 

What can you do to find the MCAT tutor that best suits your needs, given that a simple online search will overwhelm you with thousands of possibilities that frequently feel indistinguishable from one another? 

Below are some tips to help you find the best MCAT tutor. 

Prioritize Experience

It is essential to have a tutor specializing in the MCAT to help you with your preparations. 

Make sure to conduct your research and do not settle for just anyone. A good teacher will be highly familiar with the MCAT. 

Your potential MCAT tutor must have recent experience with the current edition of the MCAT rather than the older type of exam, which is very important but simple to overlook.

In particular, you would want to determine whether a tutor has assisted students in the last 5–6 years. Do your research and interview them for the role before accepting their word for it. 

Discuss your diagnostic findings, research goals, and concerns with them. Do not make any assumptions unless they can substantiate them. 

Ask them:  if they have taken the new MCAT, how they did it, how long they have been tutoring for the MCAT, and how many students they have helped prepare successfully, and have them walk you through the current MCAT exam format.

Search for a Teacher, Not a Student Who Passed Their Own MCAT

An MCAT tutor is only as good as their ability to teach; therefore, you should ensure that they have both teaching experience and rigorous training. 

Anyone who has transitioned from a student to a teacher can attest that effectively sharing knowledge and supporting others in comprehending is distinct from merely absorbing it and applying it to an exam or paper.

Examine the tutors' teaching strategies and let them know how you want to learn. 

For instance, if you prefer them to guide you through difficulties rather than working through them alone after they have taught you a concept. This way, you can ensure that your MCAT tutor's teaching style matches how you study.

Look for a Tutor Who Knows How to Give Regular Feedback

It is important to check that the tutor’s or test prep company’s program is customized to your unique needs. 

Finding a specialist who can provide you with personalized input is an important factor for MCAT success. 

It is not helpful to have a teacher who only provides answers to physics or chemical practice problems. 

A knowledgeable teacher will be able to identify the specific MCAT question types you have trouble with and focus their feedback on these particular issues rather than making general or superficial criticisms. But, of course, the specific nature of this kind of feedback will inevitably vary. 

Still, the most important thing is that your instructor should be able to assess your work, work with you, and provide you with a clear next step without unnecessarily depending on generalizations or formulaic programming.

Ask Successful MCAT Test-Takers for Recommendations

Finding an MCAT teacher who will work for you can be much easier if you ask a family member or your friends for their recommendation. This is a wonderful location to start your search if you and your friend have similar learning styles and their tutor helped them reach a competitive MCAT score.

However, never trust someone's statement without conducting an interview.

You may also request a student reference to find out if an MCAT tutor is efficient and appropriate for your needs. Some tutors may take offence to this, but anyone worth their money should be able to direct you to testimonials or reviews from former clients. 

Finding a tutor by asking for referrals is vital, but so is asking the tutor for student testimonials.

Check out our student reviews!

Try Your Tutor for a While Before Fully Committing 

A top-notch MCAT tutor will let you try out their services before committing to a lengthier engagement and will be genuinely invested in your success in addition to being able to improve your MCAT scores

Many tutoring businesses will show their success rates for how many students pass the MCAT and are accepted to medical school on their websites. 

Look for teachers that will provide you with a free initial lesson or consultation so you can get a sense of their teaching style and level of expertise and ensure they can provide you personalized feedback. Just like you would not apply to a medical school without first conducting your research, do not spend money on an MCAT tutor before researching them.

Is MCAT Tutoring Worth It?

The MCAT is worth any investment you make; that is a fact. That’s perhaps one of the many reasons you are on this page.  In addition, your income potential as a doctor is substantially more significant than it is for most other occupations if you can raise your MCAT score by 5 points and get accepted into medical school.

Most MCAT test-takers have attested to the fact that their scores drastically improved because of the help of their MCAT tutors

While it is true that they may be pricey, some amounting to as expensive as USD 7,000 (total package), there are other cheaper options for students who are on a tight budget. 

Keep in mind that investing in an MCAT tutor is a step closer to a competitive MCAT score and eventually getting to the medical school of your choice. 

However, if the budget keeps you from hiring a tutor, think about this: studying on your own puts you at risk of retaking the MCAT

When you do retake the MCAT, not only are you paying another USD 325, but you are also delaying your medical school application. Additionally, it puts you through another 3 (or more) months of exerting time, effort, and hard work (re)preparing for the MCAT. 

Furthermore, the amount you would be paying for an MCAT tutor is nothing compared to how much you would be spending on medical school. So, if you think you need an MCAT tutor to make the best of your MCAT preparation, hiring one can indeed be worthwhile. 

If you’re still deciding if MCAT tutoring is worth it for you, based on your unique situation (maybe you’re a retaker, nontrad, first-time writer, etc.), check out this article that goes further in depth to help make your decision!

Additional FAQs – How to Find and Choose the Best MCAT Tutor 

How Much Do MCAT Tutors Charge?

MCAT tutors have varying rates. Some tutors cost as low as 30 USD (per hour), and others cost 5,000 USD (total cost). 

Remember that the cost of MCAT tutoring services is based on the expertise of the instructors and the level of support they offer. Most of the time, MCAT tutoring firms that charge more than competitors have a good reputation and have proven their worth in the MCAT prep industry.

When is the Best Time to Hire an MCAT Tutor? 

For some, the best time to hire an MCAT tutor is right before they start preparing and studying for the MCAT. 

MCAT tutors can help them create a study plan that makes everything more convenient. With the help of MCAT study plans, the students are guided on what topics to study at a given schedule. 

In contrast, some decide to hire MCAT tutors in the middle of their MCAT preparation. It can be because they think they can prepare and study for the MCAT independently but later realize that they are behind their target. In such cases, MCAT tutors can help them catch up and be on the right track.

Will an MCAT Tutor Save Me Time?

Your MCAT tutors can save you time. They are MCAT experts and know the best strategies and techniques to help you succeed. 

For one, they will create a personalized study plan for you, depending on your level. 

By doing this, you save a significant amount of time making your own MCAT study plan. 

Additionally, with the help of an MCAT tutor, you can identify your weak points, and your time will be devoted to improving them.

Should I Hire a Tutor If I am Retaking the MCAT?

When retaking the MCAT, you should carefully reflect on how you prepared the last time and analyze what you can do differently this time around. 

You might not require a tutor if you can accurately pinpoint the mistakes you made the first time and correct them the next time around. 

But if you are having a tough time addressing these issues because of the added pressure to do better on your retake, and you think having an MCAT expert to guide you can reduce the stress – hire an MCAT tutor.

Your MCAT Success Mentors

About the Author

We're a team of future doctors passionate about giving back and mentoring other future doctors! All mentors on the team are top MCAT scorers and we all are committed to seeing you succeed in achieving your physician dreams ????To help you increase your MCAT score to the competitive mark quickly, we have collaboratively created these self-paced MCAT strategy courses and are also available for one-on-one tutoring!

Free Full Length MCAT Practice Exam + Free Top Scorer MCAT Strategy Course!

Sign up once and unlock these plus dozens of other free resources - all created by your MedLife Mentors!

free MCAT practice exam by MedLife vector
The Free Top Scorer MCAT Strategy Video Course 1

Trusted by 2,800+ students since 2019

200+ 5  ⭐️ reviews on TrustPilot

Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!