Altius Vs. Kaplan MCAT: Which one to buy?

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Written by John Reed
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When it comes to prepping for the MCAT, Altius and Kaplan are like the A-listers of the game.

They’ve got their own ways of doing things, and it’s all about finding the one that clicks best with your style.

This comparison is your backstage pass to understanding what makes each of them stand out.

Altius brings that personal touch with mentoring, while Kaplan’s all about structure.

We’ll unpack their courses, vibes, and everything in between, helping you figure out which one’s the superhero for your MCAT mission.

So, let’s dive in and explore which prep powerhouse suits your groove!

Comparison Table

Here is a comparison table between the tutoring packages from both companies with a similar price range.

Altius Gold Tutoring

Kaplan Private Tutoring

1-on-1 Mentoring

45 Sessions

30 Hours

Access Duration

3 to 6 months

*depending on your track

6 months

*extendable up to 12 months for free

Full-Length Practice Tests



Total Hours of Live Instruction



Question Bank

3,000 Questions

AAMC Practice Tests

All Available

All Available

Printed Books



Mobile App


Return Policy

14 days


(3 to 7 days)

Score Guarantee

90th Percentile

515+ Score

30-Day Money Back Guarantee 


Admission Support


(Statement Review)


(1 hour admission consultation)




Altius Vs. Kaplan MCAT Overview

Altius and Kaplan are two highly popular and reliable MCAT prep companies.

Both companies offer multiple MCAT prep course options, including Live, Tutoring, and Self-Paced courses.

Altius is special in that it is purely an MCAT prep company, whereas Kaplan is special because it’s a highly experienced company with multiple prep courses, including LSAT, GMAT, SAT, and many others.

Still, both are unique and great for MCAT prep in their own ways.

Let’s compare how they fare against each other.

Altius Vs. Kaplan MCAT Detailed Comparison In 2024

Course Options & Pricing

You will find the following prep programs on Altius’s website:

Altius MCAT Course Options
  • MCAT Mentoring: These course options include 1-on-1 mentoring sessions with regular course material. The price ranges from $2999 to $6999.
  • Summer Immersion: This category includes 10 weeks of hyper-focused MCAT prep offered during the summer break. The Gold package costs $8499, and the Platinum costs $9999.
  • MCAT Study Materials: This category includes a self-paced course priced at $999. Also, you can buy bundles of practice tests and tutoring sessions separately.
  • Undergrad Science Tutoring: This includes tutoring sessions.
  • Medical School Admissions Mentoring: These are mentorship and review sessions to improve your overall application.

Kaplan, too, also offers multiple course options. In fact, Kaplan has a better range.

Kaplan MCAT Course Options
  • On-Demand Course: It’s a self-paced course with 6 to 12 months of access and costs $1899 to $2199.
  • Live Online: This is their live course with 14 sessions of 3-hour online classes with expert tutors. The course comes with 6 to 12 months of access and costs $2399 to $2699.
  • In-Person Course: These are Kaplan’s one-of-a-kind in-person classes costing anywhere between $2899 to $3199.
  • Tutoring: Kaplan offers two tutoring packages. MCAT Tutoring comes with 10 to 40 hours of tutoring and costs $3199 to $6499. Premium MCAT Tutoring starts at $4399 and goes to $10999, with a 515+ score guarantee.
  • MCAT Bootcamp: This is an intensive 5-week long online course with private tutoring and on-demand videos for specialized prep. It costs $6799.

Our Thoughts?

Kaplan offers a wider range of courses with the option to take in-person classes, and it also offers a rigorous boot camp.

Plus, their pricing is more on the affordable side as compared to Altius, which is on the higher end.

So, for this category, Kaplan wins.

Course Curriculum & Structure

Altius prioritizes MCAT preparation through personalized tutoring and small group classes. They strongly emphasize a hands-on approach, focusing on individualized learning with dedicated mentors.

Altius MCAT Personalized Tutoring

Their whole concept of MCAT prep is designed around intensive review sessions led by mentors, customized to target strengths and weaknesses and specific exam content.

Kaplan’s approach and methodology are different.

Kaplan’s approach centers on a detailed study schedule presented in a calendar format, dictating daily tasks.

Everything – from learning modules and AAMC practice sessions to live classes, full-length practice exams, test review sessions, optional workshops, and more – is meticulously laid out on this schedule.

Kaplan MCAT Study Schedule

Essentially, it serves as your roadmap, guiding you through the entire preparation process.

Overall, Kaplan provides an extensive MCAT preparation program with exceptional content, structure, and delivery.

Our Thoughts?

We don’t want to take away anything from Altius’s tutor-centered approach. It’s really a personalized and focused way of teaching.

However, Kaplan’s guided study with a schedule seems like a better strategy as it gives you more control over how you want to move.

So, for course structure, Kaplan wins.

Live Lessons & Tutoring

Altius MCAT prep is based on live classes. Their primary course option features live classes in the form of small groups.

But these aren’t just your typical live lectures. Altius live sessions are more like workshops, where tutors and students participate on the same level.

Also, there are only 6 to 8 students in a batch, so everyone gets involved, and it makes for a great learning experience.

Altius MCAT Live Sessions

The frequency of these live classes depends on the track you choose, and you may take one, two, or more times a week.

The number of hours for these live classes is also directly linked to the package you select, ranging from 120 to 200 hours.

Once again, these classes are just exceptional.

Since there are only a few students per batch, you get the personalized focus and attention of your mentor in each session. 

Overall, it’s an effective combo of group talks and mentoring, which keeps you surrounded with peers and high-achieving MCAT tutors.

Kaplan’s tutoring is also on another level.

They offer regular and premium tutoring courses, which means you get to study from tutors who’ve scored 520+ on the MCAT.

Also, Kaplan employs a unique teaching approach with dual instructors: one manages the chat function while the other conducts the lesson.

This setup allows students to ask questions without disrupting the teaching process, which is a valuable benefit. 

Our Thoughts?

Well, Kaplan’s tutors are on the same level as Altius’s. Both groups have high scorers and guarantee a high score to students as well.

However, Altius’s overall live classes and small group sessions edge past Kaplan’s tutoring experience.

So, Altius wins.

MCAT Video Lessons

Let’s not keep you waiting for this.

Clearly, video lessons are not Altius’s strength. Their whole course is built around live classes and group mentoring sessions.

On the other hand, Kaplan excels in video lessons. 

Their video lectures are impressive, featuring impactful visuals like graphics, bullet-point notes, and engaging animations.

Kaplan MCAT Video Lessons

Typically running between 5 to 20 minutes, these videos are concise, but if you crave more depth, they offer corresponding chapters in the prep book for detailed notes.

Our Thoughts?

Kaplan is the clear winner here.

Especially beneficial for visual learners, their interactive videos present a diverse range of visuals—pictures, graphs, drawings, formulas—that aid in better concept retention with their rich content.

However, this doesn’t take anything away from Altius’s live classes. It’s just that on-demand video lectures aren’t their primary forte.

MCAT Practice Tests & Questions

Practice is the most crucial aspect of any test prep.

Altius understands this well and claims to have built perfect-match MCAT practice exams in every aspect.

From word count to difficulty, topic, formatting, and standardization, they have successfully replicated AAMC procedures to bring you the real MCAT experience.

Altius MCAT Practice Tests

But how did they make their practice tests like the original MCAT?

Well, Altius claims to have invested millions of dollars into building software that detects patterns just like the FBI’s software does for criminal activities.

This is also the reason why Altius also offers their practice exams as standalone items: because they believe in their accuracy, and the results speak for themselves.

Plus, Altius’s practice questions come with detailed explanations, so you clearly understand why certain options are correct or incorrect.

While Kaplan’s practice questions might not be on the same level as the actual MCAT, they offer amazing value in two forms.

First, they offer 17 full-length practice tests as compared to Altius’s 10 in the same price range.

Secondly, they let you create custom tests from a 3,000+ question Q bank.

Kaplan MCAT Practice Questions

Not to forget, Kaplan also offers explainer videos for 300+ difficult and high-yield MCAT questions on official AAMC practice tests.

Our Thoughts?

Altius’s tests are clearly more real-like, but Kaplan’s offer of more questions and practice exams is a steal at this price.

So, for practice tests and questions, it’s a tie.

Prep Books

Altius offers a single prep book, which is their MCAT bible and is almost 600 pages long.

This book features practice drills, questions with explanations, and content review.

While it might not seem like much, Altius actually does a great job with it.

They have intelligently cut down the fluff and only included bits that are most effective.

Kaplan, on the other hand, offers much more value and gives you a set of seven review books.

Kaplan MCAT Books

Now, these are exceptionally comprehensive and meticulously written. Each subject review book delves deeply into major MCAT topics, offering extensive details.

Our Thoughts?

Altius has done a fine job with its direct approach and combining everything in a single book, but Kaplan clearly outshines by delivering more value in seven prep books.

So, Kaplan wins.

Refund & MCAT Score Guarantee

Both Altius and Kaplan offer serious guarantees. Let’s compare both.

First, all of Altius’s full courses (not tutoring sessions) offer higher score guarantees.

Altius MCAT Guarantees

Their mentoring programs offer a Guaranteed 90th-percentile MCAT Score or a minimum 12-point score increase if you complete 100% of the Platinum, Silver, or Gold packages.

Then there’s the 30-day Money Back Guarantee. This means you get 30 days from the date of purchase to receive a full refund if you’re not satisfied for any reason.

And there’s yet another wild guarantee.

If you complete 100% of the Elite Program assignments and do not improve your score, Altius will refund double the amount you paid. Amazing, isn’t it?

Finally, Altius offers a 14-day refund policy for all self-study Altius MCAT prep courses and materials, provided that you haven’t used any of them.

Kaplan has equally amazing score guarantees and refund policies.

Kaplan offers an amazing 515+ score guarantee and a whopping 15-point score increase guarantee.

Kaplan MCAT Score Guarantee

Plus, they have customer-friendly return policies.

If you’re unsatisfied with the Kaplan MCAT course or have a change of heart within the first 3 days of purchase, Kaplan guarantees a full refund of your tuition.

Between days 4 and 7, they offer a 75% refund, excluding the shipping costs for returning physical books.

This policy provides a reasonable window for students to reconsider their purchase after a substantial investment.

However, it’s important to note that these refund terms typically don’t apply to all programs, so make sure to read their fine print.

Our Thoughts?

Both companies offer amazing score guarantees and user-friendly refund policies. No doubt about it.

However, Altius’s 30-day money-back guarantee and 14-day refund policy are much more flexible.

So, without taking anything away from Kaplan, this category’s winner is Altius.

Verdict: Which One Is Better?

To be honest, both courses are amazing in their own ways.

If you want to go with one, you should focus on what study style suits you better.

For instance, Altius excels in personalized tutoring, emphasizing a mentor-focused approach.

Their courses, such as MCAT Mentoring and Summer Immersion, offer dedicated one-on-one sessions and hyper-focused programs ideal for those seeking tailored guidance and mentorship.

Altius’s live classes, with small student groups, foster an interactive environment, ensuring individual attention and a collaborative learning experience.

Also, their practice tests are highly representative and the closest thing to the original MCAT.

Moreover, they have customer-friendly refund policies along with generous score guarantees.

So, they might be a better option if you prefer to stay flexible while committing to a prep company for 30 days.

However, remember that Altius’s capacity is limited when it comes to on-demand videos or printed prep material. It’s just not their strength.

On the other hand, Kaplan’s strength lies in its comprehensive range of courses and structured curriculum.

Their diverse course options, from on-demand and live online classes to in-person sessions and intensive Bootcamp programs, cater to varied learning needs.

Their on-demand videos and explainer videos for high-yield questions are especially wonderful. The lectures are thorough, detailed, and very engaging.

Moreover, Kaplan’s prep book range and Qbank are pretty extensive. You get to read a lot and practice a lot.

Overall, Kaplan’s structured approach, guided by a detailed study schedule, provides a clear roadmap, allowing for more control over your study pace and content review.

Ultimately, the choice will depend on your study style and preferences. Keep the above points in mind, and you’ll be able to make a sane decision.

John Reed
The chief editor of I am an alumni of the university of Pennsylvania and my goal with the website is to help future graduates with their tests.

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