MCAT Doctor San Diego

frequently asked questions - FAQs

Dr. Donnelly (the MCAT Doctor) specializes in providing the finest quality private MCAT tutoring prep available here in San Diego or online via Skype or Zoom. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning private lessons with Dr. Donnelly. Please click on the appropriate link below:

Lesson Details
Dr. Donnelly's San Diego office is conveniently located at 5425 Oberlin Drive, Suite 202, here in  Sorrento Valley/La Jolla. Our comfortable office is fully equipped with all the necessary teaching materials required to provide an ideal learning environment for the student.
Yes. Due to popular demand, Dr. Donnelly is now offering one-on-one online MCAT lessons via Skype or Zoom. Private virtual tutoring is an effective and convenient test prep option since no time is wasted getting to and from each lesson and you also have the ability to record the lesson for later use. It's also a great option during the Covid-19 lockdown! So no matter where you live, the very best MCAT tutoring available is just a mouse click away.

Students can choose from the following lesson durations: 1-hour lessons, one-and-a-half-hour lessons, or 2-hour lessons. Most students generally have one or two lessons per week at their regularly scheduled time slots.

Private lessons with Dr. Donnelly are available Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM until 7:00 PM.

Yes, homework assignments help to reinforce the topics that were covered during the class. This also enables students to practice in between lessons and helps to expedite their progress. Please note that any student who is really serious about significantly improving his or her MCAT score must be willing to put in the additional time and effort required outside of the weekly lessons. The homework exercises will help to guide you in this effort and will noticeably speed up your progress. After all, practice makes perfect!
Tutor's Details
Dr. Stuart Donnelly, the founder of MCAT Doctor San Diego, was awarded his Ph.D. in mathematical sciences from Oxford University at the age of 25. His teaching experience and academic credentials are second to none. With over 18 years of private tutoring and teaching experience at all levels, and several popular test prep books to his name, Dr. Donnelly is considered by many leading educators to be one of the most experienced and qualified private MCAT tutors in the country.

Over the years, Dr. Donnelly has developed many unique problem-solving techniques that help his students to master even the most difficult MCAT topics. These proprietary methods (unavailable elsewhere) show students the most efficient approach for dealing with the passage-based questions that appear on each section of the MCAT exam.

Dr. Donnelly's tutoring methodology focuses on quality over quantity. After the initial meeting, each lesson becomes increasingly individualized as Dr. Donnelly adapts the curriculum to your particular MCAT test-prep needs. Any weaknesses are quickly addressed to ensure that your conceptual and methodological foundations are solid. Dr. Donnelly will then focus more on the concepts and question-types that are troubling you most.

Either way, Dr. Donnelly's patient step-by-step teaching style will help to build your confidence in each topic and greatly improve your MCAT test-taking skills.

Over the past 18 years, Dr. Stuart Donnelly has helped literally hundreds of students to improve their MCAT scores significantly and achieve their goal of gaining acceptance to top-tier medical programs. But don't just take our word for it. Check out our Students' Testimonials page.

When selecting a private MCAT tutor, it is important to focus on quality rather than just the price. A great tutor should possess, excellent academic qualifications, have extensive teaching experience, be dedication to the career of tutoring, and should have a patient and professional teaching style.

You would be amazed by how many tutors are out there offering to teach subjects in which they are not fully qualified. A sub-standard tutor can actually do more harm than good and end up destroying your confidence. Hence, make sure the tutor has an advanced degree in his or her chosen field, preferably from a top-tier university. But just because a person is gifted in a particular subject does not mean he or she can actually teach. An excellent tutor should also have extensive teaching experience at different levels, and be able to explain each concept clearly to the student in a number of different ways.

Many tutors treat tutoring as a second job done only to help to pay the bills or to tide them over in between their actual careers. Hence, it is not surprising that with so many other distractions, many of these tutors do not display the same level of professionalism and focus that one would expect from a dedicated, full-time professional tutor.

The tutor must help each student to feel comfortable enough to ask questions and make mistakes without feeling self-conscious during the lesson. Hence, the tutor must be patient and pleasant-natured while at the same time encouraging the student to take an active part in each lesson.

With his Ph.D. from Oxford University, Dr. Donnelly could have chosen to pursue any career he desired. His love of teaching led Dr. Donnelly to become a full time professional tutor. Dr. Donnelly is now considered by many leading academics to be one of the finest MCAT tutors and test prep specialists in the country.

New Customers
For information availability or to schedule your first lesson, please contact Dr. Donnelly at:

Phone: 917-568-2473


Dr. Donnelly only accepts a limited number of students each year and his schedule tends to fill up rather quickly. Hence, it is often advisable to reserve your time slot well in advance to ensure availability. Places are reserved on a first-come-first-served basis.

Absolutely not. The student is under no obligation to take further classes if he or she does not wish to do so, (although I find that the vast majority of my new students are very keen to reserve their regular time-slot after their initial lesson).
Since Dr. Donnelly provides all teaching materials needed for the lesson, there is no need to bring anything other than a means of payment (although some students prefer to bring their own notebooks).
For information about Dr. Donnelly's hourly rate or discounted prices for his packages of lessons, please contact Dr. Donnelly at:

Phone: 917-568-2473


Since Dr. Donnelly's schedule tends to fill up rather quickly and he often has students wait-listed for open time slots, he asks that 24 hours notice be given if a student wishes to reschedule or cancel a previously scheduled lesson. Please note that lessons that are cancelled by the student without any notice are charged at the usual rate.
When a student purchases a discounted package of lessons, Dr. Donnelly makes a commitment to the student to ensure his availability within his schedule to accommodate the number of lessons within that package. Since Dr. Donnelly's expertise is highly source after, this means that he often needs to turn away other potential new students in order to fulfill this commitment. For this reason, no refunds are available for any unused lessons from a packages of lessons. However, in exchange for this reciprocal commitment on the student's part, each lesson within the package is discounted from Dr. Donnelly's usual rate.
General Tutoring Questions
This depends upon a number of factors including the frequency and duration of the private lessons taken, the current academic level of the student, and how much time and effort you are willing to put into your studies (and homework assignments). However, if you are willing to work hard, you can rest assured that with Dr. Donnelly's expert guidance, you will maximize your chances of reaching your target MCAT score.
Dr. Donnelly can customize a private intensive test prep course for students who need to improve their scores in a hurry. Please keep in mind however, that Dr. Donnelly's schedule tends to fill up very quickly hence, it is highly recommended that you reserve your intensive course as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment.
Group classes are generally not available since each student has very different needs and hence, the best way to address this problem is through the individual attention only available with private lessons. However, joint classes can be arranged, for example, if two friends who are both at similar levels wish to learn together.

One-on-one lessons are simply the most effective method for students to improve their subject knowledge and greatly increase their MCAT scores. Many students, who have previously experienced problems in a group setting, tend to flourish under one-to-one tutoring. With private lessons the student does not have to compete for the teacher's attention. In the traditional classroom setting students must often wait while the teacher addresses the needs of the other members of the class. With private lessons, one can progress at one's own ideal pace.

Also, with one-on-one lessons, the tutor will customize the entire lesson plan around each student's individual needs. This helps the student to progress much more quickly than in a group environment since the tutor can easily adapt the lesson to concentrate upon the individual's strengths or weaknesses in the subject. Many students are often amazed by how quickly they have managed to pick up a new topic when they are free from the distractions of the classroom environment and the associated peer pressure.

Private lessons also give students the additional confidence to ask questions when they don't fully understand a particular topic. Many of my students tell me that in the past, they had felt very self-conscious of peer pressure while in the classroom setting. This problem is avoided with individual private lessons.

Greatly Improve your MCAT score

with Private Lessons from Dr. Donnelly

Best MCAT Tutor in San Diego

Call Dr. Donnelly Today!

Dr. Donnelly can show you how to greatly improve your MCAT score. Private lessons with Dr. Donnelly are available either online via Skype or Zoom or in-person here in San Diego at our La Sorrento Valley-based office.

Over the years, Dr. Donnelly has helped literally hundreds of students to improve their test scores and gain acceptance into some of the country's top medical schools. We are confident that he can do the same for you.

We would love to hear from you!