MCATDoctor San Diego

frequently asked questions - FAQs

Dr. Donnelly (the MCATDoctor) specializes in providing the finest quality private MCAT® tutoring prep available here in San Diego or online via 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 located at 5425 Oberlin Drive, Suite 202, in Sorrento Valley. Our comfortable office is fully equipped with all the necessary teaching materials to provide an ideal learning environment for the student.
Yes. Dr. Donnelly offers one-on-one online MCAT® lessons via Zoom. Private virtual tutoring is an effective and convenient test prep option since no time is wasted getting to and from each class, and you also can record the lesson for later use. So no matter where you live, the best MCAT® tutoring available is just a mouse click away.

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

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

Yes, homework assignments help reinforce the topics covered during class. This also enables students to practice in between lessons and helps to expedite their progress. Please note that any student serious about significantly improving their 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 MCATDoctor 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 the author of several popular test prep books, Dr. Donnelly is considered by many leading educators to be one of the country's most experienced and qualified private MCAT® tutors.

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 appearing on each MCAT exam section

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 solidify your conceptual and methodological foundations. Dr. Donnelly will then focus on the concepts and question types most troubling you.

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

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Stuart Donnelly has helped 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, focusing on quality rather than just the price is essential. A great tutor should possess excellent academic qualifications, have extensive teaching experience, be dedicated to the career of tutoring, and have a patient and professional teaching style.

You would be amazed by how many tutors offer to teach subjects for which they are unqualified to teach. A sub-standard tutor can do more harm than good and destroy your confidence. Hence, ensure the tutor has an advanced degree in his or her chosen field, preferably from a top-tier university. But just because someone is gifted in a particular subject does not mean they can 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 several ways.

Many tutors treat tutoring as a second job done only to help pay the bills or tide them over between their actual careers. Hence, it is unsurprising that with so many other distractions, many of these tutors cannot display the 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 class.

With his Ph.D. from Oxford University, Dr. Donnelly could have chosen to pursue any career he desired. But his love of teaching led Dr. Donnelly to become a full-time professional tutor. Many leading academics now consider Dr. Donnelly one of the country's finest MCAT® tutors and test prep specialists.

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 quickly. Hence, reserving your time slot well in advance is often advisable to ensure availability. Places are reserved on a first-come-first-served basis.

No. The student is not obligated to take further classes if they do not wish to do so (although I find that most 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 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 classes the student withdraws without notice are charged at the usual rate.
When a student purchases a discounted package of lessons, Dr. Donnelly commits 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, he often must turn away other potential new students to fulfill his commitments. For this reason, no refunds are available for unused lessons from a package of lessons. However, in exchange for this reciprocal commitment on the student's part, each class within the box is discounted from Dr. Donnelly's usual rate.
General Tutoring Questions
This depends upon several 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 ready 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 quickly. 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. Hence, the best way to address this problem is through individual attention only available with private lessons. However, joint classes can be arranged, for example, if two friends 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 significantly 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 class members. With private lessons, one can progress at one's own ideal pace.

Also, with one-on-one lessons, the tutor will customize the lesson plan around each student’s needs. This helps the student progress much more quickly than in a group environment since the tutor can easily adapt the lesson to concentrate on the individual's strengths or weaknesses. Many students are often amazed by how quickly they have picked 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 confidence to ask questions when they need more clarification. Many of my students tell me that in the past, they had felt very self-conscious of peer pressure 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 improve your MCAT® score significantly. Private lessons with Dr. Donnelly are available via Zoom, or in person here in San Diego at our La Sorrento Valley-based office.

Over the years, Dr. Donnelly has helped hundreds of students 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!