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  • October 29, 2023

Best MCAT Prep Books [Buying Guide]

Looking for the best MCAT prep books on the market today but don’t know where to start? We’ve performed countless student interviews to reach our verdict and have narrowed it down to the top 7. 

The best MCAT books that made our list range from $35 per book up to $200+ for an entire MCAT book set – they fit any MCAT prep budget and can come at a fraction of the cost of a live or on-demand commercial MCAT prep course. 

Best MCAT Prep Books Overview

  • Kaplan MCAT Complete Subject Review – Best MCAT prep books for overall comprehensive review
  • Princeton Review MCAT Box Set – Best MCAT prep book for students with content gaps
  • Mometrix MCAT Study Guide – Best MCAT study guide for budgeters
  • Kaplan MCAT 528 – Best MCAT prep book for high-yield practice
  • Test Prep Books MCAT – Best MCAT prep book for quick review
  • Sterling MCAT Psychology & Sociology – Best MCAT prep book for Psychology practice
  • Sterling MCAT Biology & Biochemistry – Best MCAT prep book for Biology practice

The 7 Best MCAT Prep Books for 2024

Kaplan complete subject review, best mcat prep books for overall comprehensive review.

MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2024-2025

An updated 7-book set that includes one year of online access to 3 full-length practice tests, selected instructional videos, practice questions, and quizzes.

  • Can be used as your main content source
  • Updated annually, so you don't need to worry about outdated content
  • Chapter summaries and concept checks help to reinforce what you've learned
  • Online portal has additional practice
  • The CARS book feels light and we suggest swapping it for the AAMC CARS question pack

Kaplan has been around for what seems like forever, and the Kaplan MCAT prep books are consistently top notch. Their MCAT book set includes everything you’d need to have a solid MCAT home study plan, including their own MCAT study plan, subject-specific review, and lots of MCAT practice questions (online and in the book). I personally enjoy going through practice questions in a physical book, so I find having the option for online or in the book to be a huge plus.

You don’t just have to take our word for it, however, as the Kaplan MCAT prep set was the most recommended MCAT prep books , by far, in our most recent poll by recent MCAT test-takers.

In the 7-book set, you will receive the following subject-specific books: Behavior Sciences; Biochemistry; Biology; General Chemistry; Organic Chemistry; Physics and Math; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. For visual learners, you can also appreciate the 24 pages of Kaplan MCAT quicksheets.

kaplan mcat quicksheets

Download the Kaplan Quicksheets PDF

You can rest assured that everything matches the current AAMC guidelines , as they put out a new edition each year that addresses any of these changes.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to buy the newest edition. If you have a chance to buy a used edition from the last couple of years, this is going to be pretty much the same book. We prefer sharing the most recent, updated version, as we understand some of our readers prefer to buy the newest versions for peace of mind.

  • End-of-chapter summaries and concept checks make for easy reviewing
  • One-year online access to 3 full-length practice tests, videos, practice questions, and quizzes
  • 350+ practice questions in book + additional online
  • 24 full-page Quicks Sheets provide visuals for important concepts

How to Use the Kaplan MCAT Book Set:

This may sound counterintuitive, but we recommend going through the book that covers the subject that you feel the most knowledgeable in. This gives you a chance to become comfortable with how the Kaplan MCAT books work in asking and answering questions as well as how you best study with them. From there, you can then begin working through more difficult subject books.

While working through these books, you should be taking physical notes as well as making flashcards. We share some free MCAT flashcards here.

Top Feature: Access to all online review content + videos

Who Needs this: Students wanting comprehensive review

Princeton Review MCAT Complete Box Set

Best mcat prep books for students with content gaps.

Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Complete Box Set, 4th Edition

7 complete books + 3 online practice tests that are updated each year.

  • Deeper coverage on topics than Kaplan (Could be a pro or con depending on your needs)
  • Good value for the amount of content & books you receive for the price
  • 3 full-length practice tests can be used for practice online
  • A bit more personality in the writing than Kaplan's book set
  • Their practice tests are notoriously difficult, so use AAMC official practice tests as well for real score accuracy
  • The MCAT Biochemistry Review may not be detailed enough for someone needing serious improvement in this section

The Princeton Review MCAT Complete Box Set comes next in our list of the best MCAT prep books – this 7-book MCAT set includes effective strategies and techniques proven to increase MCAT scores. It’s written by real teachers and includes a bit more humor than you’d find in Kaplan’s book set (which is a pretty low bar).

You pretty much get the same content as the Kaplan MCAT book set: 3 full-length MCAT practice tests, end-of-chapter review, easy reference glossaries, full-color illustrations and diagrams, and online student tools.

The difference in these two book sets, however, is in the amount of content covered. This book set by The Princeton Review provides more in-depth information on principles than Kaplan’s book set , which can be either good or bad, depending on how much new knowledge you’re looking to gain versus review .

The Princeton Review MCAT book set is like Kaplan’s in that they offer a new book set each year. Unfortunately, when TPR offers an updated book set, they blend new and old editions of books together. I find this a bit deceptive, as you get some 2nd and some 3rd editions at a price suggesting it’s updated for 2024.

  • More in-depth information than Kaplan
  • Thousands of practice questions
  • High-quality graphics for learning difficult concepts

How to Use the Princeton Review MCAT Book Set:

As mentioned with the Kaplan MCAT book set, I suggest starting with a book that covers a subject you feel more solid with. From there, move onto the harder subject reviews.

When you work through these MCAT books, don’t just read them, actually practice questions to reinforce the concepts. You should be actively practicing, taking notes, and making flashcards. You can use the practice questions from The Princeton Review, but you should be basing your progress on MCAT scores by using official AAMC practice tests.

Top Feature: More in-depth information on principles than Kaplan

Who Needs This: Students with content gaps who need more than review

Mometrix MCAT Prep Book

Best mcat study guide for budgeters.

MCAT Prep Books 2024-2025

Includes a full-length practice test and links to online step-by-step video tutorials.

  • Links to online review videos makes this prime for visual learners
  • Test taking strategies for the MCAT test day
  • Great value and good for budgeters
  • Updated annually
  • Some students have received used copies from third party sellers

Here is an extremely affordable MCAT study guide by Mometrix, a company that may sound new to you, but is slowly building out a robust test prep product portfolio. They update their MCAT study guide every year, which is a huge plus for those of us who want the newest edition to guarantee matching the current MCAT.

This is a pretty standard MCAT study guide in that it has practice questions and answers, content review, and strategies. Where this MCAT study guide stands out, however, is in its video tutorials that are linked throughout the content.

These videos show instructors breaking down a difficult concept and working through examples step-by-step. This can be super helpful for students preparing for the MCAT, as sometimes sticking to just reading text solutions is not enough. For visual learners like me, watching an instructor break down a problem can be a godsend.  

This is truly one of the best values in our best MCAT study guides. If you are looking for a quick MCAT study guide that doesn’t break the bank, then this study guide by Mometrix is a solid pick. 

  • Includes 1 full-length practice test
  • Logical layout intuitively flows from one concept to another
  • Instructor videos break down difficult concepts in video tutorials

How to Use the Mometrix MCAT Study Guide:

Since this is an MCAT study guide, you should be using it as a supplement to your existing prep. You should be using your MCAT book set or review course (or whatever MCAT study schedule you’ve created) and use this study guide to after you’ve completed your study for a section. This content is a more summarized review and will provide you with some video content to review what you’ve read and practiced.

Top Feature: Video tutorials and affordable price

Who Needs This: Budget students who want an affordable MCAT study guide

Kaplan MCAT 528 Advanced Prep

Best mcat study guide for high-yield practice.

MCAT 528 Advanced Prep 2023-2024: Online + Book

Compact study guide that includes star ratings to signal importance on the MCAT.

  • Super affordable compared to the Kaplan 7 book set
  • This study guide enables laser focus on high yield questions
  • Star ratings allow you to do a quick review before the big day
  • Marketed as "Advanced Prep" but generally is best for newer MCAT studiers
  • Many of the strategies are one-size-fits-all

The Kaplan MCAT 528 Advanced Prep is a much more affordable alternative to Kaplan’s 7-book set and packs a lot of punch for less than $30. Like all Kaplan MCAT products, their content is updated every year to reflect all current AAMC guidelines. In this Kaplan MCAT book, you’ll receive comprehensive review, high-yield practice, and star ratings to let you know how important specific topics will be on the test day. 

What I really appreciate in this MCAT study guide is that the content is actually changed between editions. This helps to justify buying the newest version, since it has been painstakingly revised to match the current AAMC guidelines.

The highlight of this MCAT book is the star ratings , which was one of the factors considered when ranking this among our best MCAT prep books list. MCAT experts have rated topics on the MCAT based on their importance on the MCAT. This helps students to get the most targeted focus on the most-tested concepts! 

  • More than 500 printed questions and answer explanations
  • Reflects latest AAMC guidelines
  • Full-length online practice test mimics real MCAT
  • Star ratings rank importance of concepts on the MCAT

Top Feature: Star ratings help students identify most important concepts

How to Use the Kaplan 528 MCAT Study Guide:

This MCAT study guide best serves as a pre-cursor to your MCAT prep. What I mean here is that you should work through it to identify where you are strong and weak, so that you can better strategize your MCAT study plan.

You can also use this 528 MCAT study guide as a last-minute review before your MCAT. Simply find the star ratings that identify the most important topics so that you can review quickly.

Who Needs This : Students who need help getting started on MCAT review

Test Prep Books MCAT

Best mcat prep book for quick review.

MCAT Prep Books 2024-2025

A clear and concise MCAT study guide that can be used for quick review.

  • Customer service responds to emails with any questions you have about the book
  • Practice questions printed in the book are helpful for those who don't love practicing on the computer
  • The questions are a bit easier than the official AAMC

The Test Prep Books MCAT is another affordable MCAT study guide that covers every topic that is tested on in the MCAT. It’s updated every year, so you can feel confident that you’ll be working on representative MCAT practice questions and review material.

Included in this book are MCAT practice questions as well as detailed answer explanations for each. This MCAT study guide is great for students who are looking for an easy and organized review of key takeaways on the MCAT . 

  • A straightforward review of all the content on the MCAT
  • Detailed explanations to every question

Top Feature: Concise study guide for review

How to Use Test Prep Books MCAT Study Guide:

I recommend this MCAT study guide for one last refresh on MCAT content before taking the MCAT. I believe that the material here is well organized and makes for easy reference on last-minute topic brush-ups.

Who Needs This: Students who need a quick review MCAT study guide

Sterling MCAT Psychology & Sociology

Best mcat prep book for psychology practice.

Sterling Test Prep MCAT Psychology & Sociology

Review of Psychological, Social & Biological Foundations of Behavior. Includes a higher score guarantee.

  • Affordable option for students who need to brush up on Psych/Soc
  • Novel higher-score-guarantee money back guarantee that most prep books don't offer
  • The book is pretty massive, so it's not suggested to be used as a study guide for Psychology & Sociology
  • There is a little overlap between sections

I’ve reviewed and listed a couple of Sterling’s MCAT prep books because they manage to do an incredible job putting theory into practice for their section-specific prep books. If you are struggling in a specific section on the MCAT, I recommend having a look through Sterling’s MCAT products and finding the subject-specific prep book that you need.

This MCAT Psychology & Sociology prep book helps you to actually apply these theories and grasp them more than you would through some of the other best MCAT prep books we listed here.

The Sterling MCAT Psychology and Sociology book provides a detailed and thorough review of the updated psychology and sociology topics tested on the MCAT in 2024. We’re also confident that all topics and skills in this book are according to the AAMC guidelines for the redesigned MCAT, because they update the content in the book each year.

  • Covers all information of Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior section of the 2024 MCAT
  • Organized into 15 focus knowledge areas
  • Detailed explanations

Top Feature: Thorough review of Psychology & Sociology

How to Use Sterling’s Psychology & Sociology Guide:

Sterling’s Psychology & Sociology book is really helpful for supplementing your Psychology/Sociology prep on the MCAT because it’s clearly organized by topic and concepts. You can use this as a supplement to your existing MCAT prep or use this book exclusively.

Who Needs This: Students looking for more help in Psychology & Sociology

Sterling MCAT Biology & Biochemistry 

Best mcat prep book for biology practice.

Sterling Test Prep MCAT Biology & Biochemistry Practice Questions

High yield MCAT questions ideal for biology and biochemistry topics tested.

  • Great Biology practice without excessive content review
  • All the questions are high-yield, so you can be studying way more effectively with each question
  • Higher score money back guarantee across all Sterling books
  • This book covers more Biology practice than Biochemistry

Here’s our second Sterling recommendation that made our best MCAT prep books list, specifically for general Biology. I wanted to include this one on our list because most pre-med students don’t really need much more knowledge on general Biology, but can still benefit from additional practice. This is especially true with practice problems that incorporate biochemistry.

I recommend you buy this book if you’re looking for a bit more practice in Biology and Biochemistry but don’t need to spend a ton of time on review.

  • 20 Chapters of questions grouped by concepts
  • 1,200 high-yield practice questions
  • Answer keys and detailed explanations to questions
  • General strategies for taking the MCAT

Top Feature: Best review of Biology & Physiology

How to Use Sterling’s Biology & Biochemistry Guide:

Similar to using the Sterling Psychology & Sociology Guide, we recommend using this MCAT book as either your exclusive Biology & Biochemistry prep tool or as a supplement using its simple Chapter/Concept outline.

Who Needs This: Students looking for MCAT Biology-specific practice

Best MCAT Prep Books FAQ

Are mcat prep books enough.

If you are using MCAT prep books as your sole source of MCAT study, then opting for a complete home study book set like Kaplan or Princeton Review’s 7-book MCAT set is enough to be prepared for the MCAT.

Is Khan Academy’s free MCAT course enough?

The free Khan Academy MCAT course is a great supplemental source of MCAT review by the AAMC, but it is not enough to take the place of a solid MCAT study plan offered by a home study book set or MCAT course.

Are Kaplan or Princeton Review MCAT prep books better?

Overall, we recommend Kaplan for comprehensive review for the MCAT, but Princeton Review’s set are the best MCAT prep books for students who have content gaps that they need to fill.

Which Kaplan MCAT book should I get?

We recommend the Kaplan 7-book set for a comprehensive review of the MCAT. If you are looking for additional practice, then the Kaplan 528 MCAT book is another great option.

Final Note on Choosing Books for the MCAT

As you can see, there are plenty of MCAT prep books to choose from. The final decision on the best MCAT prep book boils down to you. If you are still on the fence, we highly recommend the Kaplan MCAT book set for its effective and comprehensive review of every subject on the MCAT.

Looking for More MCAT Prep?

Check out the best MCAT flashcards and free tools to supplement your study as well as some free MCAT practice tests to get your prep to the next level.  

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Best MCAT Books of 2021

books arranged in circle with spine perpendicular to table representing best MCAT books

There are tons of MCAT study books out there—and I mean that literally. Amazon alone lists nearly 600 MCAT books! But when you’re prepping for the Medical College Admission Test, not just any book will do—and some can actively hurt your score. To avoid that, let’s go over: what are the best MCAT prep books? Magoosh’s experts are here to break it down for you!

Table of Contents

  • Best for General Biology : MCAT Practice Tests: Chemical & Physical + Biological & Biochemical Foundations
  • Best for Biochemistry : Biology, Part II: Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology
  • Best for Physics : The MCAT Physics Book
  • Best for Beginner/Intermediate General Chemistry : General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry
  • Best for Intermediate/Advanced Chemistry : 1001 Questions in MCAT Chemistry
  • Best for Organic Chemistry : MCAT Organic Chemistry Review
  • Best for Psychology : MCAT Flashcards
  • Best for Sociology : MCAT Psychology & Sociology: Psychological, Social & Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Best for CARS : Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, Volumes 1 and 2

Best MCAT Study Books FAQ

  • A Final Word

Best MCAT Prep Books for Each Subject

Best for general biology: mcat practice tests: chemical & physical + biological & biochemical foundations.

Magoosh MCAT prep books - MCAT practice tests

Back to top button - Magoosh

Best for Biochemistry: Biology, Part II: Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology

Magoosh MCAT prep books - The Berkeley Review  - Biology part II

Best for Physics: The MCAT Physics Book

Magoosh MCAT prep books - MCAT Physics Book by Nova

Best for Beginner/Intermediate General Chemistry: General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry

Magoosh MCAT prep books - Schaum's Outlines

Best for Intermediate/Advanced Chemistry : 1001 Questions in MCAT Chemistry

Magoosh MCAT prep books - 1001 questions in MCAT chemistry

Best for Organic Chemistry: MCAT Organic Chemistry Review

Magoosh MCAT prep books - Kaplan Organic Chemistry Review

you need to know and eclipses the excess

Best for Psychology: MCAT Flashcards

Magoosh MCAT prep books - Barron's Flash Cards

Best for Sociology: MCAT Psychology & Sociology: Psychological, Social & Biological Foundations of Behavior

Magoosh MCAT prep books - Sterling Test Prep - Mcat psychology and sociology

Best for CARS: Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, Volumes 1 and 2

Magoosh MCAT prep books - AAMC MCat review

Click any of the below FAQs to view the response from our MCAT experts!

  Overall, the best MCAT prep books are Examkrakers and Kaplan’s MCAT complete 7-book subject review. The best resources for you will depend on where you are in your studies.

Examkrackers is best for people who have less than 3 months to study or just need a little boost in some areas. Kaplan is better for people who have the time and desire to read, study, and digest MCAT content at a deeper level.

In both cases, you’ll get a comprehensive view of the subjects you need to know, complete with excellent illustrations.

  The short answer is, between three months and six months . The longer answer is a little more complicated! It depends on a variety of factors, including your current scores on diagnostic/practice tests, your goal scores, how many hours a week you can devote to studying and practice exams, and your admissions deadlines.

Now, can you study for the MCAT in less time? Sure! You can study for the MCAT in a week if you just need a little brush-up on major subject areas. But if attending medical school means a lot to you, it’s better to take a little longer to review books and prep materials, take full-length practice tests and complete practice questions, and really master the materials before setting foot in the test center for the actual exam.

  It really, truly depends on your learning style and your comfort level with the different materials tested on the MCAT.

If you just need to brush up on, say, physical foundations of biological systems, or just need a math refresher or an MCAT general chemistry review, you might be better off spending your time focusing on specialized materials on your own. But if you’re someone who learns well by hearing concepts explained aloud and asking questions, an MCAT tutor might be the better choice for you.

Think about the type of learner you are. Do you do best when you can study diagrams for a long time on your own? Or do you prefer to skim over illustrations and hear concepts explained verbally? Because the MCAT tests concepts in great depth, it’ll be important that you allow yourself to encounter them in the way that best fits your learning style.

A Final Word on the Best MCAT Prep Books

MCAT study guides can be expensive purchases. Beyond that, getting too many of the wrong ones will end up be discouraging. Ideally, you’ll work with the most recent edition of one or more of the books above, combining it with some form of online or in-person course or tutoring to get familiar with the test as a whole.

In the end, finding the best MCAT prep books relies on a deep knowledge of your own strengths and weaknesses. Starting with a diagnostic, like the AAMC sample test , is a great way to get this understanding (and familiarize yourself with the test’s instructions) so you can succeed on the actual MCAT exam. Good luck!

Kat Thomson

Kat is the Senior Curriculum Manager at Magoosh with a specialty in the MCAT. She has a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. in medical sociology from the University of California, San Francisco, where she earned the Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Kat has been teaching premed and nursing students since 2005 as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco, Bowdoin, and the University of California, Berkeley, while collaborating on multiple research projects and publications . In addition to the MCAT, Kat has taught courses in Research Methods, Gender, Global and Environmental Health, and others. She is passionate about increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine and helping students get into the medical schools of their dreams. You can join Kat on Instagram and YouTube .

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2 responses to “Best MCAT Books of 2021”

Lalita Alexander Avatar

Hello Ms. Kat,

My name ia Lalita Alexander and I am going to medical school this Fall. I need to score 485 on the MCAT to qualify for a full scholarship but I want to score 528. I have been out of school studying science for at least 22 years but I am a Family Nurse Practitioner finishing up my Doctor of Nursing Practice. I was weak in Organic Chemistry during my biology undergraduate degree. I need a plan and study teacher/partner to help reach my goal. What advice can you offer? I sit for the exam April 13, 2019.

Magoosh Expert

Thanks for reaching out to Magoosh! I recommend that you check out our three month study schedule , which will help you organize your studies and cover everything you need to now for the MCAT. If you are interested in a comprehensive, self-paced online study program, check out our Magoosh Premium Program. As a Premium student, you will have access to our team of expert tutors who can help you to adapt our study schedules and find a plan that works for you 🙂

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515+ Students Choose Best MCAT Prep Books & Free Materials

No MCAT prep book set is the best. Each one has its strengths, weaknesses, and content philosophy that appeal to different segments of MCAT test takers, depending on learning style and which sections of the MCAT they want to prioritize.

The book sets listed in this article have been chosen based on discussions with high-scoring MCAT takers, as well as from recommendations from the biggest MCAT prep communities.

The article breaks down what each MCAT book set is best at so you can make an informed decision as to which one to choose.

You could even mix and match books from each set to get all the strong points without the weaknesses. However, this may not be necessary since each book set is sufficient to obtain a high MCAT score, if chosen wisely.

Also included are free (but high quality) learning materials that can complement any weak spots these book sets might have.

Best MCAT Prep Books

The princeton review mcat complete box set.

The Princeton Review ( TPR ) is an excellent all-round MCAT prep book set, and offers extensive and in-depth information on nearly MCAT subject. However, the amount of information in Princeton Review can sometimes be too detailed and will even include information not required for the MCAT.

TPR’s strongest sections are:

  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

TPR’s weakest section is the Biochemistry segment from Biological Systems and Foundations . The actual information present in the Biochemistry sections is excellent, however there simply isn’t enough content to fully cover the Biochemistry part of the MCAT and obtain the maximum score.

Fortunately, TPR’s gap in Biochemistry can be easily filled with information from the “Free Materials” section of the article.

The remaining topics in Biological Systems and Foundations such as general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and biology cover all the material required for a maximum score.

What 515+ testers say about Princeton Review

Yeah, Princeton Review Biology is good enough. I’ve gone through all of their books so far and found that one to be the most useful so far. It’s not too tough to read through and it keeps you engaged with little questions as you read through. They could have gone in more depth on molecular biology and genetic processes since that seems to be a very high yield on the B/B section. – James B. | 517 Score
The TPR CARS workbook is very good in my opinion. It helped me improve in CARS a lot, although there were other factors like attitude and reading leisurely which I think helped me more. TPR is also better in my opinion than other companies for CARS because they don’t have you make like 9 inferences to get an answer. The logic is simple/short exactly like the AAMC. In trying to write difficult questions many third party companies just end up writing flawed questions. I have done most of the TPR workbook and have yet to find an answer that I got wrong where I didn’t agree with their reasoning. I think TPR CARS workbook is gold. Take this from someone who used to suck at CARS and got a negative reading score on the SAT lol. – Madison H. | 516 Score
I used Princeton Review for the subjects I needed a total review on (i.e. from scratch), and then used ExamKrackers for every subject to tighten up my performance. Loved them both, think they are both really good at what they are trying to accomplish (PR is very comprehensive, EK is very efficient) and they complimented each other well. – Anonymous | 521 Score
TPR gives you more info than you need to know but they will tell you when you don’t need to memorize it. The Physics book is kinda convoluted, HOWEVER for everything else I liked TPR. I learn best when the overall picture is presented to me and know why things happen. I think TPR is great if you need to relearn the majority of the content. I also liked the practice problems in TPR. TPR gives you questions to answer as you go through the material. At the end of the chapters, they will give you discrete questions and then an entire passage to see how concepts are presented and to help you practice applying those concepts. – Ellie K. | 517 Score

Princeton Review FAQ

How good is Princeton Review for MCAT and is it worth it? 

Princeton Review is a good, reliable book set for every MCAT section, especially Psychology, Sociology and CARS.  It is worth it because of in-depth content, thousands of question passages and 3 full length practice tests.

Is Princeton Review good for MCAT physics?

Princeton Review has a great Physics book, however some MCAT takers find it too detailed since it covers absolutely everything. It also doesn’t indicate what content is important to learn, and which you can overlook.

How good is Princeton Review MCAT Chemistry book?

Princeton Review has good books for both general and organic chemistry, that covers the subject material in great detail. The books are designed for test takers with little to no knowledge of chemistry.

Is Princeton Review MCAT good for Psychology and Sociology?

Princeton Review has the best books for Psychology and Sociology out of all MCAT prep book sets. It strikes the right balance between covering all the necessary subjects, but its explanations are clean, simple and concise.

Is Princeton Review’s Biochemistry book good enough for MCAT?

The explanations in Princeton Review’s Biochemistry are excellent, however there simply isn’t enough content to fully cover the Biochemistry part of the MCAT and obtain the maximum score for that particular section.

How good is Princeton Review MCAT Verbal Reasoning book for CARS?

Princeton Review’s MCAT Verbal Reasoning book is the best resource for CARS on the market. Its question passages have very similar logic to the real AAMC exam, and are not significantly harder or easier.

How many practice tests does Princeton Review MCAT set have?

Princeton Review’s MCAT book set comes with 3 practice tests that can be accessed online. The 3 included practice tests are full length, so close to 8 hours long.

Does Princeton’s online demo or diagnostic test give explanations or solutions? How long is it? Is it full length?

Princeton’s demo or diagnostic test is a full-length exam and is approximately 8 hours long, however it does not come with explanations or solutions.

Are Princeton’s practice and demo tests accurate? Do they reflect the actual MCAT or is the score deflated?

Princeton Review’s practice and demo tests are harder than the official MCAT exam, so they are not an accurate representation of the score you would have on the real exam. On average, the scores are deflated by 6-12 points.

Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review

Kaplan Review is a well-structured and in-depth MCAT book set. It is comparable to Princeton in terms of volume of information and quality of explanations, however it offers some excellent quality of life features such as:

  • High Yield Badges, for chapters that produce many MCAT questions.
  • A slightly higher number of charts, graphs and illustrations.

Kaplan’s Strongest Sections are:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems – The Biochemistry book is the best among all MCAT review book sets.

Kaplan’s Weakest Section is Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. Kaplan’s CARS section is significantly harder than the official AAMC CARS, and uses a different type of logic that doesn’t carry over very well on the real test.

The get a maximum score on CARS, consider supplementing Kaplan with the free questions from Jack Westin.

What 515+ testers say about Kaplan Review

Kaplan is much better in terms of content covered. My best friend is super strong in Biochemistry and he even said that Princeton’s Review Biochemistry book was lacking after we reviewed it. This coming from someone who’s not a fan of Kaplan’s way to present content but their biochemistry book is really solid and is the best out there in the market . – Eric M. | 516 Score
I used Kaplan 7-book review, and most people agree that the book is dense. It took me 2 months to go through their biology review book, while enrolled in school full-time. With that being said, you can pace up by focusing only on high-yield sections. Their materials are dense but have a detailed explanation to almost every question you get wrong on AAMC materials. Everything was pretty solid for my taste, except two things: their organic chemistry book is way too dense and their CARS book just sucks. – Jane L. | 515 Score
I used both Princeton Review and Kaplan for Psychology and Sociology. Kaplan was missing things that TPR included, especially for sociology . However, sometimes I went back to Kaplan because they explained a term better or had diagrams that Princeton didn’t. – Mike S. | 519 Score
Kaplan CARS is pretty bad. Personally, didn’t really like a lot of the third-party CARS material. My favorites would have to be the Princeton Review CARS workbook, but I got through those passages super quickly. I also used UWorld but it was meh, not sure how useful it was. AAMC CARS QPacks were the best prep for the exam, hands down. Once I’d gone through those, I felt sooo much better about the CARS section. – Anonymous | 515 Score
I scored a 520, I used Kaplan and really liked it. Gives a good overview but not too in depth. For Psychology & Sociology I used nothing besides the Kaplan books and all the AAMC material (reviewed the s*** out of it). Disclaimer: I had previously taken a few Psych classes and Intro Soc so it was all review for me. I would skip the Kaplan CARS book if I had to do it again, or I would just do the practice passages in it. I didn’t use the strategies they talked about so looking back it was a waste of time. For CARS, just practice, practice, practice with any passages you can get your hands on Kaplan, Jack Westin, etc and then only do AAMC at the end to get into their logic. – Liz V. | 520 Score

Kaplan Review FAQ

Is Kaplan Review a good MCAT prep book set? Is Kaplan Review worth the money?

Kaplan Review is a good MCAT prep book and is worth the money because it’s in-depth on all subjects, and excels at science sections, especially Biochemistry. Its only weakness is CARS, but it can be supplemented with other sources.

How good are Kaplan’s Biochemistry and Biology books? Are they enough for the MCAT?

Kaplan’s MCAT Biology book has clean explanations for all biology topics, without unnecessary information. The Biochemistry book explains all biochemical processes with simple examples, and gives good explanations for amino acids.

Is Kaplan’s Behavioral Sciences good for Psychology & Sociology on MCAT?

Kaplan’s Behavioral Sciences book is mostly good and comes close to the real MCAT Psych Soc, but misses some 5-10% of P/S terms and the explanations can sometimes feel dense and boring to read. Khan Academy can fill in the gaps, however.

Is Kaplan good for Organic and General Chemistry on the MCAT? Is it sufficient?

Kaplan’s Chemistry books do a good job explaining functional groups, general structure of molecules and how to analyze an organic reaction. They do require some basic, introduction knowledge of Chemistry to prioritize learning.

Is Kaplan Verbal Reasoning good? Is it harder or easier than the MCAT CARS?

Kaplan’s Verbal Reasoning book is not very good for CARS. The methods and strategies it suggests aren’t very useful, and the practice passages are significantly harder than the actual AAMC CARS questions.

Is Kaplan Review’s Physics book good for the MCAT?

Kaplan Review’s Physics book is good for the MCAT, but it is dense, in-depth, and contains some concepts and equations that aren’t tested on the MCAT. Fortunately, it has High Yield Badges that indicate important chapters.

Is Kaplan Review too in-depth and detailed for the MCAT?

Kaplan Review is not too detailed, it is simply thorough and in-depth so that even MCAT takers with minimal knowledge of the content can use Kaplan to learn every section and subject there is to know on the MCAT.

What do Kaplan MCAT books have in the online version? Does it have videos for each chapter?

Only the Kaplan Review MCAT Self-Study Toolkit comes with an online companion, and also includes 6 full-length tests, practice questions, 2900 questions in Adaptive Qbank, and videos for most chapters in the MCAT books.

The Kaplan Review MCAT Self-Study Toolkit costs $299, compared to the regular Kaplan Review MCAT Prep Book Set which is $150.

How long does it take to read and go through the Kaplan MCAT books? How many pages are in each book?

Kaplan Review MCAT set has 7 books, with 300 to 450 pages each. It will take 1 month to complete the entire set if you read 100 pages per day. Doing all included tests and passages requires one extra month, so 2 months in total.

Are Kaplan MCAT full-length, demo, and practice tests accurate? Are scores deflated or overestimated compared to real AAMC MCAT?

Kaplan’s MCAT tests and FL practice exams are not accurate because they are harder than a real AAMC exam, and underscore by 6-10 points. It is normal to have a lower score on Kaplan diagnostic test compared to the real AAMC MCAT.

Is Princeton Review better than Kaplan Review as an MCAT prep book set?

Princeton and Kaplan MCAT prep books are equal in quality, but Kaplan has a far better Biochemistry book and high yield badges that mark important content, while Princeton has the best CARS and Psychology & Sociology books on the market.

Are Kaplan tests harder than Princeton for MCAT?

Princeton MCAT tests are slightly harder than Kaplan’s and deflate your score by 6-12 points, compared to Kaplan which underscores by 6-10 points.

Where is Kaplan’s MCAT diagnostic sample test?

Kaplan’s MCAT diagnostic sample test can be accessed for free on the official Kaptest.com website. It is 7 hours 30 minutes long, and underscores you by around 6-10 points.

A link is attached below.


What is the latest and newest version of Kaplan MCAT? Is there a difference between Kaplan editions?

Kaplan MCAT’s latest edition is 2020-2021. Content in the new editions is virtually identical to older editions, as far back as 2017, except for some typos and different formatting. 

Does Kaplan Review have MCAT tests? Does Kaplan sell more MCAT practice tests?

A standard Kaplan Review MCAT 7 book set has 3 full length practice tests. The self-study toolkit set adds another 3 online exams, so 6 in total. For a price of $179 you can also purchase a separate pack with 3 full length tests.

Is memorizing Kaplan’s quicksheets enough for a high MCAT score?

Kaplan’s quicksheets are excellent for quickly reviewing content you have already read and learned, however, it does not have all the required explanations, equations and terms, so it is not enough for a high MCAT score.

Is Kaplan’s MCAT adaptive question bank good? Is it worth getting?  

Kaplan’s Qbank question packs contain some 3,000 practice questions. In general, these are harder than AAMC MCAT questions. They’re worth it at a discounted price, but Uworld and the AAMC question packs are better.

ExamKrackers MCAT Study Package

ExamKrackers has a different philosophy compared to Princeton or Kaplan. It has much less raw text, but uses huge numbers of charts, graphs and illustrations. It is very focused and concise, and doesn’t go into unnecessary detail to explain each MCAT topic.

It was designed for students who prefer to learn by taking practice passages and tests, but need a book set that can quickly refresh their material and provide quick answers.

ExamKracker’s strongest sections are:

  • Fantastic Physics book. Sufficient detail for a maximum score, but clear enough to learn quickly.
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. Comes very close to replicate the feel and reasoning of the official AAMC CARS section.

ExamKracker’s weakest book is Psychology & Sociology. Simply put, this book covers only 50-66% of the MCAT topics for this section and wouldn’t guarantee even a passing score.

Fortunately, you can easily fill in EK’s gaps in Psychology & Sociology section with Khan Academy’s videos on the subject (endorsed by AAMC) or the MCATKings transcripts of the KA videos.

What 515+ testers say about ExamKrackers

In my experience, Kaplan and (to a slightly lesser extent) Berkeley are both very popular. I will always endorse EK personally though because it cuts thru more of the BS and skims the lower-yield content. It’ll be hard to get a 528 with them but getting through content review and into practice/full-length tests faster is super valuable, and it throws plenty of practice passages (not just discretes) both in and after the chapters. For reference, I got a 522 (131/129/130/132) using EK and the MCATKings 300 page doc for P/S. – Anonymous | 522 Score
If you have great content knowledge, TPR or ExamKrackers are good choices. You do not need to know as much as the Berkeley Review nor the Kaplan, but if you know roughly 80% of Kaplan’s content, you should be relatively good for the test. However, with ExamKrackers the details are minute, and it may be challenging to solve some problems if you do not have good background knowledge from your classes. – Anonymous | 515 Score
I had both ExamKrackers and Berkeley Review, but didn’t dive into TBR much. If you have a strong basis in the typical premed coursework, EK would suffice. I like how succinct EK is but if you took the prerequisites a while ago or didn’t do that well in those courses, TBR might be a better choice. – Dave C. | 515 Score
Scored a 522. I used ExamKrackers for content review, all the AAMC material for practice material. To go into more depth, I think the Exam Krackers content books were the least in-depth which suited my needs best. I believe it covers the content enough for anyone to score a 515+ and since it’s less thick, less room to get caught up on the small details, and more room to focus on practice content. The AAMC material is a must. I wouldn’t recommend anyone sitting the exam without going through all the Q banks, section banks, FLs, etc. – Chris A. | 522 Score

ExamKrackers FAQ

How good is ExamKrackers for the MCAT?

ExamKracker’s MCAT prep books are a good choice for test takers who are familiar with the MCAT content, and want a book set with only essential information plus many charts and graphs, so they don’t waste time learning excess detail.

Are ExamKracker’s 1001 question books good for the MCAT?

EK’s 1001 questions increase your MCAT score by helping you fully understand a topic, formula or equation and not rely only on rote memorization. They are however dense and cover things not on the MCAT, so use them for sections you’re weak at.

How do ExamKracker tests compare to AAMC MCAT? Are they harder or easier? What is a 50%-70% EK score on AAMC MCAT?

Compared to the real AAMC MCAT exam, ExamKracker’s practice and full length tests are somewhat harder and are scored differently than the real MCAT. As a reference, a 60% EK score corresponds to a 502, while 70% is a 508-510.

Which MCAT full length test is the best?

ExamKracker’s full-length tests are considered of similar quality, but FL 3 and FL 4 are thought to be the best, and most similar to the AAMC MCAT.

Does ExamKrackers MCAT come with practice tests?

The regular ExamKrackers MCAT book set does not come with practice tests, and only has 24 questions after each lecture. You must either buy the tests separately or as part of the live EK MCAT prep course.

What does the ExamKrackers MCAT study package include?

ExamKrackers Study Package includes 6 books for every MCAT subject, 32 tests topical tests, huge numbers of charts and other visuals, 24 questions for each lecture, and useful test-taking strategies.

How long are EK’s MCAT books? How many pages do they have?

ExamKracker’s MCAT prep book set has close to 1600 pages, divided in 6 books with 300 pages on average. If you read around 100 pages per day, it will take close to 3 weeks to finish the entire EK MCAT book set.

Is ExamKrackers verbal book good for CARS? Is it harder than the MCAT?

ExamKracker’s Verbal Reasoning book is slightly harder than the official MCAT CARS, but comes very close to replicating the logic and feel of the official AAMC MCAT exam.

Is ExamKrackers better than Kaplan or Princeton Review MCAT books?

ExamKracker’s MCAT book set is as good as Kaplan or Princeton, but is designed for test takers who are more familiar with the MCAT subject matter, and want to focus on practice questions and tests, instead of content learning.

Is ExamKrackers good for Organic, General Chemistry and Biochemistry?

ExamKrackers has good books for all chemistry subjects on the MCAT, however they’re short and have only essential, high yield information. Choose EK if you’re familiar with chem and want a quick brush-up. Go Kaplan or Princeton to learn chemistry from 0.

How good is EK Psychology & Sociology compared to the real AAMC MCAT?

ExamKracker’s Psyc Soc section is the weakest point in EK’s book set, and simply doesn’t cover all the subject on the P/S section of the MCAT exam. At best, it covers only 2/3 of the required content for a maximum score.

How good is ExamKracker’s Physics book and passages?

ExamKracker’s has a good Physics book, with very clear explanations, useful graphs and charts, and contains only essential information. Equations, formulas and concepts that aren’t tested on the MCAT are not included in the book.

What is the latest edition of ExamKrackers MCAT? Do old editions like 8 th , 9 th , 10 th still work?

ExamKracker’s latest MCAT edition 11th. Older editions such as 9th & 10th still work since they have the same content as 11th, but more typos, errors and different formatting. Much older editions such as 8th or 7th are outdated.

The Berkeley Review Complete MCAT Set

Berkeley Review for MCAT is one of the least known MCAT prep book set, but its quality is top tier. It is published by Berkeley University, the top ranked public university in the world.

It goes into great depth on all subjects, however it does a fantastic job organizing content so it’s easy to read and chains together in a very logical manner.

Berkeley Review’s standout selling point is the 4,000 practice passages for every subject, that are close in difficulty with the official AAMC MCAT test questions.

Berkeley Review’s strongest sections are:

  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems. Especially organic chemistry, general chemistry, and physics.
  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems.

Berkeley Review’s weakest sections are:

  • Biology books contain all the information you need, but can be very dense and hard to read.
  • Psychology & Sociology books are overly detailed and dense, and don’t emphasize the important concepts very well. This can be fixed with Khan Academy videos or MCATKing transcripts of the KA videos.

What 515+ testers say about Berkeley Review

I highly recommend using The Berkeley Review for in-depth review in physics, chemistry, and organic chemistry , and using their end of chapter phase practice passages as directed. Personally, I found TBR too dense for biology and biochemistry so I used Kaplan to do content review and then did the TBR practice passages. I would then review TBR to fill in specific gaps. – Anonymous | 515 Score
TBR P/S (Psychology & Sociology) is not great. It covers most of the big concepts, but is very dense and still doesn’t seem to cover everything. It’s ok to reference if you want to read a concept in more detail, but at the same time a YouTube video on it would be just as helpful. MCATKigns 300 page doc, Premed95 Anki deck, and UWorld questions are sufficient for a 130+ in P/S. – Robert L. | 522 Score
For sciences, the best material is TBR hands down. I can say with certainty that I would not have scored as high as I did without them. They come with both content review and detailed examples how to solve problems AND over 5000 questions with some seriously genius ways to solve complicated questions quickly. Their tricks are pure gold. I kept an ongoing list of their tips, tricks, shortcuts, and strategies as I did the homework and reviewed it before every practice exam and ultimately my real MCAT. This was a HUGE help. I pocketed a pair of 132s here and couldn’t be more elated. Their books are the only ones that have both content review and tons of passages with detailed and helpful explanations. – Anna F. | 526 Score

The Berkeley Review FAQ

How good is the Berkeley Review for MCAT?

Berkeley Review is a great MCAT prep book set, that excels at the sciences section of the MCAT, has 4,000 practice passages of fantastic quality and useful test taking strategies. However, its Psych Soc and CARS sections are average.

How good is Berkeley Review for Physics? Is it as hard as the MCAT?

Berkeley Review’s Physics will answer every possible question you might have but also contains a lot of information not tested on the MCAT. Also, the hundreds of practice passages will help you learn everything about MCAT physics.

How good is TBR Verbal Reasoning book compared to CARS MCAT?

Berkeley Reviews Verbal Reasoning book is overall of average quality. Question passages and examples are harder, more convoluted than CARS MCAT, but they are good for practice since a lot of the logic carries over to the real exam.

How good are Berkeley Review’s MCAT tests? Are they predictive of real AAMC MCAT difficulty?

Berkeley Review’s MCAT tests come separate from the main book set, and are generally harder compared to the real AAMC MCAT tests.

How long is the Berkeley Review MCAT book set?

Berkeley Review’s MCAT book set has 4300 pages, divided into 10 books. Each book is divided in sections, with each section having around 100 pages. Reading one section per day, it would take two months to finish the TBR book set.

How good is Berkeley Review Psyhology book? Does it include Sociology content?

Berkeley Review’s Psychology comes included with Sociology book. While not bad, Berkeley’s P/S book simply contains far more content than is tested on the MCAT, so you risk wasting time with concepts that are not required learning.

Is Berkeley Review’s Biology book good for the MCAT?

Berkeley Review’s Biology books contain more information than is tested on the MCAT, however the concepts are clearly explained and the hundreds of high quality practice passages will help cement what you have learned.

AAMC full length exams (and maybe question packs)

When it comes to fidelity to the actual MCAT, nothing can beat the full-length tests and question banks from AAMC, the people who actually organize the MCAT.

If you have the budget , consider buying their entire Official Prep Bundle . It does cost some 300 dollars but it contains the following:

  • 4 full length exams.
  • Question packs for biology, chemistry, physics.
  • Flashcards.
  • 2 volumes of questions for the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section.
  • Guide to the MCAT exam.
  • Other useful tidbits.

If your budget does not allow this expense, then focus only on the 4 full length exams , which will set you back some $170 in total.

Also, if you feel CARS is your weak point, consider purchasing the two Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills question books ( here and here )

Another important note is to not burn the AAMC full length exams needlessly. Do not use those exams as a diagnostic, especially since many of the other MCAT publishers offer their own (usually free) diagnostic exams. They are quite a bit harder than the official MCAT, but good nonetheless.

Keep the AAMC exams for when you’re done, or almost done, with your content review and want to see well prepared you are.

Free MCAT prep materials, tests, and more

Khan academy mcatbros 300 page psychology/sociology doc  .

Khan Academy has a series of videos for Psychology & Sociology that were created in tight collaboration with AAMC . They are considered to be of very high quality, with very straightforward and clear explanations of all the required concepts.

Thanks to MCAT Bros , these videos are also available in a completely free document format, usually called the 300 page P/S notes doc by the MCAT prep community.

It is a free resource, but the quality is top notch and comparable with any of the above book sets.

In any case, here is the link to the free, 300 page P/S doc:


Jack Westin CARS practice passages

Jackwestin.com is an MCAT tutoring site that focuses on CARS and on improving your reasoning skills for the MCAT in general. A lot of his CARS resources are also free.

His CARS resources stand out because they are similar in feel and logic to the official MCAT CARS section. Doing just 1-2 passages per day can make a real difference in helping you improve your CARS.

Here is the link to Jack Westin’s free CARS passages: https://jackwestin.com/mcat-question-of-the-day

MileDown’s Anki flashcard deck

For the uninitiated, Anki Flashcards is a free smartphone and PC/MacOS app (except on iPhone where it costs 25$) that is centered around the concept of spaced repetition using flashcards.

In the case of MCAT, an unsolved flashcard would look something like this:

The solved flashcard looks like this:

Spaced repetition means that your Anki software will periodically feed you Anki cards, with the frequency based on whether you answer the Anki flashcard correctly or not.

For example, if you answer a flashcard correctly, Anki will push the same card again in 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes you answer it correctly again, it will push the same card after 2 days, then 5 days, then 7 days, then 15 days, then 30 days, etc.

However, if you fail the card the frequency sequence resets. Thus, if you fail the 15-day flashcard, Anki will push the same card again after 30 minutes, then 2 days, then 5 days, and so on.

The frequency is adjustable within the app, so you aren’t limited to just the timetable mentioned in this article.

The app itself doesn’t come with any MCAT decks, so you’ll have to either make your own flashcards or simply upload a premade deck.

The Anki deck of Reddit user MileDown is probably the best free Anki deck you will find. It’s not something you’ll see mentioned on commercial pages simply because it’s free, but our own readers, as well as learners on MCAT-related communities, vouch for its quality.

As a brief overview of this deck, it contains:

  • 2,900 cards organized in 7 subdecks (Behavioral, Biochemistry, Biology, Essential Equations, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics and Math)
  • Every equation, unit, and constant needed for the MCAT is included.
  • Every item in the 300 page Khan Academy Psych/Soc document is included.
  • All cards include a graphic or picture to help you understand the topic.
  • All cards include a link to the relevant Khan Academy video or, in some cases, a YouTube video as a reference.
  • Each card is written as a “fill-in-the-blank”.

Overall, this deck is of very high quality and a great way to practice your content and go over the material.

That being said, it does have some very, very minor disadvantages :

  • It is very comprehensive, but not 100% so. There may be a few subjects that aren’t sufficiently covered in this deck.
  • It does have a handful of errors. These are few and far between, but they are there, so if a particular flashcard does stand out as not making sense, be sure to double or triple check it.

Download links:

  • Anki Flashcard Software
  • MileDown’s Anki Flashcard Deck
  • Original Reddit Thread by MileDown containing the download link

92 page biochemistry notes

This is a document by a Reddit user called Lazy OCD, who has created a beautiful looking, 92 page document that contains useful notes on Biochemistry.

By his own admission, these notes do contain some extra information that is not on the MCAT, but could be useful as context info.

They pair well together with the Anki cards and any other book set, especially Princeton Review.

  • Direct Dropbox link
  • Original Reddit link

Free MCAT Practice exams

Below is a list of free MCAT practice exams:

  • Princeton Review

Good luck on the MCAT!

15 Best MCAT Prep Books & Study Materials (In 2024)

But your prep time is limited, so pick only the best ones to max out your score beyond the 510 mark (the average score you need to get admitted to a med school).

Your MCAT prep should consist of the following elements:

Here’s a quick list of the top mcat prep books and study materials (click to learn more about each one):, related content: 10 best mcat practice tests [links], the best mcat books and study materials in the market:, 1. mcat complete 7-book subject review (kaplan).

According to most students who scored 510+ on the MCAT , this bundle is a top resource you should use, especially for content review sessions. The bundle is not too expensive, and it contains seven different volumes with over 3288 pages of content in total. The books are updated every year so that they contain only the most relevant information. What’s more important is that the content you will find inside is highly visual, including statistical charts and graphs that will help you remember the core concepts. There’s nothing worse than having to work with a textbook that’s just composed of a wall of text. Here it’s not the case as there’s a lot of white space between paragraphs and lots of images that bring the concepts to life. The great thing about these books is that they will give you access to three practice exams you can do online. Full-length practice tests from Kaplan are great, but they are usually easier than what you will get from AAMC or TPR. Getting these books is a great deal as they will allow you to connect all the MCAT concepts in your mind by giving you examples, mnemonics, and “pro study tips.” Compared to books from Examkrackers, this bundle will give you more simplified explanations to practice questions so they’ll be easier to remember.

2. Official AAMC MCAT Study Bundle & Practice Exams

3. the princeton review mcat subject review complete box (7 books).

Along with the books from Kaplan listed above, this is another great bundle you can use for content review. Inside you’ll find seven complete books covering every MCAT subject imaginable. The price for this bundle is especially attractive because you’ll also get three full-length practice tests you can access online. These tests are, on average, a bit more complicated than what you’ll get from AAMC. They are quite content-heavy, but they’ll give you a more thorough understanding of the test and help you avoid tricky “trap questions.” It’s great to complete these tests a few weeks before the actual exam. They will give you a good benchmark of what you can expect and how much study time you still need before you’re ready. Inside the books, you’ll also find hundreds of specific practice questions along with review sections at the end of each chapter that summarize the core concepts. The books are formatted beautifully as they contain dozens of colorful illustrations, tables, and diagrams – perfect for visual learners. Each book also includes a glossary that’ll help you find specific information fast. It’s also packed with tips and strategies that will help you with timing and dealing with the most challenging questions. Overall, it’s 2864 pages of materials.

4. Magoosh MCAT Prep Course & Study App

5. free youtube videos about mcat prep.

Believe it or not, YouTube is a treasure trove of great MCAT-related information. It lets you hear from students who scored in the 90th+ percentile and got admitted into great med schools. Now you can see what worked for them just by watching a video. This is much better than listening to instructors offering a purely theoretical approach. These videos are usually 10 to 20 minutes long, and you can watch them at higher speeds (1,5x or 2x) to absorb the information faster. Here are a couple of examples of top videos to check out to gain valuable insights about the test.

More MCAT videos:

6. the princeton review mcat prep course, related content:, 7. mcat audiolearn (from audible), it’s 8 hours and 28 minutes long, and it contains an in-depth review of:, 8. mcat secrets – study guide.

This inexpensive book can prove very valuable for your MCAT prep efforts. It’s updated every year, (so make sure you get the latest edition), and it contains 563 pages of advanced strategies for passing the test. It offers a solid overview of all the relevant topics, but without getting bogged down in specifics. The biggest strength of this book is that it gives you secret test-taking strategies and tips for overcoming test-related anxiety. Inside the book, you’ll also find high-quality practice questions with an answer key and explanations. The format is super attractive, and the material is well-organized, which makes it one of the top study guides ever. Plus, it contains links to online review videos, so that’s great for visual learning. Maybe it will not be your main study resource, but it’s a great companion as it contains lots of unique info.

9. Kaplan MCAT Flashcards + App

Inside you’ll find:, 10. 7 full-length mcat practice tests: 5 in the book and 2 online.

This is something that more pre-med students should know about. Instead of paying $40 (on average) per practice test, here you can get seven full-length practice tests at a super affordable price (5 in the book and 2 online). You’ll get over 1600 MCAT practice questions, and they resemble the materials from AAMC closely. Make sure that you buy a new book because it comes with an individual online access code that will enable you to check the answers. If you buy a used book, this code may be already outdated (it’s viable for 12 months), so then you’ll waste your money. The answers to the practice questions are available online. That’s good because you can check them faster that way. All questions come with detailed explanations so you can learn the reason each answer is correct. The only drawback here is that the website is not user-friendly. When you log in, you’ll need to go through a few ads, but that’s not a big deal. In summary, the book is 594 pages, and besides the full-length practice tests, it also contains useful tips and strategies for passing MCAT with the highest score. For example, you’ll learn about how the test is scored, what a good score is, and what’s the difference between a score from a mock exam and the actual score you can expect after the real test day.

11. Search for extra MCAT study tips and materials on Google

Here are a couple of great free mcat-related sites to check out:.

Also, if you’re not sure about a particular MCAT concept, you can ask a question on a site like Quora and receive answers from experienced students who went through the test. Here’s an example.

12. UWorld MCAT Study App

13. khan academy free mcat materials.

Khan Academy serves as a free MCAT resource and is used by the vast majority of students who score above 510. Yes, this free course contains a few passages with mistakes, but overall, there’s some excellent knowledge over there, so take advantage of that. On the website, you have a whole course covering all sections of the exam. You can simply click through them and start learning without creating an account. You will see that all the content is broken down into sections (like “biomolecules” or “CARS”). In most sections, you’ll have a couple of explanatory videos where you will learn about how to tackle a particular passage. Once you are through with the video content, you can complete a couple of practice questions and get feedback in real time. Overall, it’s a great resource to use if you don’t want to spend a lot of money but still get tons of useful information. Pro tip: Khan Academy also has a great mobile app available on Android and iOS. Use it to study on the go.

14. TPR MCAT Elite, 2nd Edition: Advanced Strategies to Score a 528

MCAT Elite is an underrated prep book , that gives you a lot of advanced strategies for scoring in the 90th percentile or higher. This book aims to prepare you for some of the toughest questions you may encounter on the test. Inside you will find hundreds of such questions (around 50 per subject) and learn how to crack them like a boss. It will also teach you how to focus on the problems you couldn’t solve, so you’re able to better deal with them in the future. Moreover, you’ll get a couple of advanced strategies for taking the actual test. This includes information about the timing, pacing yourself, and avoiding common traps. The book also offers two full-length online practice tests and some extra online materials. All in all, that’s 448 pages of expertly written content.

15. Free Downloadable MCAT-Related Podcasts

Audio learning is revolutionary for many students. I like to listen to podcasts all the time as they contain unique info in a user-friendly format. The best thing about them is that you don’t have to sit still to learn something. You can absorb knowledge while performing your daily chores or working out. In this way, you can absorb essential MCAT concepts using otherwise “dead time.” The pre-med podcasts feature students who crushed the test and admissions officers and educators who share their best study tips and ways to get into med school. Download these podcasts on your phone and listen to them at 1,5x or 2x the speed to improve your knowledge and skills even faster. I use a website called ListenNotes to download podcasts. It even allows you to set “listen alerts” around specific keywords like “MCAT,” “pre-med” etc. so new episodes will land in your inbox once released.

Here is a list of the top MCAT podcast episodes you can download on your mobile device:

Also, here’s a list of the top mcat podcasts you can check and download regularly:, how to select books and study materials that will be right for you, a sample mcat study plan for maximum results.

Once you’re equipped with top study resources, it’s time to create a plan and put it into action. It will all depend on your preferences (how much time you have for study, your MCAT deadline, are you a morning or evening person). However, a rule of thumb is that you should schedule around four months of serious study time, during which you’ll apply yourself for 4 hours a day. Take breaks in between, and schedule two study sessions per day (based on when you feel most alert). Do your best to keep in shape (do your cardio, get enough sleep, and eat healthily). This will boost your mental capacity and the ability to absorb new information like nothing else. Spend the first two months absorbing knowledge, and going through review materials. Then, as the exam date draws closer, get serious about crushing full-length tests, completing passage-based questions, working on your timing, and learning the top strategies for dealing with difficult questions. As a rule of thumb, complete around 5 full-length tests before you attempt the real exam. You can schedule one FL every two weeks and monitor your progress as you go. Tests from AAMC will reflect your actual score most accurately. Extra resource: I recommend downloading the official AAMC MCAT Study Guide (PDF) , to help you create an effective plan.

Which books and materials are recommended by students who scored 510+?

Online, you can find many success stories of students who scored 510+ and got into their dream MED school. It’s great to draw on their experience and see which types of materials allowed them to excel on the test.

Here are a couple of examples:

What else can you do to get fully prepared for the mcat, which section of the test gives you the most problems:.

Focus on raising your performance in this particular section. That will be your “highest potential yield” opportunity that will ultimately boost your final score. Use your downtime. There’s a lot of time in the day that goes to waste. It can be your daily commute or waiting in line for something. Use this time by listening to MCAT-related podcasts or completing practice questions on your mobile phone. 15 minutes here and 30 minutes there can quickly add up to hours of productive study time. Finally, set clear goals for your study sessions. When you sit down to crunch the materials, do so with purpose and determination. Create a list of activities and resources you want to go through and tick them off as you move forward. This will build a feeling of momentum and accomplishment that will motivate you to study harder .

What about MCAT flashcards?

Passing the MCAT with a high score can be a ticket to a bright future and getting admitted to the med school of your dreams. Spending some serious time on preparation is a sacrifice, but in the end, it’s going to be worth it. By using the list of books and study materials and combining them with your preferred method of study, you will be on your way to crush the 7.5 h MCAT beast and get 510+ (80th percentile) points with ease. It all depends on your budget and the time you can allot to study. But all in all, a few solid months spent on content review and crushing full-length practice tests is going to get you there.

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building two companies, a digital marketer, and a content creator with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here , and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.

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The Princeton Review MCAT ® Books

The princeton review mcat test prep books not only include a comprehensive content review for each section of the mcat, but also vital test-taking strategies and tips necessary to secure a top mcat score., the princeton review mcat books include comprehensive content review, vital test-taking strategies, and tips to secure a top mcat score..

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9 Best MCAT Prep Books For 2023: Top Picks & Reviews

Best For Visual Learners

best review books for mcat

Read Review

Best For In-Depth Coverage

best review books for mcat

Princeton Review

Best Budget Pick

best review books for mcat

Aaron • Last updated on January 2, 2023

Going through your MCAT prep journey takes a lot more than just reading any sort of material you can get your hands on.

What you should look for is an MCAT prep book that’s comprehensive, easy to understand, and fits your learning curve.

Now, where do you find the best MCAT prep book?

A better question would be, what is the MCAT prep book that fits your study plan?

All MCAT prep books can provide you with lessons you need to understand more about the MCAT; however, one MCAT book might look different to you than all the rest.

This is because not every MCAT prep book is as digestible to read and understand for just about anyone.

As a student, you have a unique way of learning visually. Some learn better through illustrations while others learn better through plain text. 

Whatever the case, the best MCAT prep book is out there and this article will help you find it.

9 Best MCAT Books

What is the best MCAT prep book? 

While I can’t give you a solid answer, I can provide you with a list of the best books to use, 9 of which will give you sound options to choose from. 

These 9 MCAT books are:


Berkeley Review

MCAT Psychology and Sociology

  • Kaplan MCAT flashcards

From here on out, you’ll find an overview of each MCAT book, their pros & cons, and key features to serve as the best MCAT study guide and help you succeed.

best review books for mcat

Kaplan’s knowledge base is incredible. 

The book leans toward detail-oriented lessons rather than conceptual orientation, so it’s a good read for any heavy reader. What makes Kaplan the best MCAT prep book to have for visual learners is due to the numerous illustrations, diagrams, and charts shown in great detail.

You’ll also have over 2,000 practice questions as a bonus addition to using Kaplan’s MCAT books. There are also 7 review books contained in one book bundle. Along with the terminologies and an index section provided, this feature gives a far more detailed self-study learning experience. 

How Effective Is It? 

Kaplan offers the best MCAT prep book 2020. 

The passages are lengthy for any seasoned reader, but you’ll be at least 90% ready for the exam using Kaplan’s material.

If you have the time, patience, and commitment to sit down and read through the pages, you’ll be able to answer practice questions better and have a better understanding of each subject.

Although detail-oriented textbooks are a great study material, this may also be difficult for some. Some favor learning or material that is straight to the point. For those who have a hard time learning through text, this may prove to be a challenge. 

Key Features:

  • In-depth discussion of the MCAT topics
  • Content is AAMC aligned so this will help you achieve a thorough review of the program
  • Aside from the 7 subject review books, you’ll have access to a study plan and detailed visual orientations.  
  • Online and offline practice questions
  • Focuses more on detail-oriented learning than concept-oriented
  • Comes with 3 full-length practice tests
  • Content material developed by top-rated instructors & experts
  • Detail-oriented characteristics may prove to be challenging and harder for some to digest

Should I Choose Kaplan’s Books: 

Kaplan provides one of the best books to study MCAT courses and grab a good understanding of each subject. Every Kaplan MCAT prep book provides additional information to boost your confidence and understanding to help you answer practice tests.

Students who pay a high amount of attention in a class setting can benefit the most from this book. What Kaplan offers is an MCAT book that can help you score high in the exam.

2. Princeton Review

The Princeton Review (TPR) is a reviewer course often compared to Kaplan. 

The two prep companies stand toe-to-toe in many aspects, and just like Kaplan’s book set, Princeton Review also provides a good number of illustrations and practice questions.

What stands out with Princeton Review’s MCAT books is their ability to deliver concise information, so the content doesn’t feel as long as Kaplan does. The content structure is also well-structured and provides a thorough explanation of each MCAT topic. 

Users mentioned that although Princeton Review is a strong resource material to use, the practice tests are not as abundant as what Kaplan offers. 

At best, Princeton Review books are great refresher review materials. But if you’re someone who doesn’t have a keen understanding of the basic MCAT topics, this will be harder for you to understand TPR material.

The Princeton Review performs best at reinforcing and solidifying fundamental MCAT concepts, hence its comprehensive program. 

Overall, Princeton Review is the best content material for any in-depth coverage you need for each MCAT topic. The delivery of their textbook information is concise, which makes studying efficient and not as heavy to read. 

  • Concepts and lessons provided are explained in the most concise way possible to make it easy for the reader to digest information
  • Gives a good balance between length and an informative approach
  • Every end of chapter section has a quick recap with summaries and glossaries for quick reference
  • A solid understanding of MCAT topics needed to perform well in the exam
  • Self-studying with these books is efficient
  • Practice questions are not as plenty as Kaplan’s
  • Some editing errors were found in the textbook material
  • Some sections such as Physics and Psychology lack visual aids

Should I Choose Princeton Review’s Books: 

The Princeton Review is a great MCAT prep book if you’re looking for information that’s digestible and easy to understand. 

What it lacks are details and explanations needed for basic concepts on each MCAT topic. 

Nevertheless, The Princeton Review is considerably the best MCAT prep book for high scorers despite its shortcomings and lack of visual aid in some areas. 

Overall, TPR is an excellent resource and is the best MCAT study guide book for students who have a decent knowledge foundation and conceptual understanding of each MCAT topic. 

Their books are also ideal for students who don’t enjoy reading lengthy texts and want an efficient self-study approach.

Best Official Guide For MCAT

best review books for mcat

The AAMC MCAT book offers something different compared to other fellow prep companies. What you’ll find are basic elements surrounding the MCAT with no in-depth coverage or comprehensive review.

At the very least, you’ll have access to 120 practice questions with 30 questions per MCAT section—almost as if it acts more like an MCAT practice test book. 

Why recommend this, then? First, because this AAMC book is written by the official exam makers. 

The advantage of learning about the MCAT from the official instructors and experts make it the best MCAT study guide to prepare any student before diving headfirst into reading MCAT books. 

Second, the content material tells you how to strategize and prepare for the exam, the rules of the MCAT, the scoring system for each section, and factors that guide the admissions committee to accepting you or not. 

Yes, it lacks any in-depth coverage of the MCAT topic, but it makes up for providing you with an ultimate preparatory tool for the MCAT along with your admissions acceptance rate, which isn’t based solely on your academic score. 

  • Information found in the AAMC book covers everything you need to know about the MCAT exam 
  • You’ll understand the scoring system, rules of the test, and the factors that affect your admission acceptance rate. 
  • Written by the official exam test-makers
  • You’ll have 120 practice questions, 30 for each MCAT section
  • There is no in-depth learning about the MCAT topic except for basic elements about the MCAT exam
  • No in-depth lesson or any material related to learning about MCAT topics
  • Poor readability

Should I Choose AAMC Books: 

For an MCAT prep book 2020, it’s a must-have. 

As an MCAT practice test book or an MCAT test prep book, it doesn’t meet any qualifications to help you learn MCAT subjects.

Remember you don’t become successful in the MCAT solely through studying alone. Your study plan, pacing, and test-taking strategy are just as essential to achieving the score you want.

I recommend using the AAMC book as the first book to read as you start your MCAT prep journey. This will help you understand the fundamentals behind the MCAT exam, scoring, and how to study for it. 

Most students dive headfirst, and while this is admirable, it can also be seen as reckless if you think that pure academic study is what garners a score between 510 and 528.

4. Examkrackers

Best For Answering Practice Tests/Exams

best review books for mcat

Examkrackers is the best choice for answering practice tests/exams. It’s also an ideal choice for students who have time constraints. The material provided by Examkrackers is highly concise, so you won’t have trouble reading the information found here.

All the information you need to know is exactly what you’ll get. 

Unfortunately, what you see is definitely what you get. There isn’t extra or additional information on the MCAT topics. 

How Effective Is It?

This is perfect for students who have time constraints and want to read through content swiftly. 

You might feel though that there’s more you can still learn. 

Nonetheless, you won’t waste time reading Examkrackers content material. Because the information is also comprehensive, your study time will be highly efficient. 

Unlike Kaplan or TPR, you’ll have access to 6 subject books and 24 practice questions along with 32-minute exams. The practice exams offer great development in test-taking, training, and improve logical reasoning. 

It is for this specific reason that Examkrackers ranks high among student reviews and on this list. 

  • Information is brief, comprehensive, and easy to understand
  • Provides just the right amount of information needed on every MCAT topic needed to do well in the exam
  • Subjects such as biochemistry and organic chemistry are simplified and highly digestible
  • You won’t have to worry about any unnecessary fluff that won’t appear in the MCAT exam
  • 24 practice questions at the end of each lesson
  • Practice tests provide great development that improves a student’s overall aptitude in taking the MCAT exam
  • CARS section needs more realistic examples
  • Psychology and Sociology section lacks examples

Should I Choose Examkrackers Books: 

I strongly recommend using Examkrackers books if you have a hard time reading wordy material. 

Examkrackers books offer good visualization aids, and since the text is already brief and concise as it is, your study time will also feel a lot less heavy. 

While the content is sufficient, it’s not wise to rely solely on these books. For extra additional material, you feel you need improving on, choose a selected number of books that provide in-depth detail like Kaplan’s.

5. Barron’s

Similar to Examkrackers, Barron’s MCAT books are concise and on-point so they’re straightforward to read through. 

A noteworthy aspect of using Barron’s is the price. It’s the best budget option on this list, and you’ll also get a CD-ROM to provide you with in-depth content.

Barron’s books follow a conceptual approach. This will give you a better understanding of each MCAT topic rather than memorization.

Normally, you’d think that a book with a cheap price would have poor quality. Not even close. 

The quality is more than adequate to help you understand topics around the MCAT, and it comes with 4 practice tests and 39 passages, all of which you can access online. 

What’s also unique is how Barron’s practice tests closely simulate the pattern of MCAT questions and passages found in the actual exam. 

Using Barron’s books will not only leave you well-prepared, but you’ll also feel more confident and at ease on exam day. 

Their critical test-taking strategies, developed by experts with years of experience, help you improve your pacing, critical analysis & problem-solving, and test-taking anxiety. 

The drawback, however, to using Barron’s books is that the practice questions are poorly worded, so you might feel confused answering and reading them throughout. 

  • Information is concise, straightforward, and comes with a CD-ROM that provides in-depth content
  • Strategies are unique compared to other prep companies where you can improve not just academic reasoning and aptitude but also how to improve test anxiety
  • Budget price and reasonable pricing offer makes it available for any student
  • Access to 4 online practice tests and 39 passage questions
  • The study guide comes with a multi-month study plan
  • Readability for practice questions can be confusing
  • Although the pattern of questions and passages follow similar formatting as the actual exam, the questions itself are not as similar

Should I Choose Barron’s Books: 

Barron’s books are great for any student who is looking for a cheaper resource alternative. 

In regards to the strength of their content, the quality provided is solid. Also, their strategies boost your confidence, promote clarity and ease of mind when taking the exam or encountering tough situations, and improve pacing. 

The multi-month study plan also acts as a helpful guide for any student who uses it and is ideal for students who prefer to have a reference schedule to stick to while studying for the MCAT.

6. Berkeley Review

Best for Variety and Number of MCAT books

best review books for mcat

Berkeley Review offers an expensive yet full-coverage reviewer material.

While Kaplan and TPR offer 7 subject review books, Berkeley Review offers 10 books. 

The set comes with two forms of sciences for biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics, along with a verbal section for the MCAT.

The books in itself are comprehensive and are a reliable resource to use. 

The site may not be as appealing in interface and navigation features, but the books are high-quality content and even limited in stock. 

Along with the detailed content found in Berkeley Review’s books, you’ll also have access to 447 practice questions, 27 passage questions, and 9 diagnostic exams. 

  • Concepts explained in the books are detail-oriented 
  • Strong CARS section learning 
  • All sciences come in two forms which can improve the readability and understanding without making the reader feel burdened
  • Access to various and an abundant amount of exams and practice questions
  • Content material looks outdated 

Should I Choose Berkeley Review Books: 

If you’re looking for high-quality content books, Berkeley Review is a solid choice in that domain. 

Aside from its great reading material, you can also use Berkeley Review books for the good set of practice questions they provide, along with the explanations for each answer. 

Although it comes at a steep price, it is worth the value, thanks to a strong CARS learning experience, a solid content material for each of the sciences, and a useful study guide to improve your test-taking aptitude.

7. Sterling

best review books for mcat

For self-study learners, Sterling is a worthy addition to your list of review materials to use. The explanations are brief, concise, and offer in-depth conceptual explanations. 

Also, the content is updated every year so you can be sure what you’re reading and learning is taken from the latest updates to keep your study plan and learning experience on track.

There are over 700 high-yield MCAT practice questions, all of which provide explanations for correct and incorrect answers. If you have trouble along the way, the support team at Sterling responds swiftly and provides tremendous support. 

While the concepts on each MCAT topic are very clear, some subjects feel too easy like Biochemistry. Biology, on the other hand, can prove to be very difficult. 

Using Sterling books can help you understand your answers more as to why they’re right and wrong. The clear explanations and content material also place Sterling as one of the best MCAT prep books.

  • Explanations are clear and come with visual aids like illustrations, graphs, tables, and diagrams
  • You can differentiate between right and wrong answers, thanks to the detailed explanations provided in their practice tests
  • In-depth conceptual explanations for each MCAT topic
  • Over 700 practice questions give students a solid training ground to practice answering a variety of questions
  • Content material is updated every year
  • Some MCAT subjects are too simple it feels lacking in information
  • Biochemistry section needs improvement

Should I Choose Sterling Books: 

Sterling is a great option for self-study learners. 

Not only is their prep book a reliable and high-quality resource, but their practice tests prove to be a useful asset to boost your preparedness for the MCAT exam. 

Keep in mind though that Sterling books might be a harder learning curve if you don’t have a good basic foundation of the MCAT topics. 

With an incredibly responsive support team; however, any gaps along the way won’t be as hard to close.

Using Khan Academy or even a book from Kaplan might help shed light on any foundational concepts you’re weak at. 

Overall, Sterling books are a worthy recommendation for students who are looking to advance their learning and understanding of the MCAT topics.

8. MCAT Psychology and Sociology

Best For Improving Psychology & Sociology MCAT Topics

best review books for mcat

Princeton Review also offers individual books and in particular, the Psychology and Sociology strike a fair option to go for. 

What makes this book interesting and worth the purchase are the passage questions available for practice. Also, they offer the most realistic scenarios compared to most reviewers.

Like any good MCAT study plan, practice exams are just as fundamental as learning and understanding each MCAT topic. 

These practice exams make the bulk hours of studying and can prove to be extremely useful on exam day to improve pacing, test-taking aptitude, and versatility to unpredictable questions. 

The MCAT Psychology and Sociology book provided by TPR teaches you how to apply the knowledge you learned, thus, giving you a better conceptual learning experience. 

If you’re looking to improve on your psychology and sociology sections, this book is written in a clear format, and the passage explanations and answers will also be of great use to anyone who reads it.

  • You’ll be given a free full-length exam
  • Practice tests are the most realistic, which is great for expounding on real-life situational learning
  • Rather than just learn the concepts and knowledge of Psychology and Sociology, you’ll also learn how to apply it
  • Highly geared towards students who want to improve their Psychology and Sociology sections or is weak in this area
  • Passage questions and explanations are useful
  • The book offers strategies on how to face new obstacles
  • Limited only to students who need to improve or are weak in Psychology and Sociology sections

Should I Choose MCAT Psychology and Sociology Books: 

These books are a focus-driven learning experience towards a specific area of the MCAT. 

While this book is an astounding resource to use, it’s also not for just any student. 

Although, if you want to improve your approach and learning experience when it comes to passage questions, this might be a good place to start, thanks to its realistic practice resource. 

Psychology and Sociology passage questions tend to be lengthy, so using this book to your advantage can also help you flourish in one of the major MCAT sections.

9. Kaplan MCAT Flashcards

Best Refresher Review Material

best review books for mcat

For something a little extra, that’s exactly what these flashcards are for. 

Terms, concepts, definitions, and an app to help reinforce your vocabulary and master content found on each MCAT topic.

In total, you’ll have access to 1,000 flashcards. A breakdown of these 1,000 cards are namely:

Biology – 247 flashcards

Organic Chemistry – 90 flashcards

Behavioral Science – 230 flashcards

Biochemistry – 187 flashcards 

General Chemistry – 143 flashcards

Physics – 103 flashcards

Many prep companies also offer flashcards for review; however, among all of them, Kaplan offers the best. 

Using these flashcards are great if you’re on the go or you want to verify just how well you remember any content material you studied the night before. 

However, these flashcards contain general information at best, so don’t expect any detailed explanation similar to what you’ll find in an MCAT book. 

At best, flashcards are a complimentary review refresher that can help jog your memory and make sure you understand the concept at an advanced level.

If you want to maximize the usage of flashcards, you can add notes, charts, graphs, or even side notes that can act as extra questions to review while you’re on the go. 

  • 1,000 flashcards perfect for a good review when you don’t have online access or aren’t at a suitable place to study your books and any reviewer material
  • Access to terms, concepts, and definitions that can help you master the MCAT topics and understand them at an advanced level
  • Great to use for a rapid-fire review approach
  • Flashcards also come with an app you can access easily
  • Could use a few detailed explanations 
  • The material used to manufacture flashcards isn’t very durable

Should I Choose Kaplan MCAT flashcards: 

It’s highly recommended that you have access to extra reviewer materials and resources aside from just books or video lessons. 

This does not only prevent you from feeling too bored along the way but also diversifies the learning experience. 

Using a variety of resources can test your knowledge and understanding in the best of ways where it prepares you for any unpredictable or surprising questions you may encounter in the MCAT exam. 

These flashcards are perfect for any student and are useful as a complementary revision resource for reinforcing MCAT concepts, terms, and definitions.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should set aside at least 3 – 6 hours every day, 6 days a week to study for the MCAT. A good study plan will put you at 4 – 5 months of study time and practicing 10 -15 full-length practice exams.

You can study for the MCAT in 2 months but this would already be cramming for the exam. Mind you, taking practice exams a month before exam day might make you think it will stay in your head longer, but this can backfire greatly. 

If you find out after taking a practice exam that you have a lot of areas that need improving, this can lead to panic and cause big detriments on test day.

You can use old prep materials as long as the sources are reliable and can provide you with the foundation you need. Although, we prefer using newer editions or up-to-date resources to stay on track and cover as many gaps as possible.

Final Verdict 

The best MCAT prep books mentioned on this list are the best resources you’ll find to help you succeed in the MCAT. 

Be that as it may, MCAT books aren’t the only prep resource you should focus on. 

Using practice exams and other review materials, such as flashcards and intuitive tools like a Quiz Builder App or the Qbank, are essential tools to complete your MCAT prep package. 

The MCAT might be heavily focused on a firm knowledge base, but a large portion of the test also tests other qualities. 

These include your pacing or how well you manage your time through each question, your flexibility to handle unfamiliar scenarios or passages, your experience in reading comprehension and reasoning, etc. 

It’s also for this reason why even if some practice tests and books have poor readability, they can also be a strength you can learn to build for the exam. 

High-quality prep books can do more than just prepare your reasoning and understanding. They also help you prepare your mindset or mental capacity to handle situations that don’t benefit your expectations.

Use these 9 prep books as a standard for your book resources, but also stay open to any additional reviewer materials you find. 

  • https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/taking-mcat-exam/how-i-prepared-mcat-exam/
  • https://www.kaptest.com/study/mcat/mcat-study-guide-and-schedule-3-months/

best review books for mcat

best review books for mcat

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The Best MCAT Prep Books and Guides of 2023

If you’ve looked into how to get into medical school , then you already know you need to take the MCAT, short for Medical College Admission Test. The MCAT is a difficult and time–consuming exam that you can prepare for using the best MCAT prep books. The majority of students spend several months studying for the MCAT.

MCAT prep resources give a comprehensive review of MCAT content, test-taking strategies, full-length practice tests, practice questions, and detailed answer explanations. Some include an expert study plan with study tips. In this article, we’ll share the best MCAT prep books, free MCAT prep books, and study resources for students preparing to take the MCAT.

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Should i take the mcat.

If you want to go to medical school, you should take the MCAT. Even the easiest medical schools to get into require this standardized examination developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges . According to Medical Education Online, MCAT scores can predict if medical students will do well on their United State Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

Common MCAT Sections You Need to Prepare For

  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems. This section tests your knowledge of how the principles of physics and chemistry work in biological systems. This section has 59 questions.
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. This section tests your critical thinking, comprehension, and reasoning skills. You’ll have to read passages and answer questions about the content. This section contains 53 questions.
  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems. The section tests your understanding of biological and biochemical concepts involved in the basic process of life, including growth, metabolism, and reproduction. This section has 59 questions.
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior. This section is designed to test your knowledge of the core concepts of research and statistical principles. It contains 53 questions.

The 10 Best MCAT Prep Books to Help You Get Ready

1. the princeton review mcat subject review complete box set.

  • Best for: Students with are missing a basic understanding of some concepts, who need more in-depth explanations

The Princeton Review book set has detailed information for every section of the MCAT. There are hundreds of practice questions using the structure of the actual exam. Students also have access to an online portal where they can take three full-length practice tests. It is a great book for visual learners as it comes with a lot of diagrams, tables, and illustrations.

2. The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam

  • Best for: People who want to understand how MCAT works.

This prep book was developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges as the official guide to the MCAT exam. This book offers essential information on how the test is graded, factors that affect admissions decisions, and tips to prepare for the exam. It doesn’t offer a comprehensive review of the material, but it does have authentic practice questions.

3. Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review

  • Best for: Students who want a comprehensive review

This book has in-depth and comprehensive study materials for all MCAT topics. The study guide contains a detailed content review with diagrams, graphs, charts, and illustrations. These prep books use the star rating system where every topic in the book has a star rating which shows how important that particular subject will be important to your score.

4. Mometrix Test Preparation MCAT Prep Books

  • Best for: Students on a budget

Mometrix has a more affordable price than other MCAT preparation books on this list, making it a great option for students with a tight budget. It contains practice questions and answers, practice passages, test strategies, study tips, and content reviews. It also features review videos and video tutorials, which can be helpful for students who learn better with an instructor.

5. ExamKrackers MCAT Complete Study Package

  • Best for: Students with limited amounts of time before the exam

Examkrackers is the best MCAT self-study guide bundle for students who don’t have large amounts of time before their test date. It comes with an expert study plan, practice questions with explanations, and detailed review material on all MCAT content. This MCAT prep book is very good at simplifying difficult concepts.

6. Barron’s MCAT Plus Online Content

  • Best for: Students looking for affordable prep materials

Barron’s features detailed explanations on crucial MCAT topics, focusing on conceptual understanding rather than memorization. The manual includes test-taking strategies covering timing, test anxiety, problem-solving, and critical analysis. Barron Test Prep contains four online practice tests and 29 online passages. It also comes with a CD-ROM for a detailed explanation of important concepts.

7. Test Prep Books MCAT Prep Books

  • Best for: Students who need a quick review of MCAT concepts

This study guide was created by Test Prep Books to help students who only need a quick review. This book covers essential topics that you need to study for your exam and includes plenty of practice questions, two full-length practice exams, and tips to help you in your preparation

8. Sterling Test Prep MCAT Section Books

  • Best for: Students who need a comprehensive review of one

Sterling Test MCAT prep books are a comprehensive review for each of the MCAT subject sections. The majority of students don’t need to review all core concepts in this much detail, they should use these books for the subject material they need the most help with. Each book has over 1,200 practice questions with detailed explanations. Students can access additional resources online.

9. Kaplan MCAT Self-Study Toolkit

  • Best for: Learning exam strategies and making your study schedule

The Kaplan MCAT Self-Study Toolkit provides students efficient studying strategies, in-depth review, and guided examples on important concepts in behavioral science, biological science, biochemistry, and biology. Students have access to thousands of practice questions. This is a great option for visual learners as it utilizes 3-D illustrations, charts, and diagrams.

10. Kaplan MCAT Flashcards + App

  • Best for: Visual learners

Kaplan MCAT Flashcards are useful study material for memorizing and revising concepts you already understand. This 1,000-flashcard package and app contain key concepts that you can absorb easily. It is important to note that since they are just flashcards, there aren’t any detailed explanations. The flashcards make a good addition to your study sessions, but they shouldn’t replace study books.

Free MCAT Books and Resources to Help You Get Ready

  • Khan Academy MCAT Test Prep
  • MCAT Union Test Prep by Become
  • Shanmassian Academic Consulting MCAT Ultimate Guide
  • Jack Westin MCAT Question of the Day

Best MCAT Prep Books FAQ

The Princeton Review books are slightly better than Kaplan Test Prep, though Kaplan offers better instructional videos for MCAT concepts. Both books have strong curriculums, detailed explanations, online resources, thousands of questions, chapter summaries, and full-length practice tests.

Kaplan MCAT Self-Study toolkit, Princeton Review, Barron Test Prep, and Examskracker are some of the best MCAT prep books that you can buy for your exam preparation. All of the books in this guide can help you get high scores on the MCAT.

For the majority of students, MCAT prep books are enough to help you do well on your exam. They contain everything you need and are a great option for students who prefer self-study or do not want to pay the expensive fees associated with MCAT prep courses.

On average, most students spend between 200 to 300 hours getting ready for the exam over three months. You may need to spend more time if you have a specific area of weakness in the MCAT curriculum.

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6 Best MCAT prep books that will guarantee you ace the test

6 Best MCAT prep books that will guarantee you ace the test

The Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT , is a necessity for any prospective medical student. Developed and administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) it provides schools with an easily comparable measure for applicants’ abilities and readiness.

As a gruelling 7+ hour exam covering everything from biological and biochemical foundations of living systems to critical analysis and reasoning, preparing for the MCAT involves more than just reading any material you can lay your hands on. But we’re assuming you knew that already!

MCAT study books need to be comprehensive, current, easy to absorb and fit your style of learning. Some people learn best with images and diagrams, others with quick flashcards or practical explanations… so think carefully about what you need.

To help you make the right decision, we’ve compiled our list of the ultimate MCAT study materials. With summaries of each publication as well as in-depth pros and cons, if you’re looking for the best MCAT preparation books, look no further.

Let’s get started…

6 best MCAT prep books

  • MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review
  • Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review
  • Barron’s Test Prep: MCAT with Online Tests
  • AAMC the Official Guide to the MCAT Exam
  • MCAT Prep Books 2021-2022 (Test Prep Books)
  • Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Packages

1. MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2021-2022

Quite frankly, if you’re searching for the best MCAT test preparation books in 2021 – you can’t go too far wrong with Kaplan.

Kaplan MCAT books are popular for a reason. They’re number one on this list because no other subject reviews match up to their level of detail.

Content is broken down into easily digestible chapters with plenty of charts, graphs, concept-checks and 3-D illustrations to aid study.

With a year’s access to three full-length online tests, quizzes and questions – you’ve got ample opportunity to practice for the real thing.

  • The most detailed and comprehensive MCAT preparation books available.
  • Online portal with practice tests and quizzes.
  • Chapter summaries and concept checks to reinforce learning.
  • Whilst they are comprehensive – Kaplan MCAT books are expensive.
  • The level of detail can be problematic if you’ve left things a little late.
  • Limited updates between new editions.

2. Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Complete Box Set

As another established and respected publisher, Princeton Review is a solid bet for MCAT study materials.

Like Kaplan MCAT books, this complete set comes with seven individual books and three online practice tests, including tried and tested strategies for increasing your score.

What’s more, Princeton Review books are written by real teachers with just a pinch of humour (and some high-quality graphics) thrown in. Trust us, when you’re deep into the Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems – this helps!

  • In-depth coverage of key principles and information.
  • Good value for money, written with personality.
  • Online practice tests and thousands of practice questions.
  • Practice tests can be more difficult than the real thing.
  • Some content sections are more detailed than others.
  • Too much in-depth information can slow-down learning.

You may also like: MCAT score you need to get into medical school

3. Barron’s Test Prep: MCAT with Online Tests

If you’re looking for a combination of affordability and quality content – then Barron’s Test Prep might just win the award for the best MCAT test preparation books in 2021.

The level of detail is more than sufficient to study topics with confidence, and it also offers 39 online passages and four practice tests which near-exactly mirror the real thing.

With added materials covering test-taking anxiety and critical strategies, it’s a great choice for anyone suffering from exam-day nerves.

  • A budget-friendly, yet comprehensive option.
  • Advice on anxiety, exam-pacing and problem solving.
  • Can be paired with Barron flashcards to reinforce learning.
  • Some practice questions can be confusingly worded.
  • Information is concise and easy to learn, but feels sparse at times.
  • General reviews are more common than detailed explanations.

4. AAMC the Official Guide to the McAt(r) Exam

The AAMC prep book stands out amongst the other MCAT study books on this list because, well, it’s the AAMC official guide! 

Given it’s developed by the people actually administering the test, you can expect realistic questions and expert overviews.

Whilst you will get a clear idea of what you’ll be facing, the content can be a little dry and high-level.

Consequently, this guide would work well alongside in-depth reviews (such as Kaplan or Princeton) as a complimentary preparation aid.

  • 120 authentic practice questions.
  • Advice on scoring and exam insights.
  • Created directly by the AAMC.
  • No online access to practice questions.
  • Limited in-depth reviews of subject material.
  • No full-length practice exams.

5. MCAT Prep Books 2021-2022 (Test Prep Books)

Like Barron’s Test Prep, this is one of the more affordable MCAT preparation books.

It covers every topic you need and is updated each year – so you know you’re working with the very latest MCAT study material.

Test Prep Books provide practice questions, exercises, well-organised review material as well as detailed explanations of answers.

So if you’re a learner that needs to understand the why as well as the what (and who doesn’t!?), it’s a fantastic option.

  • Easy to digest content and key takeaways for each section.
  • Detailed explanations for every question/answer.
  • Printed practice questions with straightforward reviews.
  • Practice questions can be relatively easy.
  • Additional information about the actual exam would be useful.
  • Material could be more detailed for those needing extra help.

6. Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package

In this guide to the best MCAT preparation books, we’d be remiss not to mention Examkrackers. 

Whilst some students have criticised these books for being overly detailed – they are still great guides not just to the content, but also exam and revision strategies.

If test-taking is something that worries you, Examkrackers can really help.

The complete Examkrackers MCAT study books set offers full review of all the topics, with each section boasting clear graphics and diagrams, as well as practice questions. Two mini-exams in real MCAT format are also included.

  • Deep understanding of concepts with cross-discipline application.
  • Plenty of practice questions and two mini-tests.
  • Genuinely useful test-taking and revision strategies.
  • Information can be patchy (too much or too little) at times.
  • Limited updates with new editions.
  • Additional review material may be required. 

Also read: T op 10 medical colleges in world

For anyone preparing for the MCAT exam, we wish you the very best of luck. With the right MCAT study books for you, you’ll be off to the best possible start.

At Edvoy, we empower students worldwide with impartial advice and support. Our highly qualified team of educational consultants can help you realise your dream of studying abroad - so why not get started today ?

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MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2024-2025, Set Includes Books, Online Prep, 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep)

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Kaplan Test Prep

MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2024-2025, Set Includes Books, Online Prep, 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep)

  • Guided examples with expert thinking in our Behavioral Sciences, Biochemistry, and Biology books present scientific articles and walk you through challenging open-ended questions
  • Entirely revamped CARS content with updated methods for the latest exam challenges
  • High-Yield badges indicate the most testable content based on AAMC materials
  • Concept summaries boil down the need-to-know information in each chapter, including any necessary equations to memorize
  • Full-color, 24-page MCAT Quicksheets emphasize the most important information in visual form
  • Chapter Profiles indicate the degree to which each chapter is tested and the testmaker content categories to which it aligns
  • Charts, graphs, diagrams, and full-color, 3-D illustrations help turn even the most complex science into easy-to-visualize concepts
  • One year of online access to 3 full-length practice tests, selected instructional videos, practice questions, and quizzes
  • Hundreds of practice questions in the books show you how to apply concepts and equations
  • Quizzes at the beginning of each chapter help you figure out what you already know and prep more efficiently
  • Learning objectives and concept checks ensure you’re focusing on the most important information in each chapter
  • Sidebars illustrate connections between concepts and include references to more information, real-world tie ins, mnemonics, and MCAT-specific tips
  • Comprehensive subject review written by top-rated, award-winning Kaplan instructors who guide you on where to focus your efforts and how to organize your review
  • All material is vetted by editors with advanced science degrees and by a medical doctor
  • We know the test: The Kaplan MCAT team has spent years studying every MCAT-related document available, and our experts ensure our practice questions and study materials are true to the test
  • ISBN-10 1506287069
  • ISBN-13 978-1506287065
  • Publisher Kaplan Test Prep
  • Publication date July 4, 2023
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 8.38 x 4.9 x 10.88 inches
  • Print length 3520 pages
  • See all details

From the Publisher

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Customer Reviews
Type of review Comprehensive Comprehensive Strategy and Practice Content Memorization
Format 7 Books + Online 7 Books + Online Book + Online Flashcards + Digital Flashcards
Number of practice questions Over 2,000 Over 5,500 Over 500 0
Number of practice tests 3 6 1 0
Includes videos Yes Yes No No
Stand out feature Comprehensive Content Review 3 Full-Length Practice Tests Comprehensive Content Review 6 Full-Length Practice Tests plus 3,000-Question Practice Bank Advanced Strategies Easy-to-Use Flashcards


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About the author, product details.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kaplan Test Prep (July 4, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 3520 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1506287069
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1506287065
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.38 x 4.9 x 10.88 inches
  • #8 in MCAT Test Guides (Books)
  • #34 in Medical Test Preparation & Review
  • #177 in Study Guides (Books)

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Kaplan test prep.

For over 80 years, Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) has been helping students grow their knowledge, skills and confidence so they can be their best on Test Day. Our prep books and online resources provide the expert guidance that students need at every step of their educational journey – incorporating years of test-specific data and strategies tested by Kaplan students and our own expert psychometricians.

After helping millions of students, we know what works. Our guides deliver knowledge with clarity and simplicity while focusing on the specialized strategies that keep test-takers ahead of the clock and at the top of their game.

We offer preparation for more than 90 standardized tests – including entrance exams for secondary school, college, and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians, and nurses.

With a full array of self-paced and live online courses, as well as print books and mobile apps, you can use Kaplan to study on your own schedule and at your own speed. Kaplan’s private tutors and admissions consultants supplement those offerings with one-on-one support.

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best review books for mcat

The College Application

5 Best MCAT Prep Books, According to Med Students

Featured Image of blog post article on Featured image of the blog article on Best MCAT Prep Books

Intro to the Best MCAT Prep Books

Once you’ve determined that you want to get into med school, the next step is picking out the best MCAT prep books to suit your needs. Many of the great MCAT prep courses will provide books as part of the package when you purchase access to the course.

It never hurts, though, to find a few additional books to continue your studies on your own. If you’re willing to invest the time and effort into studying, you can never have too many good study guides. You just need to make sure they  are  good.

Here are five of the best:

1. The Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Complete Box Set

best review books for mcat

Whether or not you select the Princeton Review as the best prep course for your needs, you’ll still want to take a look at the Princeton Review’s study guides because they’re awesome.

This set comes with seven books in total. They are:

  • MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Review
  • MCAT Physics and Math Review
  • MCAT Psychology and Sociology Review
  • MCAT Biochemistry Review
  • MCAT Organic Chemistry Review
  • MCAT Biology Review
  • MCAT General Chemistry Review

It really is the total package when it comes to MCAT prep. There’s a book for every single section of the MCAT exam, including one on critical thinking and reasoning.

Purchasing the books also means you get access to three full-length practice exams that you can redeem online.

These three exams will help you determine whether or not you’re ready to sit for the actual exam. The books also feature thousands of practice questions, and there’s an end-of-chapter review at the end of each chapter.

The books also feature MCAT-style practice passages, chapter summaries for ease of reviewing and retaining information, full-color illustrations, tables, and diagrams to help you commit the material to memory, comprehensive glossaries for easy reference, and sections on test-taking skills and techniques for raising your score.

There are also additional resources online to which you’ll have access after your purchase.

2. MCAT Prep Books 2022-2023: MCAT Study Guide Review and Practice Test Questions

best review books for mcat

Test Prep Books has been offering high-quality, lower price options to students taking standardized tests for years.

This is the company’s most up-to-date offering for students preparing to take the MCAT and is reflective of the types of questions you’ll see on the MCAT exams.

The book is broken down into several sections including:

  • Test-Taking Skills/Tips
  • Introduction
  • The Three Subject-Area Sections
  • A Critical Analysis and Reasoning Section
  • Practice Questions, and Detailed Answers

The book is fairly comprehensive, but its biggest draws are the numerous questions and the detailed answer explanations provided for them at the end of every content section and the critical thinking section.

The answers are very thorough and will help provide you with a very detailed explanation of why you missed the questions that you missed and why you were right about the ones you answered correctly.

3. MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review: Books + Online + 3 Practice Tests

best review books for mcat

Kaplan test prep is another great MCAT resource. Kaplan has been helping students prepare for various standardized tests for over 70 years, and these study guides are some of the best on the market.

Much like the Princeton Review set listed in number one above, this set from Kaplan features seven different books, one for each section on the MCAT exam. The included books are:

  • MCAT Behavioral Sciences Review

Each book is the most up-to-date, accurate version of the subject matter, and the new layouts make the books even more intuitive and easy to use.

In addition to the subject matter, you’ll also get to learn about efficient test-taking strategies and have access to three, full-length practice exams online.

Whether you’re taking the MCAT for the first time or looking to improve your score, these books will provide you with an in-depth review, efficient strategies, realistic practice, and expert guidance to help you do well.

Plus it’s currently the number 1 Best Seller in MCAT Test Guides on Amazon ( as of 11 th Feb 2022 ); definitely one of the very best MCAT prep books you should consider!

4. Examkrackers MCAT Study Packages

best review books for mcat

This is the latest edition MCAT study package by Examkrackers, a company that’s been producing MCAT study guides for the past two decades.

The books were designed with two goals in mind: to provide you with every bit of content you’ll need to learn to score well on the MCAT and to teach you how to use this information to do well on the research passages and questions.

There’s even a section devoted to teaching you essential test-taking strategies you’ll need to do well.

There are six total books in this set:

  • Reasoning Skills: Verbal, Research and Math
  • Biology 1 Molecules: Biochemistry
  • Biology 2 Systems
  • Psychology & Sociology
  • Chemistry: General & Organic Chemistry

The study format is unique in that it teaches you how to approach the different sections, when to read thoroughly, when to skim, and when multiple readings are needed.

There’s also a full mini-exam at the end of each chapter that’ll help reinforce the concepts you just learned.

The guides are designed to teach you to understand rather than memorize, which is the best approach you can take with the MCAT.

5. MCAT – The Official Guide to the MCAT® Exam

best review books for mcat

This is one of the few guides out there that’s an official MCAT prep product. It’s also produced by the AAMC, so you can be assured you’re getting a study guide that’s going to have a lot of relevant, up-to-date, useful information.

This guide is full of great stuff including:

  • Descriptions of Each Content Section and How the Guide Will Help You Prepare for that Section of the MCAT
  • General Tips on Preparing for the Exam
  • Just about  Everything  You Need to Know about the Different Exam Sections
  • Details on MCAT Scoring
  • Info on Admissions, and Much, Much More

This guide  does not  give you access to the 120 online questions, so make sure that’s not part of the reason you’re choosing this particular guide.

Although there are no full-length exams, there are very thorough mini exams at the end of each section, and when combined together, it’s almost like having access to three different full-length exams.

There’s also some great information in this guide about designing your own study plan and how to use your time wisely and maximize your study session.

Wrapping Up on Best MCAT Prep Books

We also hope our selection of the best MCAT prep books will give you somewhere to start researching and studying on your own for extra practice.

Although the MCAT is difficult, it is not insurmountable. To get a great score, all you need is time and devotion.

It should pay off in the end if you’re willing to put in the effort. Just remember to plan ahead of time, stay cool, and give it your all.

Related Readings :

Best MCAT Prep Courses, According to Med Students

The guide to writing a stellar medical school personal statement

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Best MCAT Prep Books

best review books for mcat

So you want to be a doctor when you grow up? Many aspects of you—the person—will be scrutinized and ultimately judged before you’re accepted into medical school. The MCAT, however, is the gateway, and it can either swing open or shut. 

best review books for mcat

You can explain a marginal GPA due to extenuating circumstances, but the MCAT is objective, and schools rely on it to predict your future med school performance. Every admission by a medical school is an investment, and anyone who fails to complete the curriculum has wasted the school’s educational dollars and denied someone else a place there. 

Basically, the MCAT is a big deal. 

Preparing for the MCAT: What Are You Getting Into?

Nothing makes applying to med school feel real like preparing for the MCAT. College might have been a challenge, but the MCAT is a rite of passage that every doctor in North America and Australia must survive. 

Before you tackle the MCAT, adjust your attitude. You must think of it as part of your career. The MCAT is not an obstacle, but part of your calling. Don’t think about “getting it over with,” but consider it part of your goal to be a doctor. Instead of fighting it, work with it. 

MCAT prep books succeed only when they emphasize the process. Sure, you’ll need the “book knowledge,” but you’ll also need something else—perseverance—and the MCAT is your first taste of it. Preparing for the MCAT will put you into the right mindset for medicine. 

To help you get ready to take the test, let’s review the best MCAT prep books.

Table of Contents

First Things First: AAMC’s The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam

The folks who make the MCAT, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), put out their own book, The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam . Considering the source, it’s a great place to start your MCAT preparation. 

This book won’t help you cram the entire science of biochemistry or any other discipline into your head. That’s what college was for. However, this Official Guide gives you a bit of perspective so you’ll know what preparation steps make the most sense for you. 

Part I explores scheduling, paying for, and registering for the MCAT. Part II explores the nature of the test: extrapolating ideas, reasoning, analysis, and reading between the lines. There are also practice questions to demonstrate these kinds of intangible concepts. 

The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam is essentially a pep talk with no patronization—pure incentive in print. It prepares you for what to expect and how best to navigate the familiar paths as well as the surprises. And it reminds you that you’ll need to practice—a lot.

What This Book Includes:

  • The nuts and bolts of the MCAT, from the application to the rationale of its sections
  • Insight into how to tackle the different questions and sections

Who Should Use This Book:

  • Everyone planning to take the MCAT exam. This is the official road map!

Everything You Need to Know to Take the MCAT

If you want to know everything , these two books have you covered. These multivolume packages are arranged according to different subjects, and they’ve stood the test of time, helping students prepare for the MCAT for years. 

Plus, both sets of books offer online practice tests and other resources (see below).

1.     Kaplan’s MCAT Complete 7-Book Review 2019-2020

This seven-book set also has practice tests.

2.   The Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Complete Box Set

 This set of 10-11 books also has practice tests. 

What These Books Include:

Both of these complete solutions to MCAT prep cover the usual subjects, including:

·      Biochemistry

·      Physics

·      Math

·      Biology

·      General Chemistry

·      Organic Chemistry

·      Behavioral Science and Sociology

·      CARS

Besides $20-$30, these two products are essentially identical. (And $30 is trivial in the grand scheme of things, especially when amortized over the life of your student loans, right?) 

The Kaplan and Princeton Review book sets are just different arrangements of the same product, and these resources don’t stop at the printed page. 

The Princeton Review also offers live online tutoring if you purchase a package, while Kaplan offers in-person tutoring for an extra fee. The PLUS option for Kaplan provides three hours of online tutoring.

Either way, if you have the time to commit to making the most of these MCAT resources, you’re covered. If you still have doubts, both companies offer immersion courses (Kaplan’s six-week immersion and Princeton’s four-to-six-week “Bootcamp”) around the country for an extra $2,000-$3,000.

Who Should Use These Books?

  • Anyone with enough time to follow the prescribed programs. They are not for cramming, so if you’re short on time but looking for a quick MCAT prep, you’d be better off with the flashcard or note card solutions I’ll describe below. 

If You Want Different MCAT Prep Tools

3. the sterling series .

The Sterling series takes a slightly different approach. Instead of presenting material to study, it presents the material in the form of explanations to sample questions. This is an excellent way to learn and is especially helpful if you only need to concentrate on a particular subject or discipline. 

At $35 a book, owning the complete set (five or more books, including separate ones for the practice tests) becomes impractical. It’s not the cost—the Sterling books would add up to close to what you would pay for the Kaplan and Princeton Review sets. It’s just that working through all the books would be too time-consuming. Knowledge is infinite, but your time is not. 

Many people preparing for the MCAT will choose an all-encompassing solution (like Kaplan’s or Princeton Review’s MCAT prep sets) to start. Then they’ll choose one or two Sterling or Examkrackers (below) books to beef up on the weak links in their knowledge base.

As mentioned, each Sterling book covers one of these topics.

  • General Chemistry Review
  • General Chemistry Practice Questions
  • Organic Chemistry & Biochemistry Practice Questions
  • Biology & Biochemistry Review
  • Biology & Biochemistry Practice Questions
  • Psychology & Sociology
  • Physics Review
  • Physics Practice Questions

Who Should Use These Books:

  • Students who want to brush up on a particular category (or two). 

4. Examkrackers “ 1001 Questions ” and “ 101 Passages in Psychology & Sociology ” 

These Examkrackers books follow the same motif as the Sterling Series, with each one focusing on a particular subject.

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Students who want a secondary review of a particular MCAT subject after they’ve already done a more intensive review of the full test. 

5. Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package

An all-encompassing MCAT prep package in six volumes. This package is succinct and concise, and it covers the breadth and depth of the MCAT testing materials. 

What This Books Includes:

  • A one-stop destination for the usual MCAT subjects
  • Insights into the actual testing approach for each subject
  • Two 30-minute practice tests
  • Questions within the material to reinforce the subject matter
  • Reasoning skills (verbal, research, and math)
  • Biology I (molecules: biochemistry)
  • Biology II (systems)
  • Chemistry General & organic)
  • Students who want to learn about the links between MCAT concepts across the various disciplines

Note: We didn’t include Barron’s NEW MCAT book in our review of the complete approaches because of the repeated negative reviews about its practice tests. Also, it’s beginning to be out of date, so it’s better to go with MCAT prep materials that include more recent developments in both the material and the test itself. 

The Best MCAT Flashcards

Once you’ve chosen and carefully studied your complete solution, you might be ready to test your Jeopardy-like recall. Flashcards help you learn by repeating what you already know.

As you read this, you are forming synapses in your brain. That’s how cognition works: “Neurons that fire together, wire together,” as neuropsychologist Donald Hebb famously explained in 1949.

By the same token, neurons that stop firing together become looser. Knowledge is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition, and flashcards take your neurons that first fired in Chem 101 and keep them wired together. If you’ve ever chased a dream by trying to remember more and more of it, you’ll know that recall via re-engaging the synapses also reinforces your recall of the more complex concepts behind the simple answers.

Flashcards aren’t the best way to learn something for the first time, but they are useful for practicing what you already know. Plus, they’re cheap, so there’s really no downside to using them.

1. AAMS Official MCAT Flashcards

Each card has a question, solution, and explanation. And the AAMS Official MCAT Flashcards are the only ones that can call themselves “official,” so they might be a good bet.

2. Kaplan Flashcards

First, this package doesn’t actually include a thousand cards. But these MCAT flashcards dovetail into the other Kaplan materials, so if you bought the Kaplan Complete series, you might like these as well.

3. Barron’s MCAT Flashcards

These aren’t exactly flashcards, but note cards. Using them with a complete approach helps you keep those neurons wired together and firing together.

What These Card Sets Include:

  • Biochemistry

Who Should Use the Flashcards:

  • Students who like the flashcard method for review
  • People who refer information delivered in small doses 

4. Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package

Yes, this package appears twice. It’s a concise version of the complete approach, and so it can serve as a review much like the flashcards do. If you’ve used a different complete MCAT prep solution, you might like to use this one as your review tool.

  • Biology 1 (molecules)
  • Biology 2 (systems)
  • Chemistry (general and organic)
  • Reasoning Skills (verbal, research, and math)
  • Test-taking strategies

Students who want it all tidily packaged in one consistent “voice.” 

What Else Should You Look for in MCAT Prep Books?

It is very interesting and informative to look below these books on Amazon and see which items are “Frequently bought together.” Yes, it’s part of Amazon’s marketing tactics, but it’s also a glimpse into how MCAT preppers strategize and prepare for the test. 

Many of the “complete” prep books dovetail best with the flashcards or standalone in-depth subject books from the same company. 

When you’re considering buying MCAT books, always check the reviews on Amazon first. For example, the Examkrackers “1001 Questions” and “101 Passages” books seem to have lower star ratings than some other MCAT prep materials. 

But be sure to read the reviews as well—for example, some customers complained about the paper quality, but is that really a big deal when you’re more concerned about preparing for the MCAT?

What Do MCAT Prep Books Cost?

All of the “complete” solutions listed above cost between $100 and $200. If cost is an issue, you could buy last year’s version without much of a downside. 

The MCAT changes, but a year’s difference won’t be what gets you into or keeps you out of medical school. However, some books, such as Barron’s NEW MCAT Book (published in 2016), are a little too out of date. Remember, today’s total medical knowledge doubles every few months, so you want to stay on top of the information.

If you’re considering buying last year’s MCAT book, look for an online guide that describes what percentage of material has changed from one year to the next. This information can help you choose the right MCAT book for your budget, while still getting you the test prep information you need.

Online MCAT Prep Courses

Khan Academy offers free MCAT prep courses. These video courses are helpful for students who learn better by paying thoughtful attention to a presentation than by reading. Most MCAT preppers, however, use these courses for review and not as their sole study tool. 

Subscription services such as Magoosh ( www.mcat.magoosh.com ) are similar to the Khan Academy approach and, while not free, are very reasonable ($99 for a year). Again, most students would use this service for repetition or review.

What Online Prep Courses Include:

  • Short video lessons on the usual MCAT subjects

Who Should Use Online Prep Courses:

  • Students who are already familiar with MCAT materials and who want another way to reviews
  • People who prefer audiovisual learning

How Can Books Help You Prepare for the MCAT?

What do these MCAT prep books offer that your college education cannot? The answer: perspective. 

Doctors cannot and do not know everything (although some may disagree!). With our knowledge base doubling over shorter and shorter spans of time (it’s projected to be every 73 days by 2020!), any all-encompassing exam naturally will be less all-encompassing as time passes. 

To test you in a meaningful way, therefore, the MCAT must evolve; it continuously fine-tunes its perspective on what is important today. You, too, need to hone your perspective, because you can’t know everything when you take the MCAT. Even the rare person who gets a perfect score does not know everything. 

The people who make the MCAT understand this, and the test is designed to take this fact into account. While the MCAT does test your “book smarts” on many subjects and while it is also a test of persistence (7.5 hours!), it also tests something else. Rather stealthily, it tests whether your perspective on what’s important matches the MCAT perspective. A good prep book should help you prepare for this part of the test, too.

When it comes to MCAT prep books, it’s not “you get what you pay for.” Instead, it’s “pay for what’s best for you.” I suppose you could use all of these MCAT prep materials, but you’d probably just collapse from exhaustion. Your first MCAT “prep” is your college education, but these MCAT prep books are the next step to helping you take the test with confidence.

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10 Best MCAT Prep Books (2024's Recommended Picks)

William Cohen

When it comes to MCAT exam preparation, there's a long list of MCAT prep books and study materials available in the market. While all of these may be useful, only a few MCAT prep books can help you study smarter and without wasting precious time.

Together with my team of academic experts, I have created a list of useful materials in this best MCAT prep books review. Take a look and see if what you're reading made it to our recommended list.

MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2020-2021: Online + Book + 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep) 1st Edition

10 Best MCAT Prep Books in 2022

1 - kaplan complete 7 book-subject review ( editor's choice ).

Kaplan has produced one of the best MCAT prep books for several years now. This MCAT prep material, written by an award-winning Kaplan instructor, contains detailed conceptual topics, which will be very useful for self-studying strategies.

This Kaplan MCAT Complete 7 prep study material consists of detailed diagrams, charts, and illustrations, which will help you remember things easily.

The Kaplan MCAT prep book provides an expert study plan and detailed subject review. It also provides hundreds of online and offline practice questions and practice problems with detailed answer explanations. It is not surprising that it is one of the best MCAT prep books available.

Based on our research, Kaplan's online resource includes 3 practice tests, which many students and test-takers find helpful. The charts, graphs, and diagrams are also useful when it comes to memorization.

16 25 8 98%
  • Concepts are well-explained
  • Detailed diagrams and charts
  • Good online practice exams
  • Star ratings for every subject
  • Provides expert study plan and detailed subject review
  • 3 online practice tests
  • No full-length practice test

2 - Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package

Examkrackers MCAT complete study package is our overall second best MCAT prep study guide as it provides a comprehensive MCAT prep approach to your overall review strategy.

It contains six MCAT practice books on general and organic chemistry, psychology; sociology; physics; verbal research; and mathematics.

This MCAT prep book also simplifies subjects like organic chemistry, biochemistry, and biological sciences, which will help you quickly grasp the concepts. A clear and simplified explanation is something that we looked into while searching for the best MCAT books.

There are 24 questions to test your logical reasoning and mastery of the subjects to assess your progress. Full-length practice tests are also given at the end of each chapter.

One possible drawback with this MCAT prep book is the publishing of several defective copies.  However, the company has claimed that they've already fixed the issue.

Student Score Improvement Average Largest Improvement Smallest Improvement Book Accuracy Result
15 20 6 97%
  • Provides brief and comprehensive MCAT prep information
  • Includes developmental tests at the end of each chapter
  • Uses visuals and infographics
  • Good for full-time study schedule
  • Fewer examples for psychology and sociology
  • CARS doesn’t include the ‘real-life ‘concept

3 - Princeton Review MCAT Subject Complete Set

The Princeton Review Complete MCAT Subject  set of books provides 3 full-length practice tests that are accessible online.

At the end of each chapter, you'll also find 1000 practice questions that you'll find helpful for MCAT preparation.

Although not as comprehensive as Examkrackers and not as brief as Kaplan, the Princeton Review study material offers essential concepts aptly presented with colorful illustrations to engage students, and it is one of the best MCAT prep books on our list.

Princeton Review gives you MCAT physics, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, psychological, social, verbal reasoning, and biological foundations of behavior.

Student Score Improvement Average Largest Improvement Smallest Improvement Book Accuracy Result
14 26 5 97%
  • Practice tests are similar to exam
  • 7 complete books that cover all parts of MCAT exam
  • Plenty of practice questions
  • 3 full-length practice test
  • Some content not updated
  • Lots of editing errors

4 - Sterling Test MCAT Prep Book

Sterling MCAT Organic Chemistry

The Sterling Test Prep MCAT prep book provides a brief and in-depth conceptual explanation for the MCAT.

What we like about this MCAT prep study material is the fact that it's updated every year. It contains different MCAT prep course review books for each subject. Some exciting topics we've found include biological and biochemical foundations of the living system; and chemical and physical foundation of the biological system.

This MCAT prep book provides four practice tests for each subject to help you while studying for the MCAT. You'll also see that they've provided explanations in each MCAT practice test for both correct and incorrect answers.

Since this MCAT study material includes illustrations, graphics, tables, and diagrams, most students find it visually interesting and motivating, making it one of the best MCAT prep books on the list.

Student Score Improvement Average Largest Improvement Smallest Improvement Book Accuracy Result
13 22 6 96%
  • Updated every year
  • Answers are explained
  • Includes four practice tests
  • Contains illustrations and diagrams as study guides
  • Simple explanation for chemistry and physics
  • Some students find the biology section too tough
  • Incomplete study guide

5 - The Berkeley Review MCAT complete set 10 Books

Berkeley Review MCAT Complete

The Berkeley MCAT Review includes 10 content books that talk about different sciences, i.e., physics, biology, and chemistry. It also contains one MCAT verbal section review and an MCAT organic chemistry review.

Based on our review, we find this book expensive, but it may be worth the cost if you're after improving your skills in critical analysis and reasoning as you study for the MCAT.

The MCAT course book includes 9 diagnostic MCAT practice sets, 27 practice passages, and 447 questions. The study guide covers Physics, Psychology, and CARS in sections for a more thorough explanation.

14 21 5 N/A
  • Includes 3500 MCAT practice questions
  • Contains explanations to answers
  • Book series is bit expensive
  • Includes unnecessary content
  • Not updated

6 - Barron’s New MCAT, 3rd edition review

Barron MCAT

Based on our review, Barron’s new MCAT book is among the most affordable MCAT prep books and review materials. This MCAT test prep manual includes a CD-ROM to provide you an in-depth explanation of the concepts.

It also includes critical test-taking strategies, which cover timing, test anxiety, scientific problem solving, and critical analysis, which many students find helpful.

We like how it reviews the expanded science chapters and covers the topics recommended by the AAMC.

This MCAT prep book focuses on conceptual understanding rather than presenting the facts for memorization. The comprehensive multi-month study plan may provide the students with a well-organized and streamlined way of studying. If you are looking for budget-friendly MCAT prep books, this one may be the right choice for you.

One downside we've noticed is the poor construction of the MCAT practice tests, which many find confusing. The questions aren't based on the actual MCAT, as well.

Student Score Improvement Average Largest Improvement Smallest Improvement Book Accuracy Result
14 18 6 97%
  • Very affordable
  • Includes chapters recommended by AAMC
  • Includes answer explanation
  • Contains 4 online tests and 39 passages
  • MCAT practice questions are poorly worded
  • Questions not based on actual exam

7 - Princeton Review complete MCAT, 2nd edition Total Preparation

Princeton Review MCAT Total_Preparation

The Princeton Review is an all in one MCAT resource designed to provide a good general overview of the MCAT.  Based on our research, it is the first single book study guide for MCAT. It has 4 full length online practice tests and several test-taking strategies to help students prepare better.

It covers biology, biochemistry, psychology and sociology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and math. It also aims to develop your critical analysis and reasoning skills.

The full-color 16-page reference guide covers essential formulas, diagrams, concepts, and charts for each MCAT section.

At the end of each chapter, you'll also find test taking strategies and practice questions to test what you've learned. One particular drawback, however, is the layout.

While many find the practice questions helpful, you'll most likely encounter problems with concepts that have not been discussed yet. This might leave you both frustrated and confused.

Student Score Improvement Average Largest Improvement Smallest Improvement Book Accuracy Result
10 22 5 98%
  • First single book study guide
  • 4 full-length online practice tests
  • Full-color 16-page tear-out reference guide
  • Poor layout
  • Practice questions are based on concepts that have not been discussed

8 - Official guide to the MCAT exam – AAMC Guide

Official Guide MCAT Exam

The Official Guide to the MCAT prep book is a preparatory guide written by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the official organization that conducts the MCAT exams.

It also covers different test-taking strategies, including the critical rules during test day and the scoring guide. With over 100 practice questions, you'll have plenty of exercises to test your knowledge and skills.

However, based on our review, this MCAT prep book is not as comprehensive as we've expected. Some also find it difficult to read.

Student Score Improvement Average Largest Improvement Smallest Improvement Book Accuracy Result
14 19 6 98%
  • Written by the MCAT exam makers
  • Includes 120 practice questions
  • Difficult to read
  • Not comprehensive
  • Requires additional resource

9 - MCAT Psychology and Sociology

Princeton MCAT Pyschology Sociology

The MCAT Psychology and Sociology review book covers the MCAT’s psychological, social, and biological foundations. It includes several practice sections that many students may find helpful.

It provides free access to the online MCAT diagnostic test plus a free full-length exam. You'll see instructions on how to register for this free exam.

This study material comes with MCAT prep practice tests and explanations of the answers.

Student Score Improvement Average Largest Improvement Smallest Improvement Book Accuracy Result
  • Good resource for sociology and psychology
  • Access to free full-length exam
  • Limited content

10 - Kaplan MCAT flashcards:

Kaplan MCAT Flashcards

The Kaplan MCAT flashcards cover the terms, definitions, and concepts of the MCAT for mastery and better understanding. The Kaplan test prep set contains 1000 essential flashcards and an app.

Based on our research and students' feedback, the Kaplan flashcards and MCAT 528 Advanced Prep are considered one of the best MCAT prep books since they may serve as your notes during your study sessions.

  • 230 flashcards for behavioral science
  • 247 flashcards for biology
  • 143 flashcards for general chemistry
  • 90 flashcards for organic chemistry
  • 103 flashcards for physics
  • Includes 1000 flashcards and an app
  • Convenient study companion
  • Not durable
  • Not for comprehensive studying

What is the MCAT?

The medical college admission test (MCAT) is a computer-based standardized test for medical students applying in Australia, Canada, and the United States.

It is designed to evaluate the problems, critical thinking, written analysis, and association of scientific concepts and principles. The exam is divided into four sections, with the scores from each section added to form a compound score.

According to AAMC, the average score for US medical school applicants for each section is 125, with a total average score of 500.

Section Number of questions Time Content
Chemical and physical foundations of biological systems. 59 95 minutes Tests basic biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics.
Critical analysis and reasoning skills. 53 90 minutes Similar to reading comprehension sections on other standardized tests passages come from a variety of humanities and social sciences disciplines.
Biological and biochemical foundations of living systems. 59 95 minutes Tests basic biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and biochemistry.
Psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior. 59 95 minutes Tests introductory psychology, sociology and biology.

10 Tips for MCAT Preparation

  • Go through the MCAT study essentials: The MCAT essentials like MCAT prep courses , MCAT prep books, test prep books, and test-taking strategies are updated every year by the exam makers, so going through them will help you gather suggestions and tips on the current year’s exam.
  • Use flashcards for wrong questions: Flashcards are the easiest way to remember and improve your mistakes. Make a flashcard for each MCAT practice question that you get wrong and go through it.
  • Use online resources as an MCAT study guide: Online resources are the best way to improve your score. These resources are almost available free. If you are starting your preparation, then it will help you a lot to build your base.
  • Try to practice on the computer from the beginning: As the MCAT is a computer-based exam, it is essential to practice through it. Answering the practice test online will help you a lot in the actual exam.
  • Don’t spend too much time on one question: Spending too much time on an item can be frustrating. If you feel the MCAT question is taking too much time, move to the next one.
  • Read the questions before reading the context: Make sure that you are reading questions before the context. Reading the question will make it easier for you to pinpoint the concept that goes with it.
  • Don’t waste time memorizing details: Don’t waste your time remembering the details. The exam is meant to test your understanding of the concepts and not test whether you remember everything.
  • Don’t ignore the introduction for each subject matter: Most important instructions are given in the introduction of the practice passage, so make sure you don't skip on them.
  • Don’t take lots of notes: Taking a lot of notes may waste your time, but if you have to, make them short, concise, and straight to the point.
  • Answer questions on the familiar topics first:  Answer the questions on the topic you are are most familiar with as this will boost your confidence and might help you score better.

Related Articles:

  • Best MCAT Practice Tests
  • How Hard Is the MCAT?
  • Best Last Minute MCAT Tips
  • Essentials to Bring to the MCAT

Study Plan For The MCAT

We recommend setting up a study plan for the MCAT before you begin. It will help you stay on track during the study period.

3-Month Study Plan

You should start your studying by taking a diagnostic MCAT test. We recommend taking a full-length content review version, which you can find online or in a practice book. This diagnostic test will help you gauge where you should focus your studying efforts, especially when you're after building good chemical and physical foundations.

Next, you should break up each week into approximately 3 hours per day and 6 days per week. You should set up a rotating schedule with one topic for each, including biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and behavioral sciences. You should briefly study for the critical analysis and reasoning section every day.

You should focus on core topic areas within each subject for the first week. During weeks 2 through 8, shift your focus to specific content areas like the psychological, social, and biological aspects within each subject.

During weeks 9 through 11, you should take a practice test at the beginning of each week to gauge your progress. Continue to study specific content areas within the 6 subject areas and the critical analysis and reasoning section.

For the final week, you should start by taking a practice test from the AAMC website. Evaluate your score and see which subject you feel need improvement before test day. We recommend visiting the test center to see where it is and how it is set up during the week.

If you wish to learn more be sure to check out our article about MCAT study plans .

Recommended Article: How Many Times Can You Take the MCAT?

What Will Happen On Test Day?

To ease some of your pre-test jitters, we think students who are studying for the MCAT should know precisely what to expect on test day. The MCAT is a computer-based exam that will last approximately 6 hours.

Here is a brief guideline below of exactly what will happen once you sit at the computer.

Examinee Agreement 8 minutes
Tutorial 10 minutes (optional)
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems 95 minutes
Break 10 minutes (optional)
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills 90 minutes
Mid-Exam Break 30 minutes (optional)
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems 95 minutes
Break 10 minutes (optional)
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior 95 minutes
Void Questions 5 minutes
Satisfaction Survey 5 minutes (optional)

We recommend you take advantage of the breaks. It can increase blood flow to your brain and improve your ability to focus. You should also eat lunch during the 30-minute break, which will refuel your body to complete the remainder of the test.

How far in advance should you study for the MCAT?

You should set up a 3 to 6-month study plan depending on how well you understand the test prep books and materials beforehand. Your study plan should include biology, biochemistry, physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and behavioral sciences.

Are MCAT prep courses better than books?

It depends on how you like to study. MCAT prep courses can be a great study tool for students who do well in a structured learning environment. We recommend taking an MCAT study course along with purchasing MCAT prep books. This will give the best results when trying to improve your MCAT score.

How long is the MCAT exam?

The MCAT exam is about 6 hours of actual test time. The exam is about 7.5 hours if you include all breaks, agreements, and surveys.

How many times can you take the MCAT?

You can take the MCAT 3 times in a one-year period, 4 times in a two-year period, and 7 times over one lifetime.

Is it okay to postpone the MCAT if I have already signed up?

Yes. In fact, if you are not scoring as high as you would like on your MCAT practice exam, then you should postpone your scheduled test date until you feel ready to tackle the exam. It is better to take the exam and get the score you want.

How is the MCAT scored?

The MCAT is scored from 118-132 in four sections. The best score you can receive is a 528 with perfect on all four sections.

How long does it take to receive your MCAT scores?

MCAT scores are usually released 30 to 35 days after the testing date. You can also view your scores online at the AAMC website.

What's the Best MCAT Prep Book?

Based on our extensive research and interview with students, we recommend Kaplan MCAT complete 7 book subject review as the best MCAT prep book if you're planning to take MCAT.

Aside from being written by an award-winning Kaplan instructor, this study material explains the concepts very well. It includes diagrams and charts that many students find visually interesting and motivating.

We are particularly impressed with the star ratings for each test prep book subject.  The streamlined study plan also helps you create better strategies while studying and when taking the test. We suggest enrolling in an MCAT prep course to strengthen your knowledge.

Our #1 Recommendation

Kaplan Complete 7 Book-Subject Review

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About the author

William Cohen

William is an electrical engineer whose great passion is helping promising students achieve their goals and dreams. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring learners from all over the world.

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Kaplan MCAT Prep Review

Our in-depth analysis and review of the kaplan mcat prep course.

When it comes to MCAT prep, Kaplan is about the biggest game in town. They’ve been helping students prepare for over 80 years, and have one of the most comprehensive MCAT prep curriculums on the market. But does a robust curriculum and years of teaching to the MCAT mean this prep course is the best? We dig in and closely examine the Kaplan MCAT prep course and all of its features in this detailed review.

Kaplan MCAT Live Online Course

Kaplan MCAT Prep

  • Multiple Course Options
  • Higher Score Guarantee
  • High-quality video-based lessons with ample graphics and strong content
  • 3,000+ realistic practice problems in Qbank with advanced filtering
  • Tons of prep material with 700 hours worth of content
  • Some of the best hardcopy books in MCAT prep
  • Unlimited access to livestream MCAT workshops
  • The practice problem explanations are a little brief (would like to see more detail)
  • Instructors take a while to respond to email outside of class

Kaplan mcat online

Outline : Kaplan MCAT Review

Kaplan mcat course options & pricing, evaluation of lessons & coursework, kaplan mcat prep books, kaplan mcat practice tests.

  • Verdict: Kaplan MCAT Prep Course Review

Use the jump-to links above to quickly skip ahead to the exact section you’re most interested in.

Video Review : Is Kaplan MCAT Worth It?

In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team covers the major pros and cons of the Kaplan MCAT prep course. For more detail, be sure to continue reading our full written review below.

To help set the stage for our evaluation of the Kaplan MCAT course features, I think it’s most helpful to quickly run through the different prep packages that Kaplan offers at each level.

In short, Kaplan offers 4 different prep packages for students to choose from: On Demand Course , Live Online Course , In Person Course , and Private Tutoring + Live Online Course.

Kaplan’s cheapest prep option, the On Demand Course , will cost you around $2,100. This course is self-paced and allows you to study from anywhere at any time. In terms of how this pricing stacks up, this course format does run about 8x the cost of budget test prep provider Magoosh’s MCAT prep package , but as discussed below, the difference in quantity and quality of study material is huge .

At the next level up, the Live Online Course and In Person Course generally run for around $2,700 and $3,100 , respectively. They offer students a series of live classes, whether online or in person. For those students seeking more interpersonal communication and a real group feel, this course will likely be your best best.

Then there’s the company’s Tutoring + Live Online Course, which as its name implies adds private 1:1 tutoring in 10, 20, 30 or 40 hour increments to the Live Online Course. These packages start around $3,300 .

Finally, for those dead set on crushing the MCAT, Kaplan offers an intensive Bootcamp course . This course is not for the faint of heart, lasting 5-6 weeks during the summer, with lessons every day and strict schedules. It does not come cheap though, pricing in at around $7,000 .

Course options and pricing current as of date of publication.

Now that you have the lay of the land in terms of prep options, let’s get down to my thoughts on the Kaplan MCAT course . And I won’t hide the ball until the end here.

I’ll just start by saying that I generally loved this MCAT course . It’s undeniably first-rate in terms of content, structure and delivery—though it did have a couple shortcomings as discussed further below.

Whether you’re taking the self-paced on demand course or the live online course, everything with Kaplan MCAT revolves around your schedule . In short, the entire program is driven by a study schedule in calendar form that tells you exactly what to do everyday.

Honestly, when boiled down, this is the crux of the course. Almost everything is on your schedule : learning modules, AAMC practice sessions, live classes, full-length practice exams, practice test review sessions, optional workshops, and more. In this respect, the study schedule will b e your guiding light.

Kaplan MCAT Study Schedule

As for the meat of what’s in your study schedule, most days will be about learning modules . These come in two main forms: “content refreshers” and “application.” No matter which type of learning module you’re in, each one goes like this. First, you start with a brief placement quiz (usually about 15 to 20 questions), which sets your baseline for the module.

In fact, if you score high enough on the placement quiz (70%-80%), you can actually test out of the module and move right onto the next assignment. However, assuming you don’t hit that high threshold, you then watch a number of video lessons , usually 2-3 on average per module.

These videos are generally on the shorter side, with most being in the 8- to 13-minute range, though some are as short as 5 minutes and others are as long as 20 minutes. Due to the fact that they are shorter in nature though, if you feel like you need a deeper dive, Kaplan gives you the chapter of the prep book that aligns with that video lesson so you can jump over and get some detailed notes.

For visual learners, these interactive video lessons are absolute money in my opinion. Every lesson gives you a rich diversity of pictures, graphs, drawings, formulas, and various graphics that make it easy to retain concepts .

Kaplan MCAT Video Lecture

I personally loved the production value and structured feel of these video lectures . The quality is very professional, making for a more effective learning experience (better than Jack Westin ).

A fter you’re done with the video lessons in your module, you finish with a review quiz. Those are similar in length to the placement quizzes at the front end of the module (about 15 to 20 questions). And that’s it for the primary learning modules. It’s a pretty simple formula : placement quiz 👉 video lessons 👉 review quiz

Then, outside of the modules, you also get sequenced mock exams , AAMC and CARS practice assignments, and practice test review sessions on your calendar.

Besides the placement and review quizzes in the modules, as well as the full-length tests, most of the practice work is housed in the Qbank, which isn’t directly assigned in your schedule. For this practice work, it is more so on you to jump into the Qbank between modules and work practice problems that align with what you’ve learned .

The Qbank contains over 3,000 practice problems and has some very useful advanced filtering functionality. It is a significant value add, as it allows you to zero in on your weaknesses and improve on those topics.

Not to mention, accompanying each practice problem is a text explanation , breaking down the question and explaining why each answer choice is correct or incorrect.

These explanations were one of the areas of the coursework I was not totally satisfied with . While the explanations were effective in communicating why my answer choice was correct or incorrect, the level of detail was just a little subpar .

The text was brief and to the point, which is understandable given that Kaplan needs to write 3,000+ of these explanations, but I just expected more. It would have been nice to see some more detailed analysis , even if it went further than the immediate issue.

Kaplan MCAT answer explanation

How Kaplan leverages the Qbank is similar to how Kaplan employs their books. The readings aren’t directly assigned in your schedule . Again, it’s more on you to supplement the video lessons with the prep books where needed.

This is actually a good pause point to share a love-hate thing I had with the Kaplan course. For positives, I really like how Kaplan has integrated all their materials. The video lessons, prep books and Qbank all tie into one another.

For example, if you’re watching a video lesson on Isomers , but feel like you need more detail, Kaplan will direct you over to chapter 2 of the Organic Chemistry Review book.

Then, if you want to work practice problems that target what you learned about Isomers post-video lesson, you can create a custom quiz in the Qbank that only has Isomer problems. Essentially, all the material is grouped in order by topic , and all ties in with itself, which is an awesome organizational system that really helps.

However, this almost makes the Kapan MCAT program too flexible . There are just so many elements of this course that are optional : (1) optional reading with each video lesson; (2) optional practice problems in the Qbank; (3) optional workshops each night; and (4) optional flashcards. It’s a long list.

Yet the problem with this is that, while the flexibility is good because it accommodates so many different learners, it can also be a little overwhelming . It just becomes hard to figure out exactly what to do each day. When given too many options, it just makes things feel a little disorientating.

Kaplan MCAT Prep Modules

I think one area where Kaplan could improve this is firming up assignments in terms of these optional materials , and more precisely tell people what to do. But I digress.

This brings me to the final element of the course— the live sessions . I f you take the live online course, you also get a series of live classes which you will see on your study schedule. These classes are three hours long each and mostly cover test taking strategy elements.

Plus, the cool thing about the live classes is that you don’t have fixed days and times . It used to be that way with Kaplan, but they’ve switched that up. They now have flex classes (kind of like how Prep101 does it ) , where the class sessions are offered multiple times throughout the week and you just have to attend one of the sessions where it fits your schedule. That’s been a really nice improvement.

Additionally, just as a point of clarification, if you’re an on demand student and don’t get the live classes, you’ll still have strategy-based modules added to your study calendar to account for this, so you don’t miss out. 

Lastly, there’s the live workshops . These are open to both the live online and self-paced students. Everyday, Kaplan has at least a few live online workshops or office hour sessions where you get a very deep dive into one particular topic and can ask questions.

For on demand students, these workshops are incredibly valuable , as they’re almost a pseudo class replacement. Though again, they’re all totally optional.

To sum this up, Kaplan’s lessons, coursework and practice materials add up to over 700 hours of prep time . At least that’s what they say, and honestly, I ‘ll have to take their word for it because it was more than I could ever get through.

And given that the AAMC recommends just 300 to 350 hours of prep time , you should have more than your fill of studying with Kaplan . So if quantity of prep material is one of your MCAT prep concerns, I’d forget that right now with Kaplan. In fact, it’s almost a drawback .

Kaplan MCAT Video Lesson

All things considered tough, I was extremely impressed with the Kaplan coursework and lessons . I knew going into my class that Kaplan would offer a solid prep course, but I had no idea how in-depth and comprehensive it would be.

I was almost overwhelmed at times with the pure amount of study material Kaplan throws at you. But it was more than just quantity —it was also the quality .

Kaplan’s live classes (discussed further below), online video instruction, quizzes and everything in between were all top-notch . I was left with very little to gripe about with respect to the MCAT content and coursework.

As mentioned, in addition to your online content (and live classes, assuming you purchase a course with classroom component), Kaplan also offers some top tier study books .

In total, Kaplan will ship you seven (7) hard copy books with the purchase of a prep course . Plus, you will get a useful Quicksheets guide (essentially a cheat sheet).

As you may expect from Kaplan, these books are all extremely thorough and well-written . Each subject review book covers a major MCAT topic (such as organic chemistry or biology) and goes into great detail (similar to Princeton Review ).

Kaplan MCAT books

These are not light reads by any means – they are content heavy, comprehensive prep books designed to cover every nook and cranny of MCAT material.

And that is another small complaint I had with this course – the books are so detailed that reading can be tedious at times. But it’s also a necessary evil given the amount of material you need to learn.

If you’re big on learning via text, you will love these prep books. I found them to be really well-written and structured . The books flow naturally and the concepts within the subject review books in particular, are very well-articulated.

For the students who prefer to learn by doing, practice tests are critical – and are often at the heart of their analysis when considering which prep course is best for their needs. All in all, Kaplan gives students access to 17 full-length practice tests .

This is a very respectable number of practice exams and is bested only by the Gold Standard MCAT Prep , which provides 20 tests . While 17 exams doesn’t sound like much, at 7 hours+ per exam, that is a lot of hours spent simulating the real MCAT .

Kaplan MCAT practice problems

The quality of Kaplan’s MCAT practice tests are above average and pretty darn good on the whole. They are not so exceptional that I would flag them as a major course highlight, but they are more than serviceable and do a good job of mimicking the real MCAT .

It is clear that the questions are expertly written and the practice test platform is very realistic with respect to mirroring the real MCAT. The bottom line is that I had no qualms with the quality or quantity of the Kaplan practice tests .

➡ Related: Kaplan vs Princeton Review MCAT Comparison

The Kaplan MCAT Class Experience

So if you sign up for the live online option with Kaplan, you get 14 three-hour sessions with a Kaplan instructor .

Kaplan doesn’t say anywhere on their website whether all of their instructors have scored in a certain percentile or better on the MCAT, but my teacher let us know that she had scored in the 94th percentile.

Not that high scores always translate to good teaching , but it was nice to know nonetheless .

Our instructor followed the Kaplan curriculum to a “T”, never deviating from the script, except to provide some quick side tips and insights not found in the lesson book. These were always super helpful and I was sure to note them on a separate pad of paper.

Kaplan MCAT Live Classes

I’ve reviewed a number of MCAT courses at this point, and I would say on the whole that the Kaplan instructor generally stuck to the script more and offered less “side” notes than other MCAT classes (such as Prep101 ). But this also kept things streamlined in class .

She was very serious about MCAT prep and staying on pace with our course; however, she also had a dry sense of humor and did a fairly good job keeping the material light . The MCAT is content heavy and it’s hard to keep people focused, so you need that lighthearted element from time to time.

Plus, one thing worth mentioning is that Kaplan also uses a second, separate instructor in every live class to work the chat function. I really liked this feature and decision, as our main instructor never got distracted from teaching, yet you could always ask questions at any point. That was a very useful function in the live classes, and I think it was a smart decision by Kaplan to use dual instructors like this. 

Nonetheless, after most class sessions, I left with my brain feeling like oatmeal. Kaplan throws a ton of material at you in three hours and you are expected to stay engaged and soak it all in. It can be tough at times, but I definitely felt like I was getting money’s worth out of every three-hour session.

➡ Also Worth Reading :  Altius MCAT Review

User Experience & Digital Platform

Like most everything else Kaplan does, they did their online content portal the right way. Kaplan’s online platform has a great layout and some of the best functionality I have seen , rivaled only by Princeton Review .

The dashboard is clean and simple, yet very professional . Down the left hand side, you will see the main sections of online content: My Schedule, Activity Library, Qbank, Performance, History, and Flashcards.

This layout makes the portal incredibly easy to navigate and I never had any issues. In addition, the drill-down method of locating lessons, quizzes and the like is very intuitive.

Overall, I really like the user interface and experience of the Kaplan online platform.

Kaplan 1-on-1 MCAT Tutoring

If you are struggling with a few particular topics and need some specialized attention to get a quick score boost in those areas, private tutoring may be a consideration. For those students who need it, Kaplan does offer private 1-on-1 tutoring packages .

These packages are not cheap, but do include access to the Kaplan On Demand Course – so if you’re thinking about tutoring at the outset, factor in that you would get all of the On Demand Course access and materials with such a purchase.

The Kaplan packages provide 10, 20, 30, or 40 hours of private tutoring . They range in price from around $3,300 for the 10-hour course up to $6,000+ or so for the 40-hour course. You can do the math to see that those rates are not cheap. But just keep in mind that its not just tutoring you getting – it’s also the on-demand course access.

While I didn’t personally use Kaplan’s tutoring services, I would imagine that they would be quite strong . Their instructors are generally regarded as some of the best MCAT experts around.

I would fully expect them to be more than serviceable as private tutors . If you’re looking for tutoring from a separate source, I would note that I have used Blueprint MCAT’s private tutoring services previously, and found that program to be exceptional.

Content Access Period

With the purchase of a Kaplan MCAT course, you will get 6 months of access to their online content . For most students this will be plenty of time to accomplish their MCAT prep, but for some, 6 months may be pushing it . The AAMC recommends 300 to 350 hours of study time prior to sitting for the MCAT.

As such, if you’ve got a busy life and need to study around work and school, that 300 or so hours could take you 6+ months .

If that’s the case, you may need to think hard about the Kaplan access period. For others, 6 months should be just fine . Keep in mind, you can always lengthen your content access period with Kaplan for an additional fee.

Does Kaplan Have A Mobile App For MCAT Prep?

The short answer is yes , though its value is up for debate . Kaplan does offer a mobile app for MCAT study; however, it only contains some of your study materials (such as flashcards, video lessons, and quizzes). Notably, you cannot see your study calendar from within the app.

While other test prep providers such as Magoosh offer mobile apps that connect with your online account and provide access to all of your study materials, the Kaplan app presents more like an ancillary study resource .

For quick hit, on-the-go studying, the Kaplan mobile app has some value , but apart from that, I don’t see it as a main study resource.

Recently, the company also added a virtual reality study app as well covering over 1,000 science topics. You’ll need a Meta Quest 2 headset though for this app. 👎

Kaplan Higher Score Guarantee

As some of you may have noticed plastered all over their website, Kaplan does provide a higher score guarantee .

If your MCAT score doesn’t improve after having used the Kaplan prep course, they will give you 100% of your money back , or let you retake their course. There are some requirements around this promise that must be met, but if you qualify, this is a really nice safety net to have.

Kaplan Refund Policy

If you’re not totally satisfied with the Kaplan MCAT course or just change your mind in the first 3 days after purchasing, Kaplan will give you 100% of your tuition back . And if you change your mind in the 4-7 post-purchase day range, they will give you 75% of purchase price back . In either case, that refund does not include the cost of shipping the hard copy books to you (which you must return).

This is a fairly generous policy and offers students a nice cool-off period after making such a large purchase. Note though that these policies do not generally apply to the Bootcamp program.

Verdict : Kaplan MCAT Prep Course Review

The Kaplan MCAT course is an all-around, rock-solid prep package in my opinion. It gives you everything you need to prep for the MCAT. Now, it is a little pricey when standing up against other prep options, but the quality and quantity of study material you get with Kaplan cannot be disputed.

The video lessons are incredibly strong, the live classes are effectively and efficiently packed with high-yield subject matter, and you get access to a ton of great practice materials. Plus, the course structure is very easy to follow and logical. 

My main two negatives with the Kaplan course center around the brevity of the practice problem explanations and the lack of usefulness of their mobile app; but I feel that these two main complaints are far outweighed by the otherwise stellar study resources.

Bottom line, if you’re looking for a tried and true, results-driven prep course that you know you can rely on to get you fully prepped for the MCAT, I think Kaplan is a great selection . I was a big fan.

➡ READ NEXT : Kaplan vs Blueprint MCAT Comparison

How much does the Kaplan MCAT course cost?

The Kaplan MCAT prep options range in price from about $2,000 on the inexpensive end for their self-paced program, all the way up to around $7,000 for their intensive, 5-week bootcamp course.

How many total hours of study material do I get with Kaplan?

All of Kaplan’s MCAT guided instruction, book work, practice material and resources total up to over 700 hours of prep time. Given that the AAMC recommends 300 to 350 hours of study time before taking the MCAT, this is more than double the recommended amount of prep.

Will the Kaplan MCAT prep course raise my score?

Taking the Kaplan MCAT prep course will very likely boost your score. Compared to self-studying, the level of practice material and resources you will get with Kaplan will almost certainly have a positive effect on your overall MCAT score.

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Best MCAT Prep Books 2024: Quick Review & Comparison

The Best MCAT Prep Books

Everyone can agree with me when I say:

The MCAT plays an absolutely huge role in your medical career future and a huge role in your future as a whole.

The exam has many different options for test preparation books, from multibook guides to single book solutions. The MCAT , or the Medical College Admission Test, is a very difficult exam, and has a big say on your future.

Because of these reasons I have created this list of the best MCAT prep books. All of the info below should make it very easy to choose which study guide bundle or single book solution is right for you and your medical college admissions future.

Read on to see which study guides came out on top!

Please note, all external links for the products below (geni.us links, etc.) link to the corresponding Amazon.com page for each product.

Read the full review below >

MCAT Prep Book Comparison Table

Prep Book

Practice Exams / Questions2000+ questions32 thirty-minute topical exams3 practice exams4 practice exams4 practice exams
Pages3286 pages1986 pages2832 pages1472 pages1128 pages
More Details

Last Updated: 1/3/2024

Best Overall and Best Value MCAT Prep Book

Kaplan mcat complete 7-book subject review 2018-2019 review.


Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review is the best overall and best value study guide bundle on our list of the top rated MCAT prep books for a high percentile score.

With 3286 pages, the bundle is very lengthy and detailed . With all of this detail, you don't have to worry about subjects that you need to know being left out in the book. And you also do not have to worry about being surprised with something you have not studied on exam day.

The study guide also has very detailed diagrams and illustrations . This cuts out the monotony of reading line after line of text, which makes it much easier for visual learners to study for a longer amount of time, increasing your score on the standardized exam.

Also noteworthy: Kaplan has included “star ratings”. “Star ratings” are ratings assigned by the book writers that detail how important a subject in the book will be for your score on the actual exam . As you know, some subjects have more questions than others on the exam, meaning that these are more important to study because they have a higher weight on your total score.

Kaplan includes:

1) “Star ratings” for every subject, every topic is assigned a rating of how important it will be to your score

2) Questions throughout the books and access to 3 practice tests online

3) Full-color, 3-D illustrations, charts, graphs and diagrams

The main flaw of Kaplan's is that the practice exams are detail oriented compared to the concept oriented questions found in the official exams. This difference in exam questions can leave you sometimes confused on test day, wondering what the correct answer may be. Although with these flaws, we still rank Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review as the best overall study guide on our list of the top prep books.

- Very in-depth and comprehensive

- Detailed diagrams and illustrations

- Plenty of exam questions and exams

- Practice exams are detailed oriented compared to the concept oriented like the actual exam

Top Pick for Time Strapped Students MCAT Prep Book

Examkrackers mcat complete study package, 10th edition review.

Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package is our second overall best study guide bundle and our top pick for time-strapped studiers and test takers. Compared to the other study guide bundles with multiple books, Examkrackers is very concise. This conciseness makes sure that you do not waste time learning things that you do not need to know for the exam. It really comes in handy with a full-time student’s schedule because it is highly efficient.

This study guide bundle also really simplifies the subjects, like organic chemistry, biochemistry,  and biological sciences on the exam. You will not be pounding your head in frustration from not being able to understand the question at hand and you will not be wasting your time studying the different topics.

Examkrackers also includes:

1) 24 questions within each lecture to reinforce the material

2) 32 thirty-minute topical exams

3) Explanation and advice for all content and skills tested on the test

The main issue with this study guide bundle is that the early copies of the verbal reasoning book were defective. Some pages were deleted while others were copied and put in their place. Hopefully by the time you order this book, that problem has been fixed and you will not have that issue.

Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package is our second best overall MCAT study guide bundle and our top pick for time-strapped studiers.

- Very short and concise, these guides do not waste your time

- Really good at simplifying the topics

- Early copies of the verbal reasoning book are defective

#3 Best Overall MCAT Prep Book

Princeton review mcat subject review complete box set, 2nd edition review.

Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review is the third best overall study guide bundle on our list and the last multi-book package.

The main advantage of Princeton Review is that it is not too detailed,but also not too concise. This bundle really hits that good middle ground. It really brings down your nerves on test day knowing that everything you need to know has been covered in this study guide bundle. This bundle is not as concise as the Examkrackers study package, and also not as detailed as the Kaplan study package, but still meets a good middle path.

Another positive of this study guide bundle are the large amount of study guide questions. You won't run out of problems to practice with. This makes it very easy to feel fully prepared come exam day.

Princeton Review also includes:

1) 7 complete books covering all parts of the test

2) 3 full-length practice tests (accessible online) to help you benchmark your score

3) Thousands of practice questions in end-of-chapter review sections and exam-style practice passages

The main weakness of Princeton Review is that there is a disappointing amount of editing errors. This sometimes leaves you confused and wasting your time when you encounter one of these errors. Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review is our last study guide and the final multi-book bundle on our list of top MCAT study guides.

- Not too detailed, not too concise, just right

- Plenty of practice exams and quesitons

- Disappointing amount of editing errors

#4 Best Overall MCAT Prep Book

Princeton review complete mcat, 2nd edition review.

Princeton Review Complete MCAT is the fourth best overall study guide on our list and also the first single-book study guide.

This prep book really provides a great general overview for the exam.  Because of its length of only 1488 pages, the general overview is concise and does not waste your time.

It is most notably good for the amount of questions and exams that you get for the price. This review bundle costs a lot less than the first three titles on our list, but you still receive plenty of practice exams and questions. This would be a great choice for someone looking to get those extra repetitions in before test day.

1) 4 full-length practice exams

2) A full-color, 16-page tear-out reference guide with all the most important formulas, diagrams, information, concepts, and charts for each section of the exam

3) Targeted freestanding practice questions and practice passages at the end of every content review chapter

One flaw with Princeton Review is that the layout is clunky and sometimes skips ahead or backwards. This leaves you answering questions that you have not learned the finer details of and that will be explained in a future chapter. The example questions really need to be assigned to the correct chapters so that you are not left confused and frustrated. Princeton Review Complete MCAT is our fourth best overall and first single-book study guide on our list of the top rated MCAT review books.

- Provides a good general overview

- Good for the extra questions and exams for the price

- The layout is somewhat clunky and skips ahead and back sometimes

Budget Pick MCAT Prep Book

Barron's new mcat, 2nd edition review.

Barron's New MCAT is our fifth best overall prep book and our budget pick on our list of best prep books.

With only 1128 pages, Barron's is very concise and to the point. This saves you a lot of time while studying because it is very efficient at getting the point across.

Also, this study guide is a lot cheaper than the other options on this list, saving you money while on a student's budget (hopefully saving you enough to go out for that celebratory dinner after the test on exam day).

Barron's also includes:

1)  4 online practice tests

2) 39 online practice passages

The 1 main flaw with Barron's is that the practice exam questions are sometimes poorly worded. This sometimes leaves you confused and wasting time when you are wondering why you got a question wrong even though you were right.

The questions are also somewhat less exam-like than the other study guides on this list. This means that you may go into the test on exam day and be surprised by questions that you have not seen before. Because of this Barron's New MCAT is our final book and our budget pick for the best study guides to prepare for the MCAT, by AAMC.

- Very concise and to the point, saving you time while studying

- A LOT cheaper than the other options

- Practice exam questions are sometimes poorly worded

Our Suggestions

Our suggestions offer the most cost effective way to study for the exam without breaking the bank.  Our list includes guides that are multiple books and single books.  Even though the  Kaplan's  are the most in-depth, they also are one of the most expensive and will take a lot of time to finish. We know that not everyone is a premed major and has taken different science courses. The application process for med school is determined mostly by your MCAT score. Because of this, we suggest to:

Buy Kaplan Complete 7-Book Subject Review if you are not on a student's budget or are not strapped for time.  If you are really short on time, then get Examkrackers Complete Study Package since it is very concise.  If you are on a student's budget then buy one of the single book study guides.

Best MCAT Prep Books: Reviewed

1 Best Overall & Best Value
2 Top Pick for Time Strapped Studiers
3 Budget Pick

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What is the MCAT?: Exam Overview & Format

Best MCAT Prep Courses 2024: Quick Review & Comparison

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Best MCAT Prep Books

Kaplan Test Prep MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review

Some may find this text-heavy book tedious to read, but Kaplan guides are known for their conciseness.

Most recently updated study guide. Uses multiple education methods to reinforce concepts. Access to 3 practice tests. Explains both correct and incorrect answers. Over 3,000 pages worth of MCAT-related information.

Text-heavy, but some additional online resources. Material does not always match actual test questions.

Cambridge Ten  100+ Memory Tricks, Study Hacks to Conquer the MCAT

With a focus on improving recall of important information, this book is a must-have addition to an MCAT study plan.

Packed with mnemonics, study tips, and more than 100 memory tricks to help you ace the MCAT. Improves memory skills, which are vital to passing the exam. Makes a nice companion to other study materials.

This guide is more for supporting already learned knowledge from other study materials.

Princeton Review 7 Complete Books + Access to 3 Full-Length Practice Tests

A very thorough study guide for all aspects of the MCAT exam, not just the most common subjects.

Comes with 3 practice tests. Clear, step-by-step study guidance, especially in the sciences. Access to helpful online resources that aid in learning the tougher concepts. Includes full-color illustrations. Comes with test-taking tips and tricks for retention.

A considerable amount of extraneous information is not on the test.

AAMC MCAT Prep Book  with Practice Questions

This doesn't just help you study but offers vital information to prepare for the MCAT.

It comes straight from AAMC — not a for-profit healthcare education association. The information is presented in clear and concise ways. This is used around the country to help future healthcare workers focus on the right information.

It might not be detailed enough for people who desire comprehensive details over outlines.

Kaplan Test Prep MCAT 528 Advanced Prep Book

An affordable, single-volume option that offers a more general review of what to expect on the MCAT.

Combines a well-organized review guide with Kaplan's online resources for a digestible overview of what to expect. Includes ratings for each concept that allow you to understand what concepts are most important.

No substitute for Kaplan's multi-volume collections, but this book works well for quick review.

best review books for mcat

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

best review books for mcat

Table of Contents

Buying guide for best mcat prep books.

Jennifer Blair

Updated February 2024

When applying to medical school, the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is one of the most important and most stressful parts of the application process. The rigorous exam covers a wide range of subjects, from biology to critical reasoning. If you want to ace the test, investing in a good MCAT prep book is essential.

However, with so many MCAT study books available, choosing the right one can be confusing. You have to select a prep book that offers the sample questions, practice tests, and test-taking strategies that work best for your studying style.

best review books for mcat

What is the MCAT?

The MCAT is a standardized test that’s used as part of the medical school admissions process. It is a multiple-choice test that almost every medical school in the U.S. and Canada requires for admission. The MCAT tests the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in medical school and medical practice.

The test is offered multiple times a year, from January to September, across the U.S. and Canada. There are also international testing sites for students outside North America. You should sit for the exam during the calendar year before you plan to start medical school, and you’re only permitted to take the exam three times each calendar year and seven times over the course of your life. If you take the MCAT more than once, medical schools will see all your scores.

How is the MCAT scored?

Your MCAT score includes five different results. There is one score for each of the four exam sections and a total combined score.

The section scores range from 118 to 132. The total combined score is the sum of all the section scores, so it can range from 472 to 528.

What does the MCAT test?

The MCAT contains four sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.

Biological and biochemical foundations of living systems

Contains 59 multiple-choice questions that you have 95 minutes to answer

Features questions related to biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry

Chemical and physical foundations of biological systems

Features questions related to biochemistry, biology, chemistry, and physics

Psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior

Features questions related to psychology, sociology, and biology

Critical analysis and reasoning skills

Contains 53 multiple-choice questions that you have 90 minutes to answer

Features questions similar to reading comprehension sections of other standardized tests, with passages that cover social science and the humanities.

Features to consider for MCAT prep books

Test-taking strategies.

When you’re studying for a standardized exam , it helps to have a strategy in mind to maximize your score. With the MCAT, it’s important to know how to apply basic knowledge of specific science subjects, as well as critical analysis, in a format that you may not be used to. A good test prep book offers specific test-taking strategies, like using the process of elimination to find the correct answer or answering every question even if you have to guess. Look for an MCAT prep book with a chapter or section on general test-taking strategies that will prepare you for the exam and bolster your confidence when you take it.

Subject reviews

The MCAT tests your knowledge in science subjects, which you likely studied as an undergraduate. To make sure you’re as prepared as possible for the test, choose a prep book that provides an in-depth review of each subject so you can be confident with all the exam questions. Look for reviews for the following subjects:


General chemistry

Organic chemistry

Physics and math

Psychology and sociology

Practice questions and explanations

As with any exam , studying with practice questions is an ideal way to prepare for the MCAT. Some prep books offer thousands of practice questions that cover all the subjects on the exam, so you can get a feel for both how the questions are asked and what type of knowledge is required. The more practice questions that a prep book contains, the better.

However, be sure that the prep book also includes detailed explanations for each correct answer. If you don’t know why an answer is correct, you’ll have a difficult time answering similar questions on the actual exam.

Practice tests

Practice tests are one of the most effective ways to prepare for the MCAT because they allow you to see exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are as you study. Nearly all MCAT prep books contain some practice tests, but it’s best to choose a book that offers as many as possible. Look for a book with at least three practice exams – one to take at the start of your studying, one in the middle, and one at the end – so you can effectively track your progress.

Illustrations and diagrams

For visual learners, it helps to choose an MCAT prep book that includes illustrations, tables, charts, graphs, and other diagrams that help you comprehend the topics on the test visually. The MCAT covers detailed biological functions and other scientific knowledge, so clear, easy-to-understand illustrations often make it easier to grasp key concepts.

The subjects covered on the MCAT often have a specific vocabulary that’s important to understand if you’re going to do well on the exam. Look for a prep book that contains a glossary with all the key terms that you might see on the test. With a glossary, you can quickly and easily find the meaning for any words that you don’t know.

Supplemental resources

In addition to the book itself, many MCAT prep products contain supplemental materials to aid your studying. Some books include flashcards, which can be helpful for quick, targeted study sessions. Others offer online materials, such as additional practice questions or tests that you can access through the publisher’s website. Some provide online videos to explain certain concepts and terms that are likely to appear on the exam. There are even MCAT prep books that offer a smartphone study app with additional practice questions and subject reviews.

MCAT prep book prices

MCAT prep books usually range in price based on how many practice tests, practice questions and explanations, and other study materials they contain. In most cases, you’ll pay between $12 and $200 .


MCAT prep books that contain mainly subject reviews and some practice questions but only one complete practice test (or none) usually range from $12 to $30 .

MCAT prep books that contain subject reviews, hundreds of practice questions, and one to three practice tests usually range from $30 to $75 .

MCAT prep books that contain in-depth subject reviews, thousands of practice questions, and three or more practice exams usually range from $75 to $200 .

best review books for mcat

Q. How important is my MCAT score for getting into medical school?

A. While an MCAT score is an important criterion used to evaluate potential medical school students, remember that it’s only one part of your application. Your undergraduate GPA, personal statement, activities, awards, and letters of recommendation are also used to determine if you would be a good fit for a medical school. Most schools also require an interview, which can play a significant role in your candidacy.

Q. What are the most important features to look for in an MCAT prep book?

A. Most experts stress the importance of taking practice exams when you’re preparing for the MCAT. That’s why it’s best to choose a prep book that offers as many practice tests as possible. Subject reviews are important, but many students focus too much on review because they believe they need more in-depth knowledge of the science topics than they actually do. Practice exams not only give you a sense of your progress as you study, but they also help you understand the type and depth of knowledge the MCAT tests.

Q. When should I start using an MCAT prep book?

A. It’s usually best to start studying for the MCAT at least three months before you plan to take the exam. That should give you enough time to review the test’s content and take several practice exams. However, the earlier you begin studying, the better, so you may want to buy your prep book six to nine months before you plan to take the test.

Kaplan Test Prep

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The #1 social media platform for MCAT advice. The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is offered by the AAMC and is a required exam for admission to medical schools in the USA and Canada. /r/MCAT is a place for MCAT practice, questions, discussion, advice, social networking, news, study tips and more. Check out the sidebar for useful resources & intro guides. Post questions, jokes, memes, and discussions.

Which MCAT Content book is best for each subject?!

Hey reddit!

I have recently started studying for the MCAT, and I have give and take 5 months. I have a Kaplan book set, TPR book set, EK (for Physics and Chem), AND of course access to Khan Academy videos! I am dying to know what the best source is for each subject. I suck at reading long books and much prefer KA videos, BUT I am working my way through TPR Bio/Biochem book at the moment. My goal is to eventually get to KA videos, but I would LOVE to know what you guys think is the best material for each subject, including CARS practice?!

Thanks in advance,

I'll appreciate any advice :)


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    Best for Physics: The MCAT Physics Book. The MCAT Physics Book is the best choice for Physics. Published by Nova, this 2016 book gets 9 out of 10 overall. Pros. Cons. Breaks concepts down into manageable chunks. Passages are too short and fail to integrate biology and chemistry in a test-like way.

  6. 515+ Students Choose Best MCAT Prep Books & Free Materials

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    The Princeton Review MCAT, 2021-2022. This all-in-one resource covers MCAT test essentials, topic-by-topic subject reviews, test-conquering strategies, a tear-out "cheat sheet" reference guide, and 4 full-length online practice exams for total test preparation. Buy on Amazon.

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    Overall, TPR is an excellent resource and is the best MCAT study guide book for students who have a decent knowledge foundation and conceptual understanding of each MCAT topic. Their books are also ideal for students who don't enjoy reading lengthy texts and want an efficient self-study approach. 3. AAMC.

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    Kaplan's MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2024-2025 reflects the latest, most accurate, and most testable materials on the MCAT.Streamlined and intuitive layouts facilitate easier review. You'll get efficient strategies, detailed subject review, and 3 full-length online practice tests—all authored by the experts behind the MCAT prep course that has helped more people get into medical ...

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    Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review is the best overall and best value study guide bundle on our list of the top rated MCAT prep books for a high percentile score. With 3286 pages, the bundle is very lengthy and detailed. With all of this detail, you don't have to worry about subjects that you need to know being left out in the book.

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    Our best-selling 7-book subject review set, reflecting the latest, most accurate, and most testable materials on the MCAT exam Why a 515+ MCAT Score Matters When you take the Premium MCAT Prep Course and do the recommended work, we guarantee you'll score a 515+ or boost your score by 15+ points—depending on your baseline MCAT exam—or your ...

  21. 5 Best MCAT Prep Books

    MCAT prep books that contain in-depth subject reviews, thousands of practice questions, and three or more practice exams usually range from $75 to $200. When you take the practice exams in your MCAT prep book, try to recreate actual testing conditions. Use a timer, and don't eat or drink unless it's time for a break.

  22. MCAT book recommendation : r/Mcat

    brother7. • 3 yr. ago. The big two are Kaplan and The Princeton Review (TPR). They're about equal, with a slight edge to Kaplan whose Biochem book is excellent. For folks with a solid background, Examkrackers (EK) is recommended. Their MCAT Reasoning Skills book is good. For thoroughness, The Berkeley Review (TBR) is the most comprehensive.

  23. Which MCAT Content book is best for each subject?!

    The #1 social media platform for MCAT advice. The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is offered by the AAMC and is a required exam for admission to medical schools in the USA and Canada. /r/MCAT is a place for MCAT practice, questions, discussion, advice, social networking, news, study tips and more.