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Best MCAT Prep Books
Our comprehensive guide covers the best MCAT study books available to help you nail your exam and get into a top-tier medical school.
Getting a top tier score on the MCAT is crucial to getting in to a solid medical school in the US. As such, you will need the help of first-rate study materials, such as commercial prep books. But with hundreds of prep books available, how do you choose? We take the guesswork out of the equation with our helpful guide. Our team of experts has purchased, reviewed and ranked the best books available here.
Summary: The Best MCAT Books of 2024
Check out our top five MCAT prep books, each of which we have reviewed and ranked here:
This set of test preparation guides includes three full-length practice tests, as well as resources to help you learn about test-taking strategies. The online practice tests mimic the structure of the actual MCAT exam (especially helpful to me in familiarizing myself with the format of the exam) and includes a 16-page tear-out reference guide for quick access.
The Princeton Review MCAT box set offers detailed coverage of the content found on the MCAT, including biology, general chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, physics, math, psychology, sociology and critical analysis and reasoning.
You’ll find an overview of strategies to tackle varying question types on the MCAT, as well as online practice exams.
For visual learners like me, these books provides a wealth of information with diagrams, tables and illustrations, as well as formulas, charts and concepts that cover all sections of the MCAT exam.
Find quick access to concepts using the comprehensive index and learn more about how to master the concepts with the enriched explanations in this prep book set. Maximize your time during test preparation with the comprehensive resources and tools available with the Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Complete Box.
Being a spatial learner, I was a big fan of the interactive layouts. With this guide, you’ll gain access to MCAT test-taking strategies, in-depth reviews of each subject and three full-length online practice tests.
The Kaplan MCAT Test Prep guide was crafted by experts who have helped to create the Kaplan prep course that has enabled individuals to perform better on the MCAT exam and gain entrance into top-notch medical schools.
The guided examples cover content areas such as behavioral science, biology and biochemistry with an emphasis on analytical and critical reasoning. This revamped MCAT test prep guide breaks down the content and offers recommendations for content to memorize and content on the MCAT that requires more mastery.
You’ll be able to gain insight from the 24-page, full-color quicksheets that showcase visuals to illustrate the most relevant information you need to know when preparing for the MCAT exam, as well as charts, 3-D illustrations and diagrams to enrich learning for visual learners. Each chapter features a Test Your Knowledge section with sample questions, as well as a comprehensive subject review.
With this MCAT test prep guide, you also receive a one-year online subscription to the Kaplan website. I found this online resource to be a valuable bonus in that is offers full-length practice tests, quizzes, practice questions and instructional videos.
Developed by MCAT specialists with more than 20 years of experience in preparing students for this medical school exam, the Examkrackers MCAT Study Package is one of the most comprehensive study prep guides available.
This comprehensive guide teaches students how to read the exam questions and offers dual-voice MCAT study materials. One voice focuses on teaching the content while another voice instructs students how to address the style of questions. In my opinion, this binary approach had great value.
The six-volume MCAT test prep set includes test-taking strategies for the exam, thirty-two practice exams that are simulated similar to the real exam and a full review of MCAT content.
Within each lecture, you’ll find questions to reinforce the material and content learned, in addition to full color visuals to enhance learning. A full-mini exam is also included at the end of each chapter, with guidance on how to link MCAT concepts to other disciplines.
The Examkrackers MCAT study guide’s six manuals cover all content areas of the MCAT exam, including psychology and sociology, general and organic chemistry, biology and biochemistry, physics and verbal, research and math reasoning skills. You’ll find all the resources you need to prepare for the MCAT exam with this comprehensive guide from Examkrackers.
When seeking out multiple resources to help you prepare and pass the MCAT, the comprehensive Mometrix MCAT Prep Books is ideal. Complete with step-by-step review video tutorials and full-length practice tests, the Mometrix MCAT prep books were created to be just as challenging – if not more – than the actual MCAT exam.
This MCAT test prep guide covers difficult concepts with each step-by-step video tutorial and practice MCAT test questions that are accompanied by thorough explanations to strengthen your understanding of the content and the question types.
Prepare to learn about strategies and tips to help you enhance your scores, as well as a complete review of the MCAT test sections. Learn the vocabulary you need to know in addition to procedures, principles and concepts you are expected to master before the exam and before pursuing medical school.
The Mometrix MCAT prep book is presented in an organized and logical fashion so that you won’t get lost when faced with tough vocabulary. Concepts covered include critical analysis and reasoning skills, biological and biochemical foundations of living systems, psychological, social and biological systems and chemical and physical foundations of biological systems.
Each chapter also includes links to online review videos that I found to be useful, especially when struggling with a particular content area. Make an investment in your future and enhance your MCAT test prep with this comprehensive MCAT study guide.
Crafted by experts who know the ins and outs of how to master the concepts on the exam, the Test Prep Books, MCAT Prep Books will prove to be quite useful in your MCAT test prep. While your primary goal might be to achieve a passing score, you probably wish to also enhance your overall score so that you are at the top of the list for medical school admission.
This series of MCAT prep books will help you do just that. Beyond the comprehensive introduction that explains the importance of and an overview of the MCAT exam, this test prep book also includes tips on test taking, as well as practice questions.
What I found to be most useful were the detailed answer explanations which do a good job in helping you to identify the areas where you need improvement, discover your weaknesses, and correct mistakes you may be making.
The MCAT prep book from Test Prep Books covers all content areas of the MCAT, including critical analysis and reasoning skills, biological and biochemical foundations of living systems, psychological, social and biological systems and chemical and physical foundations of biological systems.
Each section of this prep book offers tips on how to avoid the most common errors students make on the MCAT and the encouragement you need to boost your confidence and improve your test-taking skills.
How To Prepare For The MCAT
In order to do your best on the MCAT, you’ll need to plan ahead. And one of the first steps if you plan to self study is to nab yourself a top-shelf MCAT prep book. With your choice of MCAT prep books to provide you with practice questions and tests, as well as comprehensive explanations of essential concepts, you can boost your score and your overall knowledge so you’re better prepared for medical school.
In addition to choosing the best prep book for your needs, you may want to also consider using a MCAT prep course or hiring an MCAT tutor. Check out our list of best MCAT prep courses here. For some students, prep courses often provide better instruction and more practice material than you will find in just a book.
MCAT prep courses often include video lessons, live classes, flashcards, and more. And while many students may think MCAT prep courses are too expensive, that’s actually not the case. MCAT prep companies like Magoosh and MCAT Self Prep offer courses for less than $400. In other words, not all courses are expensive as those from Princeton Review MCAT and Kaplan MCAT.
In addition to utilizing the best MCAT prep books and courses, it’s important to create a study plan for the MCAT. In fact, this may be more important than anything else. Start by taking practice tests to figure out what you know and where you stand. Use this as a starting point.
Then, create a study plan and schedule. Allocate ample time well before the MCAT to read over the test-taking strategies available in one of these MCAT prep books and identify the types of questions that you will be asked during the exam.
Block out time to study each content area and ramp up your time on sections that you struggle with on the practice tests. It’s also helpful to plan for a final rehearsal or final practice exam a few days before you take the MCAT exam so that you feel the pressure you may feel when taking the actual exam and know how to cope with it.
What is the best MCAT prep book?
After reviewing over a dozen different MCAT prep options, our team thinks the books from Princeton Review and Kaplan are the most comprehensive and effective.
Where should you buy MCAT prep books?
Our team recommends purchasing MCAT prep books through an online retailer like Amazon. However, it is important you purchase the latest edition of the book you are interested in so the content is up to date.