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Are Kaplan MCAT Tests Accurate?
By Connor Reed Updated on May 9, 2024
Peter Bailey, MD Peter Bailey, MD

Are Kaplan MCAT Tests Accurate?

Everything you need to know about the accuracy and difficulty of Kaplan MCAT practice tests

Kaplan’s MCAT practice tests are a popular choice for pre-medical students preparing for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Many students wonder how accurately these practice tests reflect the difficulty and content of the actual exam. In this article, we will explore the accuracy of Kaplan’s MCAT practice tests, comparing their difficulty level and content to the real MCAT exam. Understanding the alignment between Kaplan’s practice tests and the actual exam can help students better prepare and feel more confident on test day.

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How To Access Kaplan MCAT Practice Tests

Aspiring medical students can access Kaplan MCAT practice tests through several avenues.

Kaplan offers one practice test for free, providing a glimpse into their test preparation materials.

Kaplan MCAT practice problems
Example MCAT question from Kaplan

Additionally, students can purchase a three-pack of practice tests for approximately $130, offering more comprehensive practice.

However, for access to all 17 of the company’s MCAT practice tests, students will need to purchase one of Kaplan’s highly-rated prep courses, which include a wide range of MCAT study materials and prep resources.

How Accurate Are Kaplan MCAT Practice Tests?

The accuracy of Kaplan MCAT practice tests in predicting actual MCAT performance can vary.

Some students find that Kaplan’s practice tests closely resemble the difficulty level and content of the real exam, providing a valuable simulation of test conditions (similar to Princeton Review MCAT tests).

However, others believe that Kaplan’s practice tests have different question styles compared to the actual MCAT. For example, you may notice that Kaplan’s questions tend to focus on deep content understanding, while AAMC’s questions emphasize more critical thinking.

This often leads to a similar overall approach to a question, but with Kaplan, you might spend more time recalling specific details or exceptions to rules, compared to the AAMC where you would work through a general process and its specific influences.

Regardless, many students still find Kaplan’s practice tests beneficial for building stamina, identifying weak areas, and familiarizing themselves with the format of the MCAT.

Ultimately, while Kaplan’s practice tests may not perfectly mirror the real exam, they can still be a useful tool in a comprehensive MCAT preparation strategy.

Are The Kaplan Practice Tests Harder Than The Real MCAT?

The difficulty of Kaplan practice tests compared to the real MCAT can vary from student to student.

Some find Kaplan’s practice tests to be more challenging than the actual exam, particularly in terms of question complexity and depth of content.

Kaplan MCAT qbank
MCAT practice test from Kaplan

Others, however, may feel that the real MCAT presents its own unique challenges that differ from Kaplan’s practice tests since the AAMC questions tend to require more critical thinking.

Either way, in our experience, the Kaplan MCAT practice tests are a good indicator of how well you will perform on the actual exam, typically within a range of plus or minus 10 points. While they may not perfectly predict your final score, they can give you a good sense of your strengths and weaknesses and help you gauge your readiness for the MCAT.

Also, keep in mind that students tend to perform worse on test day due to various factors such as anxiety, pressure, or nervousness, which can impact their ability to recall information or think clearly. It’s important for students to practice relaxation techniques, maintain a positive mindset, and be well-prepared to mitigate these effects and perform at their best on the MCAT.

Best Practices For Taking Kaplan MCAT Tests

Next, let’s explore best practices for taking Kaplan MCAT tests, helping you maximize their effectiveness in your exam preparation.

Simulate Test Conditions: Take practice tests in a quiet environment with no distractions, and adhere to the official MCAT timing and breaks to simulate real test conditions.

Practice Time Management: Practice pacing yourself to ensure you can complete each section within the allotted time.

Take Regular Breaks: During your practice test, take breaks as you would on test day. This can help maintain focus and stamina.

Review Thoroughly: After completing a practice test, review both correct and incorrect answers to understand the reasoning behind each choice.

Kaplan MCAT answer explanation
Detailed answer explanation from the Kaplan MCAT team

Identify Weak Areas: Use practice tests to identify weak areas and focus your study efforts on improving those specific topics.

Analyze Mistakes: Understand why you made mistakes. Was it a lack of content knowledge, misinterpretation of the question, or a calculation error? Adjust your study plan accordingly.

By implementing these best practices, you can enhance your performance on Kaplan MCAT tests and boost your overall readiness for the MCAT exam.


Does Kaplan offer free MCAT practice tests?

Yes, Kaplan offers one free MCAT practice test, allowing students to get a sense of the format and content of their test preparation materials. For access to additional practice tests, students can purchase a three-pack or enroll in one of Kaplan’s full MCAT prep courses.

Can you pause Kaplan MCAT practice tests?

Yes, Kaplan MCAT practice tests can be paused, allowing students to take breaks during the test if needed. However, in order to simulate the actual exam day experience, students should try to take only the allotted breaks when taking a Kaplan MCAT practice test.

Are Kaplan practice questions harder than the MCAT?

Kaplan practice questions can vary in difficulty compared to the actual MCAT, with some students finding them harder and others feeling they are comparable. While Kaplan’s questions aim to challenge students and deepen their understanding, the actual difficulty level can depend on individual preparation and familiarity with the MCAT format.