The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is a nationally standardized test that almost all American medical schools use to assess applicants for their programs. The MCAT measures students’ science knowledge, critical thinking, analytical, problem-solving, writing, and reasoning skills. If you are looking for the Best MCAT Prep Books, look no further than the list below. This list will include titles from all categories, covering all subjects and books for free online and those that you can purchase on Amazon.
Best MCAT Prep Books For 2021
To be successful in the MCAT (medical college admissions test), you need to know the best studying methods and an MCAT prep book. This list contains top-rated MCAT prep books that will help you pass the exam. To compile this list, we interviewed MCAT prep materials creators and medical school students with high scores (520+) to get their opinions.
Kaplan complete 7 Book subject Review
Best MCAT prep books for an overall comprehensive review
Kaplan has been around since forever, and their MCAT prep books have always been top-notch. The Kaplan MCAT book set includes everything you need for a solid MCAT home study program, including a subject-specific review and an MCAT study plan. There are also plenty of MCAT practice questions online and in the book. I enjoy reading practice questions in a book. It is a great advantage to have the option to do them online or in the book.
However, you do not have to believe us. According to our latest poll, the Kaplan MCAT prep book set was highly recommended by MCAT test-takers. The Kaplan complete 7 Book subject Review set includes the following subject-specific books. Behavior Sciences, Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills are also included. As each year brings new changes to the AAMC guidelines, you can be sure that everything is up-to-date.
You do not have to purchase the latest edition. You can buy an older edition if you can. It will be the same book. We prefer to share the most current, up-to-date version because some readers prefer the latest versions for their peace of mind.
- Easy reviewing is made possible by concept checks and end-of-chapter summaries
- One-year online access for three full-length practice tests and videos, as well as practice questions and quizzes.
- 350+ practice questions in book + additional online
- 24 Quicks Sheets of full-page provide visuals to important concepts
- Kaplan Test Prep (Author)
- It can be used to provide your primary content source
- You do not have to worry about outdated content.
- Concept checks and chapter summaries help reinforce the lessons you have learned
- Additional practice can be found on the online portal
- We recommend that you swap the CARS book for the AAMC CARS questions pack. It is light, and we feel it should be.
- After 2015, there were few changes in the new editions.
Princeton Review MCAT Complete Box Set
Best MCAT prep books for students with content gaps
Next on our list is Princeton Review MCAT Complete Box Set. This 7-book MCAT set – MCAT Biochemistry Review, MCAT Biology Review, MCAT Critical Analysis, and Reasoning Skills Review, MCAT General Chemistry Review, MCAT Organic Chemistry Review, MCAT Physics, and Math Review, and MCAT Psychology and Sociology Review – contains effective strategies and techniques that have been proven to increase MCAT scores. Real teachers write this book, and it includes more humor than the Kaplan book set (which is relatively low).
The content in the Kaplan MCAT Prep Set is almost identical to the Kaplan MCAT book: 3 full-length practice tests, and end-of-chapter overview, reference glossaries, full-color illustrations, and diagrams, as well as online student tools for students, prepare. However, the difference between these book sets is in how much content they cover. The Princeton Review’s book set provides more detailed information about principles than Kaplan’s, which can be good or bad depending on how much you want to learn versus review.
Each year, the Princeton Review MCAT book sets are updated, which is similar to Kaplan’s. TPR does not offer an updated set of books and instead mixes old and new editions. This is a little misleading since you get both 2nd and 3rd editions for a price that suggests it has been updated for 2021.
- Kaplan provides more in-depth information
- There are thousands of practice questions
- High-quality graphics to help you understand complex concepts
- You may get deeper coverage of topics than Kaplan. This could be a pro- or con- depending on your needs.
- Excellent value for the content and MCAT prep books you get for the price
- Online practice can be done with three full-length MCAT prep practice tests
- Kaplan’s book sets have a little more personality than Kaplan’s.
- They are notoriously tricky. For accuracy in total scores, use the official practice exams of the AAMC.
- For someone who needs great improvement, the MCAT Biochemistry Review might not be sufficient.
How to Use the Princeton Review MCAT Book Set:
As I mentioned in the Kaplan MCAT book series, I recommend starting with a book on a more familiar topic. Then, you can move on to the more complex subject reviews.
Practice questions to strengthen the concepts as you go through these MCAT books. It is essential to practice, take notes, and make flashcards. The Princeton Review has some practice exams, but it is best to use official AAMC practice tests.
Princeton Review completes MCAT, 2nd edition Total Preparation.
The Princeton Review provides a comprehensive overview of the MCAT. It is the first book-based study guide for MCAT, according to our research. The book includes four online practice tests that are full length and several test-taking strategies to help students advanced prep.
It includes biology, biochemistry and psychology, sociology, general and organic chemistry and physics, and math. You will also learn critical analysis and reasoning skills.
This 16-page, full-color reference guide contains each MCAT section’s essential formulas, charts, concepts, and diagrams.
You will find practice questions and test-taking strategies at the end of every chapter. The layout is a problem.
Although practice exams are helpful for many, there will be times when you have to deal with concepts that you do not know. You might feel frustrated or confused.
- The first book study guide
- Four online MCAT prep practice tests
- Refer to the 16-page, full-color tear-out guide
- Poor layout
- Practice tests are not based on concepts previously discussed.
Mometrix MCAT Prep Book
Best MCAT study guide for budgeters
This very affordable MCAT study book by Mometrix is available. Although it may seem new, this company is steadily building a solid test prep product range. Their MCAT study guides are updated every year. This is a big plus for those who want to match the latest MCAT.
It is an MCAT study guide that includes practice tests and answers, content review, and strategies. The video tutorials linked throughout this MCAT study guide are what make it stand out. These videos allow instructors to break down complex concepts and walk through examples step by step. Students preparing for the MCAT will find this extremely helpful. Sometimes, just reading text solutions can not suffice. Visual learners such as myself can find it very helpful to see an instructor solve a problem.
This is one of our top MCAT study guide values. This Mometrix study guide is an excellent choice if you are looking for an affordable MCAT study guide.
- Includes one full-length practice test
- The logical layout flows intuitively from one concept into the next
- Video tutorials by instructors break down complex concepts
- Detailed answer explanations to each answer
- This page contains links to online review videos.
- Test-taking strategies for the MCAT test day
- Budget-friendly and great value
- Updated every year
- It would help if you were careful not to buy from third-party sellers. Some students have received used copies.
The official guide to the MCAT exam – AAMC Guide
The Association of American Medical Colleges has published the Official Guide to the MCAT Prep Book. This guide is intended for students who are preparing for the MCAT exam.
This best MCAT prep book also covers test-taking strategies. It includes the essential rules of the test day and the scoring guide. You will find plenty of practice questions to help you test your knowledge.
However, based on our review, we found that the MCAT prep book was not as complete as we expected. It can also be difficult for some to read.
- Association of American Medical Colleges (Author)
- Written by MCAT exam takers
- Includes 120 practice questions
- It is not easy to read.
- Not comprehensive
- Additional resource required
Test Prep Books MCAT 2020-2021: MCAT Study Guide 2020 & 2021 and Practice Test Questions for the Medical College Admission Test [Includes Detailed Answer Explanations]
Best MCAT prep books for quick review
Test Prep Books MCAT, another affordable MCAT study book, covers all topics tested in the MCAT. You can be confident that it is updated each year so that you will have access to relevant MCAT practice tests and review study materials.
This book covers all MCAT sections, including 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. To help students learn from their mistakes, all practice questions have detailed answers.
This book contains MCAT practice questions and detailed answer explanations of each. This MCAT study guide is an excellent resource for students looking for an organized and easy review of key points on the MCAT.
- A straightforward review of all content on the MCAT
- Each question will be explained in detail.
- MCAT prep books are not known for providing honest customer service. They respond to all emails regarding any questions about the book.
- Print out practice questions from the book. This is helpful for people who hate practicing on the computer.
- These questions maybe a little too easy for some people, so they might not be ideal for practicing.
Sterling MCAT Psychology & Sociology
Best MCAT prep books for Psychology practice
Sterling’s MCAT prep book series has been reviewed, and I have listed them. They do a fantastic job of putting theory into practice. Sterling’s MCAT products are a great resource if you have difficulty with a particular section of the MCAT. You can find the best MCAT prep book for you by looking through their catalog.
This MCAT Psychology & Sociology prep guide helps you apply the theories and understand them better than any of the other MCAT prep books we have listed. Sterling MCAT Psychology & Sociology provides an in-depth and comprehensive review of the new psychology and sociology topics that will be tested on the MCAT in 2020. We are also confident that this book is by the AAMC guidelines. They update the book every year.
This section of the 2021 MCAT covers all information about the biological and biochemical foundations, Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior sections.
- Organized into 15 focus knowledge area
- Explanations in detail
- Prep, Sterling Test (Author)
- Each year the version is updated. Just make sure you check “Sold and Shipped By Amazon” or Barnes & Noble to ensure that you have the latest version.
- Students who want to refresh their knowledge in this area can find affordable options.
- Novel higher-score-guarantee money-back guarantee that most prep books do not offer
- It is not recommended to be used as a study aid for Psychology & Sociology.
- There is some overlap between sections.
MCAT 528 Advanced by Kaplan Test Prep
Students can purchase Kaplan’s 528 MCAT preparation book for $25.83. This book contains 500+ practice questions, detailed answers, one full-length MCAT practice exam, and a thorough subject review. Kaplan, the authors of this best MCAT prep book, included the highest-yield MCAT questions throughout. This means that they reviewed previous MCAT exams to find the topics and types of questions that were most common and included them in the book.
Students can take the MCAT practice exam online. Kaplan makes this available to students in order to prepare them for the computer-based MCAT format test day. The book also includes commentary and expert instruction from MCAT professionals. Star ratings are used throughout the book to indicate how different critical topics are – this is a great feature that can help improve study efficiency.
This book is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable option that includes tons of practice questions and a mock exam. Although this book may not be as comprehensive as the Kaplan Complete Subject Review, it will still provide valuable information that can be used to review and study material for the MCAT exam.
Study Plan For The MCAT
Before you start studying for the MCAT, we recommend that you create a study plan. This will allow you to stay on track throughout your study.
3-Month Study Plan
Start your studies by taking the diagnostic MCAT test. You can either find the full-length content review online or in a book. This will allow you to determine where your study efforts should be focused, especially if you are interested in building strong chemical and physical foundations.
Next, break down each week into roughly 3 hours per day and six consecutive days. A rotating schedule should be set up with one topic per week. This includes biochemistry, biology, and general chemistry, as well as organic chemistry and physics. Every day, you should study briefly for the critical analysis section and reasoning section.
For the first week, you should be focusing on the core topics of each subject. Weeks 2-8, shift your attention to more specific content areas, such as each subject’s biological, psychological, and social aspects.
To gauge your progress, you can take a practice exam at the beginning of each week from weeks 9 to 11. It would help if you continued to study the content in the six subject areas and the critical analysis, reasoning section.
You can start the last week by taking a practice exam from the AAMC site. You can evaluate your score and identify the areas that need improvement. Visit the test center to find out where it is located and how it is set up during the week.
What Will Happen On Test Day?
We recommend that students studying for the MCAT know precisely what to expect on test days to ease any anxiety. The MCAT exam is computer-based and will take approximately 6 hours.
Below is a guideline of what you can expect when you sit down at your computer.
Best MCAT Prep Books FAQ
Is Mcat Prep Courses Better Than Books?
While this question might vary from person to person, we believe it is true. The most up-to-date information about MCAT prep courses will be available. This will allow you to track your progress and improve your study efficiency.
How Much is MCAT Prep?
The average MCAT prep course online or live will cost you around $2,000. However, a book set can be purchased at a fraction of the price with a maximum cost of $200.
Are Kaplan or Princeton Review Books Better for the MCAT?
The MCAT prep book set by Kaplan is the best-rated among all students that we have interviewed. It is comprehensive and includes access to Kaplan’s online platform and video content. Princeton Review’s advantage over other publishers is its extensive book collection, better for people with content gaps. We recommend Princeton Review books if you have missed classes at college. You can read our detailed comparison here about Kaplan vs. Princeton Review MCAT.
Preparation is key to passing the MCAT and getting a high MCAT score. It is a tough test. The best way to prepare for the MCAT is to start with classes while still in college and continue with concentrated study over several months before taking the test. I hope that the book list above will help you out in the preparation stage. If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions related to MCAT preparation, please let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading.
Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API