Last Updated On November 26, 2020

What’s the Best MCAT Prep Book of All Time? Top 10 Latest Reviews

Editor's Choice
MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2020-2021: Online + Book + 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep) 1st Edition
Kaplan complete 7 Book subject ReviewCheck Current Price
#2nd Best Choice
ExamKrackers MCAT Complete
Examkrackers MCAT complete study packageCheck Current Price
#3rd Best Choice
The Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Complete Box Set, 3rd Edition
Princeton MCAT Subject Review Complete SetCheck Current Price

When it comes to MCAT exam preparation, there's a long list of books and study materials available in the market. While all of these may be useful, only a few can actually 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 now made it to our recommended list.

Top 10 MCAT Prep Books in 2020

1 - Kaplan Complete 7 Book-Subject Review (Editor's Choice)

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

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

This MCAT study material consists of detailed diagrams, charts, and illustrations which will help you to 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.

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.

For Kaplan's complete course for GRE, find out more here.

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • No full-length practice test

2 - Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package

ExamKrackers MCAT Complete

Examkrackers MCAT complete study package is our overall second best study guide as it provides a comprehensive 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 the subjects like organic chemistry, bio chemistry and biological sciences which will help you to easily grasp the concepts.

To assess your progress, there are 24 questions to test your logical reasoning and mastery of the subjects. Practice tests are also given at the end of each chapter.

One possible drawback with this MCAT prep book is the defective early copies of verbal reasoning, although the company has claimed that they've already fixed the issue.

Pros
  • Provides brief and comprehensive information
  • Includes developmental tests at the end of each chapter
  • Uses visuals and infographics
  • Good for full-time study schedule
Cons
  • Fewer examples for psychology and sociology
  • CARS doesn’t include ‘real life ‘concept

3 - Princeton MCAT Subject Review Complete Set

The Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Complete Box Set, 3rd Edition

The Princeton MCAT Subject Review set of books provides 3 full length practice tests which 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, this study material offers essential concepts that are aptly presented with colorful illustrations to engage students.

It gives you MCAT prep books of physics, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, psychological, social verbal reasoning and biological foundations of behavior.

For GRE test takers, check out Princeton's full-length GRE course.

 

Pros
  • Practice tests are similar to exam
  • 7 complete books which covers all parts of MCAT exam
  • Plenty of practice questions
  • 3 full length practice test
Cons
  • Some content not updated
  • Lots of editing errors

4 - Sterling Test Prep MCAT:

Sterling MCAT Organic Chemistry

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

What we like about this study material is the fact that it's updated every year. It contains different books for each subject. Some interesting 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 . You'll also see that they've provided explanations 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.

Pros
  • Updated every year
  • Answers are explained
  • Includes four practice tests
  • Contains illustrations and diagrams
Cons
  • 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 forms of sciences i.e. organic chemistry, physics, biology and chemistry. It also includes one MCAT verbal section.

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

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

Pros
  • Includes 3500 practice questions
  • Contains explanations to answers
Cons
  • 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 materials for MCAT preparation.  This MCAT test prep manual includes a CD-ROM to provide you 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 book focuses on concept 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.

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

Meanwhile, Barron's GRE Prep Book is available if you are taking the GRE.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Includes chapters recommended by AAMC
  • Contains 4 online tests and 39 passages
Cons
  • 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 section of the MCAT.

At the end of the each chapter, you'll also find 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 questions on concepts that have not been discussed yet. This might leave you both frustrated and confused.

Pros
  • First single book study guide
  • 4 full length online practice tests
  • Full color 16 page tear out reference guide
Cons
  • 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 important 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.

Pros
  • Written by the MCAT exam makers
  • Includes 120 practice questions
Cons
  • 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 practices 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 practice tests and explanations to the answers.

Related Prep Book Reviews:

Pros
  • Good resource for sociology and psychology
  • Access to free full length exam
Cons
  • Limited content

10 - Kaplan MCAT flashcards:

Kaplan MCAT Flashcards

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

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

Includes:

  • 230 flash cards for behavioral science
  • 247 flash cards for biology
  • 143 flash cards for general chemistry
  • 90 flash cards for organic chemistry
  • 103 flash cards for physics

 

 

Pros
  • Includes 1000 flashcards and an app
  • Convenient study companion
Cons
  • Not durable
  • Not for comprehensive studying

What is the MCAT?

The medical college admission test (MCAT) is a computer based standardized exam for medical students who want to apply 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 of 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

  1. Go through the MCAT essentials: The MCAT essentials are updated every year by the makers of the exam so going through it will help you to gather suggestions and tips on the current year’s exam.
  2. Use flashcards for wrong questions: Flash cards are the easiest way to remember and improve your mistakes. Make a flash card for each practice question that you get wrong and go through it.
  3. Use online resources: 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.
  4. Try to practice in the computer from beginning itself: As the MCAT is computer based exams it is very important to practice through it. Practicing the practice test online will help you a lot in the exam.
  5. Don’t spend too much time on one question: Spending too much time on a question can be frustrating. If you feel the question is taking too much time, move to the next one.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 to test whether you remember everything or not.
  8. Don’t ignore the introduction for each subject matter: Most important instructions are given in the introduction of the passage, so make sure that you don't skip on them.
  9. Don’t take lots of notes: Taking lot of notes may waste your time, but if you have to, make them short, concise, and straight to the point.
  10. 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.

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 subject.  The streamlined study plan also helps you create better strategies while studying and when taking the test.

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

Our #1 Recommendation

Kaplan Complete 7 Book-Subject Review

  • 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
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of November
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