Many sites claim that they have the best MCAT prep books listed. However, not all of them hold equal value. To ensure that your successful career is covered, you need the best MCAT Prep books to help you prepare for and beat the exam.
Studying for the MCAT requires the right studying techniques and prep books to bolster your score. Here is a list of 6 best prep books for MCAT that can help you find the perfect material to help you ace the exam. Also, we interviewed a lot of med school students who got a high score (520+) on MCAT and creators of MCAT prep materials to come up with this list.
MCAT prep books at a glance (Updated August 2020)
- Examkrackers Complete Package for Studying MCAT
- Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Complete Box Set
- Our best pick: Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review with Online Materials and 3 Practice Tests
- MCAT Test Prep and Practice Test Questions
- Kaplan MCAT Flashcards with App
- Sterling MCAT Prep Books and Practice Tests
Best MCAT Prep Books Review 2020
1.Examkrackers Complete Package for Studying MCAT
If you don’t have much time to study comprehensively or you just need to learn the basics without having to go through volumes of extra information that won’t probably come out on the exam, you could consider this MCAT prep package.
We recommend getting the 10th edition instead of the 9th edition since the latest edition is apparently a way improved version of the latter. Publishers corrected the errors from the 9th edition in the newest edition. They also added more practice questions and updated the psychology and sociology book.
Because Examkrackers mostly provide information you probably need on the exam, you might find yourself looking for more. Nevertheless, the 6 books in this package use precise language. Salty the Kracker, the material’s mascot, could make you feel relaxed after hours of intense studying.
2. Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Complete Box Set
This Princeton MCAT review set is great in broadening your current general knowledge database. Nevertheless, if you don’t want to learn extra material, you might want to think twice.
You can benefit from the three practice tests and questions at the end of every chapter. Although the questions are not as many as the ones in Examkrackers or Kaplan, they are enough to make you understand the concepts. You can just buy a separate question book to simulate the actual test.
It also improves your visual comprehension since the illustrations in the book are in full color. There could’ve been more in the physics book, so that the theories are a lot easier to understand. All in all, they wrote the books well for this package. If you’re willing to buy additional books for your weak study points, this book can definitely prepare you for the test.
3.Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review with Online Materials and 3 Practice Tests
Having the time (ideally, at least 12 weeks) and effort to study all the seven books, the Kaplan MCAT complete 7-book set is one of the best MCAT studying sets you can purchase. You can also use it as your reference material since the books are reviewed by a doctor and holders of advanced science degrees.
Most of the students we interviewed who got a high MCAT score recommended this. They said that the details are clear, visuals are great, and the practice questions in every chapter are well-structured. Other MCAT books are not as detailed as Kaplans’ books.
The star feature of this book is that it is also helpful to identify the parts that would more likely appear on the test. When the books aren’t enough for you to practice, you can review the end of chapter sections, answer the questions all over the book and the practice tests online, and visit the Khan Academy video archives.
To better prepare, you can get the MCAT Psychology and Sociology book since the one in this package doesn’t include one. Even though it’s the priciest in this list, you get what you pay for or even more.
4.MCAT Test Prep and Practice Test Questions
Do you want a faster way to start prepping for MCAT? Then, this MCAT Test Prep Book can be perfect for you. With only 304 pages, it is a concise and brief study guide that covers every part of the exam. It’s also a great book to use when you don’t have any idea how to start studying for this mind-boggling test.
By reading it from cover to cover, you can determine the topics you need to work on, as you assess your performance from answering the practice tests.
It can also be a convenient review book, for those who have already prepared well enough for the test or those who are pressed for time to study to suffice their MCAT prepping needs.
You can study the chapters of MCAT sections, the concepts, and the subject reviews which could come out on the exam.
Aside from a number of sample questions and two full-length practice tests, you can also get some tips on how to take the test. Even on a budget, you can practice for the test well.
5.Kaplan MCAT Flashcards with App
Have you been studying for the exam for quite some time now? We know you understand how important flashcards are. Then Kaplan MCAT Flashcards are great when you want to study wherever you are, review difficult topics, and not to forget previously studied concepts.
Many MCAT review material companies have created their own versions of flashcards. Nevertheless, these flashcards from Kaplan are by far the best. The 1,000 flashcards can help you absorb the information you need quickly to be able to answer the exam with ease.
Keep in mind that since these are flashcards, don’t expect to see detailed explanations or information since it’s not possible to fit it on a flashcard. However, it can help jog your memory and comprehend the information at a high level.
According to the students we interviewed who used these, they suggested adding your own notes after you go through this study material. It may be somewhat time-consuming, but it helps remember important details.
Though the cards are flimsy and not that glossy, they can probably last until you finish preparing for the exam.
6. Sterling MCAT Prep Books and Practice Tests
Unlike Kaplan and Examkrackers, Sterling Test Prep Books don’t come in one package. However, you can make your own with the same price as the set from Kaplan.
Every month, Sterling updates their books to ensure that their materials reflect the recent MCAT. With over 1,200 questions on particular subjects, their books yield a lot of questions, so it’s a great way to prepare for the test. The most effective strategy in taking exams is answering mock questions again and again.
Every back of the book has a thorough explanation of the questions. Furthermore, you can contact their support team if you don’t understand an explanation. The support team responds effectively and fast. It’s like having a personal tutor.
One word of advice, though, it will be better to buy a different bok or use another learning resource to practice when you’re just starting to concentrate on a specific topic. It’s because Sterling books only provide an overview of the concepts.
Also, med students recommend buying a Sterling book for your weak spot when you get the MCAT prep package from Kaplan.
Conclusion and Our Best Pick
Finally, we hope our top 6 best MCAT prep books and our buying guide can help you choose the best MCAT book for your study needs. Having an understanding of the test and your needs, it won’t take long before you get your hands on the best study buddy for you. Whatever material you use, make sure that you study it well and answer all the tests to fully prepare. Should you still be nervous, follow our 9 MCAT last-minute study tips.
The Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review with Online Materials and 3 Practice Tests is our best pick. This set is complete and comprehensive. Also, the explanations are thorough, so you won’t spend much time trying to figure out a certain concept. This book is the best choice if you only want to use one review source. Besides, it also receives a lot of positive feedbacks from MCAT test-takers. Kaplan is well known for prep courses and offers many other online courses.
Overall, on top of having the best books, you need to exert your best efforts and focus on enjoying the results you want. With the right materials and sheer persistence, MCAT is always beatable.