Best MCAT Prep Books
Are you looking for the best MCAT prep books to help you prepare for your medical school entry test? I’m here to give you the information that you are searching for. It’s true that a medical career is one of the noblest and most rewarding careers today. Applications to join medical school far much outnumber the available slots. In fact, according to US News, close to 50,000 applicants requested to join medical school between the years 2017 and 2018. Out of all these, only 43.1% were admitted. That shows how competitive the selection and entry process is.
This underscores the importance of preparing well for the MCAT. If you have a desire to join medical school, then it’s important that you prepare and pass this test. Before we talk about the books to help you prepare for your med school entry exam, let’s first do a brief background check of the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). This is a 7.5-hour long exam that consists of four major parts, namely, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, and Reasoning skills and Critical analysis. It is multiple-choice exam, and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) develops and administers it.
Passing this test requires that you prepare thoroughly through study. There are a number of study resources like courses and study guides that you can make use of. For most, self-study is their most preferred choice of study. Here, I have put together a list of the best MCAT prep books to help you prepare and pass your test. Let’s dig in right away.
If you’re looking for something more thorough then you’ll want to check out the best MCAT prep courses here, otherwise keep reading below.
1. MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2019-2020 : Online +Book + 3 Practice Test (Kaplan Test Prep)
Kaplan’s MCAT prep book is a series of 7 books up dated to meet the guidelines of the AAMC. These 7 books include Biochemistry, Behaviour Science, Physics and Math, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.
Kaplan has offered test preps for many years ever since it was founded in 1938. To say this is a review book would be an understatement because this book is much more than that. Each of the subjects has been reviewed comprehensively by Kaplan’s top-rated instructors and vetted by qualified science degree editors as well as a medical doctor.
This book’s highlights and features are:
- Three computer-based online full-length practice tests. This ensures that you prepare well for the computer-based test
- Each book has over 350 practice questions
- Consists of graphs, charts, diagrams and 3-D full colour illustrations derived from the Scientific American. This will help you visualize even the hardest and most complex of science concepts
- Summaries at the end of each chapter
- The book contains badges that help you identify the top most 100 topics that the AAMC test the most
- Kaplan’s MCAT study materials and practice test are of top-most quality, thanks to their expert psychometricians who have ensured the tests meet the required standards
- Useful tips on how to ace your MCAT
If you are already familiar with some of the MCAT concepts and you are only searching for a detailed review study guide book, then this is an awesome exam prep material for you.
This amazing MCAT guide is a comprehensive text compiled by the AAMC (American Association Medical Colleges) and is designed to give you a detailed overview of the medical school entry exam. Made up of practice tests and tips on how to pass your test, the book is one of the best MCAT prep books today. Its current 5th edition has been updated to ensure that you get the best material to help you pass your test.
These are the highlights and features of this awesome test prep book:
- 120 practice tests with answers. Each section has 30 questions
- It has been prepared by MCAT exam developers
- It includes tips on how to pass your exam
- You also get to know how the MCAT test is scored
- Some details about how admissions to medical school are done and how you can make it to the list of those who successfully get admitted. The book also lets you know what it is that can lead to you to not getting admission.
This prep book has all the material you can ever need for your MCAT exam. The practice questions and exam tips will give you that much needed boost to pass this crucial test.
This Princeton MCAT review book, just like Kaplan’s and AAMC’s prep books, becomes part of this list. This is because it happens to cover the MCAT content in detail and has the material formatted in a way that nothing important misses. It is a set of 7 review books, namely, Biology, Physics and Math, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry, Psychology and Sociology, and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills review books.
The highlights and features of the Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Book are:
- Three online practice tests, full-length.
- The content of each subject has been reviewed and covered comprehensively
- Questions and answers included at the end of every chapter
- Practice passages presented in MCAT-style given at the end of every chapter
- Visual comprehension made possible through quality graphics given in full colour. It also has tables and diagrams to help you learn and understand any difficult principles
- Easy to understand chapter summaries
- Techniques and guidance on how to take and pass your MCAT exam included
- The book consists of extensive glossaries to give you ease in making review and references
- Access to online tools to help you receive any AAMC updates or changes regarding the exam.
There is no doubt that this more detailed study book would offer you the best way to understand the science concepts and equip you with the much needed skills to pass your MCAT.
The MCAT book by Berkeley Review is one of the fastest selling MCAT books on Amazon. Reason? It is one book that covers exam content in a very comprehensive and in-depth manner. The other reason that makes this book popular among the best MCAT sellers is the fact that it comes with many exam prep questions and answers. And this is not all. The book has a number of features that makes it a perfect prep material for the MCAT exam.
Here are more features and highlights of this content-specific and detailed text:
- Practice passages with 100 questions at the end of each chapter
- A total of 3500 practice questions and answers based on the actual MCAT exam
- The questions cover each section of the MCAT exam. The sections are General Chemistry with 1000 questions, Physics with 770 questions, Organic Chemistry with 800 questions, and about 99 verbal-based passages
- Covers exam content in depth
- The content is quite detailed and offers the best way to supplement your studies
The book is a bit expensive but if you are looking for a detailed and comprehensive test prep material, then this is the right one for you. The many practice questions will provide you with a unique advantage to prepare and pass your MCAT exam.
The Examkrackers MCAT Study Package by Jonathan Orsay contains valuable MCAT learning tools presented in a simple and easy to understand kind of voice. Developed and compiled by specialists with over 20 years experience working on MCAT prep resources, the book consists of research passages and questions to ensure that you pass your test. That’s the objective of this book.
Let’s dig deeper into the usefulness of this book by checking out the highlights and features here below:
- It makes use of cartoons and graphics presented by a mascot given the name Salty. This helps you memorize key concepts quite easily. And I know that understanding the concepts is what you need after all. How it is presented may not seem like something you would want to worry about
- Consists of 6 MCAT prep books. These are General and Organic Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Math and Verbal Research, Psychology and Sociology, Biology 1 (Biochemistry Manual), and Biology 2 (System Manual).
- Important techniques and strategies that include the do’s and don’ts of the MCAT CARS (Critical and Reasoning Skills) to boost your verbal skills and help you prepare and pass your test
- About four questions distributed evenly in each chapter
- Each chapter has a 30 minute long practice test at the end. The test is presented in an MCAT style format so that you can familiarize yourself with how the actual exam would look like.
- The book ends with 20 fairly tough practice exam questions. The questions are harder than what you are going to find on the actual MCAT exam.
The in-depth content in this book would give you that much needed boost in your exam prep. The comprehensively covered content would call for over 4 months of study. So, ensure that you start studying early enough for you to cover all the topics and be in time for your MCAT exam.
There was no way I could end this list without including the MCAT AudioLearn book, the unabridged version, in this list of the best MCAT prep books. Why would the book be this important? There are people who learn best by listening to audios and I wasn’t going to end without making sure that their study needs are taken care of. That is what inclusivity and fairness is all about anyway.
What’s this audio book all about? It is authored by AudioLearn Team, published by AudioLearn and narrated by Ana and John, both medical doctors. It runs for more than 8 hours and covers all the required concepts of the MCAT test that include theory, equations and formulae. Beyond the concepts is the fact that you are going to get how to pronounce medical terms correctly. And that’s a plus!
Here are more highlights of this great audio book preferred by a number of candidates and ranked at no.20 in Education and Teaching aids category:
- Comprehensive coverage and review of topics in Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics.
- Easy to listen to and follow
- You can use it as you commute or when you feel like your eyes are a little strained to focus on a computer screen
If your desire is to pass your MCAT exam, then this audio book is the right prep material to use. It offers you flexibility and an unlimited learning experience. In case you may require a study book to use a alongside the AudioLearn, I would recommend the paperback version of this audio that gives you all the material in the audio, but in text form.
Passing your MCAT exam is no joke. It demands several days and long hours of intensive study with consistent practice. Planning to take the test and finding the right study tools are two separate things. This guide highlighting the best MCAT prep books is here to give you guidance on the right prep books for you. All the best!