best mcat resources

Best MCAT Resources in 2024 (Updated)

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) remains one of the toughest exams in the world. One of the reasons people fear it is the broad scope of the 230 questions in the exam. test

If you hope to do well in the MCAT, you need to study and learn with MCAT resources. These resources can include content review, practice questions, and exam guides.

The best MCAT resources are a combination of all three types of resources. They may come in the form of MCAT prep books, video content, or flashcard apps. Also, you may get these resources as part of your subscription to a prep course.

Despite the fact that you can find these materials with a simple Google search, you need to be careful. Choosing the wrong resource could cost you some crucial points on your eventual MCAT score.

MCAT students

To ensure you get the best MCAT resources for you, check out the rest of this article. We’ve included a great review to help you make the best decision possible.

Don’t have the time to read every detail? Below is a summary section to help speed things up.

Summary and Overview

  1. Kaplan MCAT 7-Book Subject Review 2023-2024Best Overall >>
  2. The Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Box SetBest Value >>
  3. Blueprint MCAT Review BooksMost Comprehensive>>
  4. Khan Academy MCAT ResourceBest Free >>
  5. Mometrix MCAT Prep Books 2023-2024 –  Best Exam Guide >>
  6. Test Prep Books – MCAT Books 2023-2024 Budget Pick >>
  7. Examkrackers MCAT Study Package PLUSFast Track Pick >>
  8. UWorld MCAT Question BankBest for Practice >>
  9. Anki MCAT DecksBest Flashcards >>
  10. AAMC Official MCAT GuideMust Read >>

How We Chose the Best MCAT Resources

We understand the impact of the MCAT on the careers of students who want to get into medical school. Hence, we did our best to ensure we created a list of top-quality resources.

We began with a shortlist of 20 MCAT resources. These were chosen based on online popularity, sales numbers, and ratings on review sites like Amazon and Trustpilot.

Next, we asked a select group of students to sign up for access to these resources, fully sponsored by us.

Each student accessed the material for several weeks and provided detailed reports at the end of their studies. The reports included details such as:

  1. Type of content provided
  2. Topics covered
  3. Quality of the lessons
  4. Impact of the material on their MCAT readiness

Our team went on to analyze these reports based on fixed criteria. We were able to shorten our list of best MCAT resources down to the top 10.

You can learn more about these criteria below:

Content Scope and Depth

Perhaps the most important criteria we considered was the curriculum coverage of the material. The MCAT is split into four sections. These sections cover a variety of subjects and topics. Below is a rundown of these four sections:

Section Subjects to Learn
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Biology, Chemistry (organic and inorganic), and Biochemistry.
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Biochemistry, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry (General and Organic), Mathematics.
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Psychology, Biology, and Sociology.
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Comprehension and Social Sciences.

Most of the resources on our list covered these subjects and more. However, some of them dug deep into the core topics. These were the materials that stood out.

Content Quality

It’s not enough to cover a broad and in-depth curriculum. The resources involved also have to do so in an engaging way.

The factors that determining content quality of an MCAT resource includes the following:

  • Structure of lesson modules in MCAT prep books
  • Level of detail in answer explanations of practice questions or tests
  • Quality of video lessons
  • Use of visually engaging images and videos
  • How close the questions are to the real MCAT
  • Factual accuracy of the content

Utility

We mentioned earlier that there are three main types of MCAT resources you can use. They are:

  1. Content Review: These are text based or video content. They allow students to study and gain the relevant knowledge they need to take the MCAT.
  2. Practice Questions: These can come in the form of separate questions from a question bank or full-length practice exams. They tend to mirror the style, format, and difficulty of MCAT questions.
  3. Exam Guide: These are mostly for peripheral studies. They help you get prepared by providing exam-day tips or MCAT guidelines.

Resources that combine multiple types in their material have a huge advantage over those that only offer one. That is why some of the prep books in our list come with both content review and access to practice questions.

Value for Money

Many of the best MCAT resources are not free. We believe that the money you spend on each resource should reflect in the benefits you gain from it.

So, for this criteria, we didn’t simply look for which resources were cheapest. Instead, we did a comprehensive analysis of each product and the value it provided to buyers.

We also considered what features were embedded in the content distribution platform. Finally, we assessed the presence of refund policies, discounts, and free trials. These all help to lower cost and increase value.

You can be certain that every resource on our list is worth every penny you spend on it.

Review of the 10 Best MCAT Resources in 2023

Kaplan MCAT 7-Book Subject Review 2023-2024 – Best Overall

Kaplan is also one of the biggest MCAT test prep companies in the world. They offer a series of online and in-person courses on several types of standardized exams.

Kaplan also sells some of the best MCAT prep books, flashcards, and study toolkits. Their best MCAT preparation material happens to be the 7-book subject review set.

Each prep book covers the following subject:

  1. Biochemistry
  2. Biology
  3. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
  4. General Chemistry
  5. Organic Chemistry
  6. Physics and Math
  7. Behavioral Sciences

Our students praised the Kaplan books for their effective subject review style. You’ll find a series of instructional material with real-world references. This helps students to better picture and understand the complicated science subjects needed to ace the MCAT.

Each chapter also has quizzes to help with the learning process. You can supplement them with the 100+ practice questions available in the text.

There are lots of illustrations in the books too. These come in the form of colored charts, graphs, and other types of graphics. Plus, each chapter comes with a content summary section. Here, you can find the key points that you may need to memorize or fully grasp.

What we love

Each Kaplan MCAT prep book offers some of the best value for money on our list. When you buy the book set, you also get access to the following:

  • Online prep videos
  • 3 full-length practice tests

Of course the videos are not as robust as those of Kaplan’s paid courses. It’s still good value at no extra cost. Also, you only have access to the two online perks for a year.

The Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Box Set – Best Value

Princeton already has a reputation of being one of the best MCAT prep course providers in the world. The company has worked with millions of students over the last 40+ years.

In that time, they have also sold more than 35 million books. The 4th edition of their subject review box set is one of their latest entries on sale. It’s a product that comes with seven MCAT prep books in paperback form.

Each prep book covers the following subject:

  1. Biochemistry
  2. Biology
  3. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
  4. General Chemistry
  5. Organic Chemistry
  6. Physics and Math
  7. Psychology and Sociology

At the end of the chapters in the books, you get some MCAT-style practice questions. These will test your knowledge of what you read in the chapter.

There are a lot of graphics and illustrations to help you learn better. Our students rated The Princeton Review MCAT prep books very highly in their reports. The content quality was great and the delivery helped them learn faster.

What we love

Buying the complete box set gives you full access to 3 MCAT-standard practice tests for a year. Although the company could have been clearer with the time limit. However, we were able to provide you with that info.

Also, one year should be enough for you to study for and ace the MCAT if you study the right way.

Blueprint MCAT Review Books – Most Comprehensive

Blueprint’s MCAT division was formerly known as Next Step before their acquisition in 2018. Already, the company was already popular among standardized test takers.

Currently, the company has only one set of books on the platform. However, you cannot get it as a standalone purchase. Neither can you buy it from Amazon.

To get the Blueprint MCAT Review Books, you need to enroll in one of the platform’s MCAT prep courses. They have self-paced, live online, and tutoring course options. All of them come with the latest MCAT review books (2021-2022).

The least expensive course on the platform is priced at $2,099. This might put some students off, as there are much cheaper resources on this list. However, if what you want is a comprehensive package that covers everything you need to get ready for the MCAT quickly, then Blueprint is a valid option.

Blueprint review set consists of 6 content review paperback books. They cover the following topics:

  1. Psychology and Sociology
  2. Biochemistry
  3. General and Organic Chemistry
  4. Biology
  5. Physics
  6. CARS and Science

Every book comes with at least 150 practice questions, one full-length MCAT test, and a half-length diagnostic test. The diagnostic exam helps you to determine your current state in terms of MCAT readiness.

What we love

Blueprint offers an in-depth curriculum in its courses and resources. The platform integrates both materials to provide students with a seamless experience.

Khan Academy MCAT Resource – Best Free

Khan Academy happens to be one of the world’s most reliable non-profit prepping companies. They provide resources for several standardized tests, including SAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

Khan Academy has partnered with the AAMC to function as a free MCAT resource until 2026. The program works like a self-paced course, but is available to anyone with an internet connection.

You can get access to it by visiting the Khan Academy site. You don’t even have to log in or create an account. However, having an account allows you to save your progress.

The course consists of a series of content review materials in video and text formats. Each module has its own set of practice questions. All together, there are hundreds of questions for you to attempt.

Below is a summary of the core subjects covered in this resource:

  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Sociology
  • Psychology

What we love

The fact that Khan Academy partners with the official examiners to provide a free MCAT resource is a major win. We love that they do their best to cover as much of the curriculum as they can. Although the video quality could be better, you can learn a lot from the content reviews.

Mometrix MCAT Prep Books 2023-2024 – Best Exam Guide

Although not as popular as some of the big shots like Blueprint, Kaplan, and Princeton, the Mometrix Academy has built a solid reputation in the test prep industry.

They provide online courses, study guides, and flashcards for over 1000 different exams. The MCAT is one of them, even though it isn’t among Mometrix’s top 10.

Mometrix’s MCAT book comes with 650+ questions, lots of content review sections, and an exam guide. It comes in two versions: paperback and ebook. Both are affordable, but the ebook is slightly cheaper.

You can get access to the content review videos via links that come with your purchase. The videos cover all four MCAT sections.

The text part of the resource focuses on practice questions and exam guides. Each question comes with detailed answer explanations.

What we love

Our students liked the fact that Mometrix was willing to focus on providing tips for studying for and taking the MCAT.

With this book, you’ll learn facts that help with the following and more:

  • Choosing the right answers when unsure
  • Handling tough questions
  • Exam time management
  • Study planning
  • Faster learning

Exam anxiety is a big, yet often overlooked issue for students taking the MCAT. This book set dedicates an entire section to addressing that.

Finally, we also loved the fact that your purchase comes with a 100% money-back guarantee that lasts for one whole year!

Test Prep Books – MCAT Books 2023-2024 – Budget Pick

This company has the most obvious name an exam prep business can have. Thankfully, they seem to back it up in substance, as thousands of students rely heavily on their products to pass standardized tests.

The 7th edition of their MCAT prep books set is what you want to get. It comes with a lot of essential materials. They are:

  1. Content review: It is purely text-based and covers topics in all four MCAT sections.
  2. Practice Questions: These are MCAT-style questions, and they come with in-depth answer explanations.
  3. Exam Guide: This includes written strategies to help you do better at the MCAT and reduce the chances of mistakes.

The books don’t just skim through the sections. Rather, they dive deep into them and cover all of the topics from the basics to the advanced concepts.

What we love

Test Prep Books MCAT resource has some of the most detailed answer explanations you can find on practice questions. According to our students, these explanations were so good that they never made the same mistakes twice, because of how well each concept was explained.

All of these come at an affordable price. Hence, it could give you the best bang for your buck.

Examkrackers MCAT Study Package PLUS – Fast Track Pick

Examkrackers is a MCAT-focused learning platform. They offer both live online and on-demand prep courses for students looking to get into med school. They also sell MCAT books.

Examkrackers MCAT Study Package PLUS is one of their bestsellers. The product is a set of prep books that come with some exclusive perks. This is an upgrade of the 11th edition, which is the latest for the guide.

Here’s what’s included in the package:

  1. 6 MCAT textbooks:

The books cover the following subjects:

  • Physics
  • Psychology & Sociology
  • Biology
  • General & Organic Chemistry
  • Verbal, Research, & Math

The content in each of the textbooks is concise and to the point. The creators try to get the key points across with as little words as possible, which saves reading time.

  1. One full-length MCAT practice exam:

You’ll get access to the Examkrackers Online MCAT testing center. There you can take your free full-length exam.

  1. End-of-chapter mini practice exams

At the end of each book chapter, you can take a mini exam in the testing center.

What we love

The content in the study guide is well-structured. It also includes lots of helpful illustrations. You can learn a lot in a short time frame. This makes it ideal for people who want to get prepped for the MCAT in a short period.

UWorld MCAT Question Bank – Best for Practice

When it comes to practice questions for standardized tests, UWorld is a popular option for many students. The platform offers content for dozens of tests, including the MCAT.

UWorld has seen success over the years partly because of how the company uses modern technology to enhance the learning experience.

The students in our team who used their MCAT Question Bank, had a lot of fun using the features that came with it.

The MCAT resource came with the following perks:

  • 3,050+ MCAT-style questions, complete with the AAMC interface
  • Detailed answer explanations for all the questions
  • Concept explanations with visual aids such as design images, illustrations, and animations
  • Online practice tests with performance tracking
  • Digital notebook
  • Flashcards
  • Mobile app access to the entire resource

You can get started with the UWorld MCAT Qbank for free. There’s a trial plan that gives you 7 days of access to 100 questions.

What we love

UWorld uses a group of researchers, professors, and scientists to create their questions. They also update the questions in real time. You’re definitely in safe hands here. The quality of the questions are just as high as those in the actual tests. Also, the answer explanations leave no stone unturned.

Anki MCAT Decks – Best Flashcards

This one’s for all flashcard lovers looking to prepare for an upcoming MCAT exam. Anki is a computer program that helps people learn in bit-sized format by using customizable cards.

You can download decks from other users and customize them to fit your needs. We’ve already established that acing the MCAt requires you to have knowledge of a wide syllabus. Anki decks help you to memorize concepts in a fun and easy way.

You’ll also have access to all of your decks across all devices, including the web. So how does this tool provide the MCAT resources you need?

Well, Anki allows for shared decks. People can upload, download, rate, and modify decks on the platform. With the Anki MCAT deck, you’ll find dozens of shared flashcards with embedded images and audio files.

Be sure to read the description, notes, and reviews of each deck before you download it. The comments should allow you to deduce if the content is worth your time.

What we love

Although using Anki decks is an unorthodox method of learning, you may find great value from these flashcards.

Some of the decks were created by students who took prep courses such as Kaplan and Altius. If you cannot afford those courses, you can still learn from someone who did and scored highly in the test.

AAMC Official MCAT Guide – Must Read

Being the test organizers, it’s safe to say that you can trust any guide created by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Their official guide to the MCAT exam is not free. However, it’s one of the most affordable resources out there.

The guide does not offer much in terms of content review. What you’ll get is a description of each MCAT section’s content. 

What the guide focuses on is exam preparation and test-taking tips. With this guide, you can learn what subjects NOT to waste your effort on, and which topics are most relevant. You’ll also learn more about the scoring procedure for the test.

This AAMC guide comes with 120 passage-based practice questions. Each of them has the written solutions so you know the correct answers. The questions are split into four sets of 30 questions each, with one set for each MCAT section.

What we love

The fact that the content, tips, and questions were created by the actual exam developers is a massive benefit. You get to learn the MCAT guidelines and test-taking tips directly from the official source.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing MCAT Resources

Before you spend your time or money on a resource material, you need to consider the following factors.

Focus

The focus of the MCAT resource is a combination of its type and subject covered. If it’s a content review, does it cover all of the topics you may face in the exam? If it’s a bank of practice questions, does it match the standards of the exam?

These are questions you need to find answers to before making a decision. Luckily, reading our review is enough for you to determine the focus of the resources on our top 10 list.

Author

The resource material must have been researched, written, collated, and edited by subject matter experts. The authors must have a solid background in the medical field. It also helps if they have previously done well on their MCAT exams.

Look for an “About the Author” section on the product’s web or amazon page. After that, you can Google their names and find out what you can about their profiles.

Questions

Learning from content reviews is a good strategy, but you need to answer actual questions and tests to be ready to take the MCAT.

Whichever resource you choose should have some questions in them. They should also come with answer explanations.

Budget

Your spending power is another vital factor to consider. Try to strike a good balance between quality and affordability. It’s never a good idea to simply go for the cheapest option.

A reliable strategy is to make a list of resources you already have access to. After that, make another list of what you need to complete your arsenal.

You can then proceed to use a review like ours to find the resources that can give you what you’re lacking.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most effective way to study for the MCAT?

The most effective way to study for the MCAT is to combine content review and practice tests. Try to put yourself in conditions similar to those in the real exam so that you get use to them.

How can I study for the MCAT on my own?

Here’s how to study for the MCAT on your own:

  1. Take a diagnostic test to determine your baseline
  2. Study with the help of MCAT resources of on-demand courses
  3. Take practice tests and track your progress

How many hours of MCAT studying is needed?

To be fully prepared for the MCAT, we recommend that you spend 200 to 300 hours studying.

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