For prospective medical students in various parts of the world, the Medical College Admission Test will be a required part of their admissions process. This standardized test was designed to assess problem-solving, written analysis, and scientific knowledge of various medical concepts. However, this exam includes both science and non-science questions, making it necessary to study a wide range of subjects.

The MCAT is scored based on the four sections of multiple-choice questions. Although the mean score among all test-takers is 500, the majority of successful M.D. applicants score at a 507 or above, in the 75th percentile. Typically, the medical schools that require the MCAT are competitive, making it essential that you have all the resources you need to prepare. 

According to The Princeton Review, the students who do well on the exam spend between 200-300 hours studying. Typically, it is recommended to start practicing around 4-6 months before the exam. To start preparing, it’s essential to gauge your performance by taking an online practice test. The most popular free practice test can be found in The Princeton Review. Once you take a practice test, you will have a good idea of which topics you’ll need to study for the MCAT

Next, you’ll want to buy the review materials you need. You'll want to take advantage of MCAT study books and MCAT prep books. So, what are the best MCAT prep books? Let's find out.

Best MCAT Prep Books

Below are the top 10 books to help you prepare for the MCAT. By using these books to study, you’ll familiarize yourself with the test content, study strategies, and many practice questions.

1. MCAT Prep Books 2020-2021 by Test Prep Books

MCAT Prep Books 2020-2021 by Test Prep Books

MCAT Prep Books 2020-2021 includes a comprehensive study guide, practice test questions, and detailed explanations for each answer. This book is perfect for anyone either trying to pass the test or score in the 75th percentile. Not only will this explain the fundamentals of the test, but help you raise your score, no matter how low or high you scored at first.

This includes test-taking strategies and questions in various categories, such as chemistry, biology, and psychology. Thanks to the detailed answer explanations in this book, you’ll avoid repeating your mistakes and be able to score higher on the test each time. 

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2. 7 Full-length MCAT Practice Tests by The Authors & Editors

7 Full-length MCAT Practice Tests by The Authors & Editors

This prep book includes five full-length practice tests in the book and two online. In total, this book has 1,610 MCAT practice questions based on the AAMC format. With this, you’ll be able to practice, review, and improve your score by following each answer explanation. This includes interactive discussion boards for every question and many solutions with multimedia background information.

With these simulated Gold Standard practice tests, you’ll be more prepared than ever for exam day. Each test imitates the MCAT’s timing, questions per section, and passages per section. 

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3. MCAT Workout by The Princeton Review

MCAT Workout by The Princeton Review

In this revised 3rd edition, you’ll find over 735 practice questions and passages to ensure you scoring success on the MCAT. To achieve total proficiency on the exam, this is the perfect book to complete. With passage-based questions and strategic solutions written by Princeton Review MCAT experts, you’ll walk into test day with total confidence.

This book includes expert advice, targeted practice for each test section, and step-by-step explanations to help you recover from your mistakes. 

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4. MCAT Verbal Practice by Bryan Schnedeker 

MCAT Verbal Practice by Bryan Schnedeker

MCAT Verbal Practice consists of 108 passages for the new Critical Analysis and Reasoning (CARS) section on the MCAT. Anyone who purchases this book will also have access to a free full-length practice exam and a free half-length diagnostic test. If you’re a student familiar with various reading strategies but need to hone in on their skills, this is the book for you. 

On top of the extensive passages to go over, this book also includes 12 timed practice verbal sections to help you get a feel of what test day will be like. 

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5. The Princeton Review MCAT by The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review MCAT by The Princeton Review

For your top MCAT score, this book is essential for the subject review. This all-in-one resource has been created to prepare you for the test, including in-depth content reviews, test-conquering strategies, and four full-length online practice exams. Providing unparalleled content coverage, The Princeton Review includes topic-by-topic subject reviews, specific strategies for each question, and tons of visual diagrams.

If you’re looking for helpful strategies to help you tackle each type of question, this is the perfect book for you. With their visual explanations and free online resources, The Princeton Review has created the perfect, authoritative resource for MCAT prep.

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6. MCAT 528 Advanced Prep by Kaplan Test Prep

MCAT 528 Advanced Prep by Kaplan Test Prep

Experts created Kaplan Test Prep’s MCAT 528 Advanced Prep behind the MCAT Prep course, which has helped more people get accepted into medical school than all other major MCAT courses combined. In this, these experts have combined subject review and high-yield questions to create the perfect resource for MCAT preparation.

This book will help you organize your review and target your focus on areas that need improvement. With expert commentary and questions that match AAMC guidelines, you won’t have to worry if your MCAT prep book is comprehensive. With more than 500 practice questions, this book holds more questions than any other MCAT advanced book on the market, making it all you’ll need to study for test day. 

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7. MCAT Physics and Math Review by Kaplan Test Prep

MCAT Physics and Math Review by Kaplan Test Prep

This physics and math review book has recently been updated to fit the latest materials on the MCAT. Now more streamlined and intuitive for a more manageable review, this book’s layout makes it easier and more realistic than ever to prepare for the test. In this, you’ll get efficient strategies, hundreds of practice questions, and detailed subject review.

Based on AAMC materials, this book provides you with the most testable content out there. You’ll be able to memorize all necessary equations and visualize each complex scientific topic. With expert guidance and realistic practice, this MCAT review is all you’ll need to score high on the physics and math sections.

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8. MCAT General Chemistry Review by Kaplan Test Prep

MCAT General Chemistry Review by Kaplan Test Prep

By purchasing this book, you’ll have access to Kaplan Test Prep’s expert advice on paper and their free resources online. This book includes chapter profiles that indicate to which degree each chapter is tested and to which category it aligns. With 15 multiple-choice questions at the end of each chapter, you’ll be able to test your knowledge and increase your score with each practice test.

To ensure that you’re focusing on the most critical information in each chapter, the experts at Kaplan Test Prep have included learning objectives and concept checks. To score high on chemistry in your MCAT, this is the all-in-one resource. 

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9. MCAT with Online Tests by Jay B. Cutts M.A.

MCAT with Online Tests by Jay B. Cutts M.A.

Jay B. Cutts provides test-takers with science review, timing strategies, critical analysis, and reasoning guidance in this newly revised Barron's Test Prep manual. The author of this book has developed the most helpful proven strategies to help you score high on the test based on many years of MCAT training.

The newest edition includes science review chapters, comprehensive review of the newest content areas, and practice MCAT tests that have been carefully designed to imitate the real exam. 

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10. The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam by Association of American Medical Colleges

The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam by Association of American Medical Colleges

In this comprehensive overview of the MCAT exam, you’ll find 120 practice questions, detailed answers, and tips on preparing for the exam outside of prep books. This revised, fifth edition includes the exact 120 practice questions found in the fourth edition of the AAMC’s MCAT prep exam. 

Not only will you have access to identical practice questions, but you’ll also get details on how each section is structured, holistic admissions, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Preparing For The MCAT

To determine if you’re ready for the MCAT, taking practice tests that come with the books above will allow you to assess your preparedness. Not only will you be exposed to practice tests just like the exam, but you’ll also have access to expert advice and test-taking strategies. You can also re-take the free practice test that you took before using these books to study. 

If you find that you’re not confident enough about taking the MCAT, check out Kaplan Test Prep’s MCAT flashcards to quickly review any information you might be missing. You might also consider taking some MCAT review courses to help you prepare as well. With your combined resources of review courses, practice tests, review books, and flashcards, you’ll be more equipped than ever to score in the upper range on the MCAT.

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