7 Best MCAT Prep Books Reviews 2019 | Crack Medical College Admissions Test

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The Medical College Admission Test or MCAT would be one of the first hurdles that you need to overcome if your heart is set on getting into med school. While it is agreed upon by many experts and former test-takers that this standardized test is a tough one, it’s perfectly possible to ace it with enough preparation. The best MCAT prep books can help in this regard, so make sure to look for one.

Editor's Rating:

4.7/5

  • Great format
  • Comprehensive and covers nearly all topics that you can expect in the test
  • Nice layout

Editor's Rating:

4.5/5

  • Brief and concise presentation of information
  • Covers nearly everything you need to know about the test
  • Detailed explanation of practice question answers

Editor's Rating:

4.6/5

  • In-depth discussion of concepts and topics
  • End-of-chapter quizzes will help you check what you’ve learned and reviewed periodically
  • High-quality visual presentation of information

How do you find the best MCAT books? Let this guide help you.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best MCAT Prep Book

You have several options to prepare for the MCAT. For one, you can always turn to experts and sign up for the best MCAT prep course. These are lessons and classes that you can take in person or online wherein you’ll have structured study sessions.

They’re great for those are not necessarily big fans of self-studying. The guided study sessions will free you from the hassle of creating your own study plan and mapping out the topics you should cover to get ready for the test.

Unfortunately, these courses can get quite pricey. Some might even require you to focus full time on the test prep course so they’re not the best options for everyone.

Taking MCAT self-prep measures is also a good approach to the said standardized test. Self-studying can work for most folks, especially with the right techniques.

No matter what your chosen approach, however, you’ll need the best MCAT review books to fully prepare for the said exam. These will work as your reference materials as you get ready for the MCAT. They can certainly help you navigate the complex and tough test preparation process.

The good news is, there are tons of options to choose from. The bad news is, the number of choices available to you can be a bit overwhelming. Also, not all of them are guaranteed to help you out so you need to find the best one to ensure the best results.

To help you do this, we’ve rounded up some proven-effective tips that should assist you in narrowing down your options and finding the right title that can help you get ready for the MCAT. Here they are:

1. Do a lot of research about the MCAT before anything else.

do a lot of research about the mcat before anything else

To make sure that you’ll find a title that will suit your needs and requirements to fully get ready for the MCAT, you should get better acquainted with the said test first. Find out the most crucial points about this exam so you can look for corresponding details in the study guides you’ll look into.

The most important question to answer when researching about this test is ‘what is on the MCAT?’. The answer to this query will help you identify what kind of content the best prep book should have.

The available MCAT exam dates can also help you choose the right prep book. With the wide coverage of this exam, it shouldn’t be surprising that some study guides come with several books to help you prepare thoroughly for it.

Titles like the TBR MCAT prep come with ten books in its set, so if you don’t have enough time to go through all of them, this might not be the best choice for you.

2. Ask for recommendations and read reviews.

After doing a considerable amount of research, you can then move onto which titles are highly recommended by experts and former test-takers. The recommended titles will clue you in on which ones are the most popular and what makes titles popular.

3. Consider your own learning style and preferences.

You might feel compelled to go for the most popular titles but don’t do so without much consideration. If you don’t think that they will suit your learning style and preferences, they might not do the trick for you.

Be very particular with the way the content is presented. While a lot of med school aspirants will be able to handle the drabbest writing, your test prep efforts might benefit more from something concise and less dragging. So make sure to keep such details in mind when looking for the right MCAT study guide for you.

4. Opt for updated editions.

If you’re taking the MCAT in 2019, make sure to get a prep book that is made for the same year. These things can become outdated pretty quickly, depending on how the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) will craft the next test. By getting the latest edition of a prep book, you’re more likely to get information on the tests given out in the previous year. This can help you get familiar with the test that will most likely be very similar to the one you’ll take.

5. Don’t hesitate to get multiple prep books.

Another important thing to remember when searching for the best MCAT study books is the fact that you don’t have to stick with just one book or set. While you also don’t need to get several different titles, you might be better off getting a few different ones. This will help you cover more areas and become more prepared for the test.

Aside from a few different study guides, you might want to get different varieties of study materials as well. Aside from a prep book, get the best MCAT practice tests workbook, flashcards, and other study tools that might help you get thoroughly ready for the said test. Different materials have their own approaches in helping you get ready for the big day, so they can really come in handy.

Product Reviews for the Best MCAT Prep Books

To further help you in your search for the best MCAT prep book, here are eight great titles that you should check out. All of them are highly recommended by experts and test-takers so they might just be the best choices for you as well.

Editor's Rating:

4.7/5

The KAPLAN MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2019-2020 would be one of the first titles to come out if you search for the best MCAT study guide online. Why not when it’s one of the most highly recommended set out there? It’s said to be one of the most comprehensive and information-packed study books in the market today, so it can certainly be what you need to get into med school.

What makes these Kaplan MCAT books special? For one, their content is seriously packed. This set is composed of 7 subject-specific books:

  • Behavior Sciences

  • Biochemistry

  • Biology

  • General Chemistry

  • Organic Chemistry

  • Physics and Math

  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

These pretty much cover all 8 subjects in the MCAT. They’re also guaranteed to provide an in-depth discussion of the topics and concepts that will most likely appear in the test.

How can you be sure of this? Aside from the fact that this set is made by one of the most established test prep companies on the planet, the content is also guaranteed to be AAMC aligned. This means that you can expect accurate information if you use this as a reference for your test prep efforts. The company is also very credible and reliable, so you can certainly count on them to help you get ready for the big day.

A lot of experts and test-takers say that this study guide is erroneously named. It has the word ‘review’ in its title which they think is inaccurate. Its discussions of concepts and topics are said to be not similar to other reviewers because they’re more in depth. This set isn’t just for browsing through concepts. Its expertly-written presentation of data and information will offer more than what most folks expect from a review book.

Lots of people also loved this set for its visual presentation of information. Concepts are very nicely represented in graphs and diagrams so you won’t get too overwhelmed looking at walls of text all the time.

Aside from the per-subject study guides, you’ll also get 3 online practice tests and a 24-page Quicksheet booklet for on-the-go studying. The only drawback it has is that it might not be the best pick for those who are rushing to take in as much information as they can before the exam.

Things We Liked

  • Great format
  • Comprehensive and covers nearly all topics that you can expect in the test
  • Nice layout
  • In-depth discussion of concepts and topics

Things We Didn't Like

  • A bit pricey

Editor's Rating:

4.5/5

Want a quick and painless way to kickoff your test prep efforts? Test Prep Books’ MCAT Prep 2018-2019: Test Prep & Practice Test Questions for the Medical College Admission Test is a good title to get started.

Most folks describe this title as a brief and concise study guide because it only contains 304 pages and already covers every section of the test. This also makes it a great place to start if you have no clue how to begin preparing for the big day. Just read this study guide from cover to cover and you’ll already get a good idea on which topics you should include in your study plan.

Others, however, use this as a handy review book. Those who are strapped for time or are just not bent on going over the test content in depth already find this prep book sufficient to their needs. If you’re still very familiar with the things that will most likely come out in the MCAT, then this title will work as a refresher.

What exactly can you expect from this study guide? You can find chapters on the sections of the MCAT, for one. They will contain the concepts and topics that are likely to be asked about in the test. There are also several sample test questions to help you get better acquainted with the MCAT’s format. Finally, you’ll also find several test-taking strategies that should help you conquer the test without a hitch.

Coupled with a very friendly price tag, this book is one of the best-priced titles in the market today. If you’re on a budget or you just want to get various study books to boost your prep efforts, this can be a solid addition to your collection.

Things We Liked

  • Brief and concise presentation of information
  • Covers nearly everything you need to know about the test
  • Detailed explanation of practice question answers
  • Very affordable

Things We Didn't Like

  • Typo errors are found

Editor's Rating:

4.6/5

The Princeton Review 7 MCAT PREP Books Box Set, 3rd Edition is another 7-piece review set that every MCAT prepper should check out. It’s a comprehensive and in-depth review guide set that will let you focus on all of the subjects tested in the MCAT. So if you feel like you need to go in-depth in your prep efforts, these books might be what you need.

Due to its format, it’s also often compared to the Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-book Subject Review 2018-2019. They are pretty similar in many regards. Aside from the 7-books they contain, they also have full-color illustrations, full-length practice tests, and end-of-chapter quizzes.

However, Princeton Review’s set is said to edge out the Kaplan vs. Princeton review MCAT debate for its seriously in-depth discussion of concepts and topics. The way it discusses each point will help you master everything that you need to know by test day. This makes it a more attractive option for some.

This set also contains extensive glossaries so you can easily pore through the different concepts when you just need a refresher before the test day. This makes it easier to navigate these massive books.

What makes the TPR MCAT study guide stand out is its good presentation of information. It will closely guide you into going over all of the things that you need to learn and remember to crush the MCAT. Each of the 7 books in this set is focused on each subject tested in the said test so you can be guaranteed that you’ll cover all your bases when getting ready for this test.

Despite its information-packed content, however, this set can still be very useful for those who need to quickly go over all of the concepts and topics that will come out in the test. With its extensive glossaries, you can use them as lists of the concepts that you need to recall before the test day.

Unfortunately, some folks don’t find its practice questions to be as plentiful as Kaplan’s. This means that you will most likely need to get the Sterling Test Prep question book to get a lot of practice test experience. It’s also a bit more expensive than Kaplan’s, so you might also want to take its price into consideration.

Things We Liked

  • In-depth discussion of concepts and topics
  • End-of-chapter quizzes will help you check what you’ve learned and reviewed periodically
  • High-quality visual presentation of information

Things We Didn't Like

  • Doesn’t have as many practice questions as the Kaplan set

Editor's Rating:

4.5/5

Despite its goofy name, the 9th Edition Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package is one of the top-rated study guides in the market today. Some even go as far as calling this set as the best option there is.

Why, you might be wondering? For starters, people say that it covers more ground than any other set in this list. This alone makes it worth checking out if you want a reference book that can guarantee to help you go over everything you need to work on.

Don’t let its information-dense reputation scare you, though. The Exam cracker MCAT books present information in a very friendly manner so you can be guaranteed that you can go through them without too much fuss. There are graphics, illustrations, and even a mascot that makes the content seem friendlier.

What makes it even better is that it’s designed to efficiently help you retain the information you’ve just read about. There are about 3-4 quizzes interspersed in each chapter to check what you’ve learned. There are also mini-tests at the end of every quiz to thoroughly gauge what you understood. These mini Examkrackers MCAT practice tests are deemed to be harder than the actual MCAT so you can be guaranteed that they’ll prove to be very useful for your test preparation.

Things We Liked

  • Packed with the things you need to learn for the MCAT
  • Contains hard mini practice tests
  • Designed to be easy to read and understand

Things We Didn't Like

  • Quite pricey

Editor's Rating:

4.5/5

The Sterling Test Prep MCAT General Chemistry Practice Questions: High Yield MCAT Questions is more of a practice test workbook than a prep book in general but it’s still a great addition to your MCAT prepper arsenal. It can certainly compliment any of the review sets mentioned above as it will help you gauge your General Chemistry knowledge.

Packed with 1200 practice questions, discussions on General Chemistry concepts and topics, test-taking strategies, as well as in-depth answer explanations, this workbook can really come in handy if you want to boost your chemistry score.

Like other Sterling Test Prep titles, the contents of this book is also updated regularly, so if you got the newest edition, you can be further guaranteed to get great results.

Things We Liked

  • Informational and regularly updated content
  • Will help you focus on General Chemistry
  • Great for practice
  • Contains diagnostic tests

Things We Didn't Like

  • Some items do not have answer explanations

Editor's Rating:

4.5/5

For a good deal of almost authentic MCAT test experience in Physics, you should check out the Sterling Test Prep MCAT Physics Practice Questions: High Yield MCAT Physics Practice Questions with Detailed Explanations. This title contains 860 practice questions in the aforementioned subject, so if you need help in that area, this might be what you need.

Like the other Sterling Test Prep workbooks listed here, this book is also regularly updated as well as contains in-depth answer explanations and test-taking strategies. You can get and use it on its own or create your own set with the different titles from its range.

Things We Liked

  • Comes with diagnostic tests
  • Designed to make understanding the subject easier
  • Listing contains all of the topics included
  • Can help you master solving physics problems

Things We Didn't Like

  • Contains stand-alone questions which won’t necessarily help you train for the passages that will be used in the actual exam

Editor's Rating:

4.5/5

If you need more help in the Biochem and Orgo, the Sterling Test Prep MCAT Organic Chemistry & Biochemistry Practice Questions: High Yield MCAT Practice Questions with Detailed Explanations is a solid choice for you. This practice questions workbook contains almost everything you need to get ready for the Biochem and Orgo parts of the test, so make sure to give it a shot.

Like the other Sterling Test Prep items listed above, this title contains a lot of information about the subjects mentioned. It discusses the concepts and topics of the said subjects in-depth so you can effectively get ready for the MCAT. Unfortunately, some find its elaborations to be too complicated, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Things We Liked

  • Great for practice
  • Very informational product listing
  • Effective concept and answer explanations

Things We Didn't Like

  • Some find the content to be too difficult