Best MCAT Prep Books

Use our reviews of the best MCAT prep books to help make an informed decision on which materials will work best for you. We have considered many factors in our ratings including pricing, number of practice tests offered, sections of the MCAT covered, scoring options, year of publication, special offers, and if there is an online portion included. 

MCAT Prep: Courses vs Books

Note: If you need more help or are going for a top score, you should consider more comprehensive MCAT prep courses. Check out our review of the best MCAT prep courses - including our top choices:

Best MCAT Prep Courses

Best MCAT Prep Book Reviews (2020)

MCAT Prep Princeton Review Complete Box Set Kaplan Complete Subject Review Test Prep Books Princeton Review 3rd Edition Kaplan 528 Mometrix
 
Rating 
Price $201.48 $235.18 $22.97 $53.39 $25.83 $23.07
Practice Exams 3 3 0 4 1 1
Practice Questions 1000's 100's 100's 0 500+ 100's
Number of Pages 2864 3448 303 1312 432 563
Year Published 2018 2020 2019 2018 2018 2020
Sections Covered:            
Biological and Biochemical Foundations
Chemical and Physical Foundations
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
Online Option
Summary  Review Review Review Review Review Review
Learn More GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!

MCAT Prep Book Reviews 

Princeton Review Complete Box Set 

Test-Guide Rating: 

The Princeton Review complete box set MCAT prep book was published in 2018 and includes thousands of MCAT practice questions. The book covers all sections of the MCAT and includes strategic techniques to help test-takers ace the MCAT. Some cool features include access to the online student tools and the extensive glossaries. 

The complete box set includes 3 full-length practice tests, illustrations and diagrams for easier comprehension, and chapter summaries for quick review. Students will be given access to an online portal where they can take the practice tests – this is helpful for benchmarking your scores against others. Students can also view up-to-the-moment info on any changes made to the AAMC exam on their online portal. 

The complete box set includes 7 books – MCAT Biochemistry Review, MCAT Biology Review, MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Review, MCAT General Chemistry Review, MCAT Organic Chemistry Review, MCAT Physics and Math Review, and MCAT Psychology and Sociology Review. 

Serious students should consider Princeton Review's highly rated MCAT Prep Course.

Best Features  - Comprehensive study set and access to online portal

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Kaplan Complete Subject Review

Test-Guide Rating: 

Kaplan’s complete 7-book MCAT prep book is a comprehensive set of books that will help any MCAT candidate succeed when taking the MCAT. The books were updated in 2020 so all content is relevant and up to date for the most current version of the MCAT. 

The prep set by Kaplan contain 3 full-length MCAT practice tests, hundreds of practice questions, concept summaries, and a 24-page “quicksheet” that highlights the most important information in visual form. Students who purchase this MCAT prep set will also receive access to online materials for one year. Students can access their practice tests and view instructional videos via the online access. 

All material in these prep books is vetted by editors who have advanced science degrees and by medical doctors. This whole prep set contains 3400+ pages of content as well as access to online materials. Some of the best features of this course include the access to online instructional videos and the updated content. 

Students looking for top scores should consider a MCAT Prep Course.

Best Features - Access to online instructional videos and updated content (2020)

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Test Prep Books

Test-Guide Rating: 

Test Prep Books MCAT prep book is available to students for $22.97. The book includes coverage on all MCAT topics that students will be tested on. This book is a comprehensive study guide that summarizes key aspects of the MCAT exam and provides test taking strategies and practice questions. 

This book covers all sections of the MCAT including biological and biochemical foundations of living systems, chemical and physical foundations of biological systems, psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior, and critical analysis and reasoning skills. All practice questions include detailed answer explanations to help students learn from their mistakes. 

While this book may not be as comprehensive as some of the other MCAT prep books we reviewed, it will still help students learn and retain information for their MCAT exam. This book is fairly straightforward and to the point. All the information is summarized while not skipping out on any pertinent information. This is a great resource to brush up on old material or to supplement with other MCAT resources.

Best Feature – Concise summaries and good study guides

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Princeton Review 3rd Edition

Test-Guide Rating: 

Princeton Review offers their 3rd edition MCAT prep book for $53.39. The book includes 4 MCAT practice exams, content review, test-taking strategies, and a cheat-sheet. The cheat-sheet includes the most important formulas, diagrams, information, concepts, and charts for all MCAT test sections – the cheat-sheet is also able to be teared out of the book. 

Students who purchase this book will get access to 4 full-length MCAT practice exams. The practice exams are available to students through online access – Princeton Review chooses to do this so that students can benchmark their scores against others who take the practice exams. 

This book covers all sections of the MCAT but does not include practice questions throughout the book like some of the other MCAT prep books we looked at. While this book covers all sections of the MCAT, it is not as in-depth as the Princeton Review Complete Box Set MCAT prep book. With that being said, this book is still a great option for those with a tight budget who still want a good review of MCAT topics.

Best Feature – Price and cheat sheet

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Kaplan 528

Test-Guide Rating: 

Kaplan’s 528 MCAT prep book is available to students for $25.83. The book includes 500+ practice questions, detailed answer explanations, 1 full-length MCAT practice exam, and thorough subject review. The creators of this book, Kaplan, included the highest yield MCAT questions throughout the book – this means they looked over previous MCAT exams and found the types of questions and topics that appeared the most and made sure to include them in this book. 

The MCAT practice exam is available to students online. Kaplan does this to ensure students are ready for the computer based MCAT format on test day. This edition of the book includes expert instruction and commentary from MCAT professionals. The book uses star ratings throughout the book to indicate the importance of various topics – this is a nice feature to help increase study efficiency. 

This book is good for those who are looking for something affordable while also getting access to tons of practice questions and a practice exam. While this book is not as comprehensive as the Kaplan Complete Subject Review, it will still help students learn and review material that will be seen on the MCAT exam. 

Best Feature – Price and star system throughout the book

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MCAT Prep by Test Prep Books Review

Test-Guide Rating: 

The Mometrix MCAT prep book is available to students for $23.07. The book includes hundreds of practice questions, detailed answer explanations, 1 full-length MCAT practice exam, review of all MCAT sections, test-taking strategies, and video tutorials. This book was developed in 2020 so all material is very fresh and relevant for the current version of the MCAT. 

One cool feature of this book includes the video tutorials. While reading through the book, difficult concepts will have a link to online review videos where students can watch explanations from Mometrix instructors. These videos will help students save time when studying.

This book offers a good combination of price, content, and features. For only $23.07, students get access to a ton of features, great content review, and a full-length MCAT practice exam. While this may not be a complete review of all topics on the MCAT, it is a great resource to supplement with other MCAT resources.

Best Feature – Price and video review

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Studying for the MCAT

There are plenty of MCAT prep books available on the market today. When picking a MCAT prep book, it comes down to personal preference. If you are someone that wants as much information as possible, Princeton Review’s Complete Box Set or Kaplan’s Complete Subject Review may be your best options. If you are looking for the most affordable option, Mometrix might be your best option. 

A lot of these books consist of an in-text portion as well as an online portion. If you are someone who does not want to use a textbook and wants to study for the MCAT completely online, check out our best MCAT prep courses. A lot of these providers above offer completely online MCAT prep courses. These courses may be better suited for some individuals.

MCAT Prep Books FAQ

Is Kaplan or Princeton Review books better for MCAT?

Kaplan and Princeton Review both offer great MCAT prep books. It mostly depends on your budget and what your are looking for. Princeton Review is a little cheaper while Kaplan has about 600 more pages of content.

How far in advance should you study for the MCAT?

It is generally expected that students should start studying for the MCAT 3-6 months in advance. Some students may choose to do so earlier.

Are MCAT prep courses better than books?

This question may vary person to person, but yes, we believe so. MCAT prep courses will have the most current information, will help you track your progress, and make your studying more efficient.

Last update: 7/15/2020