Before studying for the MCAT I spent a lot of time looking for books/resources that had lots of practice problems. This was after I had already purchased the Kaplan MCAT subject review. At first, it was difficult to find good quality MCAT practice books.
The reason why I spent so much time looking for MCAT practice problems is because I knew that doing practice problem after practice problem would help me retain as much relevant MCAT information as possible before the exam. In addition to this, studying for the MCAT means learning “how to take the MCAT.” Developing this skill requires lots of practice.
It’s important that you find the right books, because your time is valuable and there is nothing worse than studying problems that are irrelevant to the kinds of questions you will find on the MCAT.
Here is a list of books chock full of good ol’ MCAT practice problems that I have either personally used or that countless other premeds have used with success:
#1 AAMC official guide to the MCAT
I have to start with this one because it is written by the creators of the exam. This book will have the closest resemblance to what you might find on the real exam. Unfortunately, there really aren’t that many problems in the book, but that’s okay because it’s rather inexpensive. You can buy this book pretty cheap on amazon.
#2 The Princeton Review Science Workbook
Possibly the largest source of science practice passages out there. This book is used for the Princeton review class, and I highly recommend it for everyone. Most of the questions are accurate to the actual MCAT, and they have a good mix between easy, medium, and advance passage that will challenge your MCAT skills. This book progresses from earlier taught concepts of the material to later taught concepts, so it will fit nicely with a content review course.
#3 The Princeton MCAT CARS Workbook
What can I say, it’s CARS. If you don’t know this already, you need to be hitting CARS questions everyday. This book will add a lot of passages to your repertoire. Good quality passages too.
#4 The Next Step series
Next step test prep has a lot of practice problems to offer. The company as a whole specializes in their passage problem books (would not recommend their content review course). What I recommend most is the psych/soc practice book. There are very few psych/soc MCAT practice question books out there, so naturally this is a good resource. I personally found the next step psych/soc passages to be a little bit tougher than what you might find on the MCAT, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. They have explanations for all of their questions, and these explanations are typically pretty good.
I additionally highly recommend the NS CARS book, because you can never have enough of CARS.
#5 Examkrackers 101 CARS passages
This is a must have CARS work book. This book was recommended on pretty much every study guide I found on the internet. It’s fairly cheap on amazon. There is no reason not to buy it.
#6 The Examkrackers 1001 series
These books are composed of discrete problems which are great practice. They do not have any practice passages, so I would not recommend solely focusing on these. They do, however, help sink in all that science information you need for the MCAT.
By the way, there really are 1001 questions.
#7 All AAMC material
More passages from the official AAMC. I urge you to do passages from the official MCAT website as much as possible. However, MCAT companies like The Princeton Review are really stepping up their game with highly accurate MCAT practice questions, so you won’t be missing out if you primarily focus on your specific MCAT course. Either way, if you plan correctly you should be able to find time for all the quality practice passages out there.
Let’s not forget mcat practice tests
Practicing the test itself is priceless. It is important that you take as many tests as your schedule allows. This will test your knowledge of the material, while also training your brain to take a 7 and a half hour long exam. The AAMC offers 3 tests. You can find more by purchasing complete book sets from companies like Next Step, The Princeton Review, Kaplan, or Examkrackers.
This list will give you more practice problems than you will ever need. Of course, there is more out there, but I wanted to limit this list to what I think is high quality. Remember, do your research before buying practice problems. You DO NOT want to waste time on irrelevant work.
Any other suggestions? Leave a comment for everyone to see!