Khan Academy has been a popular choice for premed students studying for the MCAT primarily for 2 reasons: It’s free and it was created in partnership with the AAMC which happens to be the creators of the MCAT.
Even though Khan Academy is a very comprehensive resource, alone it is not enough for your MCAT preparation. Khan Academy content review for the MCAT pretty much covers everything you need to know but it does not provide you with enough practice problems to study properly for the MCAT.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this topic in order to see how useful Khan Academy is when studying for the MCAT.
Is Khan Academy Good Enough For MCAT Content Review?
Khan academy’s content was created in partnership with the AAMC so you are getting material that is influenced by people who create the MCAT tests. They have a huge database of videos that exhaustively cover every topic on the MCAT. Therefore, yes, Khan Academy is good enough for MCAT content review.
But that is considering only content review, not practice problems. You could get by without purchasing a content review book like Kaplan or The Princeton Review but there are just not enough good quality practice problems. You will need to invest in practice problems books and full-length practice exams.
When I was studying for the MCAT, I found Khan Academy to be very useful. While reviewing my practice tests, I would frequently go back to Khan Academy to watch videos on subjects that I struggled with. They were so good at covering everything on the MCAT that I could have gotten away with not purchasing an MCAT review book.
Khan Academy is known for its very thorough teaching videos. This is really helpful for people like me who are visual learners. What a video could teach me in 15 minutes could take up to an hour of reading for me. This not only saved me time but also helped me develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
Lots of students agree that Khan Academies’ strongest subject is the psychology/sociology section. This is valuable because the psych/soc section (being the newest section on the MCAT) is still lacking in options for quality review material.
Is Content Review Necessary For The MCAT?
Let’s define MCAT content review.
Your traditional MCAT course will have a curriculum that essentially covers every subject that could be tested on the MCAT with practice questions to reinforce the learning of those topics. Either with a tutor, class, or self-paced MCAT course, you will systematically review every topic in a condensed format. You are basically re-learning the stuff you should have learned during your pre-med prerequisites.
This kind of content review for the MCAT is not necessary. In fact, it can be a waste of time. Instead, you want to start doing practice problems and tests right off the bat. Use your content review material, such as Khan Academy, as a tool to help you review all the practice problems you did.
This approach focuses on an active form of learning. You are engaging your brain when you are trying to solve a problem. Then while reviewing that problem later, you make the connection between the correct information and what your brain was trying to figure out while engaging the problem.
Active learning is a much more effective tool for having you retain information than simply reading a textbook.
Are Khan Academy Passages Good Quality?
There is debate on this subject. Some say it’s great, and some say you need to look at other sources.
In my opinion, Khan Academy passages are okay quality. They are worth it because they are created in cooperation with the AAMC, but there are definitely better sources out there. The passages, especially in the C/P section, tend to be overly complicated and may make you feel more underprepared than you actually are.
Although I wouldn’t consider Khan Academy passages a waste of time, they aren’t the best out there. AAMC produces full-length practice tests, section banks, and question packs that closely resemble the actual MCAT.
You will benefit from Khan Academies’ practice problems, but don’t prioritize them. Use them to supplement practice problems from AAMC and other high-quality 3rd party MCAT companies like Blueprint (Formally NextStep).
How Many Many Khan Academy MCAT Passages Are There?
Khan Academy actually has quite a few MCAT passages available. This is in addition to the practice problems riddled throughout the coursework. Here is a breakdown per section.
- CARS: 36 passages
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 130 passages
- Chemical and Physical Sciences: 108 passages
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behaviors: 96 passages
Is Khan Academy Discontinuing Their MCAT Course?
In 2020 Khan Academy announced that they will be discontinuing their MCAT course. However, Khan Academy announced in 2021 that they are working with the AAMC to maintain the MCAT course long-term!
This was great news for a lot of pre-med students who were planning on using Khan Academy for their MCAT studies. It must have been the overwhelming amount of students who were dependent on Khan Academy that led them to make a new agreement with the AAMC.
Conclusion: Is Khan Academy MCAT Prep Enough?
For content review, Khan Academy is all you need for MCAT prep. However, it is highly advisable that you still invest in MCAT practice problems and full-length practice tests outside of Khan Academy. Khan academy’s practice questions are okay but definitely not the best.
All you need to do is complete as much MCAT practice material as possible and review every question with the information within Khan Academy’s MCAT course. As you struggle with certain concepts, you can do a more thorough review by watching all of Khan Academy’s videos related to that topic.