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Last Updated: September 04, 2022

Top 10 MCAT Preparation Books

MCAT is a standardized test taken by medical students for pursuing higher studies in the same field by obtaining admission to almost any medical school. This exam contains four sections with each section being interdisciplinary and yet removed from the other. The different sections are Physical Sciences, CARS, Biological Sciences, and Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior.

The AAMC provides students with a total of only 7 hours and 30 minutes in all including breaks which amounts to only 1.5 minutes per question. The importance of this exam in attaining admission to medical schools and the cost associated with it makes students want to clear the exam with a high score on the first attempt. Prep books then become an essential extra investment to get into that dream college or university of the student’s choice.

List of Best MCAT Prep Books

The Princeton Review-MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Review-2nd Edition$28.30
  • Subject Reviews
  • Practice Passages
  • Practice Tests
  • Walkthroughs
Kaplan-MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2023-2024$200.08
  • QuickSheets
  • Practice Tests
  • Instructional Videos
  • Quizzes
  • Practice Questions
MCAT Prep Books 2021-2022; MCAT Secret Study Guide 4th Edition$43.99
  • Practice Questions
  • Answer Explanations
  • Complete Subject Review
  • Practice Tests
MCAT 528 Advanced Prep 2021-2022 Kaplan$34.37
  • Practice Questions
  • Subject Reviews
  • Online Prep Material
Barron’s MCAT with Online Tests-3rd Edition$32.97
  • Practice Tests
  • Detailed Answer Explanations
  • Strategies and Tips
Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package-11th Edition$195.48
  • Prep Tests
  • Mini Exams
  • Practice Questions
MCAT Verbal Practice 3rd Edition by Next Step Test Prep$41.71
  • MCAT CARS Section
  • Practice Passages
  • Online Diagnostic Test
MCAT Prep Books 2022-2023 by Test Prep Books$52.72
  • Strategies and Tips
  • Info on Exam
  • Content Review
  • Practice Questions
Barron’s New MCAT 2nd Edition$21.61
  • Practice Tests
  • Subject Reviews
  • Practice Questions
Sterling Test Prep MCAT-Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry$48.75
  • Subject Reviews
  • Practice Questions
  • Detailed Answer Explanations

MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Review, 2nd Edition by The Princeton Review

Cost: $28.30
This book has a fundamental 6-step approach to cracking every passage type question and also includes test-taking strategies, active reading training, information regarding question types and formats along with detailed discourses on how the process of elimination and attractors work, what the ranking and ordering of passages is, etc.

Reviewers state that the extra focus on the CARS section has made the book miss relevant information regarding the biology and biochemistry sections. The book is graded highly for students who have trouble scoring high but is not recommended for students trying to cap their scores using the strategies and tips mentioned.

Pros- Cons-

MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2023-2024 by Kaplan

Cost: $200.08
These books contain guided examples, efficient strategies, high-yield badges indicating the most testable content, concept summaries, one-year online access to 3 full-length practice tests, instructional videos, practice questions, and quizzes that the student can utilize. The hundreds of practice questions available in these books have concepts and equations depicting how students can go about these questions. The entire set can be purchased for a hefty sum of $200.08 but is worthwhile since it contains information regarding all the sections and will not require an additional purchase of any other book.

This set of books will help one overcome the challenge of passing the MCAT Exam. The books and their content are designed and compiled by the experts in the field, Kaplan. 350 questions in each of these books in addition to numerous online practice questions prepare the student comprehensively to appear for MCAT. Charts, diagrams, graphs, and other colored and 3-D illustrations focus on important information that can be easily and quickly understood in visual form. All the topics mostly tested by AAMC are covered in all the books in this set.

The cons of the books are that there are a few typing errors and that the content review is over-detailed at many points. The book is recommended for students who have ample time to invest in preparation and not for people who are looking for a last-minute prep book that can save the day.

Pros- Cons-

MCAT Prep Books 2021-2022: MCAT Secrets Study Guide, 4th edition

Cost: $43.99
For a price of just $44, this book published by Mometrix hasn’t received a single negative review but at the same time has been praised for being tailor-made for the test. With this book, in addition to practicing concepts with specific and detailed knowledge, students can master various procedures and principles required for clearing the MCAT Exam. Furthermore, this book prepares one especially for the MCAT exam because it gives the scores of test questions.


MCAT 528 Advanced Prep 2021-2022 by Kaplan

Cost: $34.37
The book has been termed a crash course for students attempting to crack the exam when they do not have enough time to ponder over every minute detail regarding the content. The book can be purchased for $34.37 and though it does not replace a complete study set, it is ideal for last-minute preparers who are looking for books that can cover most of the exam-related content in the least number of pages possible.

Pros- Cons-

Barron's MCAT with Online Tests, 3rd edition

Cost: $32.97
The leader in all types of test preparation, Barron's also do not lag behind in offering valuable content for MCAT preparation too. This book is available in print form and e-book form. The book contains a comprehensive review of all the content areas and separate sections for additional areas that are covered only in the MCAT. The review is concept-centric than fact-centric letting students understand the concepts than memorizing them for the test. This book is well over 1000 pages and hence is a multi-month study book than a last-minute option. The book costs just $32.97 and is a cheaper option when compared to most other books in the field.

Pros- Cons-

Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package, 11th Edition

Cost: $195.48
This version comes in a set of 6 volumes covering Reasoning Skills: Verbal, Research, and Math; Biology 1 Molecules: Biochemistry; Biology 2 Systems; Psychology & Sociology; Chemistry: General and Organic Chemistry; Physics. This set is the ultimate guide to cracking the MCAT.

The book remains on the expensive end of the spectrum with a total of $195.48 for all the volumes but the book is said to cover all the areas of the exam by providing practice questions that are of the same difficulty level as the official exam. The books also refrain from providing unnecessary information regarding the test by sticking only to the content.

Pros- Cons-

MCAT Verbal Practice, 3rd Edition by Next Step Test Prep

Cost: $41.71
The book costs a total of $41.71 but can also be purchased as a used book since most people who attempt the MCAT use this book to ace the exam. This book is made for students who already know the basic concepts and are only looking for materials that help them practice for the test. Reviewers do claim that the question styles deviate a little from the original test and that the answers in the options provided a too long when compared to the official test.

Pros- Cons-

MCAT Prep Books 2022-2023 by Test Prep Books

Cost: $52.72
This is the 6th edition of the MCAT book released by Test Prep Books and contains an index of what the book contains which helps students navigate through the different sections of the book. The book comes at $52.72 which is a decent range for prep books in this field but not the cheaper option either. There are reviews stating that the practice questions are relatively easy but are considered to be good for even beginners except that it does not contain information relating to the test and starts directly with the content.

Pros- Cons-

Barron's New MCAT, 2nd Edition

Cost: $21.61
Barron’s New MCAT is the older version of Barron’s MCAT with Online Tests but the relevance of the book in the preparation for the MCAT has not diminished over time. The book is considered good for beginners since it contains essential outlines for just $10 and can be used as a base before moving on to advanced practice books that have more MCAT-specific test strategies and tips.

Pros- Cons-

Sterling Test Prep MCAT (Organic Chemistry & Biochemistry Practice Questions; Biology & Biochemistry Review)

Cost: $48.75
While listing top MCAT books, one cannot miss mentioning the name Sterling. Its various books explain concepts of General Chemistry, Physics, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Psychology, and Sociology. All the books cover all these subjects in detail to impart every bit of knowledge to help crack the examination.

These books cannot be purchased together but can be purchased by students who have understood the concepts thoroughly and want to hone their skills to cap their already high scores. Such students, who are particularly weak in one or two sections of the test may buy the corresponding book for a range of $39-$60 and prepare until they are adept in that section. This book is not recommended for beginners.

Pros- Cons-

2024 MCAT Test Dates