MCAT Resources

MCAT ResourcesWith so much information out there, how do you even know where to start?

Start with the the ‘How to use your MCAT resources‘ chapter in my new guide.

Here is a list of resources (and why) I recommend using in preparation for your upcoming exam.

Must-Have AAMC Resources:

Why? because they write your exam! This means the AAMC resources will be closest to the real thing and ultimately your BEST source of practice.

  • the Complete Official AAMC MCAT Bundle
    Get all of the AAMC practice resources listed below at a bulk discount.
  • AAMC Official Sample MCAT – Unscored full length – I recommend taking this twice. Once as a pretest before you begin studying. DON’T review it. Take it again one week (at 8am) before your MCAT to see where you stand (hoping you forgot it in all the hectic studying)
    Read: The Best Time to Take Your 1st MCAT Practice Test
  • AAMC Official Practice Tests – 3 SCORED. Unlike the sample test, these exams give you a score out of 528 just like the real MCAT. I recommend taking these in the final 4/3/2 weeks before your real exam at 8am each. I recommend RETAKING these exams in the final month even if you’ve taken them once before.
  • (AAMC) Official Guide to the MCAT Exam 2015 <– Amazon ships faster than
    They also have a kindle version which you can browse on your computer/laptop/tablet
  • AAMC Section Bank feedback from students who’ve tested in 2017 suggest that THESE PASSAGES are closest to the real thing. Yes, even closer than the official practice tests.
    This new section bank consists of 300 all-new questions with an emphasis on the NEW topics not covered in the bundles below. Biochemistry, psychology, and sociology.
    At $45 this is a MUST according to students who tested in 2017.
  • Official MCAT Question Pack Bundle. Students who’ve taken the old and new exam claim this is simply old material repackaged for ‘the new exam’ Not amazing but still helpful and therefor A MUST!
    Individual packs are $15 each, bundle is $72 and includes:

    • Biology Volume 1
    • Biology Volume 2
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • CARS Volume 1
    • CARS Volume 2

Full Length Practice Exams

Full length practice tests are crucial to building up your endurance and familiarity with the exam style/format/duration. Here’s how to use them the right way

AAMC exams are best but with 4 to date (see above) you’ll need a third party exam for additional practice.

In chatting with students who’ve taken the new MCAT, they say Next-Step is the closest to the real thing and thus the best source of preparation. I reached out to Next Step and got you a 10% discount on their exams when you purchase through the links below.

Use the Coupon Code LSCI2018 (case sensitive) during Checkout

(I get a small referral bonus at no extra cost to you)

In second place (for now as I collect more data):

Books are KEY for review/skimming and practice questions.

If you have books written for the old MCAT that’s ok for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Orgo ONLY. You’ll still require new books for CARS (verbal), Biochemistry, Psychology and sociology. You’ll also want to purchase new books to practice ‘new exam’ style passages.

Here are links to get the most popular company books on amazon. Be sure to register for a free student prime account. (if you purchase through these links I get a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you)

These books are ranked based on my personal comparison AND student feedback

Additional Psych/Soc Resources

With no company fully able to cover all of MCAT psychology and sociology, my students have taken to studying from AP and GRE books. As more and more students try these my feedback will get stronger on which books to use.

  • This Kaplan GRE book is currently well recommended by my students
    “like the short explanations of each theory (there are no pictures). And they have an experimental design chapter that helps you think about the problems different experiments could have.” ~student

Additional CARS Practice

Tutorials, Videos, and other Study Material

In addition to my course, it never hurts to have additional resources handy. Of course I’ll start with my own FREE Resources :)

MCAT Prep Course

Taking an MCAT prep course is recommended if you need the formal structure and guidance. However, the big-name courses tend to be ‘generic’ and leave it up to YOU to make the best of it. Their CEO doesn’t know about you nor care about your outcome. My program is the EXACT OPPOSITE as I personally work with you every step of the way.

  • MCAT Study Hall – my personal MCAT program where I guide you through every step of your exam prep.

Strategy, Skills, and Useful Study Techniques

Hear from Students Who’ve Tested

The VERY BEST premed and medical school advice

have you listened to the MedicalSchoolHQ podcast hosted by Doctors Ryan and Allison Grey? They offer the very best advice on everything from your applications, interviews, preparation, and so much more. Listen here: Medical School Headquarters Podcast


  1. Hi there 🙂
    I want to purchase full length exams, but am not sure which. So far I have a tie between EK and Next Step. I saw that Next Step is preferred a bit more mainly because of the format and grading, but which of these two would you say closely resembles the real MCAT in terms of difficulty and content emphasized? Thanks for your time 🙂

    • Brenda: I recommend Next Step. They resemble the real exam in more than just format and grading. My students who’ve tested say their passages and length are comparable to the real thing making it a great source for preparing FOR the real thing.

  2. Hey Leah, thanks for your detailed post! I was wondering, what is it about the NextStep exams that made you rank them above ExamKrackers?

    • My ranking comes from the feedback I get from my students after they take the exam, and what they tell me worked for them. A lot of them like NextStep better because the format is closer to the real exam and their passages are slightly more realistic. ExamKrackers is a very close second best with their biggest downfall being that they don’t give you a numerical score. They only give a percentages. And when you are taking exams because you want to know how you did, you don’t want percentages. You actually want to see your score. So given that NextStep is slightly better and they have scores makes it a much stronger and better exam for you overall.

  3. How do you recommend studying for an MCAT exam 4 weeks away? I have taken a multiple Kaplan FL and I keep getting around 498 on them. Thank you!

  4. Hi Leah, just thought to let you know that it looks like the hyperlink for The Kaplan books needs to be updated as it’s currently showing the EK pack not Kaplan pack. Thanks 🙂

  5. hi leah! just curious – how long will your promo w/next step be up until?

    hope to hear from you soon!

    • Next Step has agreed to grant this promotion on a trial basis. They have not yet decided if/when to end it

  6. Lauranna says:

    I know I study best from a Kindle or tablet-type device (ironically they didn’t exist when I started college but I somehow transitioned from studying with text books/DVD’s to tablet/Kindle/Youtube – thank you for making your content available online btway! I do use your Youtube vids and hope to join the Orgo Chem Study Hall this fall.) … are there any MCAT 2015 study guides you would recommend for Kindle/generic tablet users or is Next Step (or Examkrackers) in print the way(s) to go?? (I don’t use social media since it disrupts my study time, I do have a LinkedIn account I established late last month, but I logged out of it this month. I am saying all of this because even though I study best on an electronic device I find “personal” online media forums distracting – SnapChat, Ig, FaceTime, etc. – while studying for something so important, as, I don’t know, the MCAT!) Thank you for your advice Leah!!

  7. Constantine says:

    How long should you take to review a FL? If I’m scoring 500 then I feel like there are a lot of areas to improve on, which seems overwhelming. Any advice on how to focus areas?

  8. Hi Leah!

    I’m 4 weeks away from my test, scoring at about 498 with Kaplan.

    I’ve been trying to take a practice test a week (I’ve taken about 7) I’m feeling kind of burnt out and am not really sure what to do.

    Any advice?

    • Leah4sci says:

      How many practice tests have you taken? do you take a day off? Breaks? Perhaps skip one week but you definitely want to take a weekly exam the final 3 weeks including the AAMC sample test

  9. Hello, have you used the next step strategy and practice books? how good are the books? i’m thinking about purchasing them, any feedback would help thank you

    • Leah4sci says:

      I like their strategy books for CARS, psych/soc. Sciences are ok but am not a fan of their biochem book and recommend Kaplan instead. I’ve only compared Kaplan, Princeton and Next-Step biochem in making this statement.

  10. i can’t find the linked 8 princeton review practice tests!! i was able to find them a week ago, do you know if they got removed?

  11. blablabla says:

    You should wait to take the AAMC practice test till the 4 days before, not before you start studying. Why would you take the same exam twice? The score will just be inflated cause you’ve seen everything before.

    • Leah4sci says:

      The reason I recommend taking it right away is to get a baseline, see how you do, and also learn what to expect before you launch into your lengthy journey of MCAT prep. Taking the exam AGAIN before your real MCAT is to reorient yourself to what the exam is like. Obviously the score won’t be realistic but it’ll remind you of exactly what’s to come. I’ve worked with so many students who didn’t fully understand what to expect and the actual MCAT was a horrific wake-up call for them. Obviously many will disagree with me but this is my personal take on the matter

  12. Pasang Sherpa says:

    I love your organisation of the materials. I appreciate your effort. I am planning to take my MCAT on summer. I shall be needing your resources during that time.

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