Best MCAT Prep Books 2022-2023

The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is a US and Canadian exam students must pass if they’d like to get into medical school. This exam can be challenging, as it not only tests you on your scientific knowledge, but critical thinking too. You’ll need the best MCAT prep courses and books to get you through it.

If you’re looking for the best MCAT books, you may have stumbled upon sites that claimed to have the ultimate list but instead just promoted all popular books on the market rather than the best.

You deserve better than that. 

You’ve clicked on this article, which means you want to do well on your MCAT exam. It’s our job to help you find the best prep materials for the test and help you get into the medical school of your dreams.

We haven’t just used our previous knowledge of the exam. We’ve also interviewed dozens of high-scoring med school students and several MCAT prep course creators to bring you the best list of MCAT prep materials.

We’ve also included a list of books to avoid. Unfortunately, some sites recommend books that will decrease your score instead of improving it. Opt for one of the MCAT prep books we recommend and you’re sure to pass your test with flying colors.

MCAT Study Materials Comparison Table




# of Pages

# of practice tests



MCAT Complete 7-Book Kaplan





Examcrackers MCAT Complete Package


24 questions/section



Sterling Test Prep Books





Princeton Review MCAT 7 Book Set​​





MCAT Psychology and Sociology


1 + mini-exams



Kaplan MCAT Flashcards




The Ultimate Prep List

We update this list regularly but if you have any questions or feedback about the books we’ve selected, feel free to comment below.

Simply buying the study materials isn’t effective – you also have to put the time in. Remember that the best MCAT prep books for someone else may not be the best for you. Each prep book featured on this list will offer different study resources, including detailed answer explanations, practice test sections, subject areas, tips when it comes to critical analysis and reasoning, video tutorials, and more. Pick a book that provides subject material and resources to suit your study plan.   

1. Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review + Online Materials

This Kaplan Complete 7 Book Subject Review is the best MCAT prep for studying for the exam, but only if you have the time and dedication to go through all seven books.

(If you do struggle with motivation, then maybe self-studying isn’t for you, and you would do better when signing up for a prep course. Everyone learns differently, and online prep courses can be combined with the prep books mentioned on this list.)

The Complete 7 Book Subject Review books were highly recommended by nearly every high-scoring student we talked to and for a good reason. They are highly detailed with great visuals and well-structured practice questions in each chapter.

None of the other MCAT books we’ve reviewed are as detailed as the Complete 7 Book Subject Review. Kaplan even has a “star feature” that lets you know which sections and what material is most likely to come up on the test. Hone your test-taking strategies with ease.

If you’re worried you won’t get enough practice with this MCAT study material, don’t be. These prep books feature end-of-chapter review sections, three online practice tests, and ​random practice questions throughout to keep you on your toes. And if that’s not enough, you can always look at the Khan Academy video bank.

While you’ll be almost ready after taking in all the material these study books offer, you might still want to get the MCAT Psychology and Sociology book. Unfortunately, the Kaplan psychology book that comes in this package doesn’t cover all the information you need to know.

While the Complete 7 Book Subject Review is the most expensive item on our list, it also gives you the biggest bang for your buck, as you get seven practice books (which ends up being around $20 per book) and three detailed practice tests. This is more than you’ll get from anyone else.



  • Very detailed
  • Great graphical representations of concepts
  • Plenty of practice questions and online practice tests
  • The “star feature” lets you know what’s likely to be on the actual exam



  • Expensive prep books
  • Very in-depth with a lot of content. Might not be the best for those crunched for time

2. Examkrackers Complete Study Package

Examcrackers MCAT Complete Study Package

The MCAT Complete Study Package is the best self-study option if you’re pressed for time, and need to know the essentials without wading through tons of extra material that won’t be on the exam.

​Just make sure to order the 10th edition instead of the 9th one, as the newer version is a great improvement on the previous edition. Examkrackers has corrected all the mistakes found in the previous version, updated the psychology and sociology book, and added more questions to the practice exams.

As for the quality of the MCAT study material, in the typical Examkrackers fashion, they only provide what you’ll need to know for the exam, including test-taking strategies you can apply on the day. In some cases, they may not be providing exactly enough. 

All six study books in the Examkrackers MCAT study package are precise and clear, making this a comprehensive study tool for all students. In addition, the mascot, Salty the Kracker, provides much-needed breaks from all the arduous studying you’ll have to do. (There are six long books to go through, after all!)

The Examkrackers package offers some of the best MCAT prep books for those who don’t have the time to learn superfluous information but still have enough time to get through six books worth of material.



  • Concise, but still covers everything you need to know
  • Mistakes from the last version were corrected
  • Funny mascot distracts you from the pain of studying



  • Quite expensive test prep books – especially if you don’t use all of the books
  • Sometimes the books don’t provide enough information about certain topics, so you have to look them up yourself

3. Sterling Test Prep Books

Sterling Test Prep MCAT Practice Tests Chemical Physical Biological

If you’re looking for practice material, Sterling may have the best MCAT prep books for you. Sterling doesn’t offer a package of MCAT study materials like Kaplan or Examkrackers, but you can create your own package for about the same price. This is great if you want to tailor your test prep to your needs – you can review material you’re not confident in.

The best part of Sterling is that they update their books regularly to ensure the material covered best reflects the current MCAT exam.

Their “high yield” MCAT books have over 1200+ practice questions each on specific subjects, including “foundations of living systems” and “psychological, social and biological foundations.” For many people, the best way to prepare for the MCAT is to take practice tests.

Each book also has detailed explanations for each question in the back. Their support team is incredibly responsive, so if you don’t understand the explanation, they’d be more than willing to help you, just like a personal tutor.

However, keep in mind that while these MCAT prep books offer an overview of the foundations, this might not be a good choice if this is your first time learning a certain topic. It might be better to purchase a different MCAT prep book with a full content review or use Khan Academy or a similar resource before diving into practice questions.

Even if you buy the Kaplan package, it may be worth investing in a Sterling book for the subject you’re weakest in. Practice questions make a great addition to any MCAT study plan and will ensure when it comes to test-taking, you’ll remain cool and confident.



  • Updated books guaranteed to cover the new exam
  • 1200+ practice questions for specific subjects
  • Very responsive support team that’s almost like your own personal tutor



  • Only contains an overview of topics. You’ll need to learn them elsewhere



4. Princeton Review MCAT Complete Box Set

This box set includes seven MCAT prep books to help you prepare. While Princeton review books are great, they have some drawbacks compared to the Kaplan or Examkrackers study materials. However, if you don’t mind learning extra material that won’t be on the exam and expanding your general base of knowledge, these are the best MCAT prep books for you.

These books feature three full-length practice tests, and there are practice problems at the end of each chapter to make sure you understand the material. Keep in mind that these books don’t have as many practice questions as Kaplan or Examkrackers. This means you’ll have to purchase the Sterling question book or something similar to ensure you have enough “real-exam” practice.

The visual aids are useful. However, it would have been helpful to include more of those in the physics book as it’s much easier to explain a physics concept through images instead of text.

You can also take advantage of the books’ test-taking strategies, designed to hone your skills for exam day.

Overall, these MCAT prep books are well-written. They will prepare you for the exam as long as you are willing to buy more books to practice your weaker sections.



  • Very in-depth
  • Three full-length practice tests



  • Contains some extraneous material that’s not on the exam
  • Not enough visual aids in the physics section

5. MCAT Psychology and Sociology

MCAT Psychology and Sociology Review

​Finding a good review book for the MCAT psychology section is no easy task. We even wrote a post about the combination of test prep materials you should use to ensure you’re prepared for this section.

However, if you buy only one MCAT prep book for the exam, we recommend getting this one. MCAT Psychology and Sociology has the most practice passages. Utalize the book’s practice questions and hone your analysis and reasoning skills to ensure you’re getting the most out of your test prep.

When it comes to the information this test prep book doesn’t cover, you should be able to find it using Khan Academy and other online resources.

NextStep has greatly improved this MCAT prep book since the last edition. It now includes a full-length practice exam in addition to a variety of practice sections.

​The passage breakdowns and question explanations are highly helpful, making this one of the best MCAT prep books for Psychology. The book also comes with free access to their online MCAT diagnostic test.



  • Highest number of practice passages for the exam
  • Contains great explanations and passage breakdowns



  • The best of the worst. The psychology section is a mess with nothing truly good.
  • Will need to use other sources to be fully prepared

6. Kaplan MCAT Flashcards

MCAT Kaplan Flashcards

If you’re this far in your medical career, then we’re sure you understand the power of flashcards. They’re great for studying on the go, memorizing hard-to-remember topics, and making sure you don’t forget older material.

A few different companies have released flashcards for the MCAT, but the Kaplan ones are the best by a mile. This set has exactly 1000 flashcards for you to review the ton of material you need to know for the exam.

A quick word of warning, though – the flashcards only contain general definitions and no detailed information. It’s impossible to fit that much on a small flashcard. They’re still highly useful for jogging your memory and ensuring you understand the concept at a high level. We recommend pairing these flashcards with another MCAT prep book. Combining flashcards, full-length practice tests, practice questions, test-taking strategies, and more will ensure you have a well-rounded MCAT study plan to tackle this exam.

Another tip is to sift through the flashcards and add other essential things you need to know for test day. For example, you can add your own quick graphs, notes, etc. This will help a ton with remembering information.

As for the quality of the cards themselves, they’re somewhat flimsy. However, they should last you the couple of months you’ll be spending preparing for the MCAT exam. 



  • Perfect for spaced repetition and studying on the go
  • Great for jogging your memory and understanding concepts



  • Flimsy, but will last you a couple of months
  • Lacks detailed explanations

MCAT Books to Avoid

There is a wealth of MCAT exam information out there to help you get into medical school, but, unfortunately, not all of it is accurate. We may have found the best MCAT prep books, but we’ve also spotted many other sites recommending poorly written, executed, and edited study books that are sure to bring down your score rather than improve it. We want to make sure that you don’t end up buying one of them and wasting your money. Check out our MCAT prep books to avoid. ​

​MCAT 528: Advanced Prep

​Unfortunately, this MCAT prep book is just a copy of an official AAMC prep guide, including a couple of Kaplan strategies for the test. This isn’t enough to get you through the test.

Buying this book simply because of the Kaplan strategies isn’t worth it. Instead, you would be better off buying the Kaplan Subject Review book mentioned in our list above. The best MCAT prep book will feature all the subject material you need, strategies for test-taking, practice exams, and more. This book provides none of this. 

The Princeton Review Complete MCAT – One Book, Not the Set

We had high hopes for this prep book because of the fairly high ratings, but we were disappointed. The majority of the high ratings come from people who have either never looked at the book or were paid to rate it highly.

This Princeton Review book is terribly structured. It includes practice questions that contain material you won’t “learn” until three chapters later.

In addition, the solutions frequently reference non-existing or non-related examples, and they’re riddled with errors and missed steps. It’s a non-effective MCAT test prep book.

It seems as if the publishers just threw this book together as quickly as possible to make money. They must have forgotten that their book can be the difference between someone becoming a doctor and failing.

Just know this: if you put in the time and study using one of our recommended resources, you will do well. Choose an MCAT prep book that has everything you need.


Taking the MCAT exam is no small feat. We know you might have many questions about the MCAT, so here are our answers to some of them.

How long is the exam?

It can take up to seven and a half hours to complete, depending on how many breaks you take.

​How is the MCAT scored?

There are four sections that you can get a 118-132 on. This means you can get anywhere between 472-528 points on the final exam.

​How many times can you take the MCAT?

You can take it up to three times per year, four times within a two-year period, and seven times during your entire life.

How many hours should you put into studying for the MCAT?

We recommend studying for around 250 – 700 hours, depending on how well you know the material beforehand.

This ends up being about 2-6 hours per day for 3-6 months.

What does an optional break mean?

You can skip the optional breaks without penalty, but you can’t use the extra time on the next section. Instead, we recommend recharging your brain with food and water, going to the bathroom, stretching out your legs, and getting the blood flowing by doing some jumping jacks.

​Can you use old MCAT prep materials to prepare for the new exam?

There are many similarities between the two exams, but there are also many differences, so to make your preparation as effective as it can be, we recommend using a new prep book or course. Otherwise, you might end up spending too much time on topics that won’t actually show up on the exam.​

Many of the MCAT test prep books on our list are updated for every exam. But if you’re unsure whether the study books you’re thinking of getting are up to date, a quick Google search will tell you whether you’re reading from an old book or not. Look for MCAT test prep books with “3rd edition” or “4th edition”, as these are more likely to have the correct information.  



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