Best MCAT Psychology Book 2020-2021

The Psychology and sociology section is one of the most underestimated parts of the MCAT.

Some people think they can get by with what they remember from Psych or Soc 101 they took their freshman year of college, but that's not nearly enough to get a good score.

Of course, if you want a 480 on the exam, then don't worry about this section, but if you actually want a good score then you need a good book to prepare.

Sadly, none of the books currently available cover everything you need to know for the MCAT either, so your best option is combining multiple books with Khan Academy and the provided information the official MCAT website.

The Best Way to Prepare

​Usually we would have a section here where we rank multiple books in order from best to worst, but for the MCAT Psychology exam you need to combine at least 2 books together in order to get a complete picture. 

We actually recommend using all 3 of the books below, but if you're short on time then using only 2 books should be enough provided that you watch the Khan Academy videos for content not covered in the books.

Also, keep in mind that many of these books seem to have fake reviews on Amazon so don't be fooled by the 5 star reviews.​

​MCAT Psychology and Sociology by NextStep

MCAT Psychology and Sociology Review

This is the book we recommended in our complete MCAT books post, but even though we recommend it, it is sadly not perfect.

​The best part of this book are the practice passages. There are 240 questions in total which is a very solid number, and you get a free full-length exam, but the rest of the book lacks substance.

There's a glossary section which isn't very useful, a section that explains the layout of the new exam, and a bunch of pages for you to write notes which isn't very useful.​

They also constantly update the books to make correct typos, poor explanations, and other issues, but sadly the overall format of the book will always stay the same.

This is our second recommendation for this exam. If you only plan on getting 2 books we recommend getting this one and the one by NextStep as together they should cover most of what you need to know for the exam.

It has a couple redundant chapters, but the quality of the actual content makes up for the issues with the book.

They follow the format of the new exam well and they have 2 practice tests you can take which is always a must if you want a good score. (They advertise that they have 3 tests, but in reality the 3rd test is simply the one that's available to everyone for free on their website.)

You can also register online to get corrections to a couple errors in the book and more information that wasn't included in the book that you need to know for the exam. It comes in a PDF which is a bit annoying, but it's better than not getting anything at all!

​It might also go into too much detail compared to what you actually need to know for the exam, but you'll just have to suck it up and learn all of it because taking the time to figure out what will be and what won't be on the exam will take more than actually learning the material.

While this book has glowing reviews on Amazon, don't be fooled. If you look at the profiles of the people who reviewed it, they've only reviewed Sterling test ​prep stuff before, and trust us- this book isn't as amazing as they say it is.

It doesn't have any practice questions and ​it's an enormous book, so why are we recommending it?

It's the biggest review book for this section on the market!

It has a whopping 582 pages and it's packed full of great examples and ​explanations that might be helpful to you if you don't understand the explanations in the other books.

However, we don't recommend using just this book because it also has a lot of content that isn't on the actual exam.

This is the perfect reference book to quickly figure out something you don't understand or jog your memory, but it's not the best book for actually learning the material. For that, the previously mentioned 2 books are your best bet.​

The Ultimate Study Combination

If you can afford to then we recommend you to get all 3 of the above books.

Focus most of your studying efforts on the NextStep book and the Princeton Review while using the Sterling test Prep book for additional examples for things you don't understand.

​We also recommend quickly going through the Khan Academy playlist and watching videos on topics you haven't heard of, or watching videos on topics that you're not completely clear on. 

​If you have extra time, go to the official MCAT website and go through their Section overview to make sure that you covered everything you need to know. If not, check out those topics in the Sterling review book or Khan academy videos.

It's a shame that there's not one single book that can guarantee a good score, but we're confident that the above combination will prepare you well for the exam.

Leave a Comment: