The 4 Best MCAT Practice Test Providers
Most standardized test prep courses integrate full-length practice tests into the regular curriculum for both training and diagnostic purposes. Completing full-length practice tests gives you the opportunity to experience the mental and physical pressures of test day and also helps you track your progress and identify problem areas as you continue through your course. While most MCAT prep companies provide sufficient MCAT practice tests to fulfill these basic purposes, several companies go above and beyond.
If you enroll in any of The Princeton Review’s comprehensive MCAT courses, you get 19 MCAT practice tests and 15 special diagnostic exams, more testing materials than any other company in the MCAT prep industry offers. The collection of practice tests includes all eight official practice tests currently published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the MCAT administrator. These are the only full-length practice tests available that include actual questions used on past MCAT tests. The remaining 11 practice tests The Princeton Review provides are developed by their in-house test writers. The Princeton Review’s 15 diagnostic exams are not designed to mimic an actual MCAT test, but are built to identify your areas of weakness and strength, enabling you to modify your study approach to better match your needs. Five of these diagnostic exams were developed by the AAMC, while the remainder were developed by The Princeton Review. In addition to these great testing materials, the company also provides you access to an online quiz bank containing about 2,700 sample questions modeled on the MCAT’s science sections.
Kaplan matches The Princeton Review by providing you with 19 full-length MCAT practice tests, including all eight official AAMC practice tests. Although Kaplan doesn’t offer any specially designed diagnostic exams, they do provide a unique service designed to track and analyze your performance on the practice tests. The service delivers a detailed analysis after each MCAT practice test, identifying the types of test questions and the content areas that gave you the most trouble. The service even identifies which areas to focus on in order to get the biggest return on your study time. In addition to the 19 practice tests, Kaplan also provides access to a vast quiz bank containing more than 11,000 sample questions covering every MCAT section.
Although Next Step Test Prep doesn’t offer nearly as many practice tests as the top two companies in this category, they do offer official AAMC practice tests to all their students. If you take the 16-hour Crash Course, you get three AAMC tests. As a student in the 24-hour Comprehensive Plan, you get four AAMC tests, while the Intensive Review course delivers five. If you enroll in the company’s Premium Tutoring program, Next Step Test Prep provides you with all eight of the AAMC tests. Three practice tests is usually the minimum number of tests required in a standard prep course, as it provides you with adequate familiarity of the MCAT test structure and helps you mentally prepare for the length and difficulty of the test.
Although Top Test Prep doesn’t provide you with any of the official AAMC practice tests, they do offer virtually unlimited full-length practice exams drawn from a vast database of sample MCAT questions. Sample MCAT questions produced by third-party publishers are used by virtually every MCAT test prep company and they provide an excellent opportunity for practice. If you want to go with a Top Test Prep course but still want to utilize official practice tests, you can get and then buy any of the remaining seven on an individual basis from the AAMC.