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How similar are the MCAT books to the exam itself?


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I nearly bought the the Princeton Review books today, which cover all subjects that will appear on the MCAT. 

I recently overheard someone say that they got through the MCAT by memorizing the most recent edition of KAPLAN learning resources. 

This lends me to ask...

How similar are the newest MCAT books to the exam itself? Anyone have any idea?

thank-you :) 

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You can't do well on the MCAT just by memorizing content because the exam is mostly focused on reasoning, and integrating your reasoning skills with your knowledge. If you know your content very well it will certainly help, but that alone will not get you a good score. The books should be used a reference guide than as a main study resource. I recommend doing practice exams right away to find out where you are weak in and then target those areas using the books. 

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^ I second this. The books are good for making sure you have a solid understanding of the concepts, but I found that TPR's practice was not representative of the real exam. I wrote in 2016 so the materials might have changed since then, but I doubt there's a huge difference. The best and most representative resources are from AAMC. I would recommend spending more time on those (do the practice questions, then spend time reviewing them to understand trends in your right and wrong answers so you know what to focus on) and then review content based on what you struggle with in the practice. I spent more time on practice than content and for me, it made a huge difference. Exam Krackers was also a great resource - less detailed content review (great if you have a science background already) and more representative practice than TPR. Good luck!

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