The 7 Best Free Resources to Help You Study for the MCAT

It’s no secret that studying for the MCAT can be expensive. Signing up for the test, purchasing study materials, working with tutors, and buying practice tests can add up. In addition to paying for prep material, many MCAT test-takers also dedicate hundreds of hours to mastering the test that they could’ve used to earn money in other ways. At MCAT Self Prep, we want to not only help you succeed on the MCAT but also save you some money. If you didn’t know already, giving away MCAT prep materials for FREE is pretty much our favorite thing to do.

1. FREE Khan Academy Videos for Studying Content

The Khan Academy videos for the MCAT may be one of the best free MCAT resources out there. The AAMC understands that some students cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on prep materials. Knowing this, they paid Khan Academy to use their FREE comprehensive study guide to make a comprehensive set of videos that covers everything on the MCAT. These videos are better than most, but some students choose to pay for more condensed videos or prep books that focus on the high-yield aspects of MCAT study. You can grab our free 100-page Khan Academy Behavioral Science Notes here.

2. FREE Diagnostic Tests for Practice Problems

While we still recommend practicing for the MCAT with multiple full-length exams, many prep companies offer their own FREE half-length exams. Two of these half-length tests can be combined to create “built it yourself” full-length exams if needed. They also can be used as practice problem sets with feedback on why you missed certain answers. Check out our other post of free and low-cost tests. Additionally, the Khan Academy also put out hundreds of FREE MCAT-style passage questions with detailed explanations for every section. You should never run out of free practice problems, but the Khan Academy questions tend to be easier than the actual questions on the MCAT.

3. FREE MCAT Self Prep for Organizing your Study

We hope that you are already using our FREE course to keep track of your progress through learning the content for the MCAT. The MCAT Self Prep website gives you YouTube playlists from a wide variety of different MCAT prep channels to create a comprehensive walk-through of everything on the MCAT. They also have suggestions if you would rather get through the content with prep books. A cool feature is that this course integrates the AAMC practice materials into mini-tests for testing your progress frequently. All you need to do is sign up with your email! If that’s not enough, you can access our FREE blog of study tips and FREE daily questions emailed right to your inbox!

4. FREE JackWestin for Studying CARS

JackWestin has put out FREE daily CARS passages for as long as we can remember. In addition to the FREE Khan Academy CARS passages that they have formatted to the AAMC format, you should never run out. Their questions are somewhat harder than the actual AAMC CARS passages, but we would recommend them to anyone. Sometimes they will write a question where the majority of students pick the wrong answer. In that case, just ignore the question because it was likely poorly worded. And if you watch our Free CARS Strategy Session, we’ll send another 100 free CARS passages your way!

5. FREE Software to Keep Your Content in Long-Term Memory

One of the most powerful tools for retaining lots of information in your long-term memory is spaced repetition self-testing. Self-testing means quizzing yourself with minimal contextual clues. Spaced repetition involved self-testing at increasingly longer intervals. Physical flashcards can be great for those who are kinesthetic learners who like to write by hand. However, if you anticipate making thousands of flashcards, consider building a system to incorporate spaced-repetition. Anki and Quizlet are free software alternatives if you don’t want to store thousands of physical flashcards. Both have spaced-repetition options built-in. If you want to try either Anki or Quizlet, it would be worth your time to watch some YouTube tutorials to maximize the benefits of these programs. Or to save yourself some time, you can access MCAT Self Prep’s 5,000+ Quizlet Flashcards for only $99.

6. FREE MCAT Podcasts 

For those podcast junkies out there, consider downloading a few FREE podcasts to keep studying while driving to work, going for a run, or washing the dishes. Some of the best are the MCAT Podcast by Ryan Gray and the biology review by VanFidel. 

7. FREE Study Groups for Learning from Others

If you know of friends who are also studying for the MCAT together, you can form a study group together for FREE! Head on over to the FREE MCAT Self Prep Facebook Study Group Learn from other perspectives and teach each other lessons about physics, biochemistry, and more. Or try working through CARS passages together to learn to correct your common mistakes. This is a great low-cost alternative to private/group tutoring sessions. 

I scored a perfect 528 on the MCAT for less than $1000! So trust me, you don’t need to pay more to get a higher score. If you have any questions, please contact me or our other tutors by sending a message using the link below!

Warm Regards,

Theo Bennett

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Theo Bennett scored a perfect score (528) on the MCAT and has been accepted at Harvard, UPenn, Columbia, UCLA, and other top 10 medical schools across the country. You can learn more and sign up to work with him one-on-one here.

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How we Matched up the Khan Academy Passages with the eCourse Lessons

Each lesson of the eCourse contains links to 1 to 5 Khan Academy science passages for the purpose of providing you with non-AAMC material to practice your science passage reading skills on. By completing all the linked passages within every lesson, you will have finished all the freely available Khan Academy science passages.

To match up the Khan Academy Science Passages with the eCourse lessons, we carefully examined the passage and question content of each one. Then we decided which lesson of the eCourse best correlated with that content. You may notice that some passages don’t match up perfectly with the current lesson. If they don’t match up with the current lesson, they should match up with one of the previous lessons in the module. We did this carefully so that you could practice your science passage reading skills on passages that contain the content you’ve already learned.

Why we don’t recommend non-AAMC CARS practice questions

We recommend practicing CARS by reading non-AAMC CARS passages but not doing the associated practice problems. The reason we don’t recommend doing the practice problems is because the MCAT is written by the AAMC. They have a very unique style in which they write CARS practice questions that third-party companies (try as they might) are unable to replicate. When students spend time on non-AAMC CARS practice problems, they get familiar with the wrong style of questioning, leading them to overthink and incorrectly respond to the questions written by the AAMC. Thus, it is in your best interest to solely practice on AAMC CARS practice questions.

That said, we highly recommend practicing your reading skills on non-AAMC CARS passages. In our Ultimate CARS Strategy Course, we provide you with 1,000 free CARS passages and 100+ homework assignments, giving you ample material to practice on. Reading countless passages while practicing the proper reading habits and strategies will prepare you well to conquer the CARS section as it was written by the AAMC.

Which books do the lessons match up with?

The books we use in each lesson are linked below. We plan to stick with these older editions of the books since very little has changed and the older editions are much more affordable:

First Edition of the Kaplan 7-book Series
First Edition of the Princeton 7-book Series

Do the chapters match up perfectly?

The Kaplan Books, Princeton Books, and Khan Academy Videos were all produced by different authors. For this reason, there are some chapters in the Kaplan Book or Princeton Book that are not even found in the Khan Academy Videos and vice versa. For instance, the Kaplan and Princeton Books have chapters that cover certain experimental procedures that the Khan Academy Videos do not cover.

Our goal in matching up the books with the videos was to correlate the content as best as possible while also covering ALL the content from every resource. For this reason, when nothing in the Kaplan Books matched up with one of the video playlists, instead of leaving the reading assignment for Kaplan blank, we inserted material that did not fit in anywhere else (i.e. one of those chapters on an experimental procedure that was not covered by Khan Academy). So, when the assignment doesn’t appear to match up right, please know that this was intentional.

*If you follow the reading assignments outlined, you will finish the entire Kaplan 7-book series and/or Princeton 7-book series by the time you finish all 10 content modules.

Do the sections match up perfectly?

If the sections assigned in our eCourse do not match up with the sections contained in your content review book, you may have a different edition. The sections should still match up the large majority of the time, but in the rare instance that they don’t, I’d recommend simply reading sections that do match up and saving the ones that do not for a future lesson.

MCAT Launchpad Required!

Before jumping into our free eCourse, you’ll need to complete orientation by watching MCAT Launchpad. During this free 35-minute intro session with Head Tutor Andrew, you’ll learn 6 Keys to Earning a Top MCAT Score, the 5 Essential Elements of an Effective Study Plan, 12 Tips for Taking the Best MCAT Study Notes, and more! Andrew will also provide you with a detailed overview of the Free MCAT Prep Course, teaching you how to get started.

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