There they sit — stacked up in bookstores, libraries, and garages. Heavier than a brick and thicker than most phone books. The MCAT study guides. There’s a slew of different bands to pick from, many of which are reputable. And then there are the variety of live MCAT prep courses that we’ve previously discussed.
A massive volume of test-taking secrets await you, but know that not all the MCAT study guides are created equal!
Often times, selecting an MCAT study guide is based on what’s immediately available to you. You wander through a bookstore or library, looking at books you wouldn’t mind reading and others that seem a waste of paper. You arrive at the test prep section. You pick up a book, flip through it, and decide it’s okay to use.
What Can Make One MCAT Study Guide Better Than Another?
- Sections — There are lots of section in the book and it appears comprehensive.
- Practice Questions — The best guides have lots of those.
- Practice Tests — On top of the question, there should be a practice test or two, each with answer keys.
- Question analysis — Certain sections of the book different types of questions and how to answer them.
Without a doubt, study guides like Examkrackers usually have a good amount of test tips and practice questions that cover the MCAT’s subject matter. However, picking a good study guide requires reading the fine print.
Consider These Overlooked Study Guide Features That are Crucial:
- Legitimate MCAT Questions – Many guides will provide MCAT practice questions yes, but were these actually implemented in the MCAT? How do you know if these MCAT practice questions weren’t rejected as faulty? Roll with MCAT study guides that provide actual MCAT tests from within the last three years.
- Blow-by-Blow Explanations – Taking an MCAT practice test is well and good, but the most effective guides provide explanations for each question, usually in the form of segmented chapters that cover each test section.
- Accessibility – Ever read something and immediately forget the information? Make sure the writing is clear and captures your attention.
Each of these features can help you create an MCAT study plan, but the primary benefit of an MCAT study guide are the practice tests. Anybody serious about dominating the MCAT will practically be collecting the MCAT practice tests found in these guides.
An actual MCAT prep course can be immensely more useful — y’know, with an actual live instructor. A teacher. An instructor can recognize your personal test-taking habits that are holding you back before you do, provide encouragement, and offer solutions customized to your habits. Fact is, so can the other students in your class. Studying doesn’t always have to be a cooped up and isolating experience.
Do You Need a Live MCAT Prep Course?
But finding the right prep course is a challenging task unto itself because not every live course is right for you, and there are steps you need to take to ensure that you’re not wasting your time and money. Spend some time in the MCAT Club here at INQUARTA.com. You might find that online MCAT prep is all you need to earn a high score.