The best MCAT practice tests should be a cornerstone of your MCAT study plan, because they help you with timing, stamina, and give you a sense of what your actual score might be. Luckily, there are some pretty solid options available to you now.
That’s great news! But how do you use these little nuggets of MCAT gold, and where can you find versions that are realistic yet affordable? Where can you find the best free MCAT practice tests to prepare you for the Medical College Admission Test?
Table of Contents
- What is the best MCAT practice test?
- Where can you find full-length MCAT practice tests?
- How often should you take MCAT practice tests?
- Taking MCAT Practice Tests as Diagnostics and Predicting Your Score
- Additional MCAT Practice Questions
- MCAT Practice Tests: The Takeaway
What is the best MCAT practice test?
There are, in fact, several best MCAT practice tests. First of all, check out Magoosh’s free, full-length MCAT practice test! As a bonus, you’ll also get access to 60 content review videos.
Next, take a look at the AAMC MCAT Official Prep Sample Test (Online).
However, you’ll need more than two practice tests to get you ready for MCAT test day. So where to look?
There are many different kinds of practice tests out there, and most test prep companies will offer a number of practice exams, though some of these come only with the purchase of a prep course. The better ones (i.e. the best MCAT practice tests) are computerized, timed, and designed to replicate the breakdown of the exam, with 185 passage-based questions and 45 discrete questions. They should also have detailed answer explanations. It’s important to make sure that the resources you use are of high quality and reflect the content that you’ll see on your test date.
Keep in mind that short MCAT practice exams are good for getting your feet wet, but students should use full-length exams to improve timing and stamina, which are vital to acing the actual MCAT you’ll encounter in testing centers! These almost always come with a price tag, although there is tremendous variability in the cost. You can find some free full length MCAT practice tests that are worth taking, however.
With that in mind, here are a few places you can find a free MCAT practice test and MCAT practice test questions online.
1. Package Deals
A few companies sell full-length practice tests as part of a package deal that includes in-person or online courses and study tools. The benefit of this is you get access to a bunch of resources and teachers, but the downside is the expense! Test companies that offer these bundles include Kaplan, The Princeton Review, The Berkeley Review, and NextStep. Prices range from $1,300-$9,000 for their most intensive course options.
2. Bundles of Online MCAT Practice Exams
Most exams available for purchase are sold in this format, including official AAMC materials. Many companies sell bundles of exams (3-10) for prices in the $100-$300 range. Examples include Examkrackers, Kaplan (exams are sold with a set of MCAT books), NextStep, Gold Standard, The Berkeley Review, and Altius. Some exams have time or usage limits, and others do not.
3. MCAT Practice Tests A La Carte
Not many companies sell single exams, but some do (including the AAMC). The official tests are the best bet here—and among the cheapest, at $35 individually.
Ranging in price from $40-$50, single exams from Examkrackers, Altius, and Gold Standard are also available. However, Examkrackers is the only company that allows you to purchase all of their exams a la carte. The other companies have a single version of an exam that can be purchased alone, and then the customer needs to buy a bundle to access the others.
4. Magoosh’s Online MCAT Course with Practice Tests
Our online premium course includes over 350 video lessons, 3 full-length practice tests, email access to test prep experts, and customizable study schedules that can be integrated with the course dashboard. Here’s what you can expect:
- Video lessons span every content area of the MCAT and include subject-specific study and testing strategies.
- Students can take notes directly on their dashboard as they watch lessons.
- Full-length exams that can be taken as practice tests or split up into practice questions.
- Each question has a detailed explanation as to why each option (A-D) is correct or incorrect along with a difficulty scale of easy, medium, or difficult.
- To improve pacing, students can review how long it took to answer each question and whether that was above or below average.
- Users have unlimited email access to friendly, experienced MCAT tutors.
- Decks of flashcards can be answered with an app or in a web browser.
- Students have the option of following a personalized study schedule that generates a checklist of daily assignments with links to lessons, practice questions, flashcards, and supplementary resources.
- Course includes several downloadable PDF resources.
You can try out a free, 3-month trial with access to over 380 lesson videos and 3 full-length MCAT practice tests!
Where can you find full-length MCAT practice tests?
Free MCAT practice tests are great for a few reasons. First of all, of course, they’re free! They also accustom you to the exam and introduce you to an array of test prep companies, which will help you get a sense of who and what you’re investing in before you make the decision to purchase full-length exams or entire courses. You can find MCAT practice exams in a variety of places.
My absolute top choice for the best MCAT practice tests? The AAMC MCAT Official Prep Sample Test (Online), which is free.
Once you’ve gone through that, though, where should you look? Here are a few options.
1. Additional AAMC Official Tests
After you’ve finished the Official Prep Sample Test, keep in mind that you can purchase four additional full-length exams from AAMC. They aren’t free, at $35 each, but they’re a good deal for official materials. Once you’ve worked through them, keep in mind that you can find answers and explanations here on the Magoosh MCAT blog for full-length Practice Tests 1 and 2!
2. Free Samples from Test Prep Companies
A number of companies offer abbreviated, free MCAT practice tests. Though their score predictions aren’t as accurate as the real AAMC diagnostics (which aren’t exceptionally accurate themselves), they will provide you with an indication of where your strengths and weaknesses are.
Altius, NextStep, Kaplan, and GoldStandard all offer partial-length online practice exams for free. Princeton Review, as well as Magoosh, offer one full-length free MCAT practice test.
(If you’re looking for shorter, regular practice, check out Magoosh’s MCAT Question of the Day for a new question every day of the month!)
3. Your Local Library
The public library is one of the most overlooked study resources out there for MCAT resources. Oftentimes, libraries have the most popular test prep books on their shelves and most of these books come with access to question sets and full-length practice MCATs. The caveat is that these tests may only be available as hard copies. However, when your goal is to get in as much practice as possible, these are perfect for exposing yourself to the format, topics, and questions the real MCAT uses.
4. Your Career and Counseling Center
Definitely take advantage of any and all resources on campus. Even if you’ve already graduated, chances are high that you’re still included among their student clientele. Many schools have clauses where they continue to counsel students for 1-2 years after graduation. If you graduated from a small school that doesn’t have a big pre-med focus, you might ask career counselors at neighboring universities if you can check out their library of resources. The worst that can happen is they say no!
5. Traveling Promotional Events
Sometimes test prep companies travel to university campuses and administer on-site, free MCAT exams to attract customers to their MCAT courses. The courses they want you to sign up for are extremely expensive, but the administered exams are free! It’s a great opportunity, because you’ll be taking it in an institutional environment surrounded by other students, which helps replicate the actual test-taking experience.
How often should you take MCAT practice tests?
So, you’ve taken your first AAMC diagnostic exam, come up with a timeline and study schedule, and selected the practice tests you’ll be using throughout your weeks or months of MCAT studying. You may wonder how often you should take MCAT practice tests.
The total number you take will depend on your timing and how many tests you have access to. As a general guideline, taking more than one per week is probably too many, but if you’re doing a lot of intensive studying in a short time, this methodology might be appropriate. At a minimum, take one full-length practice test at the halfway point, and of course, bookend your studying with the AAMC exams.
In our 2-month study schedule, I instruct students to take one AAMC diagnostic at the beginning, three Magoosh MCAT practice tests spread across six weeks, and take the other AAMC diagnostic the week before the actual exam. To summarize, take a minimum of two diagnostics and one extra test, aim for an ideal frequency of one practice test every other week, and set your maximum frequency to one practice test per week.
Taking MCAT Practice Tests as Diagnostics and Predicting Your Score
Getting an MCAT diagnostic score is key to understanding your baseline. Where are your strengths? Where are your weaknesses? Are you awesome at physics but need a general chemistry and/or organic chemistry brush-up? Awesome in biology and biological sciences but struggling with psychology and the “biological foundations of behavior”? This will help you immensely in crafting your MCAT prep schedule.
However, be careful with MCAT score prediction! The MCAT raw-to-scaled conversion can be tricky, depending on which company you’re using and how they make this calculation (the official one isn’t public). Find out more about MCAT diagnostics and scoring here!
Additional MCAT Practice Questions
Of course, full-length MCAT practice tests (even the best MCAT practice tests!) are only one tool you have for MCAT prep. Barreling ahead with dozens of practice tests and nothing else isn’t the most efficient method of preparation for the MCAT exam!
Between practice exams, you’ll need to brush up on individual areas. Beyond MCAT lessons, MCAT practice questions are the best way to do this. Here are a few top resources to help you polish your skills!
- Magoosh MCAT Diagnostic Test. If you’re not quite ready to take the full AAMC diagnostic, or if you’ve already taken it and want to check your skills in key areas, OR if you just want great additional practice, this 24-question MCAT quiz is a good place to start!
- MCAT Question of the Day. Great for regular practice across all MCAT sections, from Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems to Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills! This post is updated for a new question each day of the month.
- MCAT Sample Questions. These 12 questions will help you test your skills in each MCAT section!
Finally, check out our post on how to stimulate MCAT test day for expert recommendations on how to use these practice questions in a test-like environment to better prepare yourself for the official test!
MCAT Practice Tests: The Takeaway
Taking full-length practice tests is a great way to build endurance for the MCAT (not to mention medical school!). However, some companies offer a sample test that isn’t equivalent to the actual MCAT. It’s key to take a diagnostic test—and then practice exams—that help build your endurance for the long test day ahead of you! This is why seeking out the best MCAT practice tests is important.
Finally, keep in mind that practice tests are important, but they’re not the be-all and end-all of MCAT prep. MCAT flashcards, study guides, and question packs—not to mention MCAT lessons in topics from biochemistry to sociology!—should also be part of your game plan.