MCAT Vocabulary Resources

Although the CARS section of the MCAT is notoriously difficult, the English vocabulary you are expected to know is not a huge focus, the way it is on some other exams such as the SAT, ACT, or GRE. However, there is a significant amount of reading and reading comprehension required on the MCAT, and mastery of basic graduate level vocabulary and specific scientific terms is essential for MCAT success.

If you’re primarily interested in finding materials for practicing CARS passages, definitely check out the Magoosh MCAT course. We now have 212 passage-based CARS questions! (Three test’s worth). This post will list a few MCAT vocabulary resources that might be helpful if you’re looking to improve your vocabulary for test preparation.

MCAT Vocabulary Resources

Depending on your level of education and comfort with English vocabulary, it may be easiest to start out with either an SAT, ACT, or GRE vocabulary book or use our Vocab Builder app. The SAT and ACT are the most commonly used college admissions test in the United States. Having a grasp of college level vocabulary at minimum will be essential for the MCAT. The GRE is a graduate level exam and will be a bit more advanced than the SAT and ACT and may be a better resource if you are already in college or taking college-level classes.

For even more advanced vocabulary and reading comprehension study, using study material for the LSAT can actually be helpful in your studying for the MCAT. The LSAT is the admissions exam for law school and tests a lot of reading comprehension which will contain more advanced vocabulary words.

If you’re looking for a list of words or simple online tools to help you in your vocabulary preparation, here are few links that I found to be useful:

  1. offers a list of MCAT vocabulary words. I like this site because it offers a quizzing option that can make the learning more interactive, rather than just a list of words to memorize.
  2. also offers a list of 567 words that can prepare you for the MCAT. Like, it offers a means to practice these words, if you sign up for a free account.

Finally, vocabulary needs are very much personal and need to be tailored. Try to read as much as you can in the realm of science and advanced topic articles in the news and journals. Write down words you don’t know and try to look them up. This will be a sure way to strengthen your vocabulary in general and prepare you for the MCAT.

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  • Burton

    Burton is an MCAT blogger. He was an undergraduate at Harvard, where he majored in History before switching gears to pursue a career in medicine. He did a post-baccalaureate and is currently a fourth-year medical student at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He is applying for a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Outside of things medical, he's a huge sports fan and loves football, basketball, and baseball.

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