Looking to supplement your MCAT prep with some free MCAT study guides? Look no further! We’ve listed the top 9 free MCAT study guides that you can access that are going to help get you to that 520.
Still undecided on an MCAT prep course? Start here.
Princeton Review MCAT Ultimate
An incredibly comprehensive course with a ton of live online instruction. Plus, a great discount for TPN readers!
10% off with code "TPN10"
Free MCAT Study Guides
MCAT Self Prep
Union Test Prep
AAMC Content Outlines
MCAT For Me
9 Free MCAT Study Guides
MCAT Self Prep
We like MCAT Self Prep’s MCAT Study Guide because it walks you through all the content outlined by the AAMC in 10 content modules. Their free eCourse includes 300+ hours of video content, an MCAT Question of the Day, and MCAT study tips.
They have worked hard to create an online community that you can bounce ideas off of, including a Facebook study group as well as personalized support from the CEO. See our detailed MCAT Self Prep Review for more details on their free and paid-for MCAT courses!
Suggested Use: This is a great introductory MCAT study guide that also has the option of upgrading for a personalized study plan.
Designed as an actual MCAT prep course, the Khan Academy MCAT contains 1,100 videos and 3,000 review questions to help you get prepped for the MCAT. The reason Khan Academy makes its way into our study guides list is that, as a standalone product, this may not be enough content review for those who need more comprehensive MCAT prep.
Suggested Use: Work through the videos and review questions as a supplement to your current MCAT study plan.
Princeton Review Free MCAT Prep Trial
Although this trial is just 7 days, it made our list of the best MCAT study guides because you get the same biochemistry learning module that is covered in Princeton Review’s paid courses. For $0, that’s a good bargain!
Covered in this free trial is a full-length practice test with a detailed score report, on-demand Medflix videos covering Biological Macromolecules, Thermodynamics and Reaction Coupling, Catalysts and Enzymes and more. You also get to participate in practice drills and questions that actually test your knowledge of Enzymes and Hyperuricemia.
I like this free trial because it’s a shortened version of a true test prep that provides content as well as application. Plus, if you enjoy the learning and quizzing style of this prep, you can always decide to purchase their Ultimate MCAT Review Course! Read our Review of Princeton Review’s MCAT Ultimate Course.
Suggested Use: Before purchasing your chosen test prep, utilize this free trial to see what you like and dislike about MCAT prep programs. If you like the learning strategy provided by Princeton Review, then you can rest easy purchasing their thorough test prep.
Union Test Prep
This MCAT study guide by Union Test Prep breaks out the sections of the MCAT with guides that give students a scope of each section and help them to identify areas in which they need to study.
Suggested Use: This is a good reference after studying to see where you stand and what other sections you should continue practicing and studying.
MCAT Review is an extremely popular source for content review for the MCAT. The materials are indeed comprehensive for each of the tested MCAT topics. They provide strategies as well as tips for “cracking” the MCAT. You can also find more MCAT tips here.
Suggested Use: Like Union Test Prep, this comprehensive review is just that – review. Studying notes will not help you to polish up your critical thinking and application skills. This study guide is best for supplemental review alongside a paid or more comprehensive test prep.
AAMC Content Outlines
The AAMC Content Outlines are kind of a no-brainer, as the outlines are coming straight from the source. These outlines can help you to focus your studying, as you can use these to guide your studying and check off, one by one, what you have learned.
Suggested Use: As the name “content outline” suggests, this outline should be used as a to-do list of what you need to study. It’s supplemental to the test prep that you choose.
MCAT for Me
MCAT for Me has an interested business model, providing 2, 3, 4, and 6-month MCAT study guides that utilize popular test prep materials to create an outline of a study plan. They recommend the number of hours to study per day in addition to the number of study days per week. Within their lessons, they provide video lectures, outline recommended reading, and even assign homework.
Suggested use: This makes our list of the best MCAT study guides because it’s a great supplement to your prep that insures you stay on target for your ideal test date.
Related: Khan Academy MCAT Review
Charles’ site is a diamond in the rough. Having taught for Examkrackers after receiving a score that put him at the 99.9 percentile in 2008, he shares the outlines he created for his classes for the 4 years of teaching. Although these guides have been created prior to the changes in the 2015 MCAT, you can still use this as a great content guide of Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, and CARS.
Suggested Use: This study guide is golden for the content that you need to know for all of the sections besides the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior. Use this as you would any content review to test and review your knowledge achieved through a formal test prep.
Examkrackers has one of the most popular and free MCAT study guides for self-study/home study. Featured among our list of the Best MCAT Prep Courses as well as #1 in our list of the Best MCAT Prep Books, their 10-Week Home Study Syllabus guides you through Examkrackers Comprehensive MCAT Study Manuals with a proven Lecture-Test-Review format that has helped thousands of students crush the MCAT throughout the years. Their day-by-day Guide will tell you exactly what you need to be doing each day to get the most out of your study time.
Suggested Use: This MCAT study guide is an awesome free tool for those who plan to purchase Examkrackers MCAT prep books. This study schedule breaks out your 10-week study into the amount of hours you need to study each day as well as what material you need to work on. It’s a great way to stay on track for Examkrackers fans.
BONUS – 4 Free MCAT Practice Tests
As we’re discussing the best MCAT study guides, it seems to go hand-in-hand that we’ll bring up some free practice tests that you can use to supplement your studying. Some commercial test prep companies offer some version of a free practice test that you can work through under simulated testing conditions as well as check your score and better understand strategies that can be used to improve your score. You may also consider adding some MCAT flashcards to your study sessions for enhanced memory retention!
* indicates full-length MCAT practice test
1. Princeton Review MCAT Practice Exam
With Princeton Review, you can receive a free, full-length practice test that is given under the same testing conditions as the actual exams (which is how you should always be taking practice exams, by the way).
2. Blueprint (Next Step) Free MCAT Test Bundle
Blueprint, formerly Next Step Test Prep, offers a free bundle that includes a full-length exam, a half-length diagnostic exam, and then some additional free content from their MCAT course. They also offer a free MCAT question of the day newsletter as well as a free 90-minute MCAT Verbal Strategy course. Again, piecemealing test prep is not recommended, so if you are only after the free portion of this test, I’d go after their free practice exam.
See our full Review of Blueprint (Next Step) MCAT Prep Course
3. Kaplan Free Practice Test
Sign up for a free 3.5 hour online practice exam as well as receive a detailed score report, strategies for improvement, and complete explanations for every question. Kaplan also offers a free question of the day, MCAT pop quiz questions, and a free 20-minute workout for the MCAT.
See our full Review of Kaplan’s MCAT Prep Course
4. Altius Free 2015 Practice Exam
Altius charges for their practice exams, but they are currently offering a free trial of half of their 2015 practice MCAT exam. Taking a free practice exam doesn’t hurt, but with only half a test that you can take, it’s hard to simulate a real test.
See our full Review of Altius’ MCAT Prep Course
Want more? Check out our full list of free MCAT practice tests
Studying for the MCAT FAQ
How do I study for the MCAT for free?
Is 3 months enough to study for the MCAT?
We recommend at least 300 hours of studying to prepare adequately for the MCAT. In 3 months, you would need to study about 25 hours per week in order to hit this threshold. This can be difficult if you are also a full-time student or working, and we’d recommend bumping your prep to 4-6 months.
How many hours a day should I study for the MCAT?
This is a hard question to answer, since many people who claim they study 8-10 hours per day don’t account for distractions, breaks, or general lack of focus. You should stop studying for the MCAT each day when you have found you no longer can concentrate on the material. Take a break and study again when you are more able to focus.
Ready to book your seat for the MCAT? Congratulations! Have a look at the 2020 MCAT dates and figure out what date gives you enough realistic time to study.