AAMC Official Guide Preparation Books Review

June 25, 2024

minute read

The AAMC Official Guide Preparation Books are well-written study materials that have been helping premed students ace their MCAT exams! 

Given that the books are created by the people who administer and create the test –  you can expect professional overviews and more realistic questions. 

These books are part of the MCAT official prep products series assembled by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). They are designed to assist students in navigating through the MCAT exam preparation process! 

Read through this detailed review of AAMC official guide prep books to know more about these MCAT books!


List of AAMC Official Guide Preparation Books 

Below are the AAMC Official Guide Preparation Books that you can find in the market:

AAMC Official Guide To The MCAT Exam - Fifth Edition

Aamc Book Mcat The Official Guide To The Mcat Exam Fifth Edition

This is a thorough overview and guide of the MCAT exam, written by the Association of American Medical Colleges. They are the official organization that conducts and administers the MCATs. This book is included in the MCAT preparation series, consisting of low-cost and free MCAT prep products. 

This book contains 120 practice questions (30 questions each for the four sections included in the exam) and solutions. 

This official guide can give you tips on how to properly prepare for the exam and details on how it is scored. It also includes a description of the content assessed by each section of the MCAT

The fifth edition is the latest version of the book, almost 400-pages long, and was released in November 2017. You can purchase it for around USD 30 on online retail shops like Amazon and eBay. 

The price will vary depending on the quality of the book (used or new) and shipping rates. 

AAMC Official Guide to the MCAT Exam - Fourth Edition

Aamc Book The Official Guide To The Mcat Exam

This official guide for the MCAT exams was published in January 2015, with 120 questions and 30 items allotted for each section. All items have detailed explanations of both correct and incorrect answers. In addition, this book provides helpful advice on how to come up with the right solutions and answers. 

Since it is a guide for the MCAT, this book features a thorough overview of the registration process and the scoring guide. 

Furthermore, the AAMC offers the choice to take practice questions online, letting the students feel like they are taking the actual MCAT exam

Over at Amazon, this book costs about USD 13. The price will differ depending on where you buy it and from what site. It was published in 2014 with exactly 375 pages.

AAMC Official Guide to the MCAT Exam - Third Edition

Aamc Book The Official Guide To The Mcat Exam 3Rd Edition

The 3rd edition was released in 2013, reflecting the changes from 2014. This book includes valuable insights, tips, and guidance to help you prepare for the exam. 

This edition was developed using feedback from a focus group of aspiring medical students. It has 146 practice questions from previous MCAT exams. 

Each item features difficulty levels and percentages of examinees that got it right. Seven chapters are allotted for the exam alone. They explain the test day procedures and registration process. 

It was published in 2013 with 392 pages. You can purchase it for USD 20 on Amazon. 

How to Use the AAMC Official Guide Preparation Books Effectively? 

There are ways you can use them most effectively! For AAMC Official Guide Preparation Books, here is how you can use them:

  • Make a Study Plan First: Decide how many weeks or months you want to spend on your MCAT preparation. That way, you would not lack time to prepare. 
  • Read the AAMC Official Guide: Make sure you fully understand how the MCAT exams work. Then, try to answer the practice questions to the best of your abilities. 
  • Try to Get Your Hands on as much AAMC Material as You Can: These include question packs, section banks, full-length practice exams, CARS Diagnostic Tool, and official flashcards. Use them in your MCAT study plan. However, make sure that you would not get overwhelmed. 
  • Use Additional Resources: Since the AAMC official guide is only a guide about the MCAT, it is better that you have an actual MCAT prep book to help you study. Kaplan, Princeton, and Barron’s Test Prep are highly recommended MCAT preparation books you can use to complement your AAMC book. 

AAMC Official Guide Preparation Books Pros and Cons 

The AAMC Official Guide is a good choice for a prep book if you’re preparing for the upcoming MCAT. Though, it is natural if you have doubts about using it. To help, here are the pros and cons of the books that you can consider!

The Pros of AAMC MCAT Preparation Books

Here are the pros of choosing the AAMC Official Guide:

  • Written by the MCAT Exam Makers:  One of the most significant advantages of using the AAMC official guide is that the same exam makers created it as the MCAT. Therefore, it is guaranteed that the content is genuine so that you can use it for your MCAT preparation.
  • Authentic Practice Questions: You can expect the practice questions in the book to be authentic. They will give the exam takers the practice they need for the exams. With over a hundred practice questions, you will have enough material to test your skills and knowledge for the MCAT. 
  • Guide to the MCAT: The book itself is not a preparation book. It is more of a guide to the MCAT. It covers the who’s, when’s, what’s, why’s, where’s, and how’s of the exam.
  • Exam Insights and Advice on Scoring: It also consists of various test-taking strategies, including the critical rules during the exam. Moreover, it includes a scoring guide to give you an idea.  

The Cons of AAMC MCAT Preparation Books

Of course, no prep book is perfect. Like any other exam preparation book, the AAMC official guide has its cons and flaws. 

  • Difficult to Read: Some readers gave testimonies about how the book is challenging to read and get into.
  • Requires Additional Resource: Since the book is much more of a guide than a prep book, it has limited reviews of the subject material. For that, the content might seem a little dry and high-level. Therefore, it is better as a complementary preparation book for other MCAT preparation books like Princeton or Kaplan. 
  • No Full-Length Practice Exams: The practice questions are the most you can expect from the AAMC Official Guide. You can use them for practice. Unlike other MCAT books, it does not have full-length practice exams. 

AAMC Official Guide Preparation Books: User Reviews

Unlike other resources provided by the AAMC, this official guide is not free. You will need to spend money to have it. So, naturally, with money involved, it gives way to the question; is it worth buying or not?  

Here are a few helpful testimonials from actual buyers of the book that could help you decide.


Over at Amazon, the AAMC official guide to MCAT review has 4.7 out of 5 stars in ratings. It has a total of 202 global ratings and 13 reviews! 

Going through these reviews, it is clear that most are satisfied with the book. More than one reader claimed that the guide was knowledgeable. In addition, they said that it is helpful to people studying for the MCAT. 

One of the negative reviews claims that the book’s Kindle version was hard to navigate. Another said that they received the book in bad condition. As for the content, one said that it was just good, and another declared dissatisfaction.

Aamc Official Guides Amazon Reviews


Moving to Goodreads, there are fewer ratings and even fewer reviews. However, it gained a total of 4.75-star ratings from its buyers. 

A reader claimed that the book is necessary if you want to prepare for the MCAT. They said that because the test makers wrote it, the book includes the outlines of all the content and topics you need to know. It also contains essential questions and practice passages for the readers. 

Aamc Official Guides Goodreads Reviews

Verdict: Are AAMC Official Guide Preparation Books Worth it?

AAMC Official Guide Preparation Books are resources you can use when preparing for your MCAT exams. They contain valuable insights and an overview of the exam itself, giving you a heads-up on how to prepare. 

It is best not to rely on it, though. While the book itself is a guide for the MCAT, it lacks certain things you will need to prepare for the exam. For example, it does not have a full-length test or detailed study of the subject material. 

Best pair this guide with another MCAT prep book. Also, try to use other AAMC official materials and resources. Then, you will be better prepared and ready for your MCAT exam!

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