It’s no secret that studying for the MCAT can be expensive. Signing up for the test, purchasing study materials, working with tutors, and buying practice material all add up quickly. In addition to paying for prep material, many MCAT test-takers also dedicate hundreds of hours to mastering the test that they could’ve used to earn money in other ways. At CurveSetter, we want to not only help you succeed on the MCAT but also save you some money if you are frugal like us.
FREE Khan Academy Videos for Studying Content
The Khan Academy videos for the MCAT may be the best free resource out there. The AAMC understands that some students do not have the financial luxury of spending thousands of dollars on prep materials. Knowing this, they paid Khan Academy to use their FREE comprehensive study guide to make a comprehensive set of videos that covers everything on the MCAT. These videos are as good as any, but some students choose to pay for more condensed videos that focus on the high-yield aspects of MCAT study.
FREE Diagnostic Tests for Practice Problems
While we still recommend practicing for the MCAT with multiple full-length exams, many prep companies offer their own FREE half-length exams. Two of these half-length tests can be combined to create “built it yourself” full-length exams if needed. They also can be used as practice problem sets with feedback on why you missed certain answers. Additionally, the Khan Academy also put out hundreds of MCAT-style passage questions that are FREE with detailed explanations for every section. You should never run out of free practice problems, but the Khan Academy questions tend to be easier than the actual questions on the MCAT.
FREE JackWestin for Studying CARS
JackWestin has put out FREE daily CARS passages for as long as we can remember. In addition to the FREE Khan Academy CARS passages that they have formatted to the AAMC format, you should never run out. Their questions are somewhat harder than the actual AAMC CARS passages, but we would recommend them to anyone. Sometimes they will write a question where the majority of students pick the wrong answer. In that case, just ignore the question because it was likely poorly worded. The AAMC will even throw out questions like this on test day too! All you need to do is sign up with your email!
FREE MCAT Self Prep for Organizing your Study
A former MCAT test-taker decided to build a FREE website to keep track of your progress through learning the content for the MCAT. This website gives you YouTube playlists from lots of different MCAT prep channels to create a comprehensive walk-through of everything on the MCAT. They also have suggestions for prep book readers too. A cool feature is that they integrate the AAMC practice materials into mini-tests to test your progress frequently. All you need to do is sign up with your email!
FREE Software to Keep Your Content in Long-Term Memory
One of the most powerful tools for retaining lots of information in your long-term memory is spaced repetition self-testing. Self-testing means quizzing yourself with minimal contextual clues. Spaced repetition involved self-testing at increasingly longer intervals. Physical flashcards can be great for those who are kinesthetic learners who like to write by hand. However, if you anticipate making thousands of flashcards, consider building a system to incorporate spaced-repetition. Anki and Quizlet are free software alternatives if you don’t want to store thousands of physical flashcards. Both have spaced-repetition options built in. If you want to try either Anki or Quizlet, it would be worth your time to watch some YouTube tutorials to maximize the benefits of these programs.
FREE MCAT Podcasts
For those podcast junkies out there, consider downloading a few FREE podcasts to keep studying while driving to work, going for a run, or washing the dishes. Some of the best are the MCAT Podcast by Ryan Gray and the biology review by VanFidel.
FREE Study Groups for Learning from Others
If you know of friends who are also studying for the MCAT together, you can form a study group together for FREE! Learn from other perspectives and teach each other lessons about physics, biochemistry, and more. Or try working through CARS passages together to learn to correct your common mistakes. This is a great low-cost alternative to group tutoring sessions.