AAMC Practice Material 101 and Section Bank Tips (2023)

The AAMC practice material is an incredibly valuable resource for those looking to perform well on the MCAT. However, many students do not use it effectively.

This guide will show you how to incorporate this material into your curriculum (including using the AAMC Section Bank). Trust us, you should read this carefully!

Table of contents
  1. What is the AAMC Training Material?
  2. how to use them
    1. AAMC Section Bank
    2. Question Packs
    3. test exam
  3. How to mimic test conditions when using AAMC materials
  4. Diploma

What is the AAMC Training Material?

AAMC Practice Materials are official learning tools to help you prepare for the MCAT. Many prep courses offer tailored content with the same end goal. But what makes AAMC's practice material different is where it comes from and who provides it.

As the name suggests, this study material is published by the AAMC, or Association of American Medical Colleges. The AAMC is the organization responsible for creating and administering the official MCAT test. The AAMC draws content from many different sources, including previous MCAT tests. As a result, the content is as official as it gets.

The material packs come straight from the test creator and cover everything you need to know. AAMC offers a wide range of different tools, including question packs and comprehensive practice tests.

Using the practice materials ensures that you receive authentic content that is very similar to the actual test. Not only does it help you review the most relevant information, but the materials also give you an idea of ​​what to expect on test day.

how to use them

The value of AAMC practice materials cannot be denied. However, there are many different opinions on how to use these tools effectively. While you should definitely use the tools available to you from a prep course or tutor, AAMC practice materials offer a unique and focused approach to your prep efforts.

The material should be a central part of your study plan, but it should also be used strategically to get the best results.

Here are some of the most valuable components and how to use them.

(Video) Mcat Practice Question TIME | AAMC QUESTIONS | Tips from a 100th% tutor

AAMC Section Bank

The AAMC Section Bank contains 100 questions for each of the science-based units of the MCAT. There is a separate database of practice questions for the chemical and physical foundations of biological systems, the biological and biochemical foundations of living systems, and the psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior.

Unfortunately, the AAMC section bank does not contain content for theSection MCAT CARS(Critical analysis and logical thinking). Other practice material focuses on this section.

The AAMC Section Bank is one of the most useful but misunderstood aspects of the AAMC practice materials. The questions are notoriously challenging, exceeding even real MCAT problems in difficulty. Because of this, many students feel somewhat discouraged after trying to answer these questions.

However, this study material is best for reviewing content and identifying gaps in knowledge. Your success in answering these questions isn't necessarily an indication of how you'll do on the actual test, but it can go a long way in preparing you for itthe torture ahead.

With a mix of non-intrusive and passage-based questions, Section Bank offers plenty of useful content to consume. That being said, its difficulty can be overwhelming.

How to use it effectively:

Most tutors recommend dividing the AAMC section bank into halves or even smaller manageable parts. Trying to work through an entire section of 100 questions can do more harm than good.

Due to the above-average difficulty, the section bank is not ideal for prioritizing time. Take the extra time to go through the topics and make sure you fully understand the concepts covered. You can practice time management with other practice materials.

It is best to use the AAMC dissection bench at least a month before the test date.Mix it into your study routine and complete the entire bank before taking a practice exam.

If you start early, make the best use of the section bank by completing it twice. Your first run early in your prep cycle will help you identify knowledge gaps and areas that need work. Another review before taking the practice tests will solidify this knowledge and ensure you are ready for the next level.

(Video) HOW I SCORED A 131 on the CARS section of the MCAT - 5 SIMPLE TIPS + FREE Practice Passages

Question Packs

Next we have the AAMC question packs. A total of six packages are available. These include two for biology, one for chemistry, one for physics, and two focusing on CARS passages.

The AAMC Question Pack and Section Bank should go hand in hand. Since the bench lacks CARS questions, the packages are a must to complement this area of ​​study. Conversely, the section bank can correct the shortcomings of the packages.

Although this study material covers all science-based topics, it is somewhat outdated. The questions are from old MCAT exams from before 2015, so they are not fully representative of what you will find on current MCAT exams.

That being said, the material is still useful for content review. The topic is still relevant to success on test day, so the packages should be part of your study plan.

The CARS packages are particularly useful as not much has changed on this part of the test.

Each packet contains 120 questions that should take approximately three and a half hours to complete. As before, it's best to break content into manageable chunks. But it is also an excellent opportunity to get used to the lack of time.

It is best to take no less than seven weeks to fill out the question packs.Start early and make these materials one of the first things you go through. Together with the section bank, the packages help you to review the contents and identify knowledge gaps.

If you're having trouble with CARS tickets, it's a good idea to distribute these packages during your studies. Go through some of them early on so you have plenty of time to improve.

test exam

The final critical component of the AAMC practice materials are the practice tests. The AAMC offers severalMCAT practice tests. They are designed to mimic the real exam as closely as possible.

Not only do they help you get used to stress and time management, but they can also help you measure your progress.

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The AAMC offers five comprehensive exams.

The first is known as the "random test".It's not as useful as the others as it doesn't provide a scaled score. You get simple percentages to find out how many questions you got right, but you can't compare them to the modern MCAT scale. That makes it a bit difficult to get an accurate reading once you've gotten onegood MCAT scoreOh no.

Many say that the quality of the questions is also inferior. The CARS passages are reportedly much easier than what you will see on the real test. Still, it's a good idea to take the sample test first to check the content and practice.

The remaining four tests are an accurate representation of actual MCAT.Upon completion, you will receive a scaled score. Difficulty is similar throughout, making these practice tests a good indicator of your performance.

The best way to use practice tests is to save most of them for the last month of preparation.

Begin the mock test in the first few weeks of the study. Counselors often recommend taking it after going through most of the section bank and question bank. Consider it a little taste of what's to come.

You will take the first graded practice test about a month before your exam date. You can use the score you get as a basis and base the rest of your verification efforts on it. It's a great way to identify problem areas and refine your study over time.

After that, take another practice test every week before the official test. The latter should be five to seven days before the actual MCAT exam.

Don't put off those practice tests until the last minute! They're all-day affairs, so you need a lot of time to analyze them properly.

How to mimic test conditions when using AAMC materials

The best thing about AAMC practice materials is their authenticity. The content is official and mimics exactly what you will see during the actual MCAT. Use this to your advantage to familiarize yourself with the exam experience.

(Video) Is the AAMC MCAT Prep Material Worth It? | Doctor Squared

Mimicking test conditions can make a big difference. It will help prepare you mentally and physically and ensure you are ready for the challenge ahead.

To replicate on test day, get up early.Get up at the same time you plan to get up on the test date. Then follow the same morning routine!

Get in the habit of warming up early in the morning and using your brain.

Take your time as you go through the practice tests and questions.It's easy enough to stick to a strict schedule on the practice tests, but you need to be proactive about timing as you complete the question packs and section banks.

Split the questions to replicate the official test deadlines.

Don't forget the breaks either! The MCAT is long, but you get several strictly timed breaks throughout the exam. Some of them are only 10 minutes long. However, a long lunch break lasts 30 minutes.

Take scheduled breaks at the same time each day. Don't give yourself more time because you should feel comfortable using your free time wisely.

When reviewing the AAMC practice materials, it is prudent to replicate the test conditions as closely as possible. Do yourself a favor and get used to the experience as soon as possible. The MCAT is tough, but learning to manage time and stress will ensure you're ready to face it head-on.


We hope this guide has helped you better understand the AAMC Sectional Bank and Materials. Now that you know how to use it, nothing will stop you from learning and getting the score you want!

If you have any questions or need additional help, please feel free to send us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

(Video) How I Scored 131 on the MCAT CARS Section


What is a good percentage on AAMC section bank? ›

Consensus is that anywhere above 70% is good. Anywhere above 80% you're golden.

Is AAMC Section bank harder than MCAT? ›

Also, while the section bank is generally harder than the real MCAT, expect anywhere between 2 to 5 section bank level difficulty passages on the actual MCAT phys/chem and bio/biochem sections.

How hard is the section bank AAMC? ›

The section banks are probably the most difficult material you'll study for the MCAT. The reason why is because probably the thing most of us are weakest at is passage analysis since it's a skill we never really had to learn throughout school.

Are AAMC Section banks worth it? ›

The Section Bank is easily the best MCAT material available apart from the full length tests. You should study it carefully and maybe even do it multiple times. But, you should also know that the Section Bank is hard. The passages and questions in here are above average difficulty.

What is 50% correct on the MCAT? ›

Remember the ~50% or basic average is a score between 500 and 501, and max achievable is 528, so with every extra point in your total score is a significant bump up in the percentile ranking. Each section of the MCAT is graded the same way individually.

What is a 50% on the MCAT? ›

Your MCAT total score will range between 472 and 528, with 501.5 marking the mean, or 50th percentile. Each of the four MCAT sections is scored between 118 and 132, with the 50th percentile coming in around 125 for each section, though it does vary slightly from section to section.

Is UWorld easier or harder than AAMC? ›

Because UWorld questions are significantly more difficult than the AAMC, you will likely score much worse on them. I've often seen differences of 10-20% among my students. So take your UWorld scores with a grain of salt. I consider any score above 75% on UWorld to be very good.

Is UWorld or AAMC harder? ›

UWorld on the whole can be harder than the AAMC, but that is a pro, and as a general rule of thumb you want to be scoring in the high 70s-80s percent accuracy on the questions.

Which AAMC exam is most representative? ›

The AAMC's official Full-Length (fl) exams are the practice exams that are the most representative of the real exam.

Which MCAT section is easiest? ›

Not Preparing for MCAT CARS

MCAT CARS is often considered the easiest section of the MCAT since it does not test specific knowledge in any particular subject. However, this does not mean that MCAT CARS does not require preparation.

How long does it take to get through AAMC Section banks? ›

DO NOT do the section bank until right before the test, the week before you take the scored FL. All in all you have time so take about 1-2 weeks for the qpack and 1 week for the section bank.

What is a good score on MCAT question banks? ›

A good MCAT score is 128 out of 132 in any one section, or 511 out of 528 for all 4 sections. The latter represents the average score of students admitted to medical schools nationwide in the 2021 admissions cycle.

Are the AAMC practice tests harder than the real test? ›

Some students find the AAMC practice exams to be more difficult than the actual MCAT, while others find them to be a good predictor of what they will see on the test day.

How many AAMC full lengths should I take? ›

[03:40] The Average Number for a Well-Prepared MCAT Student

You take three from AAMC and another three from a prep company like Next Step. If you need to go beyond that, that's fine. But if you're reviewing them properly, there shouldn't be any need to go past nine or ten tests.

How accurate are AAMC full lengths? ›

As expected, no third-party company offers an exam as accurate or useful as the 4 MCAT full lengths offered by the AAMC. As the authors and administrators of the exam, the AAMC offers the most representative and accurate exams. You can expect your score to be very close to what you would have scored on test day.

What score is 75% on MCAT? ›

75th percentile – total score: 509/510; score for each section: between 126-128.

What score is 80% correct on MCAT? ›

Our medical school admission experts recommend that you aim for a total score of a 509 or above. This score places you in the 80 th percentile of MCAT scores, according to AAMC. Read More: Medical School Requirements: How Important is GPA?

How many questions can you miss on the MCAT to get a 528? ›

Each section of the MCAT is scored from 118 to 132. The score you can get from these four sections is something between 472 to 528. If you score a 132 in all four areas, you will achieve a 528—the perfect score.

What is a 72% on the MCAT? ›

Your MCAT percentile rank is calculated based on your cohort of test-takers, so, for example, having a percentile of 75 means that you scored higher than 75% of people who took the test in the same session.
What is a good MCAT percentile?
Total ScorePercentile Rank
43 more rows

How many questions can you miss on the MCAT to get a 128? ›

If the real MCAT that you get is more difficult, then you might be able to miss 11 or 12 questions and still get a 128. (Of course, these numbers are just approximations.

What score is a 70% on the MCAT? ›

Approximately 70% of test takers are expected to score between 493 and 507.

Is 1 pass of UWorld enough? ›

UWorld recommends completing two full passes through the UWorld QBank. Do the first pass along with your first- and second-year medical school curriculum and save the second pass for your dedicated period of study for the USMLE.

Is the MCAT curved? ›

New section

There is no curve associated with the MCAT® exam. Instead, the MCAT exam is scaled and equated so that scores have the same meaning, no matter when you test. Learn more about how the exam is scored.

What percentage of UWorld is passing? ›

Learners with an average QBank score of 56% pass the NCLEX at a 92% rate. While your average UWorld QBank score gives you important information, studying each question's explanation is the most valuable way to spend your time.

How to increase MCAT score by 10 points? ›

Practice exams. If you want to increase your MCAT score by 10 points or more within 30 days, one of the best things you could do is to go hard on full-length, timed practice exams. This will not only train your stamina, but will also train you to actually apply the material you have been studying.

How many questions a day should I do on UWorld? ›

For most students, this means getting through three blocks of 40 questions per day, 5-6 days per week. Reserving 1-2 days per week to take a UWorld self-assessment exam or NBME practice exam and review it is also important because students must get a sense of their scores.

Is the MCAT becoming harder? ›

The MCAT is not getting harder over time. The MCAT did change in 2016 in which some people say it is harder, but it remains relatively consistent. Even so, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) normalizes scores based on the scores of a particular MCAT.

What is the most realistic MCAT practice test? ›

AAMC. AAMC's official MCAT practice tests are considered the gold standard in MCAT preparation. Because AAMC writes the MCAT, its practice tests most accurately reflect the exam's format, content, and grading. AAMC offers a free full-length MCAT practice test and four paid tests for $35 each.

Is Kaplan MCAT harder than AAMC? ›

Most test takers report that Kaplan practice tests are more difficult, with many scoring about ten points higher on the real MCAT than they did on Kaplan practice tests.

What is the average increase in MCAT score? ›


Over 40% of our students increased their official MCAT score by 13 points or more, and 20% of Blueprint MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) students scored 517 or higher on the official MCAT compared to just 6% of all MCAT test takers.

What is the lowest acceptable MCAT score? ›

A score of 501 or lower is typically considered too low to be competitive, so you might want to retake the exam or apply to medical schools that do not require the MCAT. 2.

What is the hardest section on MCAT? ›

The Most Difficult MCAT Test Section

Many students report that the most difficult section is CARS, and the average scores reported by AAMC back that up. The lowest average section scores overall and for matriculants are in CARS.

How many AAMC section bank questions are there? ›

The Section Bank provides a total of 300 practice questions, which includes 100 practice questions from each of the following sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems.

When should I take my first AAMC full length? ›

The answer to this question can vary. But, it should be noted that there's not necessarily a “wrong” time to start taking practice tests. In my experience as an instructor, however, I've found that it's nearly always best to take your first full-length about 4-5 weeks into your prep.

How long should you study for the MCAT AAMC? ›

Most people need 10–15 hours per week to study for the MCAT over a period of at least four to six months . In total, you should aim for at least 200 to 300 hours of MCAT study time.

What percentage is a 495 on the MCAT? ›

Attaining a score of 495 on the MCAT means you performed in the 35% percentile.

What is the average MCAT score 2022? ›

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the average MCAT score was 501.5 for those who took the test between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022. MCAT scores range from 472-528. Between 2016-2017 and 2021-2022, the average MCAT score jumped nearly two points, from 499.6 to 501.5.

What percentile is a 510 on the MCAT? ›

Attaining a score of 510 on the MCAT means you performed in the 84% percentile. An even distribution for the section scores is preferred. For example: 122 (C/P) 130 (CARS) 126 (B/B) 132 (P/S).

What is a good percentage for AAMC cars Question Pack 1? ›

So that's 23/35 = 65.7%. Out of 53 questions, 65.7% is around 35 right. Based on the AAMC scaled score spreadsheet, that's only like a 124/125.

What is a good score per section on the MCAT? ›

Your MCAT total score will be in the range of 472-528 with an average score of 500. Each of the four MCAT sections is scored between 118-132 with an average score of 125. Applicants accepted to allopathic (MD-granting) medical schools for the 2021-2022 year had an average MCAT score of 511.9.

What is a good percentage UWorld MCAT? ›

The MCAT score range is 472–528, with an average score of 500. Percentile data from the last three years shows that a score over 510 is better than more than 78% of test takers. The average MCAT score for matriculants was 510.4 in 2017–2018, 511.4 in 2018–2019, and 511.5 in 2019–2020 and 2020–2021.

Is AAMC CARS easier than UWorld? ›

Because UWorld questions are significantly more difficult than the AAMC, you will likely score much worse on them. I've often seen differences of 10-20% among my students. So take your UWorld scores with a grain of salt. I consider any score above 75% on UWorld to be very good.

What is the average first MCAT score? ›

The average MCAT total score is 501 with a standard deviation of 10.8, while the 91st percentile score is 515. As of 2022, there are 45,097 men and 50,328 women in medical school according to the AAMC.
MCAT Score Statistics.
MCAT Total ScoreMCAT Percentile Rank
12 more rows
Jan 13, 2023

Is a 517 on the MCAT good? ›

For comparison, the average MCAT score for students admitted to an MD program in the United States in 2017–2018 is between 510 and 511, with an average GPA of 3.71. (Source: AAMC ).
The higher your MCAT percentile, the better.
MCAT Total ScoreMCAT Percentile Rank
12 more rows

What is a 75% on the MCAT? ›

The total MCAT score ranges from 472 to 528. Your MCAT percentile rank is calculated based on your cohort of test-takers, so, for example, having a percentile of 75 means that you scored higher than 75% of people who took the test in the same session.

Is 50% on UWorld good? ›

If you are getting above 50% on Uworld you will be fine, just keep reading rationales because that is the most important part.

Is UWorld harder than the actual MCAT? ›

UWorld on the whole can be harder than the AAMC, but that is a pro, and as a general rule of thumb you want to be scoring in the high 70s-80s percent accuracy on the questions.

What score is 95th percentile MCAT? ›

A 95th percentile rank on the MCAT equals a scaled score of 518, which means you scored better than 95% of other test-takers. The average MCAT percentile score for some of the most prestigious medical schools in the United States is 517.


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