Everything you need to know about the AAMC MCAT Resource Pack (2023)

We explain everything you need to know about the AAMC MCAT Resource Pack, what it includes, and how to include it in your MCAT prep program.

One of the most important decisions you will make on your path to medical school is how to prepare for the MCAT, and one thing every student must consider when making that decision is how to use the AAMC's official MCAT prep resources, the "Gold Standard", uses. of MCAT practice.

Unfortunately, the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is not always the best explainer or organizer of its own high quality resources. If you want to see a web designer cry, ask them to navigate.aamc.orgfor a while, so in this article we will explain what is in the AAMC materials, how they fit into your MCAT prep program, and how wise use can save you from wasting unnecessary time and money on other college resources .

What is the official practice of the AAMC?

The AAMC is the organization that creates and administers the MCAT, in addition to other functions such as hosting the AMCAS application portal. As such, it has launched and over the yearsavailable for purchasesome of its own internally written MCAT practices, many of which appeared in actual and graded MCATs before being retired and published in these prep materials.

The official AAMC resources, written by the creator of the test, are almost by definition the most accurate MCAT practice you will find. It's also pretty good value, especially considering its origins, costing less than $300 (as of this writing) for nearly 3,000 questions that split nicely between comprehensive practice tests and more subject-specific resources.

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Formally, "AAMC Resources" generally refers to theAAMC MCAT Official Preparation Pack online only(or sometimes theComplete Official AAMC MCAT Prep Packwho will also send you a physical copy ofThe official guide to the MCAT exam). This pack consists of 14 individual resources, including practice tests, question packs, and other question sets. These 14 resources, as well as the two freely available comprehensive tests (the "Sample Test" and the "Free Practice Test"), cover everything that the AAMC has published since the MCAT's last major change in 2015. Each resource can be purchased separately. or in smaller packs, but buying them all at once saves about 15% compared to buying them individually.

New resources are also released occasionally, usually in October or November.

How many MCAT questions are in the AAMC materials?

As of early 2023, there are 2,849 questions across all official AAMC practice resources. The resource breakdown is as follows:

  • Practice exams: 1380 (6 exams * 230 questions per exam)
  • Question packs: 720 (6 packs * 120 questions per pack)
  • Section bank: 300 (3 sections * 100 questions per section)
  • Official leading questions: 120
  • Independent Question Bank: 150
  • Autodiagnosetool: 179

Each of these resources is broken down and detailed below.

test exam

There are two free practice tests that anyone can access (one graded and one ungraded, called "Free Practice Test" and "Sample Test" respectively), as well as four graded practice tests (called "Practice Test 1", "Practice Test 2", etc .) These are comprehensive tests with 4 sections and 230 questions that give you even realistic results with the exception of the unscored example test at the end.

Students can best utilize these tests by taking one as a reference early in their preparation to learn their current score, strengths and weaknesses, and then taking the other tests every week or two throughout the semester. before your actual MCAT.

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Question Packs

There are a total of six sets of questions: one for chemistry, one for physics, two for biology and two for CARS. Each of these has 120 questions, and the questions in a pack all focus on their respective topic. For the science question packs (chemistry, physics, and biology), the questions are a mix of passage-based and non-passage-based questions.

An important note about question packs and ALL AAMC resources is that they appear as a single section of 120 questions each time you launch them. This does NOT mean that you have to answer everything at once; In fact, it would be unwise as they are best used for shorter, more focused practice sessions where you check your answers right away. Instead, you should only answer what you want for that session, finish your exercise (so you can see your results), and start the section later. Unfortunately, this can mean that in your "replays" you have to click many times on questions you've seen before, but that's how the AAMC interface is coded 😕.

Bank section

The section bank consists of three blocks of 100 questions, each dedicated to a different MCAT science section (Chem/Phys, Bio/Biochem, and Psych/Soc).

Similar to the question packs, the section bank is a mix of passage-based and non-passage-based questions. Butnot howIn the question packs, the combination of subjects and skills tested is more representative of an actual section of the MCAT. For example, within the Section Bank's Chem/Phys block (or more formally, "Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems," as the AAMC calls the section), there is an exhibit on General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry issues, as well as issues on all four AAMCResearch skills and scientific thinking.

As with other AAMC materials, each of these is always uploaded as a contiguous block of 100 questions. However, they don't all need to be answered in one sitting, and they should be reviewed over time in multiple learning sessions...even if it takes a lot of clicks.

Official key questions

The full, official name of this resource is Official MCAT Prep Online Practice Questions from the Official Guide to the MCAT Exam.

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This resource consists of four sets of 30 questions each and are exact copies of the 120 questions printed in the AAMC book.The official guide to the MCAT exam. These are some of the oldest questions in the entire AAMC resource collection and in some cases are showing their age. However, they are still scientifically based and test the same content and skills that you will see in the actual exam.

Independent question bank

This is a set of 150 questions from the science section NOT attached to the passages. It is referred to as a "standalone" question bank because "standalone" is the official AAMC term for open-ended questions, although these are more commonly referred to as "discrete" questions in the world of MCAT preparation. On the actual MCAT and comprehensive practice tests, about 25% of the questions in the science section are "standalone", but in this resource it is 100%.

These questions are divided into six science subjects: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Psychology, Sociology and Biochemistry, each with 25 questions. The questions in this bank are realistically formatted MCAT questions with appropriate question framing, four answer choices, etc., although they are slightly simpler and easier than the average question on a graded practice test.

This is a shorter resource, but it's still a good use of time for many students, especially those who want to explore simpler science applications like definitions and formulas.

If you've ever heard of "AAMC Online Flashcards," that's what this resource used to be called, so you might see it in other places with that name. (Honestly, that was never a good name for it. These are practice questions, not flashcards!)


This is a unique resource in that it has some additional features such as: But what most students use it for is: more CARS practice!

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The CARS diagnostic tool has, among other things, a further 179 CARS questions. This is also the latest dedicated CARS practice released by the creator of the test, which some say makes it more accurate for today's exam. Because the CARS exercises are so important, we recommend using this as an additional jumbo-sized CARS question pack, whether or not you use the diagnostic tool's other features.

Where to find official AAMC practice resources

AAMC's official prep resources are available directly from the AAMC website, but are also included along with many other third-party MCAT prep products, so be sure to read the details of each prep option you're considering to see if they're available again are included. One such package is Sketchy's MCAT Prep Essentials course, which combines Sketchy's proven MCAT review course with AAMC resources and a study planner to integrate them, along with an MCAT score guarantee to boot - check it outVolatile MCAT siteto see the details.

However you prepare, we at Sketchy wish you the best of luck!

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