Actual MCAT vs. AAMC FLs

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2010
Reaction score
Hey everyone,

I keep hearing about discrepancies between the level of difficulty of the actual Mcat and the AAMC FLs. It seems like the consensus is that the actual exam is harder than the AAMC exams...

For those who have taken the exam or are savvy with Mcat knowledge, I am wondering in what way was the actual Mcat more difficult?

I hear a lot of peaple talk about the increased length of the passages; however, are the contents also more difficult? If the AAMC exams are easier than the actual Mcat, then what FLs or practice passages (Kaplan, TPR, BR, EK ect.) best model the length and difficulty of the current Mcat?


Members don't see this ad.
I just took the beast last weekend, so all this stuff is fresh in my mind. I personally didn't notice much difference in difficulty between the practice tests and the real thing. If there was an increase in difficulty, I completely attribute to my nerves on test day. I felt like AAMC FLs 8-10 were accurate representations of the real thing in terms of difficulty.
The PS section on the 1/30 mcat this year was partially out of the ordinary relative to the practice tests. There were 2 passages in which I choked up. One of them emphasized magnetism, a section I had neglected during review...mainly because magnetism isnt really covered in any of the practice tests. The one topic that I was not comfortable with and it was the first passage in the test...
Another passage described an experiment which was really confusing dealing with the relatively easy topic of gases and fluids, but the questions were hard.
Other than those two passages, the rest wasnt out of the ordinary.
AAMC practice tests definitely mirrors the real test.
Youll come to really appreciate the AAMC practice tests if you use other practice CBTs, because they dont even come close to the real thing.