Using Flashcards Effectively

How can I incorporate flashcards into my MCAT studying?

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Written by Blueprint
Updated over a week ago

When created and reviewed properly, flashcards can be an effective tool to memorize discrete pieces of information needed for the MCAT. Luckily, Blueprint has taken the hard work of making flashcards off your plate for MCAT studying!

How do Blueprint's Flashcards work?

The Blueprint flashcards have two main study modes - study plan and Γ€ la carte. In Study Plan mode, you'll see flashcards which correspond to completed modules added to your deck. In Γ€ la carte mode you can choose which topics to include in the deck.

There are three review styles in the Blueprint flashcards - spaced repetition (which we suggest for most of your study time), comfort level, and all cards. Spaced repetition will show you card at frequencies dictated by your comfort level with each card. Cards that you are less comfortable with will show up more frequently until they become more comfortable. Comfort Level will allow you to choose which comfort level of cards you'd like to see and all cards will include all 1600+ Blueprint flashcards in your deck.

How do I best use Blueprint's Flashcards?

We suggest using Blueprint's Flashcards regularly - by default you will have a flashcard reminder on every day of your study plan except exam days, review days, and days off.

Blueprint experts find that flashcards are particularly useful as "warm ups" to start their studies or "cool downs" to close out their study sessions as well as for "in between times" like when you're waiting to have your oil changed or are on public transit. Consistent use of flashcards helps to keep content fresh without having to spend time fully reviewing.

Limit your review time to 30 minutes per day. Flashcards are best used to maintain your knowledge of discrete facts. They do not replace doing practice problems or reviewing more interconnected content areas, such as organ systems and metabolic processes.

What if I want to create my own flashcards?

Go for it!

πŸŽ₯ First, watch this 2-min video on how to create your own flashcards in your Blueprint course (or, edit the ones we provided):

Best practices:

  • Use the purple + button in the lower right corner of your course to create a flashcard without having to leave the page you're on:

  • Focus on concepts, not questions. If you miss a question and want to make a flashcard, identify the concept the question was testing. Don't put the question itself on the flashcard. You will never see the same question twice.

  • Limit the amount of information to one fact per card. Complex systems, such as biochemical pathways, are not well suited to flashcards.

  • Use images when possible, especially if you are using a digital system. A picture is worth a thousand words and can save time! Drag one over or upload from your computer

  • Try out "cloze deletion," where a word is missing from a statement and the back of the card has the answer that best fits the blank.

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