How to Use MCAT Flashcards

How do MCAT Flashcards work?

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Written by Blueprint
Updated over a week ago

Using MCAT Flashcards

Quick Start

Unlike other flashcard providers that require overhead time to set up, Blueprint flashcards let you jump right into reviewing.

If you’re a Free, Exams, or Sketchy bundle user:

Simply select the subject(s) and/or topic(s) you would like to practice, decide whose cards to include in the deck (ours, yours, or all) and you’re ready to go! You start with a default daily goal, which you can update at any time.

If you are an Online Anytime, Live Online, or Tutoring student:

Select your Mode (Study Plan mode or A la Carte), adjust your settings and then click Go to Cards. Remember, in Study Plan mode, you’ll automatically see only flashcards from Learning Modules you have Completed, keeping your flashcard review and content review in lockstep.

Study Plan mode for flashcards

Reviewing Cards

When you are shown a card, click, tap, or press Space bar to see the other side. You must select a comfort level for that card (Low, Medium, or High) before advancing. This tells our spaced repetition algorithm when to show you that card again (more on this magic below). You can also choose to hide the card (click “Don’t show this card”) or bookmark it.

Try out the keyboard shortcuts for a click-less review session 😎

Daily Goal

Your Daily Goal is there to help keep you on track. You can edit your Daily Goal at any time, from 10 - 100 cards.

Achieved your Daily Goal? Great! Your streak tracker will update, and you can choose to keep reviewing or stop for the day.

At midnight (based on your computer’s time zone), we reset the Daily Goal progress back down to zero. If you happen to be reviewing cards during this time, you’ll see a message letting you know about the change and you can keep on reviewing cards.

How does the spaced repetition algorithm work?

Spaced repetition is an evidence-based learning technique proven to increase the rate of learning. Blueprint flashcards use your comfort-level ratings to implement a 1/3/5 day schedule of review. For example, if you mark a card Low comfort, that basically means we will show you this card again in 1 day (provided you still have this subject and/or topic selected to study). If you mark a card Medium comfort level, we will show it to you again in 3 days. If you mark a card High comfort level, we will show it to you again in 5 days. Each day, we’ll start by showing you cards in the Low comfort bucket, any that are ready for review from your Medium and High buckets and then move to showing you new cards.

In this way, Blueprint flashcards ensure you’re seeing the right content at the right time.

How do I know I’m being shown the cards that I need to review?

If you are an Online Anytime, Live Online, or Tutoring student:

Use Study Plan mode to perfectly align flashcards with your content review. In Study Plan mode, we will only show you flashcards from learning modules that are marked Complete on your Study Plan. We love it so much, it’s the default mode.

As a reminder, this is a completed learning module:

  • Best practice: complete any assigned Learning Modules for the day, then click the icon to go to Flashcards. Any flashcards associated with the modules you just completed will be automatically added to your deck.

To further refine your flashcard review session in Study Plan mode, configure the Date Range and Review Style:

If you want to be in the driver’s seat, switch to À la Carte mode to handpick which subjects/topics to add to your deck.

  • Best practice: À la Carte is the perfect mode for your final weeks of studying: you can use your Exam analytics to pinpoint precisely where you need to focus.

**Date Range is not available in À la Carte mode

If you’re a Free, Exams, or Sketchy bundle user:

Blueprint shows you cards based on your subject/topic selection(s) and your comfort ratings, which inform the spaced repetition algorithm (see above). By showing you cards that you’re not comfortable with more frequently before bombarding you with new content, we maximize your chances of long-term memorization.

Can I edit and/or create my own flashcards?

Heck. yes. Check out this 2 min video for a quick how-to:

Can I create/save a deck?

No. Think of the Blueprint flashcards as one big, dynamic deck. You configure the settings, set your Daily Goal, and then we’ll begin showing you cards based on your selections. In other words, there is no way to create a “Week 1 Cards” deck (for example).

Can I add Flashcards to my Study Plan?

We already did! You’ll notice a flashcards icon on each day of your Study Plan. This is your daily reminder to do flashcards.

They are on each day of your Study Plan, with the exception of:

  • Full length exams or exam reviews

  • Days off

  • Your MCAT date

The icon will be in 1 of 3 states:

  • Today: a little bolder, and clicking will bring you to flashcards

  • Completed: after you reach your daily goal of flashcards, the icon will have a check mark by it

  • Upcoming: future days will have a slightly lighter version of the icon, indicating what’s coming up

If you do not complete your daily goal for a given day, we’ll take the icon off of that day once it has passed.

These icons are on by default, but if you would like to turn them off, use the toggle on the Flashcards home page:

What do the cards cover?

Our flashcards are designed to cover all major concepts referenced in the AAMC content outline for the MCAT, with additional emphasis given to topics that are highly tested on the MCAT.

We currently have over 1600 cards, distributed across the following 7 subjects:

  • Biochemistry = ~140 cards

  • Biology = ~520 cards

  • General Chemistry = ~130 cards

  • Organic Chemistry = ~80 cards

  • Physics = ~220 cards

  • Psychology = ~360 cards

  • Sociology = ~170 cards

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