Using MCAT Flashcards

Quick Start

Unlike other flashcard providers that require overhead time to set up, Blueprint flashcards let you jump right into reviewing. From the Flashcards tab, simply select the subject(s) and/or topic(s) you would like to practice, and you’re ready to go! You start with a default daily goal, which you can update at any time.

Reviewing Cards

When you are shown a card, click or tap the card 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 (click bookmark icon in upper right corner of card).

Daily Goal

The counter in the upper right corner above the card tracks progress toward your Daily Goal that you set on the Flashcards main page. You may see something like 5/20. That means you’ve reviewed 5 flashcards today, and your Daily Goal is currently set at 20.

Achieved your Daily Goal? Great! We’ll keep showing you cards until you’re ready to stop. You’ll notice your counter looking something like this: 32/25. That means you’ve reviewed 32 cards today, and your Daily Goal is currently set at 25.

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? I don’t feel like I have control.

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.

You can also review all of your Bookmarked cards in their own deck. From the Flashcards tab, click on the Bookmarked Cards link in the left-nav menu. From here, click on Review Bookmarked Cards link in the upper right corner to create a deck with just your bookmarked cards.

Can I create/save a deck?

No. Think of the Blueprint flashcards as one big, dynamic deck. You tell us which subject(s)/topic(s) you would like to review, set your Daily Goal, and then we’ll begin showing you cards based on your selection(s) and the spaced repetition algorithm.

In other words, there is no way to create a “Week 1 Cards” deck (for example). But if you want to review flashcards from the modules you studied during Week 1, select those topics from the dropdown list and click Go to Cards. We’ll show you cards from these areas; first, any that are “due” based on the spaced repetition algorithm, followed by any new cards.

Where are my bookmarked and/or hidden cards?

If you bookmark and/or hide any flashcards, those are stored in their own areas. Navigate to the Bookmarked Cards page or the Hidden Cards page from the Flashcards tab.

You can create a deck of just your bookmarked cards by clicking on the Review Bookmarked Cards link in the upper right corner. You cannot save this deck, but you can keep returning to this page to review only your bookmarked cards at any time.

To unhide a card, go to the Hidden Cards page, click any card to open a lightbox view, and then click the link beneath the card to “Unhide this card.” It will be returned to your flashcard rotation.

How do I change my Daily Goal?

On the Flashcards home page, click the pencil icon next to Daily Goal in the upper right corner. You can adjust your Daily Goal to be between 10 and 100 cards. We recommend 25 as a best practice.

You can change your Daily Goal at any time, even while reviewing cards. Simply click the pencil icon again to adjust and click Save Daily Goal. If you are reviewing cards, click the Home link to be brought back to the home page to access the pencil icon.

How do I change my flashcard subjects/topics?

Select the subject(s) and/or topic(s) you would like to review from the Flashcard home page. We will keep your previous selections in place until you make a change.

You can make these selections at any time. If you are reviewing cards and want to update your subjects/topics mix, click the Home link to be brought back to the home page and update your selections.

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

Can I edit the flashcards and/or create my own?

Not at this time.

Did this answer your question?