What are custom assignments
You may have noticed a new “+Create” button at the top of your study plan and wondered what it was. Well wonder no more! This button lets you create a Custom Assignment - anything you want - so that students like you can more easily integrate your MCAT studying into your busy life. We understand that you aren’t just an MCAT machine, despite most pre-meds trying their best to be. You have other things going on, likely school, perhaps a job and you may even want to integrate other resources into your study plan. Enter custom assignments!
There are two ways to add a custom assignment: 1) click that blue “+Create” button in the top right of your Study Plan, or 2) you can click the (+) on any day of your study plan to open the Assignment Bank. There you’ll see a new option to create a custom assignment:
Once in the custom assignment template, you’ll be able to edit all fields:
Type of assignment (the icon dropdown): There are five assignment types: General (that’s the default), Read, Watch, To Do and Other. Choose the one that best fits your assignment.
Title (required): Give your assignment a title, this can be anything you’d like (within a character limit).
Link: Add a link to the activity you’d like to complete, if relevant
Duration: Estimate how long it will take you to complete the assignment (this will add to your daily time total)
Date: What day would you like this to appear on your Study Plan (defaults to today’s date, and you can drag and drop once created)
Description: Add in a description of the activity if you’d like
What are the different types of assignments?
There are four assignment types available to you. Each assignment has a different icon to allow for easy identification of the assignment on your study plan.
Some students like to use the books as a reference text but others prefer to read the chapter as a review. Using the read assignments you can add a reminder to revisit materials using the book. This is also a great option to use to add any supplemental articles you’d like to spend time reading. Want to go back and reread that biochem chapter from your undergrad text? Add that too!
The human brain loves a good story. So, sometimes the easiest way to remember something is to hit YouTube to find a good demonstration of laminar flow with someone poking a hole in the side of a swimming pool, for example. We get it, and who doesn’t love revisiting something that really makes it “stick”? Add those videos to your study plan!
It’s the worst feeling, you’ve been working all day and you have an hour on your lunch break where you want to fit in some review from your last full length exam, so you sit down and check your bag and “oh no!” you’ve left your planner at home! It happens to even the most organized students. The To Do assignment is a great tool to use while reviewing your full length exams to plan out what you’d like to do on a given day. Leave yourself a reminder that you want to “Review Biochem topics: lipids and carbohydrates” this week so you'll never not know the plan.
Other & General
Do you absolutely need to have your mid-week yoga class or you can’t focus and are less productive throughout the week? Us too! The “other” and “general” assignment comes in really handy when you want to have it all at your fingertips. Add in your class schedule, dinner with friends, yoga, the sky’s the limit.
We find that the best way to keep track of everything is to keep it all in one place. Remember that you can sync your Blueprint Study Plan calendar with all its assignments into your Google Calendar or iCal. So get granular! The more detailed you get on your study plan the more manageable tasks seem, and you'll be better able to keep yourself accountable.
One place where the custom assignment function is particularly useful is in the post-class but pre-MCAT period. You’ll notice that after your final class ends your schedule opens up pretty significantly; this isn’t accidental. Once class is over, your review and practice will (and should) look different from anyone else studying for the MCAT. Since your study plan should be driven by your Lessons Learned Journal, custom assignments help to make your schedule remarkably flexible during this time. We suggest taking some time once a week (preferably the last thing you do on the day you review your full length) to plan out your upcoming week, add in what you want to get done and then be flexible during the week and move it around to make it work! If you end up getting behind, have no fear, assignments will persist if you reset your study plan.