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Using Flashcards

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by anisidi1985, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. anisidi1985

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    I recently made the decision to postpone my MCAT date to January 2015. Now that I have some extra time, I've realized my content is really my weak point. I'm a good test-taker, timing is not an issue, and verbal was always my highest (avg around 10/11 - it isn't superb but not a problem). Science is where I struggle, with consistent 8/9's in all subject areas. I've realized for me (and probably most people) that when you don't consistently expose yourself to a topic, it gets rusty very quickly.

    I've seen a LOT of people recommend using flashcards. I have downloaded Anki, and am going to figure out how to use it, but wanted to hear from people here, how did you use your flashcards? How often would you go through them? I'm just wondering how to use them as a tool.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. GodComplex

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    I made flash cards of any questions that I missed or was not 100% positive on. If it was a passage based question then I would make up a question that had the same concept. I tried to go through my cards 1-2 times a week.
     
  4. desdes

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    I made cards for any I felt needed to be reviewed or was in the passages
     
  5. soporific

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    Anki works the best if you do it every day... it will space your cards out automatically based on how well you know them.
     
  6. anisidi1985

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    Okay cool - so basically I should focus on going through them all the time. Interesting, am excited to use the program! If anyone else has any thoughts please feel free to share. Thanks!
     
  7. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero
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    I studied for the MCAT using NOTHING but Anki and practice problems.
    FL average was 41-42, though it is doubtful that that is specifically due to my study methods. Just worked out that way.

    Anyway, my MCAT deck ended up being about 2800 cards all told. I reviewed the Due cards daily - usually about 50-150 reviews/day, depending on how many new ones I had added recently. I usually went through all New cards added as quickly as possible, just by clicking Custom Study and increasing the daily limit for New cards (I did not unbury siblings). In the days leading up to the exam, I did some cram decks by reviewing all cards which I had gotten wrong in the previous 2mo.

    I thought that the constant review was very, very helpful for this test, considering how much ground it covered. I ended up skipping the final 1/3 of the TBR passages and the final chapter reviews as recommended in the SN2ed plan, but I did not feel that this was an issue because I had reviewed all topics frequently with my flashcards.

    Anyway, I have a thread for Anki questions out there
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/anki-central.1064361/

    and I posted the full content of my own MCAT study deck in the SN2'd first day thread, quoted below (other info included for truth and usefulness):
    As I said, best to make your own cards, but you are welcome to look through my deck for some ideas on how to format your own cards/content. You could, of course, just use my deck, but I really think that the most valuable part of studying via flashcards is the mental efforts required to make them. You have to understand not only the content, but also the kinds of questions which could be asked of you in order to make truly useful flashcards.
     
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  8. anisidi1985

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    Thank you SO SO much!
     
  9. puppylatte

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    Thanks so much for the cards.

    I downloaded them into my Anki. I notice that they are randomly shuffled. Is there any way I can organize them by subject?
     
  10. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero
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    Yes...The deck is extensively tagged according to the AAMC topic guide. Well, the earlier cards are, the later ones are less extensive as the time crunch came into play, lol! But yeah, either split it into separate decks or use Cram decks according to tag. Once you've covered the book of them though I would re randomize them, personally. Oh, and I'd probably avoid subdecks, as I think Anki handles the scheduling poorly for those.
     
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  11. NextStepTutor_1

    NextStepTutor_1 Next Step Test Prep Tutor
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    @mehc012 is in a league of his/her own for the most part. Nice score! However, I would not recommend relying solely on flashcards unless you're already scoring high in the science sections (12+). Flashcards on their own have the great ability to "float" your knowledge of content that would otherwise fade. They maintain your current level more or less, but if your scores are less then 10 (and you want to change that) then I recommend going back the chapters supplementing them heavily with quality practice questions. You have the time to do this.

    As a tool, flashcards are invaluable. Use them often.

    Good luck!
     
  12. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero
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    I concur...as I said, flashcards and practice problems! I also integrated any tricky setups or approaches into my cards when possible...anything I saw in TBR or EK where I missed the best approach to the question, I'd make a card which required me to use that thought process. When I say 'only', I mean excluding notes or outlines or highlighting or other retention methods, sorry.
     
  13. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero
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    Sorry, forgot to quote above. Also, thanks for the kind words...still waiting to see if it all paid off though!
     
  14. aspiringdocO

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    @mehc012 So I just tried clicking the link to access your MCAT Anki cards, but it's not working. Do you mind re-posting the link again?
     
  15. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero
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    Did you use the one in my sig? Because I just double-checked it and it worked fine. The old deck, however, which only included <50% of the material, I have intentionally taken down because too many people were using the wrong one.
     
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  16. aspiringdocO

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    Oops, no I didn't. I clicked on the link in your post earlier in this thread. But I just found the one in your sig. Thanks!
     
  17. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero
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    Aye, that post was supposed to eventually be updated to the proper link. It wasn't, which is one of the main reasons I deleted the old file and started putting my full deck in my sig :laugh:
     
  18. hopeful2019

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    Hi, Sorry to bother you guys! I need clarification on what you meant my sig? Is it signature? I used the one in your sig, but it did not work, now I am not sure if I did it right though!
     
  19. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero
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    Yeah, sig = signature. It's odd that it is not working for you, I can click through right now and it still functions.

    The link should take you to an SDN post, which contains a the hyperlink labelled "Mehc012's MCAT Madness Anki Deck". That goes to a Dropbox file. I left it as a 2-step process because I really feel that people should read through the information included in that post, rather than simply downloading the deck without context.
     
  20. hopeful2019

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    Please ignore, I was able to open it, thanks!
     
  21. hopeful2019

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    Thank you so much, it worked this time!
     

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