Many pre-meds are infatuated with Anki, but I found it to be extremely difficult to use as I was studying for the MCAT. Because of this, I decided to make all of my notecards by hand. Here are pictures of all the notecards I made while studying for the MCAT:
And yes, those are all separate boxes and bags of different notecards. Didn’t I tell you the MCAT takes a lot of hard work? I would estimate that I made well over 10,000 notecards while studying for the MCAT!
Now, if I was to study for the MCAT all over again, I would not write these all out by hand. I would use Quizlet. Quizlet is now, hands down, the best notecarding platform there is. It makes it so easy to stay organized. It also makes it extremely easy to make diagrams that you can use to test yourself on visual information. And best of all, Quizlet is fully integrated into our Free MCAT Prep Course, allowing you to do all your studying in one place.
In this article, I am going to walk you through the step-by-step process in using Quizlet to study for the MCAT that I recommend to all my private tutoring students. I will show you the ins-and-outs of Quizlet and make your mouth water at the possibilities of using this platform for learning all the MCAT content you need to know for the MCAT.
Signing up for free
The first thing you should know about Quizlet is that it is extremely easy to make a free online account and access it anywhere. To make a Quizlet account, simply visit Quizlet.com and click “Sign up” in the top right corner. You can easily make an account using your email, or sign up in seconds using Facebook or Google.
To access your Quizlet sets on the go, simply whip out your smart phone, download their app for iOS or Android, and log in using the same account that you just created. Now you can study anywhere, which is essential for an extremely busy pre-med like yourself.
Using Quizlet Diagrams
Now that you have access to Quizlet online and in your pocket, let’s talk about some of the essential features that you will want to utilize in your quest for a top MCAT score. The first feature that you should know about is Quizlet Diagrams. This is Quizlet’s newest feature, and in my mind it is one of their coolest. Many pre-meds swear by Anki, but making diagrams in Quizlet is now 10x easier than it ever was in Anki. To make a Quizlet Diagram, simply click on “Create,” then give your study set a name. Inputting the image that you want to use for your diagram is amazingly simple as you can download the image from Google or wherever it is located, and then drag it into the diagram box. It’s that easy!
The best part, though, is that you can quickly blur out the labels that already exist in the image using the tools built into the Quizlet user interface. And once you’ve blurred out all the text, you can add your own labels, which will pop up when you hover over them, allowing you to easily quiz yourself. Adding definitions to each term will allow you to quiz yourself on not just the term, but the function of the term, which is extremely important for the MCAT. You can utilize our Quizlet Diagrams for free by joining our MCAT Quizlet Diagrams Class.
Creating high-level notecards
While diagrams are great for quizzing yourself on the recall of terms, the actual MCAT will largely test your recognition of terms. For this reason, it is extremely important to make high-level notecards. To make a non-diagrams Quizlet set, instead of dragging an image into the diagrams box, simply start writing notecards. Instead of the stereotypical term-definition notecard, we recommend making notecards that mimic the style of the AAMC. We give detailed tips on making top-quality notecards in our Create-your-own Study Plan Course.
Now, one of the best things about Quizlet is how easy it is to add images to each notecard. If you're using a free account, you can add images from Quizlet's free gallery — just click the "Add image" icon to the right of the definition. If you've upgraded to Quizlet Plus, simply download your desired image from Google, then drag it into the definition side of the notecard. It’s so simple!
Another great feature that you should take advantage of is the ability to star notecards. I would recommend starring notecards that you get wrong as you're studying, and then reviewing those notecards a second time by clicking on “Options,” and then study "Starred.” Then as you answer them correctly, you can unstar them, ensuring that you correctly learned every single notecard in that set.
Organizing for success
Now that you understand the basics of making your own notecards, let’s talk about how to integrate your use of Quizlet with our Free MCAT Prep Course. I strongly recommend that each of my private tutoring students makes a folder for each of the 10 Content Modules found in our eCourse. You can create folders on your Quizlet homepage by clicking on the “Create a folder” button. Simply give each folder the same name as the Content Module that you are working on.
Then within each folder, you can create one notecard set for each lesson found within that module. Now, when you are reviewing your notecards for lesson 5 of the Biology I module for instance, you can study the Quizlet set built into our free eCourse as well as your own Quizlet set of the same name, making your studying extremely organized. And feel free to join the Quizlet Class for our Free eCourse. The best part is that each Quizlet set is embedded into its corresponding lesson in our Free eCourse. Feel free to try out one of our sets below:
Note: If the answer side of the card is being shown first, you can change this by clicking the settings icon on the upper right, and then selecting answer with “Definition.”
Try our free MCAT Prep Course
One reason that many pre-meds choose Anki over Quizlet is that Anki will remind you when you should review each notecard. With Quizlet, there is no need to spend this extra cash because our Free MCAT Prep Course will tell you exactly when to review each Quizlet set in order to have every concept fresh on your mind for test day. And our system of review is much more organized than studying random notecards that Anki tells you to study. This is due to the fact that our review system is organized by topic, allowing you to keep information better organized in your brain for easy recall.
As you can tell, I love Quizlet. And I think you will too once you get started. Feel free to utilize the free Quizlet practice problems built into each lesson of our Free eCourse, and reach out with any questions along the way. I am here to help!
Andrew George has successfully led several of his students to 100th percentile MCAT scores. He leads the MCAT Self Prep Tutoring Team and has several years of teaching experience. He also currently works as a professional practice question writer and analyst for the MCAT and DAT exams.