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If you’re like the majority of students studying for the MCAT, you’re likely focusing
on content review during the first half of your study period, and practice tests in the
second half.
If this approximates your MCAT study approach, you’re leaving several points on the table
by not approaching your MCAT studying more strategically.
These are the problems in your study approach that are holding you back, and how to overcome
Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com.
Despite what people may say, crushing the MCAT isn’t rocket science.
It isn’t about how smart you are, how hard you study, or even how many hours you put
Doing well on the MCAT comes down to three main factors:
(1) Understanding (2) Memorizing
(3) Applying
You must first truly understand the material that you’re learning.
It’s not simply enough to know what pH and pOH are, but also how they relate to each
other, what other factors influence them, and what their significance is.
Next, you must commit important facts to memory.
More on this shortly.
Last, the MCAT tests your ability to apply your understanding and memorization in a standardized
This is best accomplished through proper use of practice exams.
Ultimately, one can only apply their knowledge on test day if the foundational components
of (1) understanding and (2) memorizing are properly addressed.
Otherwise, there simply isn’t anything to apply.
To best address memorization, the scientific literature has consistently demonstrated spaced
repetition with active recall to be most beneficial.
There are a variety of tools, called spaced repetition software (SRS), the most popular
of which is Anki.
Anki is a powerful tool that has rapidly grown in popularity, but students often completely
miss (1) understanding.
Through Anki, they’re encouraged to focus on (2) memorizing, without the critical preceding
step of (1) understanding.
Without a foundation of comprehension to build a mental scaffolding, it’s far less effective
to memorize facts in isolation.
Speaking of Anki, it’s a great, free tool that I have used extensively, and users share
pre-made decks specifically for the MCAT.
The problem is that these decks are subpar.
There are issues with the accuracy of facts, comprehensiveness, quality of question stems,
and failing to focus on flashcard best practices.
These best practices are foundational to effective learning and memorization, otherwise your
efforts are wasted on unfruitful pattern recognition that don’t help you on test day.
Even within the community of pre-made decks, some decks are better at one section within
the MCAT, and others are better at a completely separate section.
And if you decide to make your own flashcards, there’s a massive learning curve, and you
likely won’t make good flashcards until years later.
That’s how long it took us of making flashcards continuously in medical school to refine the
That time would be better spent actually learning and memorizing content.
While spaced repetition with active recall is an incredibly powerful tool, the quality
of those spaced repetition resources is critically important.
It doesn’t matter if you go to the gym 5 days a week if you don’t have proper intensity,
volume, and form.
The same concept applies here.
Studying more is better, right?
Not always.
There is an upper limit on the amount of information that can be memorized in a given period of
It’s maximally beneficial to focus on memorizing high-yield concepts — those which are most
likely to have an impact on your score come test day.
As we only have a limited number of productive hours of studying in a day, that means deprioritizing
low-yield information.
Why not just include the low-yield information and study for more days then?
That’s because of the forgetting curve.
The forgetting curve demonstrates the reality of memory decay, meaning that despite committing
MCAT facts to memory, over time we will forget them.
We can work against this by strategic use of spaced repetition, but this is ultimately
why you don’t quite remember what you learned in class a few months ago.
This is why students who spend more than a couple months studying for the MCAT have diminishing
returns and plateau with their score.
After a certain point, you will learn at a rate nearly equal to the rate of you forgetting
Ultimately, studying high-yield information is the most logical solution, but the issue
is that it’s not clear what content is high- or low-yield if you’re a student studying
for the test.
You’d need to turn to the experts for that.
Understanding these shortcomings in the average MCAT test taker’s study approach, how can
we address each one?
Luckily, we built an app for that, and it’s called Memm, which has been in the making
for the last couple years and I’m so excited to finally announce it to you all.
I’ll go over the full story on my personal channel of how the Memm team and I went about
brainstorming, iterating, pivoting, refining, and creating this revolutionary new way to
study for the MCAT.
But in this video, let’s focus on how it works and what makes it a unique way to study.
Memm was designed to address the deficiencies in the study tools available for the MCAT.
Rather than relying on wishful thinking, we asked “how can we most effectively and dramatically
improve learning for MCAT test takers?”
Just as we would focus on evidence-based principles when treating our patients, we looked to the
scientific literature for evidence-based best practices for learning and memorization.
We focused on the following four principles when designing Memm to ensure the most effective
Spacing effect - Newly introduced and more difficult pieces of information are shown
more frequently, while older and less difficult pieces of information are shown less frequently.
Testing effect - Information retrieval through active recall is far more effective for memory
consolidation than passive review.
Interleaving - Strategic ordering and mixing of subjects and topics while reviewing improves
intersectional learning and overall recall.
Desirable difficulties - Introducing the right kinds of difficulties into the learning process
greatly improves long-term retention.
After months of iterating and sculpting the product, we arrived at Memm.
Its aim is to help you memorize all the relevant information for the MCAT as quickly and effectively
as possible.
You can use it alongside your content review resource and AAMC practice questions, but
you won’t need to worry about Anki or flashcard apps again.
Let’s go over how it works and what problems it addresses.
In combining comprehension with memorization, rather than each in isolation, we find that
the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Memm combines memorization and comprehension with a novel approach.
First, students go over Sheets, which are high yield summary sheets of all the facts
you need to know for a given section of the MCAT.
Think of this as the mental scaffolding, allowing you to learn and understand information in
relation to other pieces of information, not simply in isolation as flashcards traditionally
These are also interactive, allowing you to toggle high yield facts, thus incorporating
active recall.
After reviewing Sheets, students move on to Cards, which are expertly curated flashcards
testing the relevant information from Sheets.
These aren’t the mixed bag of cards that you’ll find in pre-made decks either.
Each card was meticulously crafted, following the flashcard best principles, and tests you
on knowledge in the way that is most appropriate for the MCAT.
After flipping a card to see its back, not only are you shown the answer, but also an
excerpt from the Sheet with the relevant and related information.
This further reinforces context and comprehension to the process of active recall and it addresses
the common issue students face in memorizing facts in isolation.
Ever confuse similar concepts?
That won’t be a problem anymore with Memm.
Memm was created by two 99.9th percentile MCAT scorers, including yours truly, who also
have extensive experience tutoring premeds to stellar scores.
We figured out what worked best and applied those principles here.
Sheets and Cards are designed from scratch with MCAT score optimization as the singular
goal and follow flashcard best practices.
While some pre-made Anki decks place too much information on each card, don’t use effective
question stems, or reinforce pattern recognition over learning, each piece of Memm content
was carefully crafted to maximize effective MCAT learning.
But don’t worry, cards can still be customized, as users are able to leave notes on each card
and even upload their own images for those sweet mnemonics and dank memes.
And unlike other resources, Memm is a web app that is continuously updated with built-in
reporting, allowing users to submit feedback.
That means it’s constantly evolving and becoming even more refined with time.
And you can use it from any device that has a web browser.
Understanding that not all content is created equal, Memm prioritizes high yield content
on both Sheets and Cards.
On one end, it’s comprehensive, including everything you need to know, built off extensive
research on the MCAT and close study of the official AAMC guidelines and materials.
On the other end, it’s not bloated with superfluous fluff that will slow you down
and not contribute to a score increase.
I’m super excited about this new product, because we’ve put in so much blood, sweat,
and tears into it, as many of you who follow me on Instagram have seen me putting in long
We’ve done tremendous testing and iterating and we’re confident that this is an incredibly
valuable study tool that will soon become ubiquitous because of the advantage it offers
when studying for the MCAT.
Memm is now officially live and you can try it out 7 days for free, no credit card required.
Visit memm.io to learn more and to get started.
Use the coupon code MSI2020 to get 20% off your subscription.
I’m sure many of you have questions about Memm, so leave them below and I’ll work
on addressing them in future videos.
Check out my personal channel for the full story on how we created Memm and got to where
we are today.
Much love, good luck studying, and I’ll see you guys in that next one.


Your Problem with MCAT Studying (& How to Fix It)

11 分類 收藏
Summer 發佈於 2020 年 8 月 2 日
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