Conquer the MCAT with Anki and Paperclips: A Tailored Study Strategy

Conquer the MCAT with Anki and Paperclips: A Tailored Study Strategy

Jun 7, 2023

Navigating your way through MCAT preparation is a significant endeavor. This pivotal task becomes less daunting and more manageable with the right tools. Anki, a powerful flashcard program based on spaced repetition, is a resource that can be tailor-made to your MCAT study plan. Here's your comprehensive guide on crafting an effective Anki strategy for your MCAT success.

Understanding Anki

Anki is a flashcard tool that employs a proven learning technique known as spaced repetition. This method helps transition information from your short-term to long-term memory by increasing time intervals between subsequent reviews, making it ideal for voluminous subjects like those covered in the MCAT.

Building Your Own Anki Decks for MCAT

While there are several pre-made Anki decks for MCAT preparation, creating your own offers the advantage of personalizing your study material, which can significantly improve retention. Follow these steps to craft effective MCAT Anki decks:

  1. Organize by Subject: Start by creating separate decks for each subject area such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, and Sociology. This structure allows you to concentrate on one subject at a time and facilitates organized studying.

  2. Keep it Concise: Each card should pose only one question and a brief answer. This promotes understanding and recall. Break down complex concepts into several cards rather than attempting to cram too much information into one.

  3. Utilize Visual Aids: Anki supports images and diagrams, so incorporate them whenever possible, particularly for intricate processes or cycles. The Image Occlusion feature can be beneficial for memorizing diagrams, check out our blog post on image occlusion.

  4. Include Explanations: For more challenging concepts, add a concise explanation or a mnemonic on the card's reverse side to facilitate understanding and recall.

For an efficient and seamless way to generate flashcards from your notes (Paperclips Web) or selected text while browsing, consider using Paperclips Copilot. Paperclips can auto-generate flashcards and are powered by advanced language models like GPT, offering you an edge in your MCAT preparation.

Implementing a Study Plan with Anki

Having created your personalized decks, a consistent study schedule is the key to extracting maximum benefit from Anki. Anki schedules cards for review based on your past recall performance. Trust this system and ensure you review your cards daily. This continual exposure reinforces memory over time.

Making the Most of Anki's Features

Anki offers various features that can enhance your MCAT preparation experience:

  1. Custom Study Sessions: You can tailor study sessions to review specific tags, card types, or a predetermined number of cards.

  2. Keyboard Shortcuts: Familiarize yourself with Anki's keyboard shortcuts for speedy card reviews. Check out our blog post on Anki keyboard shortcuts on Mac and Windows.

  3. Add-Ons: Anki supports a variety of add-ons to enhance your studying. Consider trying 'Cloze Overlapper' for learning sequences and 'Review Heatmap for tracking your study habits.

Complementing Anki with Other Study Resources

While Anki is a robust tool, it should ideally be supplemented with other resources. Use textbooks, video lectures, and practice questions for learning new concepts. Anki primarily serves to reinforce and memorize these concepts.


Tackling the MCAT becomes a less daunting with an effective tool like Anki. By understanding its features and best practices, you can leverage Anki not just as a memory tool, but as a comprehensive learning system for MCAT success. Happy studying!

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