How to Use Anki to Study for MCAT

How to Use Anki to Study for MCAT

The Anki flashcard app is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance your studying for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Anki uses spaced repetition, a technique that optimizes learning by presenting flashcards at intervals based on your performance in recalling the information. Here are some steps to effectively use Anki for your MCAT preparation:

1. Download and install Anki: Anki is available for free on various platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Choose the version that suits your device and install it.

2. Create your flashcards: Start by identifying the topics and concepts that require your attention. Break them down into smaller, bite-sized pieces that fit into a single flashcard. Use concise and clear wording to ensure quick comprehension. Include questions, definitions, diagrams, and mnemonics as needed.

3. Organize your flashcards: Create decks in Anki to categorize your flashcards based on different subjects or topics. This will help you focus on specific areas and review them efficiently.

4. Customize your settings: Anki offers various options to customize your studying experience. Adjust the number of new cards and reviews per day to align with your study schedule. You can also modify the intervals at which the flashcards appear, depending on your familiarity with the content.

5. Start reviewing: Begin your daily study session by reviewing the flashcards in your deck. Anki will show you each flashcard and prompt you to recall the information. Based on your response, Anki will schedule the next review accordingly. Mark difficult cards as “again” to increase their frequency and ensure better retention.

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6. Utilize images and audio: Anki allows you to add images and audio to your flashcards. Visuals and auditory cues can enhance your understanding and aid in memory recall. Include relevant diagrams, charts, or even recordings of important concepts to reinforce your learning.

7. Stay consistent: Consistency is key when using Anki. Commit to a regular study routine and review your flashcards every day. The spaced repetition algorithm in Anki ensures that you review the content at optimal intervals for long-term retention.

8. Monitor your progress: Anki provides statistics and progress reports to help you track your learning. Pay attention to the number of cards you have reviewed, your accuracy rate, and the time spent studying. This information can help you identify areas where you may need to allocate more time and effort.


1. Can I download pre-made Anki decks for MCAT studying?
Yes, there are many pre-made Anki decks available for MCAT preparation. These decks cover various subjects and topics tested on the MCAT. However, it is recommended to create your own flashcards based on your personal study materials to ensure relevance and customization.

2. Should I prioritize reviewing old cards or adding new cards?
It is essential to strike a balance between reviewing old cards and adding new ones. Allocate time for both activities, but prioritize reviewing existing cards to reinforce previously learned material. Gradually introduce new cards to expand your knowledge base.

3. How many flashcards should I study per day?
The number of flashcards you study per day depends on your study schedule and personal preferences. Start with a manageable number and gradually increase it as you become more comfortable. Avoid overwhelming yourself with a large number of flashcards, as it may hinder effective learning.

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4. Can I study on multiple devices using Anki?
Yes, Anki offers synchronization across multiple devices. You can study on your computer, phone, or tablet, and your progress will be automatically updated across all devices.

5. How often should I review my Anki flashcards?
Anki’s spaced repetition algorithm determines the frequency of card reviews based on your performance. Initially, you will review cards more frequently, but as you demonstrate mastery, the intervals between reviews will increase. Trust the algorithm and avoid excessive reviewing to prevent burnout.

Using Anki for MCAT studying can significantly improve your retention and understanding of key concepts. By following these steps and incorporating Anki into your daily study routine, you can maximize your chances of success on the MCAT.