Flashcards are an effective study tool for nearly any test prep including the MCAT, which is why we have spent time evaluating the best MCAT flashcards available, both bought as well as free online flashcards and tools. Before we dive into our favorite MCAT flashcards, let’s spend a moment chatting about how to best use MCAT flashcards.
Studying for the MCAT? Check out the best MCAT prep books for this year!
In a hurry? Here are our top 2 picks:
Best MCAT Flashcards (Non-Digital)
Kaplan MCAT Flashcards + App
Kaplan has created a set of 1,000 MCAT flashcards 3”x 2” broken out in the following categories:
- 230 Behavioral Science
- 187 Biochemistry
- 247 Biology
- 143 General Chemistry
- 90 Organic Chemistry
- 103 Physics
The questions on these flashcards are useful and are a good way to review concepts, but should not count as a standalone prep for the MCAT. We suggest purchasing a full MCAT prep course (as well as practicing on full-length tests) if you haven’t done so already. The paper used for these flashcards are a bit flimsy, and if this is of concern to you, we recommend purchasing Barron’s MCAT flashcards instead.
When you purchase these cards, you will also have access to their app with all the flashcards online, which can be great for when you have Wi-Fi to access these cards from your phone or tablet.
Barron’s MCAT Flashcards
Barron’s flashcards are a bit sturdier and larger than Kaplan’s, coming in at 4.5” x 2.75.” Barron’s MCAT flashcards are grouped by the following categories: Biology, General Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, Psychology, Organic Chemistry, and Sociology. These flashcards are more convenient for travel than Kaplan’s, as they come with holes and a keyring so that you can take them to-go more easily.
AAMC Official MCAT Flashcards
AAMC’s 5.5″ x 4.25″ cards come with a question printed on one side and the answer printed on the other for a total of 150 discrete practice questions written by the MCAT developers themselves. This is broken out to 25 flashcards per the following categories: Biochemistry, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Sociology, and Psychology.
Paper Flashcards vs. Digital Flashcards
Old fashioned studiers tend to prefer physical material and resources versus digital. I, for one, prefer to have a physical book and paper and pen over everything on my computer or tablet. There really is no significant benefit to paper besides just your own personal preference for studying. Digital Flashcards and apps, on the other hand, will provide you with questions based on an algorithm that repeats questions you may have missed or found more difficult. Some digital flashcard sites will keep track of your progress and create a more personalized way of studying as well as a nearly endless supply of flashcards (some are up to 3,000 flashcards). This is very convenient, as nobody is trying to carry around 3,000 paper flashcards on a regular basis.
Free Online MCAT Flashcards / Digital Flashcards
Magoosh MCAT Flashcards
Union Test Prep:
Other Free MCAT Flashcard Tools
This app allows you to create flashcards and study them online, but they have partnered with Blueprint to offer custom MCAT flashcards. What sets Brainscape apart is the efficiency that you can learn concepts, because they apply adaptive learning to your usage of these flashcards. When you answer questions, you can rate the flashcard question from 1-5 in difficulty and as you cycle through these cards, the app will optimize which questions you should see next. Keep in mind, however, that you need to upgrade to a premium app to access more of the flashcards.
Anki is a free app with a flashcard display algorithm. You either make your own flashcards on this app or they have a built-in function to share decks of flashcards with each other. If someone else has a deck of MCAT flashcards, you can import them to your Anki account. This means, however, that you relying on the quality of other users.
How to Use MCAT Flashcards
Either you are going to or are already using flashcards for your MCAT prep. Perhaps you just received your MCAT flashcards or even made them yourself and you’re wondering how to start using them. Start with some of these MCAT flashcard tips:
Study for short intervals:
We recommend aiming to use your MCAT flashcards for a maximum of 20-30 minutes before taking a break. After a 10-minute break, go back into studying. We encourage interval studying, as long periods of time straining on material can actually do more harm than good.
Stick to a study schedule:
Sticking to a schedule that will allow you to review your MCAT flashcards daily, if even for a few minutes is necessary. Feel free to keep these flashcards on you, so that you can refer to them wherever you are. The key to these flashcards is repetition to encourage retention!
Mix it up:
You need to mix up the cards so that your brain doesn’t anticipate what flashcards come next. Although flashcards encourage retention through repetition, you still want to be challenging your mind.
Put the cards you know aside:
Once you know the answer or concept on the flashcard, set it aside so that you can continue working through the content that you are not as familiar with.
Still not convinced? You can read some other reasons for why and tips on how to use flashcards more effectively.
Bought MCAT Flashcards vs. Make-it-Yourself?
The act of making MCAT flashcards will help solidify and let you learn the material better than if they were just given to you or bought. Making your own MCAT flashcards also gives you more freedom in how you want to study. That said, it can be extremely time consuming creating 700 flashcards. That said, many of us may be less than ecstatic about creating 700 MCAT flashcards, and for that, there are plenty of companies willing to take your money in exchange for a stack of pre-made flashcards. Here are the top 3 MCAT flashcard sets that you can study with physical cards.
If you want more MCAT question-based practice, you can read our review of Lecturio and decide if their Qbank is for you. Looking for more helpful study guides? Check out our list of the best organic chemistry study guides to help make studying and practicing for organic chem that much easier!
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