How to use 21st Night

Note: Wondering how 21st Night can help you with your exam? Let me tell you! Click here for why you should use 21st Night for a final exam, or a standardized exam like the MCAT, GMAT, GRE, or LSAT.

You can use 21st Night like normal flashcards, with questions on the front and answers on the back. But that’s not how you get impressive results like these.

Instead, the best way to use 21st Night is as a way of mastering old questions from your exam. It is really, really good at helping people master old questions.

If you master all the old questions from old exams, you’ll probably be pretty close to mastering the exam itself. There are only so many types of questions they can ask, right?

Now, to master a question, you need to

  1. Realize that you don’t know it
  2. Learn how to do it
  3. Review it before you forget
  4. And review it a couple times more to get it in your long term memory

In a nutshell, that’s how the 21st Night error log works. Let’s check it out. If you’d rather see it for yourself, you can also try 21st Night free for 14 days.

Step 1: a problem is identified

Let’s say you’re working your way through Khan Academy for the MCAT. You come across a problem and it totally stumps you.

Genotype of the Bruton’s what now?

“I should know how to do this sort of question for the exam,” you think. So you put the question into 21st Night.

Step 2: learning how to do the question

When you put the question into 21st Night, you just copy-paste the whole thing in there, images and all.

Fortunately, Khan Academy gives you a pretty good idea of how to classify this question, both by topic and subtopic. I’ve added in an additional subtopic as well.

Because Khan’s all online, I can just copy and paste. If it’s on paper, though, I can just click the phone button up top, and use the QR code to upload the picture directly from my phone.

Now, you fill in the answer, an explanation (which you can just copy-paste from Khan), and a hint, which you should come up with yourself.

I know Khan provides you with a bunch of hints, but this is when it’s helpful to be reflective about your own learning. What did you need to know originally in order to solve this question?

Step 3: review the question before you forget how to do it

You can review questions on the web app or through your phone.

If you review through the web app, it’s pretty straightforward. You click to review what topic you’d like to see today, then you start reviewing.

You see the question as it was originally, then click to see answer. Afterwards, you can click to say whether this problem went well, ok, or not so good. This will determine when you see the problem next.

Make sure you’re ok with the explanation, not just the answer!

Step 4: put the question into your long-term memory

It’s pretty much impossible to remember a random question (or a topic) over the long-term if you just do it once.

Unfortunately, unless you plan on doing all of your studying the day or two before the exam, you’re going to need to.

That’s why 21st Night has you review questions periodically, even after you get them right (but especially after you get them wrong).

If you only want to review a particular question, you can just click to review it through the main screen. You don’t have to click “study deck”.

Seem cool? If you want to see for yourself, try 21st Night free for 14 days.