Why you should use 21st Night as your MCAT error log

Related: How to use 21st Night to study for the MCAT

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The MCAT is a complex exam with a lot of moving parts. As a result, many students get lost or overwhelmed by trying to study for it.

In order to score well on the MCAT, here are the problems you have to overcome:

  1. You need to master a lot of content in a variety of subjects, and be able to recall it at a moment’s notice.
  2. You need to be able to apply the content to long, difficult questions under strict time limits.
  3. You need to consistently study in a structured way, but studying for the MCAT is unpleasant and hard to do after a long day’s work.

21st Night is designed to help you with all of these problems.

Mastering content

The trouble with the content on the MCAT is that there’s a lot of it from a lot of different sources.

You’ll have to memorize videos from Khan, books from TPR or TBR, and possibly a factsheet from Kaplan or Reddit.

One possibility is just to watch the videos, read the books and the factsheet, and hope for the best. A better possibility is to take notes on them, and review them afterwards.

However, you’re still stuck with the same issue: you’ll need to remember everything from every source, regardless of whether you learned it in week 1 or week 12.

That’s a difficult task. 21st Night, on the other hand, can help you through it.

Regardless of where your content is from, you can put it into 21st Night. Videos, complex text, diagrams, gifs, images — it doesn’t matter, 21st Night accepts all of it.

For this question, my explanation required an image from Wikipedia and a video from Khan Academy. Copying both of them in took about 15 seconds.

Once it’s inside 21st Night, the spaced repetition algorithm will resurface the content periodically. If you find the content easy, you’ll see it less often. If you find it difficult, you’ll see it more often.

This means that the content will pass from your short-term, to your medium-term, to your long-term memory. You’ll remember the content instantly on the test, regardless of whether you learned in a week ago or a month ago.

Learning to solve difficult questions

The MCAT will present you with tricky questions on any topic.

These can seem impossible on first glance: how could they expect you to know that fact? How were you supposed to make that inference?

The important thing to remember, though, is that the MCAT is formulaic: there’s only so many topics they can test you on, and often questions that seem entirely new are really composed of topics that you’re already familiar with.

The correct way to learn to do an impossible question is to recognize its component parts. You can do this by being entirely comfortable with the categories and subcategories that the question belongs to.

Fortunately, 21st Night lets you do that. You can sort questions by category or subcategory, and then only do those questions using the spaced repetition algorithm mentioned earlier.

That way, you master questions subcategory by subcategory, category by category. You build your knowledge piece by piece.

Then, the next time you see a seemingly impossible question, you’ll be able to see through to its component parts, and notice that it’s doable after all.

Structuring and encouraging your study

It’s tough to know what to study on any given day. It’s also just plain tough to study, especially at the end of a long day.

21st Night helps with both of these problems.

With regards to what to study, just simply click “Study deck”, and you’ll be presented with what you need to study.

No more cards to review? Do some more questions and add the tricky ones to 21st Night. Then click “Study deck” again.

Of course, if you’d rather review questions individually, you can do that as well. Just click on the question from the screen, and you can do just that question.

21st Night also encourages you to study with its streak system. Essentially, 21st Night keeps track of when you log in to the app.

Through encouraging emails and a heads-up display on the homepage, we’ll help you keep your studying streak alive.

We’ll never annoy you by sending scolding emails. We want to celebrate each step you take towards studying success, and help you do so in any way we can.

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