We frequently hear this question from students – “I’m doing question banks*. Should I use Picmonic, too?” Well, we’re here to help close the confusion loop and share why students are using both resources.
To get the highest STEP 1 scores possible, students start using Qbanks as early as the summer before their second year, or at least in the spring of second year. Some students use multiple Qbanks, and the earlier they start, the more Qbank questions they can get through. For an at-a-glance review of two popular Qbanks, view the comparison chart at www.medstudenttips.com.
The following tips were compiled from student surveys.
Tip #1: Use Picmonic when you start school
With Picmonic, students memorize key facts and nitty gritty details of difficult to remember concepts, by using Picmonic’s efficient picture mnemonics. Using Picmonic complements concepts taught in dense lectures with “mnemonic Cliff Notes” containing the key high-yield facts. “Picmonic is ESPECIALLY helpful for notoriously difficult subjects where the information you have to learn is loosely amalgamated facts (like microbiology and pharmacology)”.
Start reviewing with Picmonic from the start of medical school. “It is most helpful if you start right away because it allows for more time to go through more videos.”
Students who start with Picmonic later (after first year) often regret starting late. “I wish I had Picmonic at the beginning of my first year as a medical student. Picmonic helped boost my Step 1 score 20+ points.”
“The sooner you start using Picmonic the better. That way you can get acquainted with the characters and memory palace format early on. Not to mention, you will be coming back to them to review for STEP 1 and 2, so you might as well use them when building your foundations.”
Tip #2: Review with Picmonic then do Qbank questions
The Play-Review-Quiz learning methodology used by Picmonic helps students review and retain high-yield information. Qbanks offers students the opportunity to apply the information they learned in the same format that will appear on the STEP exam. Using Picmonic to review first allows students to get the most out of the Qbanks.
Bottom line: Picmonic will enable you to efficiently and effectively learn and review information, and QBanks will help you do more in-depth assessments on board style questions.
So you got a question wrong on a Qbank? Find and watch the Picmonic video for that topic (or the set if you’re feeling bold!) to ensure you never miss those questions again. Students use Picmonic to review topics they get wrong in QBanks.
Bottom line: If you miss a Qbank question, review that topic on Picmonic to ensure you have the high-yield facts memorized.
James Murchison, MD and Tony Hoyt, MD used Picmonic with Qbanks to score 274 and 275 on STEP 1, respectively. Now that you know how med students use Picmonic with Qbanks to achieve their dream step scores, start exploring Picmonic for free today!