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Picmonic + Anki = Win

Blog post about Anki and Picmonic, guest written by: MissionsDoc @ missionsdoc.com

This is my story as an MS2 trying to find the best study routine that is effective and efficient. The below blog I wrote for Picmonic based on my experience with utilizing Picmonic and Anki together, which as you’ll read below, I have found to be a lethal combination. I truly hope this helps you too. 

I impulsively bought Picmonic to prepare for my first set of tests.  I didn’t use it… thought it was a silly gimmick. And I felt so badly about wasting $200 on a years subscription (there are monthly subscriptions).  Picmonic uses picture mnemonics to teach/review material in medicine, pre-med and now K-12 subjects. I was so unimpressed with using it at first that I was going to actually write a post about how bad it was.  But I just stopped using it and carried on. Well, I got burned on a couple of subjects and, after listening to how some friends used Picmonic to score much better than I did I realized that I would have to take a 2nd look at it. I. Was. Wrong.  

The vignettes, although sometimes a bit jarring to my delicate sensibilities, stick with you in such a way that you are able to get diseases, viruses, conditions in your mind all at the same time.  I have 3 regrets: 
  1) I didn’t use it in preparing for the last test   
  2) I didn’t use it in preparing for the last test
  3) That they don’t cover EVERYTHING I’m studying.

In my opinion this is the major drawback. I would ace medical school if Picmonic covered 60% of what I have to know for in house exams and even Step 1. (EDIT: at the time of this blog there were <500 topics, now there are >1,400)

However, I have coupled my picmonic study with Anki and I not only feel like I’m mastering the concepts for the next set of tests, but I’m going to master them on Step 1 too due to Anki’s spaced repetition.

How do I use Anki with Picmonic?
Well, unlike Firecracker or Osmosis, Picmonic does not have a spaced repetition system. (EDIT: Picmonic DOES now have Spaced Repetition, it’s the Daily Quiz) So I take a screenshot (for my personal use…) and put the picture into Anki for each bullet/concept that can be found in each Picmonic.
This allows me to learn each Picmonic pretty quickly. My recall accuracy of facts associated with Picmonics is much better (I’ll quantify when I get time) than facts not associated with a Picmonic.

Picmonic is currently (according to their recent posts) working on some sort of memory system of quizzing with Spaced Rep to facilitate checking your memory and storing facts in long term. Anki is working just fine for me but is a bit time consuming. (EDIT: see on the right my quiz performance a couple years later, after using the Daily Quiz with Spaced Rep… it’s incredible!) 

Thanking God I found it when I did. If you are a second year student who has memory issues like me, you will appreciated Picmonic. If you can add Anki flashcards with your use of Picmonic, I think you will have a long term solution for scoring well on boards.
I highly recommend it. Highly.
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