When All Else Fails, Ask Khan Academy

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As pre-meds, I can guarantee that at some point in your undergraduate career, you’ve reached out to Khan Academy. Last attempt on a pH problem for your Mastering Chemistry homework? Ask Khan Academy. Yahoo Answers doesn’t have the solution for the correlation between the wavelength and frequency of a wave? Ask Khan Academy.

According to their website, “Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.”  Khan Academy offers step-by-step instruction, mostly hand-done by creator Sal Khan himself, regarding anything from business to calculus to organic chemistry. Sal has three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard, so this guy has a lot of knowledge he’s willing to share.

As students, we all learn at different paces. There are going to be topics that we excel at and get right away; and then there are going to be topics that we need to spend more time on. Unfortunately, college courses are not as individualized as Khan Academy, and therefore, do not have the time to make sure all students understand the material before moving onto the next topic. Hence, the majority of the time, a students’ resources outside of the classroom can be limited to asking the teacher for help, or consulting the internet.

While there are a multitude of websites that can give you answers to textbook problems, what Khan Academy does better than most websites is that it not only offers solutions for the most difficult problems from the most difficult subject matters, but also offers the reasoning behind the solution and the individual steps to take to reach that solution. This type of reasoning leads to solidified critical thinking skills that will not only help in courses, but will help prepare for the MCAT and for a future as a doctor.

For pre-meds, knowing the right answer is a task in itself, but knowing how to get there is equally as difficult. In consulting Khan Academy, by taking the five minutes to sit down and watching a video about a subject that you’re struggling with, you can work at your own pace to reason through the problem with the guidance of the person on the screen instead of just giving up and looking up the answer on your own.