While there are many ways to prepare for tests, and no one way is better than another, the key to any effective study plan is addressing your weaknesses and reinforcing what you’ve already mastered.  When it comes to preparing for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) the same idea holds true and the self-titled “MCAT” app is essentially designed to support this process. With over 2,000 detailed flashcards covering several of the sections included on the MCAT, the “MCAT” app can help students quickly access information – definitions, terms, equations – they need to get the most out of their studying.

Quick Overview:

  • Purpose: To provide a study tool for quick review of important information on the MCAT
  • Price: $2.99
  • Type of tool: Flashcard-style format
  • Topics covered: Organic chem, general chem, polyatomic ions, biology, physics, root words, skeletal system
  • Developer: Sprockit, Inc.

Purpose of App Review:

How well does this app help students prepare for the MCAT.

User Interface:

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The Main screen gives you access to all the features of the app and brings you right to the deck of MCAT study flashcards. The bottom toolbar gives you the options of Flashcards, Store, About, and More sections. The top toolbar tells you where you are within the app, gives you a filter option for the entire deck of flashcards, and options for each flashcard. When using the iPad, the bottom of the screen has a button which controls a ‘zoom’ function. Using this feature, you can switch between a ‘normal’ view (1X) (i.e a view similar to an iPhone or iPod display) or a zoomed view (2X). While the idea for this option would make the iPad experience more optimal, the 2X view appears a bit grainy. If you are using an iPad, we suggest sticking with the 1X view.

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If you tap on the filter icon, a vertical menu appears and displays the Flashcard subject areas, such as general chemistry, biology, or physics. The About and Comments choices that appear on the bottom of the menu, when selected, do not appear within the deck of flashcards. You can select one or all subject areas you would like to cover and then tap the filter icon to return to the deck of flashcards, which will now contain less or more flashcards depending on your previous selection. At the top of this menu, you can also choose to turn on or off the “Flagged” option which when turned on displays flashcards that you have personally flagged (i.e. flashcards you may have answered incorrectly).

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If you tap on the options icon, a menu appears on the bottom to display 3 Flashcard options: ‘delete the card,’ which will permanently delete the visible flashcard from the deck; ‘add new card,’ which will allow the user to create their own card inputting a question, and answer to the question, and assigning the new card to an existing category or creating a new category; or ‘edit this card’, which allows the user to edit the question or answer to an already existing flashcard.

You can shuffle between flashcards in sequential order by simply swiping the screen from right to left to move to the next flashcard and left to right to return to the previous flashcard. Tapping the flashcard will flip it over to reveal the answer to the question. Each flashcard also has a flag icon which when selected turns red and can be later viewed via the above-mentioned filter option when the flagged option is turned on.

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In the Store section, there are three .99 cent in-app purchase options: Multiple Choice Quiz prepares a 20 question quiz from existing content to help solidify your knowledge; Shuffle allows you to shuffle the flashcards, so content is presented in a random order ever time; and Add new Category allows you to create custom categories for new flashcards added. While these in-app purchases are great, make the user experience that much better, and only cost under a buck each.

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The About section gives you a basic over of the app, offers a simple explanation of how to use it, and gives information about the developer. You are also encouraged to contact Sprockit Education with any comments or suggestions about the app via the suggestion box under the More section. And oh yeah, the developers want you to keep you motivated and remember that knowledge is power!

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The More section does not give you more user options for the app but allows you to provide feedback and access more of the developer’s apps. You can either 1.) rate the app and provide feedback by inputting your name, email address,  selecting ‘general,’ feature request,’ or ‘bug,’ and then providing your comments in the space provided and/or 2.) access two more study apps created by the developer (PTCB Exam Review, PCAT).

Subject-Areas Covered:

  • Organic Chemistry: 145 questions
  • General Chemistry: 240 questions
  • Polyatomic Ions: 31 questions
  • Biology: 1054 questions
  • Physics: 78 questions
  • Root Words: 360 questions
  • Skeletal System: 120 questions

Based on the question distribution, more than half of the questions cover the subject of biology. The next largest section for content is within the root words category, which is always a helpful knowledge set to have a grasp of when going into the MCAT. In addition to hitting all science areas for the MCAT, the app also throws in review for two sub-topics: polyatomic ions and the skeletal system.

Price:

$2.99

Likes:

  • Ability to look at content as flashcards
  • Ability to look at content by subject
  • Flashcard flag option and feature to turn on/off flagging filter
  • Robust set of biology questions
  • Substantial set of root word questions
  • Ability to delete, add, or edit flashcards
  • Multiple Choice Quiz, despite being in-app purchase

Dislikes:

  • Seeing About and Comments as options on subject menu
  • Limited questions for organic chemistry, and physics
  • Zoom-in feature which created a pixilated view
  • Shuffle feature not include and only offered as in-app purchase
  • Unavailable for android devices

Students that would find this app useful:

Premedical students seeking a quick and simple study tool for the MCAT, particular around biological sciences content.

Parting Thoughts About the App

The MCAT app provides a quick way to reinforce areas of strength and/or focus in on your areas of weakness. The app allows you to review information in flashcard format, and allows you to delete, change, or add to the deck for your own customized experience, which may extend its use over time. The MCAT app is developed by Sprockit, Inc. and is compatable with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.  You can access the app here.

PreMedLife recommended?

Yes, particularly for the number of biology and root word questions available.

MCAT is a trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges. This app is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Association of American Medical Colleges