Is Anki Flash Card Use Really Useful for Getting High Score in USMLE Step 1? What Scientific Evidence Say?
Anki app users and nonusers… Who gets the higher scores in United States Medical Licensing Exam ( USMLE ) Step 1 ? A research group has carried out a scientific research to shed light on it.
Here is the video version: https://youtu.be/pk1BnvbunUM
Hi and hola para amigos!
Based on a review study, approximately one-third of basic science knowledge is lost after one year and nearly half in two years.
Anki, which is a web-based flash card system, is very popular among medical students. Using Anki app, they can create their own digital flash card sets. Moreover, they access pre-made flash cards, there are many of flash card sets but a more popular example is the one specifically tailored to prepare medical students for the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 1.
Yes, the students use it and they are happy to use. But what if its efficiency? Does it really work? Do those who use Anki get higher scores in USMLE Step 1?
A group of researchers wondered the answers of these questions and they have carried out a scientific research. In this video, you will explore whether Anki really works.
The flamingo is excited to explain.
Using a survey form, researchers asked to the participants to report all of the study tools primarily used during the pre-clinical phase of their medical education. The participants were 2nd-, 3rd-, and 4th-year medical students in a medical school in the USA, a total of 201 students. For those who indicated they were Anki users, questions explored the nuances of Anki use. Then the researchers obtained the USMLE Step 1 scores of these students, and compared the scores of the Anki users and non-users.
It’s really clear design right?
Got it. What about the results?
Among the participants, 132 medical students used Anki significantly and 69 did not. The mean Anki user’s score was significantly higher than that of nonusers (241.10 and 235.51). Furthermore, the mean score of those who reported that they used Anki a lot was significantly higher than those who reported “a little” usage (248.73 and 237.31).
The students who used Anki to review consistently had better retention of the material. Even if correlation is not causation, it would be fair to say that Anki really works if you are preparing for USMLE Step 1.
But how? How did Anki enable the students to do that?
It’s retrieval practice and spaced repetition. Retrieval practice facilitates the learning of new material as well as integrating new knowledge with existing schemas. Doing it in a spaced habit, it works better. These two methods have a great body of evidence to enhance learning. So how it is used is just as important as whether it is used or not. Ideally, Anki should be used to consistently review past material to prevent the time-consuming action of having to relearn material.
A quick and important note for your information, this video is not sponsored by Anki or anyone. I just wanted to explain the findings of a scientific article. If you want to read the article, check the link at the description of the video: https://youtu.be/pk1BnvbunUM
See you and adios para amigos.
And also, don’t forget the flamingo.