USMLE Step 1 and 2 Prep Platform Reviews: Memorang
Who knew there were more flashcard resources out there than Quizlet! Right? If you have begun studying for the USMLE, chances are that you already know the importance of flashcards. You probably also know that there are many great flashcard resources out there! But are all resources created equal? That is the question this review series aims to answer!
We’ve sent some of our most experienced tutors to test out different flashcard sites to let you know how effective they actually are. Today we are reviewing Memorang, a website that boasts, “Providing fun and effective flashcards, quizzes, and games to help you study for the USMLE.” In this post we will be looking into what makes an effective flashcard (and how Memorang stacks up), basic pros and cons of the Memorang platform, and providing our overall opinion of Memorang!
Cost: $14.99/month, $99.99/year
– Memorang has a high repeat frequency and its granular decks are good for hitting small topics you just haven’t gotten down.
– If study games are your thing, this is the platform! (We listed out the games at the bottom of this post if you’re interested in specifics!)
– Memorang offers multiple ways to see the material ( ie multiple choice, matching, traditional) which cater to several different learning styles and preferences.
– You can make your own cards! If you’ve already identified areas of weakness or made cards during MS1, this is a great integrative feature.
– The cards have a high repeat frequency and granular decks waste time when you want a broad review of a general topic.
– The games are fun but time-intensive and not so practical for real USMLE studying. *If you are under 6 weeks out from your test date, scrap the games. However if you like games and have plenty of time before your test date, knock yourself out!
– No spaced repetition. We repeat: NO SPACED REPETITION.
– The user interface is a bit busy for our liking. This can feel a little overwhelming during use.
– The ability to make your own cards is limited. For example, you can’t add images and can’t edit cards provided by Memorang.
Let no one say that Memorang is not thorough– or that they don’t have fun with their work. The Memorang USMLE Step 1 deck contains enough information that if you knew every card cold, you would be sure to score exceptionally well on Step 1. (Think Firecracker meets Quizlet.) The problem of Memorang’s value as a study tool however lies in its granularity. Memorang has very specific categories. Don’t get us wrong, specific categories are great, but the system also has a high repeat frequency. This combination can make going through large topics extremely time-consuming. Take a look at the image below, for example, with the subtopics under Cardiology. Entering the Antiarrhythmic Pharmacology section you will see 86 cards with values including:
As you can see, these are information-rich cards with fairly nonspecific prompts. They could potentially be a good review, however, the cards repeat quickly. Going through the deck you might find yourself seeing cards you had marked as correct multiple times within the same study session. Now, research on optimal flashcard-ing does show that continuing to quiz on topics even after you feel good about the information is beneficial. However, this research assumes a long time-frame of learning and one that relies on your flashcards as a primary learning modality. If you are using cards simply to recap information you’ve already seen, or only during a dedicated prep mode, it may be better not to spend hours and hours on them. For Memorang, it may be better to drop the card once you mark it correct.
Perhaps the biggest downside of Memorang is the lack of spaced repetition. As a student, if you’re having to stress about when you should be reviewing what out of the plethora of material you studied a month ago, you are wasting valuable study time and energy.
An important tip when using Memorang
Note the circled ellipsis in the upper right corner of the screen (not pictured below). This is a way to select multiple study topics. You could, for instance, test Cardiac Anatomy + Cardiac Embryology together instead of going through each individually. See the below example.
Memorang Games Include:
- Several different test modalities: straight flashcard, “Rapid Response” (game-based, but repeats particular facts with high frequency however the downside is a very low time efficiency)
- Eliminator Fun games, again not time-efficient
- Matching Cards- advantage: more information on page at same time, disadvantage: no feedback on correct answers
Overall: great for shoring up specific gaps in knowledge, high frequency means that you’ll get solid reinforcement of some specific topics. Not great for broad review of subjects.
That’s our Memorang review! If you have further questions about our professional experience with Memorang as a USMLE study tool, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, we are here to make your preparation journey as seamless as possible! If you begin going through Memorang cards and find yourself completely lost, you can also reach out and one of our experienced tutors would be happy to assist you.
***If you are under 6 weeks from your Step 1 test date and are only now are weighing your flashcard platform options, we strongly advise you to contact us right away for structured help. You need to get moving!***