Flashcards, Mnemonics, And More: High-Yield Study Techniques To Get The Best MCCQE1 Results

You’ve chosen to pursue medicine, and now comes the challenge of excelling on one of the most rigorous licensing exams in the country—the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 1 (MCCQE1).

As a medical student or graduate, you face immense demands on your time and mental resources. But with the proper high-yield study techniques and strategies, you can optimize your studying to achieve the best MCCQE1 results.

Discover proven methods for studying medicine in this article. Gain insight into the Pomodoro technique, mnemonics, flashcards, and tips for forming study groups and actively recalling information.

While the road is long, these techniques have been proven to help students master the sheer volume of knowledge required to become a doctor. Stay focused, believe in yourself, and keep your eyes on the end goal – becoming a licensed physician in Canada. With hard work and the right mindset, you can achieve a perfect score on the MCCQE1.

Why Is It Difficult To Become A Doctor In Canada?

The road to become a successful doctor in Canada will be difficult but not impossible.

Becoming a doctor in Canada is challenging, to say the least. Medical schools accept only 80% of applicants, and annual licensing exams such as the MCCQE pose significant hurdles.

To become a licensed physician in Canada, you must graduate from an accredited medical school, complete residency training, and pass the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1 and 2. The MCCQE tests your knowledge and skills to ensure you meet national standards before practicing independently.

Bigger Than MCCQE1 Results: International Medical Graduates Face Even Bigger Hurdles

Only 26% of international medical graduate applicants met the residency program requirements in Canada for 2022

As an international medical graduate in Canada, finding a residency position can be tricky. Gain valuable Canadian experience by completing observerships and electives, taking courses on cultural competency and communication, and joining study groups with Canadian students. Stay determined and open-minded, learn from challenges, and with time and effort, becoming a doctor in Canada is achievable.

Preparing for such exams requires diligent study of a vast amount of material. But with hard work and the proper high-yield study techniques, you should be able to overcome the challenges of becoming a doctor in Canada. The rewards of the profession make the effort worthwhile. Stay determined, and keep sight of your goal!

The Pomodoro Technique

 Don't let studying burn you out. Use the Pomodoro Technique.

The Pomodoro technique is a simple but effective method for studying medicine without burning out.

It involves studying for 25-30 minutes, then taking a 5-minute break. After four pomodoros (or “tomatoes” in Italian), take a more extended 15-30 minute break.

  • Set a timer for your work period. Focus solely on studying – no phones or distractions.
  • When the timer goes off, stop studying and take a short break. Walk around, stretch, or do some light exercise. This helps rejuvenate your mind and body.
  • Repeat this cycle, adjusting the times as needed. Many students find 25/5 or 30/10 minute splits effective.
  • Take longer breaks after every few pomodoros. Use this time to grab a snack, call a friend, or relax.

Short bursts of concentrated study followed by breaks prevent mental fatigue and information overload. Studies show we can only focus for about 23 minutes at a time. Hence, the Pomodoro technique aligns with our natural attention spans.

Implementing this straightforward but ingenious method will boost your productivity, motivation and MCCQE1 results. Give the Pomodoro technique a try.


Using acornomys to retrieve memory faster!

Mnemonics are studying tools that help you recall and retain crucial medical information. For students of medicine, mnemonics are invaluable for studying for exams like the MCCQE1.

Some helpful medical mnemonics include:

  • “Some Lovers Try Positions That They Can’t Handle” to remember the bones of the wrist (scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, hamate).
  • “On Old Olympus’ Towering Tops, A Finn And German Viewed Some Hops” for the 12 cranial nerves (olfactory, optic, oculomotor, trochlear, trigeminal, abducens, facial, auditory, glossopharyngeal, vagus, accessory, hypoglossal).

Using mnemonics is an easy way to memorize and recall critical medical facts for your studies and exams. Combined with other techniques like flashcards, active recall, and study groups, mnemonics can help set you up for success in your medical education.


Flashcard apps make the perfect companion for the aspiring doctor.

Using flashcards is one of the most tried-and-tested high-yield study techniques for memorizing. Whether you create physical or digital flashcards, they should cover concepts, diseases, medications, anatomy, and more.

Anki is a popular flashcard app for medical students. It uses spaced repetition to quiz you on cards just before you’re about to forget them. This helps cement the information into your long-term memory. You can also share decks with classmates or download pre-made ones to save time.

Some tips for effective flashcards:

  • Focus on key terms, definitions, and concepts. Keep information concise.
  • Include diagrams, charts, and images when possible. Visual aids enhance learning.
  • Quiz yourself in both directions. Know the term for the definition and vice versa.
  • Start studying with flashcards early and review often. Repeat exposure builds familiarity.
  • Consider collaborating with friends to quiz each other. Explaining information to others reinforces your understanding.

Flashcards should be a crucial part of your study plan, whether you prefer physical or digital. They can help you achieve maximum retention and ace your MCCQE1.

Study Groups

Studying doesn't have to be boring. Find studies buddies to help you remember information faster!

Study groups can be invaluable for medical students. As you tackle the immense volume of information required to become a doctor, connecting with classmates allows you to quiz each other, share mnemonics, and work through challenging concepts together.

Look for students with complementary strengths —some excel in anatomy, others in biochem. Form groups of 3-5; any larger and scheduling becomes difficult. Meet regularly, ideally weekly at first, then more often as exam times approach.

While socializing is essential for well-being, focus discussions on course material. Take turns leading sessions on areas you find most confusing.

Explain concepts to each other as if teaching; this reinforces your understanding. Ask open-ended questions to foster critical thinking.

Most of all, make studying a team effort. You’re in this together, so support each other through long nights in the library and difficult professors.

Active Recall

Don't just memorize. Summarize your learnings and teach them to your study buddies.

To get the most out of your studying for the MCCQE1, actively recall the information you’ve learned. This means testing yourself by recalling facts and concepts from memory rather than just re-reading notes or textbooks.

Active recall is one of the most recognizable high-yield study techniques out there. It aims to achieve better long-term retention and understanding. Some practical ways to incorporate active recall include:

  • Summarizing what you’ve learned in your own words. Teach the concepts to someone else.
  • Doing practice questions and workbooks, then reviewing the answers.
  • Discussing the material with other students. Explain concepts to each other.

Using active recall techniques like these and the other study tips provided will prepare you thoroughly for the MCCQE1. With practice, the information will become second nature.

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

Practice high-yield techniques and be the inspiring doctor you've always wanted to be!

You’ve worked hard to reach this point in your medical education and career. Now is the time to utilize effective study techniques to prepare for and pass your MCCQE1. Implementing high-yield study methods like the Pomodoro technique, mnemonics, flashcards, study groups, and active recall will give you the best chance of success.

Stay focused, believe in yourself, and don’t get overwhelmed. Break down complex topics into manageable chunks and celebrate small wins. You have so much fantastic knowledge and skill to offer as a doctor. Now show the examiners what you’ve got!

Abzi Academy is proud to offer a comprehensive range of review courses that have undergone rigorous testing to ensure optimal performance for medical students on the day of their exams. Our courses are tailored for the MCCQE1 exam, NAC OSCE exam, OET exam, IELTS exam, TDM exam, and CCFP SAMP exam, and are designed to equip you with the most efficient and effective strategies and techniques for acing your exams.

Visit our website or connect with us to learn more about the academy. See you in class!


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