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TrueLearn Tips & tricks for learners

TrueLearn At A Glance

TrueLearn helps learners study and test smarter by utilizing a data-driven approach to exam preparation called SmartBanks.

What is a SmartBank?

A SmartBank is an interactive learning platform that leverages cognitive research and individualized testing behaviors to guide learning and increase performance on high-stakes exams.

Why use SmartBanks?
  • SmartBanks help turn your weak areas into your strengths. As you take questions, TrueLearn identifies and keeps track of which questions you miss. Learning science techniques, such as spaced repetition and retrieval practice, are then used to proactively push personalized content to bolster that specific subject or topic to your long term memory.
  • SmartBanks allow you to focus your study time on the areas that will have the biggest impact. SmartBanks help identify categories in which you underperform so you can create custom quizzes to focus on those areas. 
  • SmartBanks allow you to train in a similar online testing environment that you will encounter on test day, allowing you to simulate test day before it happens.
SmartBank Key Features
  • Blueprint: Each SmartBank is mapped to the exam blueprint and topics are assigned based on representation of the blueprint. 
  • Always updated: Medical knowledge and exam blueprints can change rapidly, we add and update test items on a regular basis to ensure our SmartBanks are always up-to-date.  Furthermore, we refresh our banks annually so learners are always challenged with new content.
  • Detailed explanations: We focus on developing clear explanations to reinforce learning points and reference where you can learn more. 
  • Bottom lines: We provide succinct and to-the-point bottom lines to improve contextual learning. We reduce complex explanations into simple, easy to understand snippets. 
  • SmartTools: Our SmartBanks are equipped with SmartCards, SmartTexts and SmartSearch. 
    • SmartCards: Right from your TrueLearn dashboard you will see your SmartCards which utilize adaptive technology to provide insightful information about individual testing habits and behaviors, including research-proven study tips.
    • SmartTexts: Our platform includes the ability to send you text messages with reminders on key topics, thus incorporating the power of spaced repetition by re-exposing learners to the bottom line and key learning points on missed questions at specific intervals to enhance learning and retention. 
    • SmartSearch: This feature allows learners to narrow down questions and test knowledge of certain topics or keywords for further study of previously taken questions or to quickly create a focused test. 
  • Varied Testing Modes: The TrueLean platform allows you to take questions in three different testing modes; timed, untimed, and tutor mode. 
    • Timed: This testing mode imposes a time limit for your test based on the maximum average time per question you have to complete the actual exam. This mode allows you to take each question in an environment similar to exam day. 
    • Untimed: This testing mode allows you to complete your test at your own pace, without a time limit. 
    • Tutor Mode: This testing mode is similar to untimed mode and does not impose any time restrictions. This mode allows you to move question by question and display the correct answer and explanations. 
  • Analytics: Once your first 100 questions have been taken, your dashboard will populate with your specific analytics as compared to the national average. These include: 
    • Performance over time
    • Category weaknesses and strengths according to the exam blueprint
    • Confidence range for each category 
    • Score and percentile performance
    • Improvement rate
    • Usage metrics
Best Practice Recommendations
  • Cramming is a bad idea: 
    • We recommend you start using your TrueLearn SmartBank at least four to six months in advance of your exam. 
    • Studies show that retrieval practice (use of practice questions) produces greater gains than traditional studying. 
      • Start your prep by taking 30 questions three times a week.
      • As your exam date approaches, work up to 25-50 questions daily.
  • Take the time to absorb the information: 
    • As you take practice questions make sure you don’t rush through your results, but rather take the time to review question explanations. These explanations give you insight into why each answer choice was correct, incorrect or insignificant. 
  • Take notes: 
    • We recommend taking notes as you work your way through your SmartBank. Take notes in TrueLearn or by hand and revisit them in the weeks immediately before your exam. This form of active learning helps with further retention of content.
  • Testing modes: 
    • When you are first getting started, take your first 100 questions in either timed or untimed mode. This allows our platform to establish a baseline of overall performance and more accurately identify your strengths and weaknesses. 
    • For more impactful learning, use tutor mode to study explanations, key learning points and references alongside each question. 
    • To get the most accurate prediction of your future exam performance, use timed mode. We recommend using this mode more heavily as your exam date approaches or when you would like to benchmark your performance after rotations or study sessions. Research shows high performers use timed mode more often than lower performers, with high performers taking 77% of questions in timed mode.  Read more about the different test modes and relevant research here.
  • Utilize Quizzes: 
    • Create and take custom quizzes to test your knowledge after study sessions, before and after rotations and to revisit weaker content areas or missed questions. As your exam date approaches, be sure to take your quizzes in timed mode to most accurately predict exam performance. 
    • When you first start with TrueLearn, we suggest creating shorter quizzes made up of 5-10 questions. As your studies progress and your exam approaches, increase the number of questions you include in each quiz.
  • Use the data: 
    • Make smart decisions regarding your studies by utilizing the analytics in the TrueLearn platform to understand your strengths and weaknesses, category performance, performance relative to your peers and more. By identifying areas where you should be spending more or less time studying, you will maximize your efforts.