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16 February, 2024

How to Use Anki?

Anki is an open-source flashcard software that can take your Canadian DAT scores to the next level. In this article, we will discuss how to use Anki for the Canadian DAT.
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Studying, whether it’s for the Canadian DAT using DATCrusher or for your university courses, can be daunting. However, as is found by countless students, incorporating Anki into your daily routine is a highly efficient way to ace those exams. Using this guide, learn how to use Anki for the Canadian DAT and personalize your own experience with Anki to get the most out of it. Whether you’re looking to create your own flashcards or use the in-depth decks provided by DATCrusher to guide your DAT prep, follow along to learn how to use Anki for the Canadian DAT! 🤓

❓ What is Anki?

Anki is an open-source flashcard software that maximizes study efficacy. As a program you can download on your computer, Anki allows you to turn your notes into flashcards while incorporating two concepts – active recall and spaced repetition – to help you remember your study material easily and efficiently.

You can download the official Anki software here: https://apps.ankiweb.net/

🤔 How does it help me?

You are likely already using active recall with traditional flashcard methods or practice tests. This refers to the conscious effort you apply when trying to remember or recall the answer upon seeing a term or question. In turn, this effort strengthens the memory of that information. However, with Anki, you can focus on what you don’t remember just yet and let the information you’ve mastered take a back seat for a while. The integrated spaced repetition feature allows you to beat the forgetting curve by showing you only what you need to review for the day. This way, you spend less time studying and reduce your risk of burnout – all while still learning everything you need come test day.

Since Anki works by showing you cards at intervals, allowing you to tackle the material little by little with what you find difficult showing up more often, each day is different. After making your cards, the key is to start reviewing early and log on as often as possible, ideally daily, so you can avoid the previous day’s cards from piling up and counterproductively increasing your workload. This is essential in letting Anki help you!

1️⃣ Starting with decks

After downloading Anki, you’re going to want to organize the cards you eventually make into separate decks based on your course or topic. At the bottom of the main screen, click “Create Deck” to do so!

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a quicker review with pre-made notes, try out some of the shared decks you can find online. While studying for the DAT, however, we recommend downloading our Feralis Biology and General Chemistry Reaction Anki Decks to keep brushing up on your knowledge of the major concepts throughout the time you spend studying and leading up to the exam! For help on getting started with these, follow the steps below:

1. Download the Anki decks of your choice. You can find DATCrusher’s Anki Decks at the bottom of the ‘Flash Cards’ tabs of the Biology and General Chemistry pages.

2. Open Anki and click the “Import File” button found at the bottom of the screen.

3.  Find the location of your downloaded deck on your computer and open the file to add it to your collection.

2️⃣ How do you make cards?

If you have decided to start fresh with your own personal deck, there are many methods you can use to turn your notes into flashcards.

At the top of your main screen, click the Add button to begin!

Now, when the window pops up at the top, you can choose the type of card you’d like to make, as well as the deck you would like to place it in.

While there are many, the most common types of cards students make are Basic – your traditional term-definition flashcards.

There is also Cloze, which allows you to hide parts of your notes, turning them into blanks so that you can mentally fill them in as part of your recall strategy. This is as simple as highlighting the text you’d like to be hidden and using CTRL-Shift-C (or by clicking the […] icon in the top right menu). You can then add as many blanks as you’d like in one card to create multiples, and by changing the numbers, control which parts you’d like hidden at a given time.

We suggest checking out our Feralis Biology Anki Deck to see this card type in action!

Pro-Tip: Drag and drop your own pictures into these fields, regardless of card type, to help yourself visualize the content when needed!

Now if you want to separate your deck into the different units you will be studying, depending on personal preference, you can add the “tag” at the bottom of the window as seen above or create a sub-deck by going back to “Create Deck” and inputting “Original Deck::Unit”. Then when making your cards, select this as your deck!

Forget to add something? No worries – you can always go back to view or edit individual cards by heading to “Browse” on the main screen and finding the card you’d like to work on! You can also find your cards separated by “tag” here in the left menu.

3️⃣ How does reviewing my cards work?

Now that you have either created or downloaded some cards, it’s time to work through and review them. Note that the cards you see each day will depend on your previous reviews so it’s important to keep up!

Once you click on your deck, you will be presented with the number of cards that are new as they have not yet been reviewed or seen after being created in Learning, which are those you have seen but are still in the process of remembering, and To Review which are cards you have previously mastered but must review to avoid forgetting.

Clicking on “Study Now” will allow you to begin your daily review where you will be presented with your card, or question, that you must actively recall the answer to before revealing it with the “Show Answer” button.

Depending on the quality of your answer, it is up to you to decide when you would like to see this card again, determined by the option you pick at the bottom before progressing to the next card. For “New” cards, if you were unable to recall the answer, you may want to see it again in seconds or minutes (depending on your settings). Otherwise, you may choose to see it sometime later in your review that day (Good) or in several days if you were able to form your answer with ease (Easy).

Once you begin to remember cards repeatedly (Good or Easy), as they move from “New” to “Learning” to “To Review,” you will notice the time associated with these buttons changing with longer intervals before the next review of that card. This is Anki’s basis for spaced repetition – the spacing between the times a certain card is repeated or reviewed depends on how well you know it!

Pro-Tip: Flag the tough cards you want to spot later during a manual review in Browse by clicking on More at the bottom!

⚙️ Customizing your settings

Anki works on your terms so you’re always able to customize your learning! When on the main screen, click the gear icon next to your deck and head to Options. Here, you are able to change the time intervals associated with your Again, Good, and Easy buttons, as well as the maximum number of new or to-be-reviewed cards that you would like presented to you each day.

We suggest taking the time to explore the settings here further so you can review your material in a way that’s most comfortable and efficient for you.

When you want to override your settings and work outside of Anki’s plan that day, click your deck of choice to open “Custom Study” so that you can change what and how you review.

👉 More Tips!

Now that you’ve learned how to use Anki for the Canadian DAT, below are some more tips.

  • Limit your cards to the high-yield material to avoid overwhelming your daily reviews.
  • You can incorporate voice recordings into your cards! Just click the microphone icon in the top right when making a card.
  • Have a diagram you want to remember? Try the “Image Occlusion” feature using the last icon in that same top-right menu. You can also see how these work in our General Chemistry Reactions deck!
  • Check out Anki’s Add-ons – plug-ins that can further help you customize your experience with the program.
  • To review on the go or when you don’t have your primary device with you, download the Anki app on your phone (for an extra charge on iOS devices) or log on to the website (free for all!)
  • Lastly, use Anki in combination with practice tests to help you get a better score!