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24 October, 2023

Most Important Types of Anki Cards for the DAT

Anki is an open-source flashcard software. In this article, we will discuss the most important types of Anki Cards for the DAT.
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When staring at a blank Anki screen attempting to make new cards, it is far too easy to create ineffective cards that will hinder your studies rather than help.  With how important the DAT is, we don’t want to waste any study time. This article will discuss the two most important types of flashcards to make while studying for the DAT. These card types will comprise 90-95% of your flashcards, so understanding each and their use cases will be key. The two flashcard types are:

⚛️ Atomized Cards

Atomized cards only test a single fact, i.e. you have broken down information to a single, indivisible fact (aka an atom!). An example of an atomized card would look like:

  • Front: If a bacterium has a thick peptidoglycan layer, what kind of bacteria is it?
  • Back: Gram-Positive

🧠 Comprehensive Cards

 Comprehensive cards test multiple atomized cards at once. These kinds of cards are great for memorizing mechanisms or long lists of qualities. However, I also recommend making atomized cards for all the individual facts that are within a comprehensive card. This way, you are learning and testing each individual part separately and testing your integration of all the individual facts. Here is an example of a comprehensive card:

  • Front: Explain the differences between Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative bacteria 
  • Back: List all the qualities of each

    OR
     
  • Front: Outline the FSH & LH hormone levels throughout a single menstruation cycle
  • Back: Entire outline of hormone levels + accompanying images

Conclusion

 Each type of card serves a different purpose. For the atomized cards, the aim is to learn individual facts within a specific concept, while comprehensive cards aim to test your ability to integrate multiple atomic facts together. Testing yourself on both is important. If you only used comprehensive cards, it would be very difficult to learn each individual fact. If you only used discrete cards, your ability to integrate all the information would be hindered. Therefore, make both. You will be able to learn the discrete cards quickly and then practice integrating these facts within the entire structure of the overall concept.

Take these tools with you in your content review and test review!