How I Use Anki for Architecture School (Comprehensive Course Review)
Anki is a flashcard app that’s probably most popular in Medical School (as from what I noticed in different social media platforms.) But I also found the app or program very helpful in architecture or could be in any other course.
I think I was in my 3rd year at uni when I started using Anki and it changed how I studied and reviewed my subjects. In my first two years at uni, I used other flashcard platforms and although they were helpful, Anki just made it way more efficient for me. It also helped me maintain knowledge for the long term.
It’s fairly simple to use and easy to learn. Here are the steps on how I use Anki for reviewing my architecture subjects:
#1 Create Anki Decks per Subject
The first thing would be to create Anki decks per subject. If you have multiple courses under a single subject then you can put them together like having a folder.
You click on the Add (you can also easily navigate it on a desktop Anki app) then name the subject. You can also drag and drop decks on each other to combine them such as the next photo.
The plus symbol in the first photo indicates that there is more than one course in the subject, hence the second photo.
After adding and naming a deck, you’re now free to add “cards” or the review information itself.
#2 Scan My Handouts
After naming my decks, I now scan my handouts for whatever information I need to put in my decks. Sometimes I highlight then first but other times I just straight up put the information by copy-pasting them (while at the same time forming it to a question) since it’s easier and faster that way.
#3 Formulate My Questions Through Anki + Input My Answers
After scanning the handouts for the info or my notes, I formulate them into questions and input my answers (nothing can be more obvious than this.) Anki will then schedule it on its own (in your specific deck).
Depending on whether you change the settings, the default number of cards per day is 20 and so Anki will put in a maximum of 20 cards for you to review right after inputting your cards.
#4 Review According to Schedule (Laptop/Mobile Phone)
One of the great things about Anki is that you can use it offline and the desktop program is free. For android users, the mobile app is also free, however, it does cost you money if you’re an iPhone user. It’s also available on tablets.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Anki schedules 20 cards for you per day. If you’re reviewing old cards, it adds up depending on the set date by the app. When reviewing the first time, you get to be asked the same card 2-3 times. If you get the first right, then it will ask you that card again after 10 mins. If you get the answer for that card a second time then it will ask you about it the next day. If you didn’t get the answer, it will ask you after 1 min.
If you review daily, you’ll get to be asked after 4 days, so on and so forth, depending on the settings and how much you can get it right.
#5 Add-ons and Other Settings (Optional)
There are lots of useful settings to adjust and improve your Anki experience. Once I find that the cards aren’t useful to me then I just “suspend” them. Meaning, I won’t see them anymore but they’re still in the “stack” on my deck and they’re not really deleted. If I want to postpone the question or want to be asked at a different time, then I’d just “bury” the card. You can explore these options more on the app but these two (suspend and bury) are additional options I use in reviews.
When cramming for a topic, you can also choose “custom study” wherein you rebuild a new deck according to tags, subject or topic. After reviewing the cards in this custom study, it will go back to its original deck and schedule.
When it comes to add-ons, they have a ton on their website you can download. I downloaded a heat map which shows the days I reviewed the cards.
What’s the difference between Anki with other flashcard programs I tried?
Spaced repetition algorithm
This is the best flashcard app I’ve used due to its spaced repetition feature which is also easy to manage.
You can schedule your decks
With Anki, you can schedule your decks/cards on your own time which is helpful if you want to take a break and don’t want to get behind on your Anki review.
You can suspend or do other things with your cards
As I’ve mentioned earlier, you can suspend, bury, and do other things with your cards. Even on your phone, you can do these things.
You can review offline
Everytime you close the app on a desktop, it automatically syncs your review session. So if you have the app on your phone, you can start sync and you’ll be taken to where you left off. With the app, however, syncing isn’t automatic so you’ll have to make sure you’re syncing it every after review.
Anki has been a really helpful tool and it really boosts my productivity when it comes to studying. If you want to know more about how I boost my productivity at uni, you can check it out here.
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