How I Use Anki for Architecture School

How to Study with Anki

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. 

How I use Anki

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. 

Anki demo 1

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. 

Anki demo 2

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. 

Sample handout

#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). 

Anki demo 3

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. 

How I Study with Anki Instagram Photo

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.

Anki demo 4

#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. 

Anki demo 5

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.

Anki heat map demo
How I Study with Anki Instagram 2

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. 

How I Use Anki Pinterest 2

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

Be sure to follow GBA social media accounts to get the latest updates! 💞

How I Use Anki Pinterest 3

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3 thoughts on “How I Use Anki for Architecture School”

  1. Hello!!!

    Hello!!!
    I have some life questions about what can a young architect engage in during this time!
    My name is Adriana, from Colombia and I just graduated as an Architect at my hometown. I am in that stage of post graduation feeling confused and terrified. Terrified that I am not enough although I know I have LOTS to learn. I havn’t been able to find a steady job (coronavirus affects) but I am still scared of my future. I believe this is quite normal, but do you have any advice for a young doubtful female architect ready to start her career and goals? Thank you! I hope you are well

    1. Hello Adriana!!

      Congrats on your graduation! You’re not alone, I fee the same way sometimes! Although I remind myself from time to time that this isn’t a permanent situation 🙏🏻

      It’s okay to feel you’re not enough especially for a fresh grad. I think that’s what the apprenticeship is for, to gain experience and be more prepared for the board exams and own projects.

      The things I focus on during this time is enhancing /updating my portfolio and writing. If you haven’t updated your portfolio yet, you could do that too and it can help you in the future. If you’re looking for a steady job, may I suggest online platforms? You can try Linked In. There are also overseas firms looking for applicants who can work from home sometimes which you can find in there. The advice given to us is to apply for smaller firms however, that way the experience will be more diverse. Maybe you’ll also get a better chance applying for them since they are the ones with less manpower?

      Don’t be afraid to do trial and error! Even if we tend to be doubtful (since we can’t always be sure especially during these times), we can always try despite the uncertainty.

      I’m not so strict with my timeline during these times due to what’s been happening so if you’re in a hurry, I think it can be fine not to be unless it’s an immediate necessity.

      I hope my advice helps! I hope you are well too and Godspeed! Feel free to ask more questions if you have any. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Anki Flashcards for Architecture School (Updated 2020)

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