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  • Writer's pictureTay

Meet your New Best Friend: Anki (Part 2)

Below we have listed a continuation of some of the best principles for making Anki simple and effective.





Avoid Sets and Enumerations

Sets can be described as collections of objects. What are the branches of the external carotid arterial? It is difficult to list them all without a direction. Convert this list to an ordered list. Reciting the branches in order of proximal to distal is a great way to retain the information. This is known as an Enumeration.

Some anatomists prefer F-ing while others prefer S&M. S: Superior thyroid artery A: ascending pharyngeal artery L: lingual artery F: facial artery O: occipital artery P: posterior auricular artery S: superficial temporal artery M: Maxillary artery

Why do we do this? It is important to repeat the information each time you learn it. the ordering concept enumerations can be very useful. You will have to recite the information in the exact same order each time. This reinforces the same learning path. They are however not easy and should not be used frequently.


You can use overlapping deletions to solve problems during repeated enumerations. You could use overlapping cloze deletions to have the first three branches from superior thyroid artery and ascending pharyngeal arterial, and the lingual artery as one, and then the next as lingual, facial, and the occipital.


Don't Be Afraid to Edit or Delete

Your Anki deck should always be evolving as you prepare for large exams. Your Anki card-creation skills will increase over time. Do not be afraid to edit, improve or delete cards as necessary.


Be Concise

Brevity is your friend. It's easy to overlook a word or two when you're looking through hundreds of cards per day. Optimizing wording is crucial. Concentrate on what you really need. It is not as important to consider the words that follow. It is best to get rid of it.


Redundancy - Attack the Information From Different Angles

The majority of us only practice the information that we need in one direction. This can cause problems in the end. You should practice redundancy using your Anki cards.


Let's return to the branches. Instead of reciting the branches alphabetically, you can trace the path from your heart to a single artery. What is the distance from the distal to the proximal left facial artery?

Ascending the aorta- common carotid-external carotid-facial artery

Provide Sources

Give sources for your cards. Although this is not a difficult rule, it proved to be very useful in my medical school years. Some texts can contradict others, and you may need to determine the truth at times. It will be much easier to identify the source of the card if this happens. This information is for your personal use. You will know from where the information was obtained in case you need it again. Do not worry about MLA bibliography format.


Set a Daily Threshold for New Cards

There will be days when you make a lot of cards and others where you don’t. A daily threshold of new cards should be established to ensure a balanced learning and review schedule.


It's difficult to provide a suitable range for how much new card work students should do each day and how many cards you should review. Be flexible. You can experiment with the limits to find what works for you.

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