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Additional Anki Features

Additional Anki Features

Anki is an open-source flashcard software.
This article will demonstrate additional features you can use on Anki to help your DAT prep.

In a previous article, I discussed the 2 most important types of Anki cards to make during your studies. Here, I will introduce you to two more Anki card types and one alteration to all cards you will make. These new card types and the tweak will streamline your ability to make cards and expand the ways you can test material. I recommend incorporating all three into your card generation workflow.

1. Extra Field

For all cards you create, you should have another text box for “Extra Information.” In this text box, you put any information that is relevant to the concept being tested but that is not included in the question/answer itself. When you answer a card, the information in the “Extra” box also shows up. This is a powerful addition to your studying because with the “Extra” field you can study and review concepts with appropriate context.

To create another input field for cards, click the “Field” button at the top left and then “Add.” Label this box “Extra” and click “ok.”

You should now see a 3rd box labeled “Extra” both on the Field interface and when entering a new card.

Now, we need to set up the extra field to pop up below the answer after we answer the card. Let’s do this with the following example:

Click the “Card” icon next to “Field.” Tick the “Back Template” circle. This will allow you to edit the back side of the card. Copy the code in the left box into your, and whenever you answer a card, the right panel will show up!

Now, whenever you answer a card, you will see answer and anything you put in the “Extra” box.

This extra field should be used as much as possible. With it, you are able to study information relevant to the card but not being testing while completing your cards. You won’t need to flip through notes or dig through videos to find complementary information because that information is part of your cards!

2. Cloze Deletion

Cloze deletion cards are cards where you can block out a certain piece of text. This card type is great when you want to copy/paste a specific text, or it can be used in lieu of the normal front/back card type. Here is an example:

In order to make the cloze card, you first need to change the “Type” on the top right to “Cloze.” Then, highlight the text you want to and click the “[…]” icon on the top right (hot key = Ctrl+Shift+C).

You can also add multiple cloze deletions per card. Just repeat the same process with another part of the test. For each subsequent cloze, the number next to the ‘c’ will increase by one. If this number is different, a separate card will be created for each number.

If you have the same number after the ‘c’, the clozes will be part of the same card.

Cloze deletions are really great for copy/pasting important bullet points or sentence into Anki and testing the important parts of those sentences. However, be sure not to add too much information to a single card as this can get overwhelming. Also, you can create the majority of flashcards with clozes instead of normal front/back card type.

3. Image Occlusion (IO)

IO cards are essentially flashcards of images where you block out a specific part of the image. You will need to download the IO add-on from AnkiWeb (Link). Make sure to check out my “Top 5 Anki Add-Ons” article to see how to download this add-on. Below is an example of what an image occlusion card would look like:

To create an IO card, right click the image you want to occlude and click “Occlude Image.”

The image will pop up in a new window. Make sure the blue square on the left panel is clicked. Now, you can click and drag boxes over the areas you want to. You can adjust these boxes any time you’d like.

It is important to note that there are 2 options when adding new IO cards (see how both look above):

  1. Hide all, guess one
  2. Hide one, guess one

With the first type of card, all information you blocked out cannot be seen. This is really great when you don’t want any hints or extra information from the image you are occluding. The second type is best used when you want to deduce an answer from surrounding information. For example, “hide one, guess one” is great for learning reactants, reagents, and products in organic chemistry. Really, it is up to you on which type of IO presentation to use for certain images. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks, but both should be strategically used.

All three of these features will immensely enhance your card creation skills which will translate directly into high scores! Be sure to use them often!

Written by Davied Sanchez
UNC School of Dentistry

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