While critical thinking, research, and crafting compelling arguments is no doubt the bread and butter of a solid post-secondary education, there are still a lot of facts and concepts that simply have to be memorized. How do we make this easier on ourselves?

Between writing essays, keeping up with the readings, paying attention in lecture, and finishing the extensive amount of homework that post secondary students are assigned every day, there’s not a lot of time to sit down and focus on committing the concepts, labels, and definitions to memory.

A traditional solution to the memorization problem is flashcards. Traditionally done on cue cards, you write the concept, question, or definition down on one side and the answer on the other. Then, you simply quiz yourself. Again, and again, and again. Flashcards work well because they’re usually small enough to stuff in a bag or purse, so you can pull them out and quiz yourself whenever you have a few moments – at the bus stop, waiting for lecture to start, before bed, etc.

The Anki Logo: A black rectangle with two blue stars in the middle.

Introducing Anki

 

Anki is an open-sourced software that takes flashcards to the next level. This program can be downloaded onto your computer, phone or tablet, and will sync automatically so you have the same cards on each device. You can make your own cards, or download from the thousands of banks already made available by previous students.

Anki also does something really interesting: it monitors how long it takes you to answer a question and if you get the answer right. It then takes this into consideration when showing you the next set of cards, showing you the cards you struggle with more frequently than the cards you breeze through.

With Anki, there’s also a great community dedicated to tricks to get the most out of your sessions and writing out the perfect flashcard – blogs, youTube videos, and even entire chat forums. If you’re having trouble memorizing stuff for your class, this might be an option for you.

Give it a shot and let us know what you think! We love to hear from students about what new studying tips they’ve picked up along the way.

Anki image by Alex Fraser – From here, here, and GPLv2,

Nimbus Learning now offers an online tutoring platform which allows students virtual access to academic support and mentorship. Click here to find out more.

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