huge anki decks

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Cavesa
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huge anki decks

Postby Cavesa » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:04 pm

Hi,

I've been playing with Anki again, trying to find a way to make it work for me both for languages and my medicine studies.

I need to make my own decks, for reasons described in my log (but those are very easy to sum up and not different from those other people make their own decks for: there are no decks that fit my needs perfectly).

The problem is: I need huge decks and lots of reviews. And I have a sort of a deadline for learning various stuff. And I should have started long time ago. Actually, I should have started 100 years ago, given the amount of stuff I need to learn.

I've been following various threads about anki. But it is difficult to find a particular information as there are some 950 threads about anki on this forum alone (and there is a lot of stuff on subreddit anki, and medical anki, and on blogs of successful language learners.) I apologize, if I am asking something that has been answered a dozen times already, but I really couldn't find this.

I cannot afford the pace of 5 or 10 cards a day. But I cannot learn 2000 half-familiar terms in a weekend either, like I did once (it worked miraculously, but it wasn't a pleasant thing to do and it wasn't sustainable). I've read of medicine students successfully adding 300 cards a day, but I don't know whether I am that good.

So, what would I like to know:
-using the basic algorhytm, how many reviews should I expect in the following weeks and months, if I learn 20, 50, 100, 150 cards a day?
-can I set different algorhytms for easy and difficult decks?
-does the algorhytm still work, if I don't follow it exactly and instead of doing a number of reviews a day, I would measure time, like 30/60/90 minutes a day?
-any tips on remembering difficult cards?
-Does anki become a habit and easier to do after some time? Am I really a non-anki type of person (trying hard to change it), or is it just my laziness and lack of discipline that everyone feels and has to fight?
-what LARGEST deck or amount of data have you learnt with anki? How long did it take you?

Have you noticed your memory improving? Sure, you must be better at all the stuff you have memorised, but has your ability to memorise things improved with practice?

My learning ability has decreased a lot during the last few years. For various reasons, some are reversible, some may be not, but it is not useful to spend hours thinking about what I used to be like, I should just accept my brain as it is now and work with that. So, I would like to know whether I can simply improve from this point on, or whether I should simply accept this is gonna be just as hard in half a year as it is now. Is it subjectively likely to be easier to memorise new cards?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience and answering (or reanswering)
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reineke
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Re: huge anki decks

Postby reineke » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:00 pm

Separate languages and medicine study. Forget about ankiing anything language-related and simply have fun with your languages.
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Cavesa
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Re: huge anki decks

Postby Cavesa » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:04 pm

The problem is, that I need more efficiency. The way I am going now without Anki, I am never gonna get to overall C levels in my worse languages. And I need that, that is my back up. German is especially resistant, I have a huge problem remembering stuff.
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Re: huge anki decks

Postby reineke » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:13 pm

I am not convinced that Anki is the right way but maybe you'll remember this:

How I Passed the Demanding, 5-Part, 5 1/2 Hour, Oral, Paper and Pen, Highest Level (C2), Italian Language Exam Without Going to Italy – Here’s a Hint: the 326,538 Flashcard Reviews Helped a Lot.

http://brianjx.altervista.org

Alternative views

http://www.hackingchinese.com/is-your-f ... -own-good/

http://www.guidetojapanese.org/blog/201 ... ew-of-ank/
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jeff_lindqvist
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Re: huge anki decks

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:39 pm

-using the basic algorhytm, how many reviews should I expect in the following weeks and months, if I learn 20, 50, 100, 150 cards a day?


By "learn", do you mean to "go through" the new words until they disappear (usually that's twice)? Personally, I let Anki show up to 50 new cards (if there are any). If I've added fewer, fine. If more, then the rest will appear next day. If I add something everyday, the daily amount of cards will increase - unless they're all super-easy ("Easy"!). Then they'll soon move into the distant future. I haven't done any exact calculations, but let's look at my Cantonese/Czech (both of which I've worked on for nearly the same time, and with the same approach).

What I do know, is the number of cards added to Anki during the study period:

CS: 2033 cards - 582 mature ones at the end of the period.
YUE: 2064 cards - the deck had 1783 cards before the study, so out of the total 3847 (in my Cantonese deck), it seems that 2474 are mature (the older cards plus another ~700, I assume?).

Almost the same number of podcasts in the two languages, almost the same number of cards - and roughly the same "progress" from Unseen to Mature.
(my log, from 04 February 2018)

And earlier today, the number of reviews was ~300 for Czech and ~200 for Cantonese (before I added anything new). That's after more or less daily reviews since August, plus daily additions since early December.

-can I set different algorhytms for easy and difficult decks?


Do you know beforehand which decks will be easy and difficult? If so, I think it's easier to give you a better/worse score, similar to what I write here:
Sentence reps investigation

Sketchc89 has other suggestions in the reply.

-does the algorhytm still work, if I don't follow it exactly and instead of doing a number of reviews a day, I would measure time, like 30/60/90 minutes a day?


Left-overs will appear the next day (first in the pile), and depending on your addition rate (and learning rate), the daily pile of cards may increase.

-any tips on remembering difficult cards?


Other than learning the information well in the first place (preferably before you add it to Anki), choose the second lowest score (see my post in the Sentence thread linked to above). That's an easy way to trick Anki to make it appear pretty soon. Over time, this can mean days or weeks.

-Does anki become a habit and easier to do after some time? Am I really a non-anki type of person (trying hard to change it), or is it just my laziness and lack of discipline that everyone feels and has to fight?


For me it's less of a chore now, but I've used it for nearly 10 years. The Portuguese deck still gives me ~600 daily cards (plus 50 new).

-what LARGEST deck or amount of data have you learnt with anki? How long did it take you?


Probably the Portuguese deck, which at the beginning of the year had 78451 (!) cards (of which no fewer than 61235 were still unseen).

Maybe you find some of this helpful.
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Cavesa
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Re: huge anki decks

Postby Cavesa » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:52 pm

Both answers have been very helpful, thanks!
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Morgana
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Re: huge anki decks

Postby Morgana » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:08 pm

Cavesa wrote:-using the basic algorhytm, how many reviews should I expect in the following weeks and months, if I learn 20, 50, 100, 150 cards a day?

Without commenting on why I have my deck set up this way: I've been doing 30-50 new cards/day most days for several months, and my daily reviews are less than 300 (usually closer to 200) as long as I don't skip a day. I have 5 learning steps, 4 on day 1 and the 5th on the next day, then it kicks over to review and I see it again on day 3, and whatever the default algorithm does after that... With Anki set up for the typing feature, I spend not more than 30 minutes/day on this learning and review. I shave 10-15 minutes off this without typing. I hit "easy" on maybe 4-8 new words per day.

Cavesa wrote:-any tips on remembering difficult cards?

Apart from what jeff offered above, if I am repeatedly forgetting a particular card, and I still want/need to learn it, I'll try to change how the front side of the card is worded. Usually there's a better prompt/clue I can give myself, and most of the time this does the trick. For Swedish, some of their words are compound words and so for example if I can't remember "att undersöka" I'll cheat, and instead of the front side saying simply "to investigate" I'll have it say "to investigate ("to underseek")." I'm not concerned if that's too cheater-y as long as it gets me to remember the word. Other times the front side of the card needs less information on it. eg. if a word has 6 different equivalent words in English, I'll just do the 2-3 most relevant-to-me-now translations, and wait until the word comes up as one of the other translations and then make a separate card for that one.

Cavesa wrote:-Does anki become a habit and easier to do after some time? Am I really a non-anki type of person (trying hard to change it), or is it just my laziness and lack of discipline that everyone feels and has to fight?

Yes to the first part. Can't answer the second part. I still don't like Anki, but what keeps me stuck to it is that my recall is just so much better with it. It's effective, I can't deny that.

Good luck!
Last edited by Morgana on Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: huge anki decks

Postby hanno » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:41 pm

Here are my thoughts. First, your focus should not be on memorizing Anki cards, but on practicing the types of questions you'll be asked on your exams. I assume you have access to some type of a question bank for medical school exams. Your Anki deck should be an accessory to answering practice questions. When you answer each question, it should not be a rote exercise. Envision the clinical context in which you will apply your knowledge to patient care. This means not rushing through each question, even if you feel like you have hundreds or thousands more to go through today. As you go through your deck, try to recall the scenarios you encountered in your questions. By slowing down, I think you'll learn more.

Still, there will be items that just don't stick after several repetitions. For these I recommend visualization, or more specifically, building a memory palace. I'd find it impractical to create a memory palace to store every tidbit of medicine, but I've found it very helpful for memorizing the recalcitrant bits.
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Cavesa
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Re: huge anki decks

Postby Cavesa » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:38 am

I'm rereading Jeff's post and will reread again, there is a lot of information! Thanks, Jeff

Morgana, thanks, this is a wonderful examples. And a good way to deal with the difficult cards.

Unfortunately, the "learn it before memorising" is not a way to go. I have no problem learning the logical parts, I am using anki for the memorisation part and I am making each card for a reason. The reason is: I am failing to learn this thin in another manner.

Hanno, you are assuming all the systems are that well orgnised as the american USMLE. Thanks a lot for your input, it is gret to hear from a fellow language learner who happens to be a doctor :-) I wish I could just use so well prepared decks like those people share on medicalanki, the american medical students are really great at this!

For the czech medical exams, there are no official question banks (or not university made private ones). Multiple choice tests are part of the whole examination process but there are also the oral exams. It is a hell, and either we cheat on the multiple choice tests or we don't pass (nope, cheating is not just for bad students. Very few people would pass because the tests are overall designed really badly, sometimes test grammar more than the subject, and include really weirdly chosen stuff). The czech medical faculties learnt one part of this modern attitude: they are making the multiple choice tests. But they forgot the second part: to teach us what they want us to put there, or to actually test what is being taught. So, it is a complicated issue and anki is supposed to help me just secondarily with the czech exams, just a side effect. My degree without a path abroad will be worthless anyways, so I don't need to excel here, just pass. So the form of the cards doesn't matter much for the czech exams, the knowledge inside partially does.

For the french medical exams, it is more complicated. Yes, I am using the model test question collections (books and an online course) and it costs lots and lots of money (my university's library doesn't have them of course, and I cannot attend cheap preparatory courses by the French universitites, and I am not allowed to access the free practice collection either , I have to buy everything), so I am drilling the questions on paper. But I suck horribly, because I don't have the knowledge base. I am a failure and Anki is an attempt to get through this. I need to know the theory and I am failing horribly all the time. I obviously don't have the basic knowledge for this, so just fact cards seem to be necessary too.

It is not my invention, the french are using them too. I have downloaded a few decks by other people (three or four authors), to see how they do it. I tried using them for my own learning. The problem: their fact cards usually contain too much information on one card (I am unable to remember it), and the style is sometimes not that great for me (or rather the style of some parts of the deck).

Do you think I should copy the books with multiple choice questions to anki too, or paper will suffice?

I'll try to slow down while learning. But it is horrible. I have so little time. And I hate studying, I wish there was a way to make the process faster, so that the hell would already be over :-D I have no problem imagining the clinical context, I am good at that. I do well in the rare exams taking into account logical thinking and use of the knowledge in context. I just suck at the memorisation of the million facts I'll need just for the exam and I need to change that.
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hanno
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Re: huge anki decks

Postby hanno » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:49 am

Cavesa wrote:Hanno, you are assuming all the systems are that well orgnised as the american USMLE. Thanks a lot for your input, it is gret to hear from a fellow language learner who happens to be a doctor :-) I wish I could just use so well prepared decks like those people share on medicalanki, the american medical students are really great at this!

For the czech medical exams, there are no official question banks (or not university made private ones). Multiple choice tests are part of the whole examination process but there are also the oral exams. It is a hell, and either we cheat on the multiple choice tests or we don't pass (nope, cheating is not just for bad students. Very few people would pass because the tests are overall designed really badly, sometimes test grammar more than the subject, and include really weirdly chosen stuff). The czech medical faculties learnt one part of this modern attitude: they are making the multiple choice tests. But they forgot the second part: to teach us what they want us to put there, or to actually test what is being taught. So, it is a complicated issue and anki is supposed to help me just secondarily with the czech exams, just a side effect. My degree without a path abroad will be worthless anyways, so I don't need to excel here, just pass. So the form of the cards doesn't matter much for the czech exams, the knowledge inside partially does.

For the french medical exams, it is more complicated. Yes, I am using the model test question collections (books and an online course) and it costs lots and lots of money (my university's library doesn't have them of course, and I cannot attend cheap preparatory courses by the French universitites, and I am not allowed to access the free practice collection either , I have to buy everything), so I am drilling the questions on paper. But I suck horribly, because I don't have the knowledge base. I am a failure and Anki is an attempt to get through this. I need to know the theory and I am failing horribly all the time. I obviously don't have the basic knowledge for this, so just fact cards seem to be necessary too.

It is not my invention, the french are using them too. I have downloaded a few decks by other people (three or four authors), to see how they do it. I tried using them for my own learning. The problem: their fact cards usually contain too much information on one card (I am unable to remember it), and the style is sometimes not that great for me (or rather the style of some parts of the deck).

Do you think I should copy the books with multiple choice questions to anki too, or paper will suffice?

I'll try to slow down while learning. But it is horrible. I have so little time. And I hate studying, I wish there was a way to make the process faster, so that the hell would already be over :-D I have no problem imagining the clinical context, I am good at that. I do well in the rare exams taking into account logical thinking and use of the knowledge in context. I just suck at the memorisation of the million facts I'll need just for the exam and I need to change that.


Wow, your situation sounds complicated. It seems like you have to first study medicine in Czech, then in France? Whatever the case, med schools in the US are fairly straight forward, you are tested on what you learn, and I appear to have erroneously assumed that to be true elsewhere as well.
Do check out the memory palace technique when you get a chance. Best of luck in your studies!
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