Anki Zoom

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  1. Anki addon zoom. GitHub Gist: instantly share code, notes, and snippets.
  2. Zoom in or out with Ctrl/Ctrl+- or with Ctrl+mouse wheel or with the View/Zoom menu. The zoom is reset when you switch the main screen (change between deck browser/deck overview/review).
  3. Introduction to the most essential add-ons for Anki! My personal list for the best Anki add-ons to make studying more enjoyable and efficient.Let me know if.


This set includes a flash card for every question in the 2020 – 2024 Extra Class question pool.

These aren’t traditional flash cards that simply grill you on the questions and answers. Instead, these are “smart” flash cards and require the use of the Anki flash card app (NOTE: Apps for MacOS, Windows, Linux, and Android are available for free, but the iPhone app costs $24.99). Anki uses a technique called active recall testing. Anki will ask you a question from the question pool and then wait for an answer. Research has shown that active recall testing is far more effective at building strong memories than passive study. There are two reasons for this:

  • The act of recalling something strengthens your memory, increasing the chances you will be able to remember it again.
  • If you are unable to answer a question, it tells you that you need to return to the material to review or relearn it.

In addition to active recall testing, Anki uses a technique called spaced repetition. Every time you answer a question, you tell the program how easy or difficult you found the question. The program uses this feedback to decide the optimal time to show you the question again. Since a memory gets stronger each time you successfully recall it, the time between reviews gets longer and longer. When you’re just starting out, you may want to see certain questions more frequently in the future. As you learn the answers, you can tell Anki to ask those questions less frequently. This lets you concentrate on the questions that you’re difficult with.

And, if that wasn’t enough, each card contains an explanation taken directly from my No Nonsense Extra Class License Study Guide.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what Anki is and what it can do for you in medical school.

37 days to go and 430k reviews deep on zanki! Would love to use my dedicated breaks to motivate others to start/continue anki'ing away. This is the way.

Among medical students who are into Anki, you will often hear something along the lines of:
'All you need is a pre-made Anki deck like Zanki and you'll get a 250+ on boards.'

While Anki can be a powerful tool, statements like these drastically oversimplify what Anki is and do not provide much useful information on how to use it correctly.

Anki is not a cure-all for medical school. It is an amazing tool for memorizing discrete facts. But the fact of the matter is, medical school is not just about working hard, but also working smart. The same applies when using any resource including Anki.

So that said, here are some things that I wish I knew before using Anki in medical school that might help you save time and maximize results.


  1. Use Anki 2.1 now, the add-ons have finally caught up!

1. Simply working harder does not do not make Anki cards on every fact you encounter

When I began medical school, I really bought into the belief that Anki could solve all of my studying problems. So I made Anki cards for literally every single fact that was contained in a lecture. I made over 1000 cards in my first week….and almost 3000 in the first month.

How long did this take me? Almost every waking moment of my first month of school. It was quite miserable. And when our anatomy block started a few weeks later, the sheer volume of innervations, blood supplies, structures, and their 3D orientation totally overwhelmed me and I could not keep up with my brute force strategy of making cards for every single detail.

To make matters worse, I completely forgot those first thousands of cards I made because I couldn't keep up with my Anki reviews and use Anki correctly.

What you should learn from this cautionary tale is this:

The sheer volume of information in medical school means that one can not simply succeed by working harder. One must also work efficiently.

Simply working harder with Anki can be massively inefficient. Customizing your Anki experience is necessary to unlock its true potential as both a memory tool and time-saver.

2. Use Pre-Made Decks to stand on the shoulders of giants!

If you've delved into the depths of internet forums about Anki in medical school like I have, you'll have learned about Zanki, Lightyear, and Brosencephalon. These are not the names of superheroes or aliens, but they are pre-made Anki decks that are more or less comprehensive for the USMLE Step 1 exam.

Anki has a great feature where it allows you to download and use the Anki cards created by others! The creators of the above-mentioned decks are medical students who scored very very well on the Step 1 exam (>250, 85%).


That said, do NOT just open a deck and start using it without understanding concepts first and editing cards. Which leads me to the next thing I wish I knew….

Anki addons 2.1

3. Understand your card before doing your card. Then, personalize pre-made cards with images, mnemonics, and notes.

One of the biggest mistakes I've made and that I've seen other classmates make after downloading a pre-made deck like Zanki is that they start working through cards without understanding the concepts or editing the cards. This almost always ends in frustration.

Students who do this will find that they become...zombie-like. What I mean is that they grind through card after card without really understanding what's going into it. They will start to memorize the shapes of the text on cards and the phrasing of the cards instead of testing themselves on their understanding of the concept. Not only is this an ineffective way to learn, but it is truly soul-crushing.

The thing is, pre-made decks were written with the voice of their makers. And the makers crushed boards because they wrote cards in a way that helped them to remember it.

The cards in pre-made decks are useful as a guidepost for a fact/concept you need to know. But it's really up to you to make the card your own.

Real quick, some ways I often use to help me personalize a card are:

  1. Eliminate extraneous words, use your own words

  2. Insert images (the mac shortcut for screenshotting a square in your screen is cmd+ctrl+shft+4; PC use the snipping tool app in Windows)

  3. Use mnemonics or lists when possible

  4. Insert comments about your understanding of the concept

Edit: A cool to change the screenshotting shortcut on macs suggested by my classmate Corey:
“Preferences>Keyboard>Shortcuts>Screenshots > select save to clipboard > change shortcut to command+1”

4. Use Anki 2.1! Then install add-ons to amplify your Anki experience

Edit: I need to note that I’ve recently changed my stance on this because of the work of an add-on creator Glutanimate. He has practically singlehandedly made Anki 2.1 viable. I now recommend Anki 2.1 because its faster and the add-ons are more or less on part with those for Anki 2.0. Anki 2.1 is the future!

One of the incredible things about Anki is the fact that the creators are very open to sharing their product in a non-profit driven way. That means that they've allowed the general public to use their code and create add-ons on top of their interface. Those add-ons are extremely powerful and allow you to really make the most of your Anki experience.

Anki Zooming

If you decide to use Anki as your primary study tool, it's worth it to customize the interface to utilize the full potential of the software to make the most of your time.

That said, MAKE SURE YOU USE ANKI 2.1. I previously recommended 2.0 but the add-ons have finally caught up for 2.1! For the most part. Unfortunately some add-ons are still being ported over, but Anki 2.1 is the future.

To install an add-on:
Open Anki -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Browse & Install -> Enter Code -> Restart

Some add-ons that I highly recommend checking out when first using Anki:

To gamify your Anki experience!

Creating and Editing Cards

Other Features

5. Use an Anki controller to turn Anki into a video game and fix your back pain!

Around four months into Anki'ing my way through the first year of medical school, I started feeling neck and shoulder pain. It grew progressively more painful until around month 6 it hurt so badly that I couldn't sleep. I tried everything from switching to a standing desk and buying a $300 chair from ikea. Ultimately, one of the main things that solved my pain issue was the Anki controller.

After you buy the wireless controller, you would use a program like Karabiner for MacOSX in order to map the keys. I will make a more extensive guide on this soon. In the mean time, feel free to email me if you need help with setting up the controller. (email: [email protected])

This controller not only allowed me to program each of its buttons to match settings on Anki, it also let me sit-up straight or even walk and dance around while I completed my 1000 reviews for the day! Just to give you a sense, that takes about 4 hours for me...that's 4 hours standing or sitting up straight and not slouching!

Furthermore, I was able to make it feel less like I was on my computer and more like I was playing a game. Combined with the Progress Bar add-on, Speed Focus, and Dog add-on, I was flying through cards!

I highly highly recommend you use this when you start Anki to save yourself from back and neck pain.

One of the best ways to maximize your studying and time is to have a method for studying while on the go! Anki has a mobile app that you can sync with your account so that you can complete your cards in your bed, in a waiting room before you get your flu shot, or in the bathroom during a boring dinner. It costs $25 for the iPhone app, but to me it was way worth it because of the convenience.

Anki is meant to be a long-term investment in spaced repetition and is best used when attempting to memorize large amounts of discrete facts for the long-term.

Anki Zoom Image

Anki is not a cram resource. Let me repeat that, ANKI IS NOT A CRAM RESOURCE.

There are in fact much better ways to cram for a test if you must.

In order to make the best use of Anki, you need to take a long-term approach and....

8. Anki is a spaced repetition finish all of your reviews!

The power of Anki really lies in spaced repetition. So what is spaced repetition?

Anki Zoom

Put simply its the fact that memories are retained longest when facts are recalled just as you are about to forget them. What Anki does is it tracks all of your cards and shows you each card just as you are about to forget it.

Anki Deck Add Ons

If you want to learn more, check out this blog post by the Fluent Forever team.

I also highly recommend the book fluent forever if you have the time.

The point is, when you don't finish your reviews on schedule, you start to lose the precious memories that you worked so hard to build. Come time for boards, you'll have to work that much harder to regain them.

And that's it! Please leave a like and let me know in the comments section below if you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas for things I should write about next. You can also contact me at [email protected]

Thanks for reading!

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