Anki is a powerful software allowing students to help with memory and learning retention. For medical students, it can be a savior that leads to great test scores on their board exams.
Even as Anki continually updates its software, you often can’t find the features you need. Independent developers have made add-ons that work seamlessly with the software.
You can enhance your Anki experience by using add-ons that make your study time easier and more productive.
We’ll cover the best Anki add-ons to install and cover what they do.
Best Anki Addons for Medical School
Installing these plugins into your Anki software can help you learn more efficiently. They all vary in their function. Some are designed to help you navigate the software better, while others help you create better decks.
Here are the following add-ons we’ll be reviewing:
- AMBOSS Add-on
- Frozen Fields Add-on
- Night Mode Add-on
- Fastbar Add-on
- Image Occlusion Add-on
- Clickable Tags Add-on
- Speed Focus Mode Add-on
- Load Balancer Mode Add-on
1. AMBOSS Add-On
AMBOSS offers a library of online resources dedicated to helping medical students learn medicine.
With the add-on, you can unify your AMBOSS resources and connect their high-yield confirmation directly to your deck.
It links automatically to AMBOSS, so you can easily find explanations of the terms.
You’ll see pop-up explanations and the corresponding articles by hovering over the medical terms in the flashcards. This lets you strengthen or fill in knowledge gaps and opt to dive into related QBank sessions.
If you’re already using AMBOSS to study, it’s a seamless integration to help you refer back to the content in AMBOSS when using your Anki deck.
2. Frozen Fields
If you’re a student who enjoys making your own card flashcards, the Frozen Fields add-on will save you a boatload of time. It lets you copy and paste information from one card to another.
Frozen Fields allows you to create sticky and unsticky fields from the note editor. A sticky field means the value doesn’t get deleted when switching to a new note. It’s useful when making notes that change very little or have the same value.
You can produce multiple cards using the same theme and image by clicking the snowflake button.
3. Night Mode
Night mode is offered in nearly any device, from smartphones to desktops. For iPhone, night modes are used to reduce battery consumption. For other devices, it’s helpful to reduce eyestrain, especially when studying for long hours.
Night mode for Anki makes the entire Anki software into a black background. You can either automatically or manually turn the app into night mode. Additionally, you can invert color formulas or images while defining the color substitution rules.
For example, all the high-yield terms can be colored into a specific color.
Fastbar is an Anki Add-on that creates an additional toolbar at the top to keep all of the features of the Anki software organized. Completely your daily reviews can be time-intensive, but it’s also necessary for students to organize their decks.
You may need to change decks, make notes or suspend certain cards. In Anki, suspending a card means it stops showing up in the deck. This lets you focus on your weaknesses rather than your strengths.
Fastbar saves you a lot of time by keeping its most useful features in an easily accessible toolbar. You might discover lesser-known functions like “change note type” or “clear unused tags.” With Fastbar, you won’t fast time trying to figure out what features are available or where to find them.
5. Image Occlusion
Image Occlusion is a must-have add-on for those who want to level up their anatomy knowledge. This add-on lets you hide portions of an image to test your memory of the hidden information.
Think of it like cloze-deletions except for images. This is currently only available for Anki 2.1.50 and up, so make sure you update your Anki before trying to download.
When using this add-on, we recommend following these rules:
- Mix real images with cartoons. Mixing up real anatomy dissections with cartoons lets you get the complete picture.
- Use different angles. This prevents you from trying to memorize the label. Try using different images, so you’re not comfortable reading the same picture.
- Don’t overuse this add-on. Only focus on your weaknesses and build the deck around them. There’s no point in creating image occlusions of topics you’re comfortable with.
6. Clickable Tags
When using premade decks, especially from Lightyear, Zanki, or AnKing, it’s vital to have the Clickable Tags add-on. This add-on lets you see the tags on the bottom of the card. This is where you’ll see the study resource that the question came from.
The tag is clickable so that it leads you directly to the resource so that you can learn more information about that particular topic.
Within the deck, you can brown by tag so you can view all the related questions in the tag.
7. Speed Focus Mode
The Speed Focus Mode add-on is a vital tool to add to your Anki software. This plugin helps you to answer questions faster and go through the deck as quickly as possible.
Medical students need fast recall, especially when it comes to board exams. Speed Focus Mode trains you to pay close attention and speed up your reps. It will reveal the answer or fail the flashcard after a set time.
You can customize the speed of the answer shown. Additionally, it lets you select whether you want the card to play in audio or be replaced after a given time.
8. Load Balancer
Load balancer allows you to divide the number of flashcards you have left to do each day until the deadline.
This is useful in the early stages, where some days you get a lot of cards, while others you don’t receive many.
Consequently, the Load Balance adjusts the load to be less intensive on specific days. It helps evenly balance your deck and ensures you receive spaced repetition benefits. This concept means you best remember pieces of information with strategic and timed reminders.
How to Download Add-ons for Anki
Download Anki is incredibly simple. You’ll need the code from the Ankiweb site.
Here’s how you can download the Ambosss onto Anki Decks:
- Copy the code from the Ankiweb site or source.
- Open Anki and select Tools.
- Navigate to Add-ons.
- Click on Get-Add-on and then paste the code.
- Restart your Anki software so that the plugin can take effect.
Colin is a healthcare writer who focuses on generating impactful content for young med
students. Particularly, he specializes in the finances and money-making opportunities that a
career in the medical field can provide.
As a once-struggling college student, he now has built a career from freelance writing and other
side hustles. Hailing from Chicago, he loves writing, reading, and weight lifting.
His goal is to become a world-class copywriter, using his creativity and words to inspire others
to improve their lives.