Master Anki for Medical School: Unveiling the Perfect Settings
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Master Anki for Medical School: Unveiling the Perfect Settings

Ari Horesh

Attention, future doctors! Are you ready to optimize your Anki experience for medical school? Today, we're diving deep into the world of Anki settings to help you find the perfect balance for your study sessions. So, strap in and get ready for the ultimate Anki medical school settings guide!

Why Anki Settings Matter

Anki is an incredible tool for memorizing and retaining vast amounts of information. However, it's crucial to understand that the software's default settings may not be ideal for every user, particularly medical students. By fine-tuning your Anki settings, you can optimize your learning experience, increase retention, and ultimately achieve better results in your exams.

The Ideal Anki Settings for Medical School

Let's jump right into the best settings for Anki in medical school. Remember, these settings are not set in stone, and you should feel free to adjust them according to your personal preferences and study habits.

New Cards

  1. Steps (in minutes): 25 1440
    This setting determines the intervals for new cards. The default setting (1 10) may be too short for medical students. By changing it to 25 1440, you'll see a new card after 25 minutes and then again after 1440 minutes (24 hours). This allows for more spaced repetition, which is essential for long-term retention.
  2. New cards per day: 50-100
    Depending on your workload and study schedule, you might want to adjust the number of new cards you study daily. Aim for 50-100 new cards per day, but feel free to increase or decrease this number based on your personal preferences and time available for studying.
  3. Graduating interval: 3
    After completing the learning steps, a card will "graduate" and move into the review phase. The graduating interval determines the number of days before you see a graduated card again. We recommend setting this interval to 3 days for medical students.
  4. Easy interval: 4
    This setting determines the interval for cards you find easy during the learning phase. We recommend setting the easy interval to 4 days for medical students, allowing you to focus on more challenging material.


  1. **Maximum reviews per day:** 200-300
    This setting controls the cap on the number of review cards you'll see daily. For medical students, we recommend setting it to 200-300 to avoid becoming overwhelmed by review cards. However, feel free to adjust this number based on your available study time and personal preferences.
  2. Interval modifier: 100%
    The interval modifier adjusts the intervals between card repetitions. A higher modifier means longer intervals, whereas a lower modifier means shorter intervals. We recommend keeping the interval modifier at 100% for medical students to maintain a balanced approach to spaced repetition.
  3. Maximum interval: 36500
    This is the maximum number of days before a card will appear again, even if you continue to answer it correctly. For medical students, we recommend setting the maximum interval to 36500 days (100 years), which is essentially "forever." This ensures that even the most well-learned material will still appear occasionally for review.
  4. Easy bonus: 130%
    The easy bonus is a multiplier applied to the intervals of "easy" cards. A higher easy bonus means that easy cards will have longer intervals between reviews. We recommend setting the easy bonus to 130% for medical students, allowing you to 8 for medical students. Once a card becomes a leech, you can address it separately and determine whether you need to modify the card or approach it differently.
  5. Leech action: Tag Only
    When a card is deemed a leech, you can choose how Anki should handle it. We recommend selecting "Tag Only" to mark the card with a "leech" tag without suspending it. This allows you to review leeches separately and provides an opportunity to identify problem areas or challenging concepts.

Additional Tips for Anki Success in Medical School

Now that we've covered the ideal Anki settings for medical school, here are some additional tips to help you make the most of your study sessions:

Stay consistent: Make a habit of using Anki every day, even if you only have a few minutes to spare. Consistency is key to long-term retention and success.

Don't be afraid to modify cards: If you encounter a card that's too challenging or doesn't make sense, don't hesitate to edit it. Customizing cards to fit your learning style can improve retention and understanding.

Use multimedia: Enhance your cards with images, diagrams, and even audio to make them more engaging and memorable. Visual and auditory aids can improve recall and make your study sessions more enjoyable.

Break complex concepts into smaller parts: If a concept is too difficult to grasp, break it down into smaller, manageable pieces. Create multiple cards that cover different aspects of the concept, enabling you to understand and retain the information more effectively.

Review leeches and challenging cards separately: Use the leech tag to identify problem areas and dedicate time to reviewing these cards separately. This approach allows you to focus on overcoming difficulties and mastering challenging material.

Use pre-made decks as a foundation: Many medical students have created and shared their Anki decks. Use these resources as a starting point, but don't be afraid to customize them to suit your needs and learning style.

Stay patient: Mastering a vast amount of medical knowledge takes time and effort. Don't get discouraged if you struggle with certain topics or concepts. Keep reviewing your cards, adjusting your study habits, and seeking support from your peers and mentors.

By optimizing your Anki settings and implementing these tips, you'll be well on your way to mastering medical school material and acing those exams. Remember, it's essential to adjust settings and study habits according to your personal preferences and needs. Experiment with different settings, reflect on your progress, and fine-tune your approach as you go.


Anki is a powerful tool for medical students when used effectively. By customizing the settings based on our recommendations and incorporating the additional tips provided, you can optimize your learning experience and maximize retention. Remember, the key to success with Anki in medical school is consistency, dedication, and a willingness to adapt your study habits as needed. With persistence and the right settings, Anki can be your secret weapon to conquering medical school and achieving your dream of becoming a doctor. Happy studying!

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