How to use Anki to study textbook material (i.e. material that is general and with no specific Q/A style)

jc.imbeault's Avatar


18 Sep, 2016 12:25 AM


I have used Anki to study Japanese in the paste to great success.

I am now studying for a CIPS qualificaton ( and would like to use Anki to helo with my studies.

The exam for my particular qualification (D1) is "Four exam questions each worth 25 marks, each testing a different learning outcome."

I'm having difficulty figuring out how to write my cards for this though. The reason being that I am learning from a textbook, and I have found it difficult to re-word the textbook material into easy Q/A style cards.

I'm hoping someone here has had a similar experience trying to study from a textbook where the study is more 'general' and can offer me pointers?

Here is some text from the textbook I am trying to memorize:

"Purchasing and supply is often used in recognition of the fact that the purchasing function has a role not just in 'buying inputs' but in 'securing supply'. The role of purchasing and supply is therefore to help secure and convert inputs from suppliers into outputs"

Note: I am able to break the above into small Q/A cards, but the problems that the question part is so short that I get the answers confused with other cards that have similar questions. The whole textbook is about purchasing and supply so questions like 'purchasing has a role in [...]' get confused with questions like ''Procurement is the [process of obtaining goods or services in anyway, including purchasing, hiring, leasing, and borrowing']

  1. 1 Posted by ZapBeeb on 18 Sep, 2016 04:00 PM

    ZapBeeb's Avatar

    Usually when you know the matter of study you manage to create cards that do not generate confusion.
    This does not usually happen in the first pass.

    I suppose you already know the famous supermemo's 20 rules for formulating knowledge.

  2. 2 Posted by etapley on 20 Sep, 2016 12:23 PM

    etapley's Avatar

    I think that one of the most important things, in making Anki cards, is to know the difference between text that you really need to learn, and text that supports your learning.

    It looks like your textbook isn't the clearest sort of writing, unfortunately. In the example you give, it seems to me that the most important fact is, "Purchasing and supply help (a) secure inputs and (b) convert inputs into outputs." If you know that, then it seems to me that you know the first part, too.

    It can be tough to ferret out the main ideas from the less important text—but if you can do so, you're less likely to forget it. The alternative (taking it sentence by sentence and entering each one in Anki) will likely result in lots of fairly repetitive cards.

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