Studying with Electronic Tools

Hi, Mr. B here in the blogging seat this time!

Some of you may know that I actually managed to pass the JLPT’s top level. In Japanese, that’s 日本語能力試験の1級. I don’t tell you this to brag, but to point out that with the right study tools, even a person of *ahem* middling brainpower can accomplish wonderful things. So I’d like to introduce you to the one I relied on the most, in hopes that you will check it out and realize its potential for studying any language (like English!) or even any subject.

  • Step 1: Google for “anki program” or “anki flashcards”. Use English just like I wrote it there.
  • Step 2: Find the Anki web page and click on it. Or use this link:
  • Step 3: Download the software. It’s free. If you don’t have a computer, there is an Android application version, Ankidroid, available at
  • there is an iPhone/iPad application (not free, unfortunately) available at
  • Step 4: Start making flashcards, or download sample decks. Now you need to populate your Anki program with electronic flash cards that are collected in electronic decks. This is the nice thing, because you can write your own flashcards and study whatever you want. Look at this sample:
  • 57f95dfcbd5922f4765f288e0bf2f51b.png

You can see a few things here. The text at the top (in blue) is the previously studied card. The text below (in black) is a flashcard with the answer revealed. When you look at the answer, you decide how well you remembered that answer by looking at the card. Anki uses spaced repetition, which has you study things just before you would be likely to forget them. Science has shown that spaced repetition is vital to memorization.

I believe there is a Japanese version of the program available, but if you have any problems making cards, grab me when I’m wandering around Bridges and I’ll be happy to help you set it up!

Remember, if you aren’t studying every day, you’re probably going to get rusty. Exercise your brain!