Anki Forums

Making effective reversible cards

The default reversible card type in Anki is useful. However, imagine you want your cards to look like:

Q: The capital of [Wisconsin] is
A: Madison

And

Q: [Madison] is the capital of
A: Wisconsin

In this case, the reversible card type won’t work. How would you go about making notes like this, or do you just have to make separate cards? Right now my workaround is to make a reversible card that looks like:

Q: The capital of Wisconsin is
A: Madison is the capital of

And then I just have to know what I mean.

My question is how to create cards that are “semantically” reversible even though the actual text on the cards might not be complete mirror images of each other.

I tried reading the Anki manual but I couldn’t totally understand. I know this is a stupid question, but having someone show me an example of how they surmount this problem would really help.

You’d put the prompts in the card template, as shown in the intro video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnbKwHEQ1mA&yt:cc=on

1 Like

Thanks for the prompt response and link to the video which basically read my mind. To push a bit further:

This works well for sets of reversible cards where the syntax is the same each time, like for a deck of Capitals <-> States. Often, however, I run into this reversing problem when I’m studying for a class and I suddenly want to make a card with a syntax that can make sense forwards and backwards. For example, studying for Chapter 1, I may decide I want to make the following reversible card:

Front: CO is equal to
Back: SV x HR

Front: SV x HR is equal to
Back: CO

and then in Chapter 2, I decide I’d like to make the following reversible card:

Front: Type of migration most often associated with internal migration
Back: Voluntary migration

Front: Type of migration most often associated with voluntary migration
Back Internal migration

This seems different from the linked video in that it does not appear that a single card template will cover both these use cases. In this scenario, is my only recourse to just make ad hoc card templates with the appropriate phrasing every time I run into this problem? It seems that this would require significantly more effort than just sticking with the normal template and using my current workaround. Or are all of these types of issues solvable via changing the cards to cloze deletions instead? Let me know if I need to clarify further.

You could accomplish it by separating the prompts out into separate fields, but you may find cloze deletion easier in such cases.

There is another way: using a Basic note type; you can formulate a crisp Question and Answer – without a need to think about the ‘reversed’ field. Additionally, you will be able to spread these related cards by any number of days – to reduce the interference.

Cloze deletion. You will have to formulate the ‘prompts’.
I would stick with the Basic note.

1 Like

Creating a separate note for every card is of course the most flexible, but requires typing everything twice.

1 Like

This discussion on reddit might be useful: https://reddit.com/r/Anki/comments/hf9mcq/how_to_create_a_card_and_its_reverse_from_this/