Tips for Using Flash Cards
Although flash cards make many people think of grade school mathematics classes, they are actually a valuable study tool at any grade level. Flash cards can be used for any topic, and they are easy to make. There are many ways in which flash cards can be used to help anyone improve their grades.
Making Flash Cards
There is no need to buy flash cards because they are easy to make. Making your own also ensures that your flash cards include the information that you need to know. Flash cards can be made out of index cards, sheets from notepads, or pieces of paper cut into squares. It is not necessary that they are all the same size and shape, but it helps when storing, sorting and organizing.
- Choose the most important facts from lectures, notes or your text to write on your flash cards. Unless you are required to learn a specific definition, put the information in your own words.
- Label your flash cards with the subject and date. This helps you categorize them for different quizzes and tests.
- There are several ways of organizing information on the flash cards, depending on what type of information you are studying:o Terms: Put the word on one side of the card and the definition on the other. Include examples that help clarify the definition.
o Mathematics: Put problems on one side and answers on the other. Include the steps for solving the problem and any illustrations that help make the answer clear.
o You can also draw pictures on one side, with an arrow pointing to what you need to know, with the answer on the other side. This method is helpful when studying maps, places and anatomy.
Using Flash Cards
You can study with flash cards in several ways.
- Look at the problem side of the card and answer it. You can check your answer by looking at the other side.
- For terms, you can alter your study method by looking at the answer and trying to name the term that goes with it. This method will also work with image flash cards.
- Make studying with flash cards a game. As you answer for each card, place it into either the ‘I knew it’ pile or the ‘I didn’t know it’ pile. When you get to the end, pick up the ‘I didn’t know it’ pile, shuffle them and start over. It will not take long for the ‘I didn’t know it’ pile to get smaller. After a few days, that pile will be non-existent.
- Use the flash cards every day for 5 to 10 minutes. They are small and portable, so you can pull out the flash cards for a quick cram session anywhere.
- When you have cards that you know every time and that require no hesitation, take them out of the deck. Replace them with new cards that have more difficult information. The replaced cards can be used for a quick review session the night before an exam.
Flash cards are small and portable, making them a study aid that you can use any time in any place. They may remind of you of learning mathematics in grade school, but there was a reason teachers always insisted on using them. They are an easy, effective and inexpensive way to learn any subject in a few minutes per day.