What precisely are flashcards?
Flashcards are small note cards used to test and improve memory by repeated information retrieval. Usually, flashcards are two-sided, with the prompt on one side and details about the prompt on the other. Names, vocabulary, principles, or procedures can all be included.
Flashcards are often used in spaced practice, and repetition aids in determining what information is easily remembered and what requires more effort. Flashcards, in terms of time management, allow you to take advantage of brief bursts of time that arise during the day or week, in addition to scheduled study sessions.
Online flashcards are an excellent way to learn new things. Since they involve active learning, repetition, and contemplation of your responses, flashcards are among the best ways to recall new knowledge.
We suggest using a physical deck of flashcards to sample. Still, online flashcards can also be very beneficial, and there are several flashcard makers available to assist you in creating your deck.
Flashcards promote studying through active recall
Can you recall every detail you’ve read in a textbook? Most likely not! This is because when we read something passively, our minds are not forced to think.
When we have to answer questions, though, our brains have no choice but to take one of two actions. Our brains are continuously stimulated to remember information as we use flashcards consciously.
In this manner, the memory is retained in our minds for a long time. According to learning experts, active recall is one of the most successful study strategies ever discovered.
Flashcards promote studying through active recall, which is one of the powerful strategies our brains learn most effectively.
Active recall is highly effective for consolidating long-term memory.” Active recall has been shown to strengthen neuron associations with a specific memory subject when attempting to learn the idea from scratch.
And our brain would be able to remember the information more quickly.
Scholars unanimously conclude that repeated testing or active recall performs much better than repeated studying or passive analysis for long-term memory retention.
So, if you want to meet your academic goals, keep quizzing yourself!
It is also why common gamified learning platforms often employ quizzes and polls during and after learning sessions.
Flashcards trigger “Metacognition” in your brain
Metacognitive processes, including active recall, have been shown to improve long-term learning in humans. Flashcards help our brain’s metacognitive abilities. But what exactly does this mean?
When you want to reveal the response side of a flashcard, you’re essentially saying to yourself, “Let me see how my answer compares to this right answer.” Metacognition refers to this apparent act of self-reflection.
Metacognition has been shown in studies worldwide to help ingrain memories more plunging into the human brain.
When you make flashcards, you measure your knowledge by deciding what goes on each card and how much you use them, followed by an evaluation to see how well you know the details on each card. It is a scientifically proven method for improving memory capacity.
Benefits of Using Flash Cards in Studies
We have outlined a couple of the most significant advantages of using flashcards in the studies below:
Flashcards are cost-effective
In terms of study materials, flashcards are unquestionably one of the most cost-effective options available.
You do not have to buy a fancy deck of cards to make a flashcard.
Simple index cards (around 3-by-5 inches in size) are more than capable of doing the job independently.
Flashcards are portable learning resources that can be taken anywhere and at any time.
They are also less heavy than textbooks and can be accessed whenever and wherever you want.
Flashcards will take your learning to a whole new level by speeding up the process for your benefit.
The portability of flashcards can also help to increase your overall learning speed.
Students would be able to make better use of their time and learn something new every day if they carry cards everywhere.
There is no requirement that you use flashcards only for one subject.
They can be used to learn almost ANY subject in general, including history, geography, biology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, multiple languages, English vocabulary, and so on.
The best general use of flashcards (regardless of subject) is found in:
- Memorizing significant historical dates.
- Whatever the subject, memorizing key facts and figures is essential.
- Memorizing words in the English language (or any other language).
- Learning mathematical and physics formulas.
- Memorizing chemical formulae.
Ease up the entire learning procedures
What kind of information do you usually write on a flashcard? Do you write details in paragraphs after paragraphs? Or do you write the primary underlying concept of the subject matter, something that your brain can absorb in a flash? If you’re doing it, you’re on the right page.
By pushing yourself to simplify the subject (by writing the basic fundamental concepts of the subject on your assigned flashcards), you are simply easing up the whole learning process.
Benefits of using e-flash cards over paper flashcards
With advancements in technology and the mobile internet, flashcards have also significantly changed how they were previously.
Thanks to the invention of the mobile internet, we now can use e-flash cards right at our fingertips.
While most of the benefits remain more or less the same when comparing e-flash cards to paper flashcards, one benefit appears to be unrivalled by everything else.
E-flash cards will help you save a lot of paper (and, by extension, trees) for the sake of the forest.
The same action will also help you reduce your carbon footprint.
How to Study With Flashcards?
Flashcards are a tried-and-true method of studying.
Flashcards will help you memorize facts, reinforce understanding, and remember specifics whether you are studying for a chemistry quiz or a French test.
Not all flashcards, however, are produced equal. Learn how to make the best collection of flashcards to optimize your study time.
To get started, gather the following materials:
- 3 x 5 index cards
- Highlighter colours
- a keychain, a ribbon, or a rubber band
- Study guide or vocabulary list
- Hole puncher
Creating the Flashcards
- Fill in one vocabulary word or key phrase on the front of the card.
- Keep any additional marks, smudges, or doodles off the front of the card and centre the word horizontally and vertically.
- Turn over the card.
- You’re not going to do something else with the card’s front.
- Fill in the upper left-hand corner of the back of the card with the meaning of the vocabulary term.
- Make sure that you write the term in your terms.
- Fill in the upper right-hand corner with the word’s part of the vocabulary.
- If the part of speech is irrelevant (for example, if you’re preparing for a history exam), classify the word in another way, such as by period.
- Write a sentence using the vocabulary word in the lower left-hand corner.
- In any way, make the sentence imaginative, humorous, or unforgettable.
- (If you write a dull sentence, you’re much less likely to recall it!)
- Draw a tiny image or graphic to go with the vocabulary word on the lower right-hand side.
- It doesn’t have to be artistic; simply something that reminds you of the meaning will suffice.
- Once you’ve made a flashcard for each word on your list, punch a hole in the centre of the right side of each card and secure it with a key ring, ribbon, or rubber band.
The 5 Best Ways to Make Flashcards
There are many ways for creating flashcards. You can make them yourself with paper and a writing utensil, or you can use a website or software to produce a deck of flashcards. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and the five best ways to make flashcards are listed below.
Pen and Paper
We love old-fashioned flashcards made from note cards and a pen.
It takes longer than making flashcards online, but writing out of flashcards helps you remember the details better than simply typing it. Getting a physical deck of cards makes our favourite Waterfall Method of learning easier to use (see the next section).
Just take some note cards or paper, cut them to size if necessary, and begin creating your flashcards!
Quizlet, one of the most successful web flashcard websites, allows you to create and study flashcards on their website or via their app, allowing you to study whenever and wherever you want.
You can also review flashcard sets created by other users, which can be beneficial if you don’t have time to make your own and someone else has already created one on the same subject you are researching.
However, although creating an account is free, certain flashcard sets and study methods (such as those emphasizing confidence-based repetition) require payment to be used.
Cram has all of the features of Quizlet, but it also allows you to use various training methods for free, such as Memorize (which uses confidence-based repetition) and Test (in which you match correct answers). You can use either the website or the app version.
One feature that distinguishes this flashcard maker is the ability to easily add images/diagrams to your flashcards, which can be very useful when researching those subjects.
The platform is heavy on design features (you can select the exact text size, colour, and font you like), which can be irritating if all you want to do is make a simple deck of flashcards, but if you want your cards to look a certain way, this is an excellent site to use.
It has a website as well as an app that you can use.
In addition to standard features, the Flashcard Machine website and app allow you to add audio to flashcards, which can be especially useful when learning a new language.
It also makes it simple to add a partner to a flashcard package, allowing a group of classmates to work together to produce flashcards that everyone can use.
Studying With Flashcards
When you take notes in class, have a supply of blank index cards on hand. When you hear a key phrase, pen it down on a card and add the answers later or during your study session.
This procedure helps you to reinforce what you learn in training. Before a test or exam, study the flashcards daily, preferably once a day for 1 to 2 weeks.
Examine various methods, such as analyzing aloud versus quietly and working alone versus with a research group.
Create a tiny checkmark in the corner of the cards you answer correctly while studying with flashcards. When you’ve made two or three marks on a card, you know it’s ready to be placed in a separate pile.
Continue going through your main stack of cards until all of them have two or three labels. Then shuffle them and store them for your next review session (or continue practising!).
Flashcard Games for Study Groups
Work with your study group to build a comprehensive list of words to study using the glossary in the back of your textbook for courses that enable you to memorize many concepts, such as social studies and history.
Colours code the words according to the chapter if necessary. With your study party, make a matching game. Make separate cards for the questions and answers, and leave the backsides of all cards blank.
Turn the cards over one by one, searching for matches. Make it a game by creating teams and keeping score to add to the excitement. Take part in a game of charades.
Divide into groups and put all of the flashcards in a hat or basket.
During each round, a representative from one team takes the stage, pulls out a flashcard, and tries to get his or her team to guess what was on the flashcard by using silent cues (miming and body language). The first team to reach 5 points wins.
How to Get the Most Out of the Flashcards?
Here are the tips for making and using flashcards so you can make the most of your study time.
1. Use them for topics that are best suited to flashcard study.
Some subjects lend themselves more readily to flashcards than others. Flashcards are also used to research topics that include a large number of small pieces of details, such as vocab or historical dates.
Since you don’t want to clutter your flashcards with too much detail, avoid using them to research complex topics such as geometric proofs or examples of various biological processes.
If it’s challenging to fit the complete response on one side of a flashcard, it’s a sign that you should try a different method of analysis.
2. Make your flashcards
While it might be tempting to use someone else’s flashcards, this is not the most successful way to learn. It can save you time in the beginning because you can begin researching them right away, but there are two significant drawbacks to this approach.
The first is that making flashcards is one way you memorize knowledge (again, active vs passive learning), and merely using cards made by others eliminates the learning potential.
Second, even though a flashcard collection you find online claims to cover the same subject you’re learning, it might not contain all of the details you need to know. Anyone can post flashcard sets on the internet, and you can end up using one that focuses on details other than what you need to know or, worse, has incorrect answers.
If you must use a pre-made collection of flashcards, make it your research method so that you can ensure you are still reviewing all of the material you need to remember.
3. Provide the Right Amount of Data on Your Flashcards
It takes some skill to make great flashcards: you want to provide enough detail to understand all you need to, but you don’t want to clutter your flashcards with so many details that it takes hours to go through them.
If you’re making flashcards for more complex subjects, consider putting brief bullet points (no more than three or four per card) on the back, so you don’t have to write paragraphs.
And keep in mind that flashcards do not have to be the only method of analysis, and they sometimes should not be.
You may find it more beneficial to include some of the more accessible material in your flashcards and then use other methods to study more complex topics.
4: Study Your Flashcards regularly
The portability of flashcards is one of their main advantages. And if you have a physical collection of flashcards, carrying a stack of them around is much better than carrying a textbook or all of your class notes.
Utilize this opportunity! As previously said, repetition is one of the most effective ways for our brains to learn new knowledge, so make an effort to study your flashcards regularly.
Even though they are just a few minutes long, multiple short study sessions are more successful than one long study session.
Take out your flashcards and do some analysis if you have some free time, whether it’s while waiting for a friend or while sitting in an Uber.
Flashcards are a traditional study method, and they are one of the most powerful ways for our brains to think. They not only help learners memorize facts quickly, but they also allow for long-term retention of knowledge in the human brain.
Nothing beats the effectiveness of flashcards, particularly when it comes to reviewing concepts.