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Tips for Using Flash Cards

1. Flash cards are for testing

  • On the front of the card, write a key term or question
  • On the back of the card, answer that question or define the term
  • Try to answer the front of the card before checking the back

2. One Idea, One Flashcard

Some ideas or concepts are too complex to be covered in one question.
Break these concepts down into multiple questions in order to study them well.
Use one flash card for one question, idea, or concept.

3. Combine both pictures and words

The brain is more likely to recall pictures than words. Combining the two will
boost your memory. Draw a simple picture for each term or question.
i.e., Places -> Map; Dates -> Timeline; Data -> Chart or Graph

4. Say your answers out loud

Saying the answer out loud holds you accountable and ensures you retrieve
the answer instead of flipping the card over prematurely. Reciting answers out
loud also enhances your memory of that term or question you are studying.

5. Reorder and Repeat

Reorder your cards and study them on both sides to increase your probability
of recalling all of the information for your terms and concepts. Keep cards in
your deck until you've correctly answered each card 3 times. Break your
cards into 3 piles: 'I have no clue,' 'I'm not too sure,' and 'I really know this.'

6. Use more than flash cards to study

Flashcards are a great study tool, but they should not be the only study tool
you use. Consider taking practice quizzes or tests, using mind maps, and trying
other study strategies to ensure your success on your next test or quiz.

Three flash cards, 1. Term or question on front; 2. definition/answer on back; 3. Use pictures