How to use flash cards for studying?

Have you heard of flash cards? Also known as business cards or flashcards, these cards have become popular in recent years as a study method that, without being overly complex, has proven to be one of the best systems for studying.

They can be done in many ways and with them we can study just about anything. However, as simple as they may seem, it requires some synthesis and thought during their realization so that their use is beneficial to us.

so below we will see how to use flash cards to study, as well as a reflection on its many advantages.

    What are business cards?

    Flash cards, also known as flash cards, study cards, or teaching cards, are cards that contain key ideas related to a topic. On the one hand the concept to be studied and on the other the answer or the development of the same. Flash cards are one of the most useful tools in studying, helping to synthesize the concepts most important when studying such as definitions, formulas, data or key dates.

    According to educational psychologists and other professionals linked to the world of teaching, these cards are one of the best learning and memorization methods because they allow to acquire knowledge by memorizing the content by spacing the cards. Its request is simple, fast and above all very effective when it is necessary to memorize a lot of content..

    At first glance, flash cards seem too simple to be useful. However, their regular use by high school, college and even college students is proving to be very useful. It combines text with visuals, making it easier to retain information. In other words, these are the most productive methods for studying.

      How to use flash cards to learn and memorize?

      Learning to use flash cards for studying is relatively easy, although it does have its trick. The way to do them is easy, rather than making an outline, although it is necessary carry out a certain process of reflection and synthesis to ensure that the significant information to be studied is introduced and that the sheets do not become too cumbersome to review. All we have to do is write the question or keyword on one side of the card and the answer on the other.

      We have to make sure that we can easily distinguish on which side we are going to ask the question and which side will be the answer. On the face of the answer we will place words, drawings or symbols which are either the answer itself, or which evoke it. That is, if the answer is very long and complex, we can instead put it directly on the other side, put keywords or symbols to help us review it aloud.

      It is advisable to make these cards immediately after studying a subject. Throughout the consultation, it is advisable to ask questions, write them down on a piece of paper and also put the answers, preferably reduced to the list of ideas needed to answer correctly. Once done, it will be time to translate these questions and answers on the flashcards, using our capacity for synthesis by associating imagination and creativity.

      Once you’ve created these worksheets, use them every day to review them. The more advanced the exam and the more you revise it throughout the day, the better. This is an advantage because if you have any doubts while reviewing them, you will have more room to ask the teacher any questions that were not very clear to you while you were studying.

      Add to that, our memory stores better what it does by reviewing more time in small sessions than what has been memorized at a time, because this second situation is more tiring. A 5-10 minute daily check-up with flash cards ends up systematically recording information in our brain, storing it in long-term memory.

      So once done flash cards can be combined with the spaced repeat method, a mode of learning in which the constant memorization and revision of what is learned becomes intertwined and at the same time acquires importance.

        How to make them

        If we prefer to make flash cards by hand, we have many alternatives for making them. They can be made with cardboard, paper or post-it notes, in different sizes, colors and shapes. This is where our imaginations and creativity thrive, and we need to know how to use any tool or format that we know will work best for us visually.

        The best way to work with flash cards is for us to make them ourselves. Of course, we can use other classmates, but it is better to have at our disposal our deck of cards, made by ourselves and therefore carried out in the way that best suits us for studying.

        On top of that, when we do them, we are also studying, making a mental effort to select the most important information and investing time which is, in fact, a review of the subject to be studied.

        too much it is important to use several different fonts and colors. By doing this, the cards will be more striking, breaking up the monotony and being more visually appealing. Variety helps to memorize better. In addition, drawings related to the concepts we are studying can be included, a great way to make the process more fun while making the task of memorization easier and keeping our attention alert. And you can add anything that makes it easier to remember the concept being studied, such as mnemonic rules or acronyms.

        Finally, the ideal is to use a single sheet for each concept to be studied and, when examining it, read it aloud. As we listen to what we wrote, we will remember it better later.

          Benefits of using memory cards

          The advantages of using flash cards for studying are numerous. There are so many of them that it is highly recommended to include it in our study routine. This method contributes to the following:

          1. Active memory

          Flash cards involve active memory. When we look at one of these cards and think about the answer, what we do involves a mental faculty known as active memory, trying to remember the concept from scratch. This active memory creates stronger neural connections. Because these cards are used over and over, because they are easy to use, they are the best way to review multiple times and at the same time improve memory of the concept to be learned.

          2. Use of metacognitive faculties

          By turning the card over to see if the answer was correct, the student performs a deep act of self-reflection, a faculty within what is called metacognition.

          This makes the student aware of his abilities, such as the ease of the first review, if he needs to pay more attention to a certain point that has been forgotten or if he often gets it wrong. Either way, getting to know him will make it easier for you to hone your weaker skills and, as a result, learn better.

            3. Improves confidence

            Tutorials improve confidence based on repetition. The more he repeats, the more he is aware that he knows when he finds out for himself that this is so. It has empirical proof of what memory performance is and how he remembers what he studies, which gives him better confidence, which is crucial for the exam as emotions influence his academic performance as well.

              4. They allow you to study any subject

              There is no academic subject that resists the use of flash cards. Even more practical subjects like mathematics, chemistry or physics can be studied using this technique by putting, for example example, formulas, physical concepts, symbols of chemical elements …

              5. They allow you to study anywhere

              Flash cards take up very little space, can fit in a pocket, or store in a bag. this allows us to take them everywhere and study them here. And if we take into account that there are hundreds of applications that offer among its features to make this type of card in digital format, you just need to have a computer, tablet or mobile handy to be able to consult them.

              6. Ideal for sharing knowledge

              Business cards are a great way to share your knowledge. We can use them individually or with another person, have one ask the questions and check the answers given by the other. Thus, we can say that they encourage study in a team and help everyone to realize what he needs to know because another person realizes it.

              7. To do them is to revise

              The writing of the worksheets makes it possible to revise the program. In its elaboration it is not enough to put a word on the one hand and the written answer on the other. That is why it is necessary to synthesize, to choose the most important ideas, to think about how to write them and to choose a visual aid to help deepen the learning. This whole process involves the student making an effort in manipulating information, knowledge that will somehow be stored in memory.

              Bibliographical references

              • Senzaki, S., Hackathorn, J., Appleby, DC and Gurung, RAR (2017). Reinventing Flashcards to increase student learning. Teaching and Learning Psychology, 16 (3), 353-368. https://doi.org/10.1177/1475725717719771
              • Wissman, K., Rawson, L., Pyc, M. (2012) How and when do students use flashcards? Report 20 (6): 568-579.
              • Golding, JM, Wasarhaley, NE, Fletcher, B. (2012) The use of flashcards in an introductory psychology course. Psychology Education 39 (3): 199-202.
              • Dunlosky, J., Rawson, KA, Marsh, EJ, Nathan, M., Willingham, DT (2013) Improving Student Learning with Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions in Cognitive and Educational Psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 14 (1): 4-58.
              • Brown, PC, Roediger, HL, McDaniel, MA (2014) Make it stick: The science of successful learning, Boston: MA: Harvard University Press.

              Leave a Comment