Flashcards are a brilliant way to learn and revise. They are easy to make and to use. They are perfect for testing yourself when revising. Because they are portable, you can use them when you’re travelling, waiting or have some time to kill. It’s best to use flashcards in short intervals — five or ten minutes here and there. That way, you’ll take in a lot of information almost without even trying.
Here are some simple but important tips on studying with flashcards:
- Don’t put too much information on the cards. The key is to keep it short and snappy. Each card should have one question and one main answer. You can put some extra relevant information on the answer side as long as you keep it clear and brief. Bullet points and key words should do.
- Keep a pile of blank cards on your desk. When you come across an important piece of information, quickly make a flashcard for it. Choose only the most important facts from the chapters you read. There is no point in using flashcards if you’re going to copy large blocks of text. You can also make a note of the subject heading and date, just to keep track of your revision.
- Carry the flashcards in your bag and a few more in your coat pocket so that you can use them opportunistically at any time — on the bus, waiting for a lift, before class, etc.
- If you answer a flashcard question incorrectly, put it in a separate pile. At a later stage, you should go through the incorrect pile again and try to remember the facts once and for all. Then you can shuffle both piles together and test yourself on everything all over again. Have a review schedule — that is, review the cards after one week, two weeks, one month, two months, etc.
- Use your own words to summarise points. You will remember your own words far better that those from the textbook.
- Read your flash cards out loud. Hearing the information helps you to remember it, especially if you keep hearing the same information over and over again. It is the same principle that allows you to learn the words of a song after you have heard it several times.
You can also take advantage of decks of flash cards developred by others by searching on-line and collecting the relevent links and storing in a convenient place provided you have internet access.
Galway Maths Grinds intend making life easier for you by collecting such links and adding them to this page.