How to Make and Study Flashcards – The Best Study Hacks to Know
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Have you tried flashcards for your college or high school subjects yet?
You definitely should give it a go!
Flashcards are a studying tool that makes the memorizing process easier. Flashcards are generally pieces of paper with information on one or both sides. Usually, there is a term or question on one side and an explanation on the other. You can also create digital flashcards using apps and online resources, but the principle remains the same.
In this article, our team has outlined how to create flashcards of different types and use them correctly. There is also a bonus passage at the end, don’t miss it!
🎯 Why Flashcards Are Useful
Flashcards work best for subjects that cover lots of facts and concepts—for example, history. You need to study dates, names, and definitions. Flashcards can help you to learn foreign vocabulary or math formulas.
What makes them so effective?
Active recall. It means that you have to stimulate your brain for a piece of information. Basically, you look at a flashcard and try to remember what is on the other side. This is the most efficient way to remember something in the long run.
Spaced repetition. You study the things that are hard to remember more frequently than the easy ones. Just put the flashcards that you have already learned aside and focus on the problematic ones.
Activation of different types of memory. You use visual memory when you make flashcards, and each time you see them after. For primarily ear-minded people, it works great when you say aloud everything that a flashcard contains.
Metacognition. You can also use flashcards to practice critical thinking. Divide them into several piles. One pile is the flashcards you know, one is the cards you partially know, and one is all the cards you can’t remember. This is how you can identify your weak spots and focus on these key areas.
📇 Making Paper Flashcards
Now that you understand the value of flashcards don’t underestimate the importance of creating them properly. The process of memorization starts at the very first stage.
Below are the steps for writing out flashcards by hand:
Step 1. Read. Start with reading the material you need to learn. Better do it twice. The first time you just get a general impression. The second time, focus on the key definitions and concepts.
Step 2. Mark. Highlight the things you should learn by heart. Don’t mark everything, be selective. As you have already gone through the information, you should know what is essential.
Step 3. Write. Put the keywords (definitions, dates, questions, or words) on one side of a flashcard. Write their meanings on the other side. Don’t hurry. You should be able to read everything you have written without effort.
Here are our recommendations for how to optimize your flashcards:
Use colors. You can use different pens to highlight and structure the information.
Use shorthand. Create a particular system for making your explanations smaller to save space. All the answers should be readable and easy to understand.
Use pictures. This tip is the most useful for people with active visual memory—mix pictures and words to diversify your studying.
Make a new deck of flashcards for each topic. This way, you will not mix up your flashcards.
Use only necessary information. Focus on the information that will likely be on your exam.
One question per card. Don’t put too much information on one flashcard. Instead, make your questions more specific.
Use digital flashcards. If you don’t have enough time for cutting paper and writing, you can use flashcards on your electronic device. There are plenty of pre-made flashcard templates that will save you a lot of time.
📄 How to Make Flashcards in MS Word
Follow this mini-guide to create a set of flashcards in Word:
Create a new blank document in Microsoft Word.
In the search bar of templates, type “flashcards.”
Choose the template that you like most.
Write out the information you need. Highlight the key points using colors or different fonts.
Print the flashcards.