Flash cards are incredible learning tools because they promote active recall, the process of actively retrieving memories out of your brain. Here are six rules for both making better flashcards and studying them more effectively.
CreateYour Own Flash Cards
In most cases, it’s going to be much more effective if you design your own flashcards. One of the most integral parts of learning is the process of taking-in information and understating them better on your own. These flashcards are going to build strong neural pathways and are different from the neural pathways of somebody else. If you take pre-made cards of others and not putting any of your own efforts, then you don’t always gain the full benefits of using the flashcards.
Add Pictures And Words
There’s a principle called picture superiority effect which describes how humans remember images and pictures much better than words. Written language is a system of the arbitrary symbol. Our brains are very sensitive to images. By adding pictures to your flashcards, you can make them a lot more memorable. You can also printout pictures from the internet and glue them directly to the flash cards.
Break Down Complex Concepts Into Simple Questions
Let’s say you’re trying to learn the different groupings of elements on the periodic table. There are a lot of them like alkali metals, transition metals, noble gases, etc. Make separate flashcards that highlight each grouping for better memory recall.
Now that you know some of the best practices for making your flashcards, it’s time to learn how to study them.
Say Your Answers Out Loud
This is just a way to you avoid the illusions of competence. Make sure you actually know the answer.
Study Both Sides Of Your Cards
This is a way of creating neural pathways in your brain that work in both directions. If you’re asked either side of a question, you’ll be able to trace that neural pathway back to the answer.
Realize That Flash Cards Are Not The Only Solution
They’re just one method of reviewing material used in a specific situation. You have to know the right circumstances to use them. A lot of information that ties into an overall visual hierarchy can be learned very well using a flashcard. So choose wise topics that fit the flashcard learning method.
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