Study apps and new computer programs can be great for last minute studying, but as I always say, “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?” and study techniques are one thing where I truly believe the old methods are often the best!
I have always found making and studying with flashcards to be the best way to commit information to memory. You can use them to help with studying for just about any exam. Making them is a good way to begin with memorisation and playing with them is a great way to quiz yourself and to study with friends. I’ve used flash cards to study my whole life, all the way from studying French vocab in year 2 to studying for art history exams in my final year of university.
Here are some tips for how to succeed with flash cards!
Hand write all your cards
Studies have shown that using a pen and paper can help with memory. These days we are all able to type so fast, but handwriting slows us down and allows us to process the information more fully. Decide what you want to write on the flash card before you begin writing (you may even want to type it up and then copy it out slowly by hand so you don’t make mistakes and have to begin again)
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Decide what should go onto each side of the card so you can use them to quiz yourself later
Handwriting the cards is the first step towards having the material memorised however, if you take the time to make all the cards you want to be able to study from them after you write them out! Therefor it’s important to think of the front of the card as the question and the back as the answer. Decide what you want to go on each side of the card before you begin. Here are a few suggestions:
- Vocab cards: word on one side, definition on the other (the question here would be “what does this word mean?”)
- Image cards: image or diagram on one side and the key facts or labels on the other
- Equation cards: math or physics equations on one side of the card and an explanation on the other
Use flash cards to study with friends!
Get a group of friends together and each make a few flash cards with questions or problems on one side and answers on the other. This can be particularly useful for studying for math and science exams. Pool the resource and practice together! Study groups can be great but are even better when there is structure to the session and quizzing each other in this way is always organised and keeps your studying on target (and can even be fun too!)
Contact Tavistock Tutors for more information.