Flashcards As An Aid To Memory
Much of studying involves the remembering of different kinds of information. In courses
where there are larger amounts of FACTUAL kinds of information, the use of flashcards
may be helpful. Kinds of material that might be considered appropriate for flashcards are
vocabulary words, formulas, equations, definitions, dates, names, etc.
The primary advantage of flashcards over other review techniques is that, since the cards
are more conveniently carried, they probably will be reviewed more often than material in
a notebook or a textbook. FREQUENT REVIEW of cards is what makes them effective.
Short reviews FREQUENTLY REPEATED will generally be more effective than long
sessions of cramming.
Objections about flashcards usually state that "they take too long to make." One should
keep in mind, however, that prepared blank cards can be inexpensively purchased and the
WRITING DOWN of material on the cards is an aid to memory itself. One learns while
preparing the cards.
Suggestions for Flash Card Use
- Review cards OFTEN. Carrying them with you will facilitate frequent review.
- Prepare the cards WELL IN ADVANCE of the date the material is due to be
tested or learned.
- Study most the cards you don't know or are not sure of. Reviewing cards you
know well is a temptation but an inefficient use of time.
- When learning cards for the first time, BREAK THEM UP INTO SMALL
GROUPS. Learn one group of cards, then move to another group reviewing all
the cards from time to time.
- Shuffle the cards frequently and flip through them rapidly. This avoids learning
the cards in a certain order. Remember it is NOT the cards that improve
memory; it is rather HOW OFTEN THEY ARE REVIEWED!