Flash Cards

flashcardsBeing properly prepared for a test is very important. There are a variety of study methods that can be incorporated as part of that learning process. One that many students get results with is the use of flash cards. They are easy to make, you can take them with you, and you can use them to study alone or with a partner. With a partner, you can take turns showing the flash cards and letting the other person know if they got the answer right or not.

You can make them out of index cards or square pieces of paper. Write a question on one side and the answer on the other side. If you plan to use flashcards for several classes, get different colors of index cards. You can also use a color code to help you identify different types of information. For example, one color for the terms and definitions for a class.


In order for flash cards to work well for your study needs, pay attention to what the instructor shares with you. Many of them will identify important details and information you need to know for the test. Highlight such information in your notes. As you read through your textbook and other materials, you also need to highlight pertinent information.

Make your flash cards as you go, not all at once. Try to make them the same day as you attended class. This will help you to retain as much information as possible. You can study them when you get up in the morning, before class, and even when you are waiting and have some free time. Keep your flash cards where you can easily access them.

As you go through your flash cards, separate them into piles. If you get the answer right, move it to one pile. If you didn’t get the answer right, move it to a separate pile. Then you can go back through those you didn’t get right a second time. This type of method will also help you to identify which of the areas of information you need to spend more time studying than the rest of them.

The visual ability to see the pile of what you know getting larger and the pile of what you don’t know getting smaller is encouraging. This can be a great way to gauge your progress and it can also motivate you to continue learning.  You can replace those cards that you know without a doubt from the deck over time. As you learn new material in the class, make more flash cards to add to the deck. This is a very inexpensive study aid that is also portable.

Set aside a few minutes each day to review the flash cards that you have made. You will find that the materials become very familiar by doing this. Then you will be well prepared for your next test. If you had had a hard time with studying in the past, the use of flash cards may be what you need to see significant improvements.

More Info on Using Flashcards

Flashcards at Wikipedia – great overview of flashcards – includes tw0-sided, three-sided, flashcard systems and softward

Leitner system of flashcards –  Great overview of a popular flashcard system.


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