n. A card that contains a small amount of crucial information — used as a learning aid by students and teachers.
Flashcards are learning tools that operate on the question and answer format. These are small cards, the size of a post-it notes, used for testing your knowledge of a concept/formula/language.
Flashcards for students typically have two sides. A prompt/question on one side and the answer on the other side. Students can use flashcards to learn names, concepts, procedures, chemical reactions, formulae, and more. Flashcards, besides being great learning tools, are also known to boost memory. In the day and age of short attention spans, flashcards are a boon when it comes to memory retention, here’s why:
When you learn using this technique, you’re trying to recall the response to a prompt. If your card has H2SO4 written on one side, then you’re trying to recall the name for the molecular formula given here. When you’re unable to recall, you flip the card and read Sulphuric acid. Suffice it to say that revising with flashcards makes sure that you indulge in active learning and not passive reading of your notes.
Furthermore, studies have found that practising active recall helps your brain make stronger neural connections and improve your memory. Not just that, once you flip the flashcard and view the answer, the first thing you do is think about the answer in your head before you saw the other side and compare it with this one.
This process, known as metacognition, is an effective way to retain information. It allows you to reflect and alter your thought processes to make them more accurate.
When you’re revising concepts using flashcards you categorise your cards based on if ‘you know’ or ‘do not know’ the answer. This means that you return to the ‘do not know’ stack many times till you have learned the topic effectively. Studies tell us that, spaced repetition is one of the most effective ways to learn and remember details. Here, your brain sees the information multiple times at different time intervals. This is precisely what helps the brain strengthen its ability to recall information. Now, this method may appear cumbersome but it is certainly effective.
Before we delve into the craft, you need to know that you don’t have to make your own flashcards – although we recommend you do because that would help you learn and retain the concepts better. There are many sites online and platforms such as Canva that will help you create visual flashcards. That said, below are some tips to design and learn with flashcards.
Flashcards are an effective way to revise difficult topics and a good way to train your brain to recall crucial exam-related concepts. They are easy to access or design online if you prefer digital flashcards. However, we recommend that you make your own using a pen and paper because this will help you write down and recall the facts you need to remember. Try this learning tool and get, set, ace it!
1. Are flashcards an effective way to study?
Flashcards are an effective self-testing approach. The process of making flashcards allows students to understand and memorise concepts. In addition, the condensed information on flashcards make them a great tool for revisions.
2. Pictures can boost information recall and hence are recommended while making flashcards?
The process of making physical flashcards demands you to write down important concepts by hand, which helps you register and remember concepts far better as opposed to typing it online.
3. Why should you use pictures in a flashcard?
Pictures boost information recall and hence are recommended to make flashcards effective
Sara started her professional journey in a newsroom and quickly realised that words and stories are her happy place. You may have noticed that she adores her alliteration. She’s also an ailurophile who needs her fix of cute kitty reels to unwind. A warm cup of coffee, chocolates with hazelnut, and a Netflix binge on a cosy chair are all she needs in life. Trees and beaches make her very happy too.
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V Shriya is a class eight student who has been using BYJU’S for a year now. She shares her experiences with using the app and how it has helped her in improving her academic performance.