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Use Flashcards for Memorization


Study Skills & Tools All Ages Strategy


Verbal Memory Visual Memory

Use Flashcards for Memorization

If your student needs to memorize distinct bits of information and doesn't have a problem with memory

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will create and use either paper-based or digital flashcards to memorize information.
  2. Instruction and Practice: Use the following guide to work with students on creating and using flashcards as an effective study tool. Remind students that writing their own flashcards will help them remember the information better than using the pre-printed ones.

*students* Guide: Create And Use Flashcards

  1. Use multi-colored index cards so you can categorize the information by color and make it easier to recall. Write the term or concept on one side and the definition, answer, or explanation on the other side. Keep the writing as short and simple as possible.
  2. If you learn better with pictures, draw a picture of the answer to help you remember.
  3. When you study, switch up the order of the flashcards. It's important not to study cards in the same order every time. You might begin to remember the pattern instead of the information on the card.
  4. Say your answer out loud before you turn the card over. Speaking it will help you remember the information.
  5. As you study, stack your cards by how well you knew the answer, so you focus more on the information where you need the most help. (Parents working with elementary students might want to put a sticker on the card as the student answers correctly.) You should still review the information you knew well because you can forget it.
  6. Digital flashcards can be an efficient alternative to writing your own. While the physical act of making, holding and flipping cards will be more effective for most students, digital has the advantages that they are quicker to make, and the option to add audio. If you use digital flashcards, be careful about using pre-made versions you find online. If they aren't accurate and from a trusted source, you could be memorizing the wrong information! Here are a few digital options.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Flashcards as a method for memorization are effective for many learners because they provide a concrete verbal and/or visual cue and a means of studying through repetition. Those who learn best through images can draw information on the cards, while those who learn best through words, can focus on writing descriptions or definitions.