Flashcards are great for memorising, but you can get even more out of them when you create them with the information you’ve already processed yourself.
Photo by drcw
For some subjects, flashcards can be simple definitions. For others, you want the information you’re studying to be formatted in a way you know you’ll grasp. Zane at skill building blog Life by Experimentation suggests that making your own cards is the best way to do that:
The actual process of creating flashcards is important. Your deck of flashcards should not just be “dictionary definitions”. Turning knowledge into cards is valuable for the same reasons it’s important to not take word-for-word notes: when you try to express information in your own words, you process the information. When you process it, you have to recreate the ideas in a way that makes sense to you. The process of retrieving and reorganising the information actually strengthens the memory.
The whole point of flashcards is for you to build your memory on a subject, so learn it in a way that you’ll know you can remember it. Find some places to get flashcards for various subjects and then translate them to your own cards in a way that works for you. Maybe you have your own mnemonic system, or have a silly way of remembering a certain fact. Whatever it is, use it instead of ignoring it.
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