There are plenty of apps, online tools and computer programs that allow you to create your own flashcards so that you do not have to do it by hand. There are also plenty of pre-made flash cards, which are okay for occasionally studying, but it is probably better that you make your own flash cards. Many students gain more of a benefit from actually making the cards than they do from flashing them at a later date. Once the newness of the cards wear off, they become far easier to skim, disregard or ignore. Many times, when you use flash cards that you have seen too often, you find yourself going through the motions without actually memorizingthe content.

1. Use Flash Cards As Visual Prompts For Remembering

There is a lot to be said for putting detailed concepts on flash cards because it allows you to expose yourself to those concepts as-and-when you wish. However, that turns your flash cards into “Learning” aides, when what you probably need are “Study/Memory” aides. You know the concepts, you don’t need help figuring out the concepts, you need help trying to memorize them. That is why you should use flash cards as visual prompts. Try not to fill them with buckets of information because if you are looking to study in that manner, then you are better off reading through your textbooks.

2. How To Use Flash Cards As Visual Prompts

Enter a certain phrase, sentence or image that prompts an answer from your memory. It is similar to how you know the words of a song when the song is playing, but you cannot sing it word-for-word if the song isn’t playing. Your visual prompts are just like the song. For example, if you are trying the learn Isaac Asimov’s laws of robotics, you could feature the image of a robot holding a gun. If you struggle to remember the laws without prompts, then feature an image of a robot and the first three words of each law listed underneath it.

3. How To Use Flash Cards As Visual Prompts In A Simple Manner

The visual prompts do not tell you what you need to know, they only remind you of the things you are learning. Your job is to form what you see into the principles, into ideas, and into concepts that you are trying to learn. The prompts may be images, words, or a mixture of both. If you cannot remember what the prompts represent, then go back and study that element.

4. How To Use Flash Cards As Visual Prompts With Linking Techniques

Let’s say you are learning the periodic table, and you want to remember lead. You could have the letters “PB” written 82 times in a box. Outside the box is a radioactive symbol. This abstract art could represent lead. The box represents lead’s quality of being able to protect from radiation, and it is written 82 times because it has 82 electrons. When you see this abstract image, you can interpret that PB means lead, that it has 82 electrons, and that it can block radiation.

5. How To Use Flash Cards As Visual Prompts To Lecture Yourself

When some people give a speech, they do not like to use teleprompters because all they are doing is reading a script. Many people prefer to remember the key points and then “Wing it” when it is time for the speech. Such people will often have bullet point lists of what they wish to cover in their speech. Your flash cards can do the same thing. Each visual prompt need only be a bullet point sentence. It is then your job to use that bullet point sentence, expand upon it, and explain it to yourself as if you were explaining it to a class. Do not feel silly giving a verbal audible speech as you lecture yourself from your flash cards because auditory learners have been known to remember thing better if they speak them out loud.

6. How To Use Flash C ards As Visual Prompts By Filling In The Gaps

It sounds silly, but you can turn flash cards into a game of filling in the gaps. This technique works rather well with some subjects. For example, some students taking English literature degrees have remembered key facts by playing this game. A student may create a flash card that says, History proves that Marie Antoinette never actually said, “Let them Eat XXXXX” The student fills in the Xs, which in this case is “Cake.”

7. How To Use Flash Cards As Visual Prompts By Filling In The Gaps With A Twist

Some students use the method mentioned above where they create flash cards and have to fill in the gaps. However, to play down the monotony of making these flash cards, students turn them into funny multiple-choice questions. Take the example shown above with Marie Antoinette, where one of the multiple choice answers would be “Cake,” and the others would be funny. The jokes sometimes write themselves. After all, it would be easy to replace the word “Cake” with a few funny alternatives in this example.