What are flashcards?
Flashcards are small note cards used for testing and improving memory through practiced information retrieval. Flashcards are typically two-sided, with the prompt on one side and the information about the prompt on the other. This may include names, vocabulary, concepts, or procedures. For example, one side of the card may say, “Augusta”, and the other side, “The capital of Maine”. Usually there are several flashcards that, as a group, represent a category of information you’re trying to remember, learn, and master.
What are the benefits?
Using flashcards can be a very effective self-testing approach. Even the act of making flashcards is a way to “work” the information, challenging you to think about which information to have on one side and the related description on the other. This also frees up some memory, since you will have a physical stack of cards with the information instead of trying to store individual facts, names, or terms in your mind. Flashcards are often part of spaced practice, and repetition helps you figure out what information you can remember easily and what needs additional effort. From a time management perspective, flashcards allow you to take advantage of short amounts of time that become available throughout the day or week, in addition to during planned study sessions.
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