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How to study flashcards like a boss

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Flashcards are such a powerful study tool and I think is essential for college. So many classes rely on rogue memorization, and flashcards paired with serious study time are are essential to making the grade. I especially use them in classes with a lot of vocab.

I use Quizlet for my Art History Classes because I could easily add images from online to the cards. For my Spanish class I went with a physical cards because I liked pulling ones I had learned out as I went. No matter what method of flash cards you use they're still essential to rogue memorization.

1. Make your cards concise but accurate

Our brain is works really well to make short connections, so make sure the information you're putting on your cards is as short as possible but still accurate. The act of writing or tying your info out is a way to review or introduce yourself to the info, so make them early on.

While studying, think of nemonics for the really tough ones that you keep getting wrong. Adding those reminders to your cards will help jog your memory and memorize stuff faster.

2. Study a tiny bit each day

While making the cards is technically studying, it's not the last time you should touch your cards. Rogue memorization works better over a long period of time. So study your cards a few times a week, even if the test is a long way away. You'll start feeling more and more confidence the more time you spend.

This is one area where an app may be a better choice for convince. The Quizlet app is super easy to whip out while walking between classes or in some down time. Just be weary of time wasters on your phone. Those few minutes

3. Use the Leitner System for physical cards

Using The Leitner System when studying flash cards helps me learn stuff soooo much faster than just going through them straight through. Basically how the system works is you have a few groups of cards, and as you answer cards correctly, cards move forward, and as you answer wrong cards move back. After you go through a stack, you study to the next one. Essentially, you're reviewing cards you know and not worrying about cards you don't as much. You'll get them eventually. Check out this handy graphic!

This website goes into depth about how to use the system. You don't even need these like deck boxes though. I make different decks with my fingers so I can study anywhere and start over again. It's a lot easier than it sounds, so just try it out a few times and you'll see why it's so powerful.


Hate to break it to you, but at the end of the day there's not a lot to studying flashcards except to just put in the time. There are a few tips for learning stuff a faster, but you'll still have to put in the time to learn the material.

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  1. Thanks for this post! What do you use to organize your cards for this system?

    1. Thanks for your comment! I typically use a hair tie or rubber band to keep them together in my backpack. I don't keep the individual piles separated all the time. After a study session I just stack them all up and start again next time.