How to use Flash Cards | How to Study | Flashcards Study Tips

Hello my Socratica friends! We’re here to help you be a great student. Today we’re going to show you how to use
flashcards. You can use this method when you have to memorize
a lot of facts, fast. It’s great for vocabulary terms, especially
if you’re learning a second language… or for dates and other facts from history…really,
almost anything. Flashcards are not expensive, and you can
take them anywhere. The beauty of flashcards is that you quickly
find out what you know, and what you don’t know. And the way to be really efficient and successful
at studying is to focus on what you DON’T know. The other great thing about flashcards is
that you can study them for a short amount of time. After about 20-30 minutes of studying, your
brain gets really tired and you need a break. So plan on studying with your flashcards for
about 20 minutes, take a 5 minute break, and then study some more. Wait a day, and then study them again. This technique is called “spaced repetition,” and it’s one of the MOST effective ways to study. There are some online flashcard programs you
can use – my favourite right now is anki, but there are many others, and the best ones
use spaced repetition. You should check those out, because you might
find it more convenient to work on your computer or your phone. There’s something to be said for writing
out flashcards, however – it’s a little extra step that can help things stick in your
brain. So we’re going to focus on real-world, analog
flashcards, as opposed to digital flashcards. First, you should prepare your flashcards. We bought some 3×5 cards, but they’re really
bigger than we need, and we don’t want to waste money and paper. So we’re going to cut them in half. If you have a paper cutter, that makes
this much easier. But we don’t, so we’re just using scissors. We like to colour-code our flashcards, to
make it easier to find the batch we want to study. This is useful if you’re studying several
subjects. Or you might want one set of flashcards for
each chapter of your textbook.You can buy different coloured flashcards, or you can
use a pen to paint one side of the flashcard so you can quickly identify a stack of them. We’re using pink for Japanese (like
cherry blossoms) and blue for math. Not that math makes you blue, math is awesome,
and everyone should study it. We use one card per term (that’s important). On one side, write the term you want to remember,
and on the other side, write a very brief definition. It’s best if this is in your own words,
rather than copied word-for-word from the textbook. Take the time to think about what the definition
really means, and then write a simplified version on your flashcard. It’s a good idea to check with a friend
at this point, to make sure you didn’t OVER-simplify the definition. Now, let’s practice using our flashcards. Pick which side you want to test. I usually start by looking at the definition,
and testing to see if I remember the specific term. Go through all the cards once, testing yourself
with each card. Read the definition, and before you turn the
card over, try to say the term. You can do this out loud (if you’re in private)
or to yourself if you’re in the library or some other place where you need to be quiet. Now you have to be VERY honest with yourself. Did you get it completely right? Or were you a little bit wrong? If you were even a little bit wrong, put it
in the “Don’t know” pile. But if you got it right, put it in the “I
know that” pile. Take a little break, walk around, drink some
water. Make sure you keep your sessions to 30 minutes
or less. After a 5 minute break, you’re ready for
the next step. Take all the cards in the “Don’t know”
pile, shuffle them, and go through them again. I bet this time, you’ll have fewer flashcards
you don’t know. Take another very short break, and then go
through the don’t know’s again. By now, you will probably be down to just
a few cards. What should you do to remember those last
few cards? You need to have a way to follow up on what
you don’t know. Try reading the term and the definition out
loud. And then try writing a sentence using the
term on that card. If that still doesn’t do the trick, try
re-reading that section of your textbook or your notes from class. Wait a day or two, and then go through ALL
of the cards again. This time, test yourself on the other side. Look at the term, and test to see if you remember
the definition. Make sure you shuffle the cards first, so
you don’t accidentally remember the terms in order. That can happen. Did any cards show back up in your don’t
know pile? You’ll need to follow up with those cards
that you miss. Read them out loud, and write a sentence using
that term. It’s really great if you can have a friend
quiz you with your flashcards. It’s easy to trick yourself into saying
“oh, yeah, I knew that.” But if you didn’t get it right away, you
only sort of know it. On a test, you need to know it COLD.. To summarize:
Colour code your flashcards Write in your own words one term and one definition
per card Test yourself on all the cards, putting them
in 2 piles (yes or no) Take a short break
Re-test yourself on the cards you missed. FOLLOW UP on those cards in some way. Don’t forget this step! The next day, test yourself on all the cards
in the other direction. Take a short break
Re-test yourself on the ones you missed FOLLOW UP on those cards. Remember, it’s up to you to make sure you
really know your stuff when you go into a test. Paying attention in class, reading your textbook,
and doing your homework are all important, but using flashcards to test your memory is
also an essential part of being a GREAT student. Want to help us make more great videos? Join the Socratica Team on Patreon!

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