How to use flash cards to your advantage

As a remembering aid, flash cards have been one of the most popular means which people adopt to help them remember things longer. Flash cards are a fancy name given to cards, each of which contain some information, generally about a main central topic.

For example, suppose you have to memorize a word list for GRE, you can use flash cards wherein you write down some words on each card and then carry them around with you, all the while reading whenever you get time.

This way, you will be doing your other works as well, and within a short period of time will have memorized a large portion of what is there on the cards. Nowadays ready made flash cards for a variety of topics and subjects are readily available in the market.

You can simply buy them and they will already have all the information you need. You just need to read them and memorize from them. This article aims to give you some tips on how to maximize the benefits of flash cards for remembering things you need to remember for long periods of time. Read on for more information.

  • Use cards of proper size and carry them around. If you make cards which are too big to carry around conveniently or are too small to read from, it defeats the purpose of making the flash cards at all. Make flash cards with cardboard (or any other suitable material) of optimum size for you to carry around and read comfortably from. Also, once you have made the flash cards, there is no point in keeping them in one place while you move about. That is to say, you need to carry around the flash cards so that you can read and memorize from them whenever you have free time.
  • Increase recall. One of the simplest ways of doing this is using both sides of the flash cards to write your information. Write something on the front and something related to it on the back. Sometimes read the front of the flash card and try to remember what is written at the back, and sometimes reverse the process, that is, read what is written at the back of the card ad try to remember what is written on the front. This way, when you see either of the two things, you will remember the entire content (remember what you write on the front and the back of the card are related to each other and to a common main topic).
  • Put pictures on your flash cards. If something is represented pictorially, you have more chances of remembering it. A textual or theoretical description of the carbon cycle is fine, and you may memorize it within an hour. Or may be half. But consider how much easier it would be for you memorize it if it was drawn and presented to you. So the bottom line is this – if pictures help you to remember a concept better (as they do for most people), make sure to draw some pictures on you flash cards so that you remember the things written on the cards better.


I am Deepanjan Datta doing electrical engineering from the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Durgapur, India. I love to write, and develop software programs.

  • tush_83in

    Good post!

    I have written one on memory help- mnemotechnics, I would have provided link to it if had been written earlier. Keep writing.