When you get to the last month or so of studying for an exam, besides doing as many practice problems and practice exams as possible, you’re probably also focused on memorizing an intimidating stack of flashcards. I’ll be honest, I always hated the tedium of memorizing flashcards.
Over the years I tried different approaches to figure out how to memorize flashcards more efficiently and effectively. Below are three techniques I learned along the way that I think will save you a lot of time when memorizing all of the lists and formulas.
Technique 1 - Don’t go straight through a stack of flashcards
By default, I think a lot of people take a stack of flashcards and then just flip through them in order, from top to bottom.
The problem is that in a stack of flashcards, there are three types of cards:
- Cards you know REALLY well and have immediate recall
- Cards you know well enough and can recall without looking at the back
- Cards you don’t know and you need to look at the back for the answer
The problem with just going straight through a stack is that you see each of these types of cards with the same frequency. Ideally, you want to see the cards that you don’t know a lot more often than the ones you know really well. Otherwise, you waste a lot of time reviewing cards you already completely memorized.
Instead, this is the approach I used: