Resources › For Students and Parents How to Study With Flashcards Share Flipboard Email Print Study Tips for Better Grades Introduction What Kind of Learner Are You? Quiz: What's Your Learning Style? Study Strategies for Every Learning Style Tips for Kinesthetic Learners Tips for Visual Learners Tips for Auditory Learners Why Math Is Hard for Some Learners Creating Your Study Space How to Create an Ideal Study Space How to Make a Small Space Productive for Studying Best Pandora Stations for Studying Best Spotify Stations for Studying Essential Study Skills How to Find the Main Idea of a Passage How to Use Sticky Notes to Remember What You Read Why Taking Notes in Class Is So Important How to Outline a Chapter How to Make Vocabulary Flashcards Breaking Bad Study Habits 5 Bad Study Habits and How to Fix Them How to Avoid Distraction and Stay Focused Quick Fixes to Improve Your Grades When to Study How Long Should I Be Studying? How to Study for an Exam in Two Days How to Study the Night Before a Test How to Cram for a Test How to Prepare for Different Kinds of Tests How to Study for Objective Test Questions How to Study for Fill in the Blank Tests How to Study for Multiple Choice Exams How to Study for Open Book Exams Ann Cutting/Stockbyte/Getty Images By Grace Fleming Education Expert M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia B.A., History, Armstrong State University Grace Fleming, M.Ed., is a senior academic advisor at Georgia Southern University, where she helps students improve their academic performance and develop good study skills. our editorial process Grace Fleming Updated August 13, 2019 Flashcards are a tried-and-true study tool. Whether you're preparing for a chemistry quiz or studying for a French exam, flashcards can help you memorize information, reinforce understanding, and retain details. However, not all flashcards are created equal. Learn how to maximize your study time by creating the ideal set of flashcards. Materials There's nothing worse than starting a project without everything you need. Gather these supplies to get started: 3 x 5 index cardsHighlighters in multiple colorsKeyring, ribbon, or rubber bandVocabulary list or study guideHole puncherPencil Creating the Flashcards On the front of the card, write one vocabulary word or key term. Center the word horizontally and vertically, and be sure to keep the front of the card free of any extra markings, smudges, or doodles.Flip the card over. You won't be doing anything else with the front of the card.On the back of the card, write the definition of the vocabulary word in the upper left-hand corner. Be sure to compose the definition in your own words.Write the word's part of speech in the upper right-hand corner. If part of speech isn't relevant (say, if you're studying for a history exam), categorize the word in some other way, e.g. by time period or school of thought.On the lower left-hand side, write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word. Make the sentence creative, funny, or memorable in some way. (If you write a bland sentence, you're much less likely to remember it!On the lower right-hand side, draw a small picture or graphic to go with the vocabulary word. It doesn't have to be artistic, just something that reminds you of the definition.Once you've created a flashcard for every term on your list, punch a hole in the middle of the right side of each card and hook them together for safekeeping with a keyring, ribbon, or rubber band. Studying With Flashcards Keep blank index cards on hand as you take class notes. When you hear an important term, write the term on a card right away and add the answers later or during your study session. This process encourages you to reinforce the information you hear in class. Study the flashcards on a regular basis, preferably once a day for 1 to 2 weeks, before a test or exam. Explore different techniques, such as reviewing out loud versus silently and working alone versus with a study group. When studying with flashcards, make a small checkmark in the corner of the cards you answer correctly. When you have made two or three marks on a card, you know you can put it in a separate pile. Keep going through your main pile until all cards have two or three marks. Then, shuffle them and put them away for your next review session (or keep practicing!). Flashcard Games for Study Groups For classes that require you to memorize many definitions, like social studies and history, work with your study group to create a master list of terms to study using the glossary in the back of your textbook. If possible, color code the terms according to the chapter. Create a matching game with your study group. Make separate cards for the questions and the answers, leaving the backsides of all cards blank. Place the cards face down and turn them over, one by one, looking for matches. For extra excitement, turn it into a competition by forming teams and keeping score. Play charades. Split up into teams and place all the flashcards in a hat or a basket. During each round, a representative from one team steps up, pulls out a flashcard, and attempts to get his or her team to guess what was on the flashcard by giving silent cues (miming and body language). The first team that gets to 5 points wins.