How to Use Note Cards to Study
Many students find that using note cards is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to study. Here are the basic steps for the note card study method.
1. Buy note cards. It doesn’t matter what type or size, simply choose what fits your individual needs best.
2. Create questions from lectures and textbook reading. Write a question or problem on one side of a note card and the answer on the other. It is not necessary to use complete sentences.
3. Recite questions and answers. Read the question out loud and recall the answer out loud from memory. It may be helpful to pretend that you are teaching the information to someone else. Check the back of the note card for accuracy. Doing this will help determine what is known and what has not yet been fully embedded into long term memory.
4. Create two piles for note cards. One pile should be the “I know this” pile and the other the “I don’t know this yet” pile. After reading a question and recalling the answer, decide which pile to place the card in.
5. Practice with the note cards as often as possible. Continue to practice the “I don’t know this yet” pile as often as possible. The “I know this” pile should be reviewed every two or three days to avoid forgetting. The more often note cards are recited, the more accurate recall will be. Continue the process until all questions can be answered with 100% accuracy.