7 Surprising Ways Flashcards Make You Smarter

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Did you use flashcards as a kid to memorize your multiplication tables or learn vocabulary words?

Or, have you ever played the memory game – turning over cards with different images and trying to match two images together?

All of these examples are based on the tried-and-true concept of the flashcard. Flashcards have been around for years to help students understand concepts and recall information. 

Flashcards are just as popular now as ever. That’s because they do their job, and they do it well. In this age of technology and mobile devices, you can take flashcards to the next level. With online learning tools and mobile apps, like CatalystXL, you can access digital flashcards on your smartphone or mobile device to help you consume and retain critical information for your job.

Here are 7 ways the flashcard concept is a powerhouse to help you learn, recall, and retain the information you need:

Engages Active Recall

The flashcard format requires learners to look at one side of the card and recall the information from the other side. This process engages a mental faculty called “active recall.” You are remembering a concept from scratch rather than simply staring at text in a book or selecting from multiple-choice options. Active recall creates stronger neuron connections and enhances your memory.

Builds Confidence Through Repetition

The more times you review a concept, the stronger your memory of it will be. With flashcards existing as separate cards, you can use repetition as a way to strengthen your memory of the content. Are you struggling to recall the information on just a few flashcards? With a mobile app, you are able to sort the flashcards based on whether you need to study them again. This practice creates more efficient learning by allowing you to study the ones you don’t know as well.

Use Metacognition To Increase Retention

Flashcards allow you to interact with information to make it easier to retain. When you reveal the answer side of a flashcard, you are essentially asking yourself, “How did my answer compare to the correct answer?” This type of self-reflection is “metacognition.” Using metacognition tends to ingrain memories deeper into your brain. 

Creates Focused Learning

Rather than trying to memorize a 20-page chapter in a textbook, flashcards break information down into bite-sized chunks of learning, also called microcontent. A flashcard holds a single concept. A deck of flashcards – like a deck of playing cards – contains similar information on the same topic. This focus allows you to absorb and retain information more easily.

Get On-Demand Learning At Your Fingertips

Mobile learning means that your flashcards can go with you everywhere you go. You can pull up your mobile app on your smartphone or tablet while you’re sitting in an airport or waiting for a meeting to start. The information is at your fingertips whenever you need it.

Work At Your Own Pace

You can use flashcards whenever the mood strikes you. Review content over the weekend. Study in short bursts when you have extra time. You are in control of how and when you learn the material.

Access Real-Time Information

You can receive updated learning materials on your mobile app in real-time. New information is simply uploaded to your app, and you can access that information immediately. You have instant access to the content you need to learn.

Flashcards are one of the most effective tools to help you internalize large amounts of information. By breaking the material down into digestible, bite-sized chunks, you’re able to consume and retain more information and remember it for a longer period of time. 

Quick, what is 7 times 9? You’re right – It’s 63!