How Do Flashcards Help You Memorize?

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Editorial Team

Kids often learn fascinating notions by observing various visual cues like commercials, nameplates, and street signs. Clearly, we all like learning visually. Another fascinating aspect of these sources is that they offer bits of easy information frequently, often at regular intervals. The same notion is employed with the use of flashcards in learning. These miniature cards test and improve memory in the process of practicing information by providing prompts for other cards. 

While we comprehend what flashcards are, it turns pivotal to infer how these help in boosting the memory of kids. Correspondingly, we will acknowledge all about Flashcards and how they assist kids in memory buildout. 

Flashcards- A brief study of the science behind them

Implementation of Flashcards is often induced at different levels and may entail distinct notions for each of them. These manipulatives are entirely based on Spaced Repetition. Later they may go around with the Leitner System for organised learning. While these cards can be both-sided or three-sided, employing these inappropriate scenarios can give ameliorated outcomes.

Spaced repetition is the method of recalling the learned notions at regular intervals. While the intervals are closely spaced at inception, the interval can get longer gradually. Today students can access either the box method (cards placed in different boxes) or spaced repetition software in their learning process. Leitner System uses the concept of Spaced Repetition where flashcards are divided into three different boxes based on their need to review. 

Research[1] shows that an ideal brain can retain around seven pieces of information at a time. Employing Spaced repetition can apparently uplift the brain by stipulating newer lessons via stimulus strengthening the connections between the nerve cells.  With appropriate spacing one may make out long-term and durable retention of information by offering enough time for transcription factors like CREB[2] to work its molecular memory. Also, this creates opportunities to practice frequently. 

Flashcards -what makes them nifty?

While there are several pedagogies to choose from, Flashcards turns pivotal due to a handful of value additions:

1. Efficacious Way to Store Information

This also helps hone up memory to lubricate retaining individual facts, identities, or keywords. After all, you’ll have a tangible stack of cards with the information. This way, the student can look at the information whenever they desire.

2. Segregating Information

Flashcards are quite often part of spaced practice and repeating helps you figure out what material you can remember readily and what needs further effort. 

3. Finer utilization of time

Flashcards help you to reap the benefits of those little periods of repetitive practice that become available throughout the day and week  In addition, they ensure scheduled study sessions, encouraging a time-management standpoint.

4. Reliability

For hundreds of years, flashcards have been the favored study method. Correspondingly, they can be a reliable approach to studying and acquiring factual information, specifically when they have been utilized appropriately.

5. Numerous Applications

Flashcards can be used in various ways—Because each individual is different, the most successful learning approaches and methods will change from person to person. Flashcards are so adaptable; that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to using them. Experiment with several ways to use flashcards to find which ones work best for your child: memory games, matching games, Passing games, Digital Flash Card Apps, Visual Learning, and so on.  

Flashcards – grasping the best out of it

Possessing a set of flashcards obligates the instructor or the learner to make the best of them. Realizing how these cards can be functional can make the pedagogy better. Consequently, here are some uses you can infer:

  • Sorting to Prepare: Sort the cards into “I know” and “I don’t know” piles. This will assist you in determining which concepts your youngster requires additional attention. More than once, go through the cards. The importance of repetition cannot be overstated.
  • The best bet for new topics: When employed suitably, flashcards assist students in interacting with data and retaining them effortlessly. They are strategically constructed to inaugurate a fresh concept and facilitate the learning experience.
  • Disintegrating complex notions: These compact cards retain minuscule information in each of them. Fitting to break down notions into easy components, flashcards facilitate easy learning.
  • Creating and learning priorities: Grasping becomes easy when the students comprehend which notion is significant so that they can address these first. Flash Cards warrant the same by breaking down and facilitating to arrangement of concepts accordingly.
  • Swift revisions: While it may take a reasonable time to refer books for revision, flashcards can accelerate the procedure with easy interpretations.
  • Create your custom flashcard: Pre-made or online-made cards might be helpful in situations where you have an unusually large amount of data to remember and are under a time constraint, but in most cases, you’ll end up serving your mind better by producing your unique flashcards. The act of making flashcards from paper is often pivotal in the learning process. 
  • Taking in fresh information and wrangling it in your head.
  • Using it to create something new – your own words, images, and techniques for expressing the information 

As a result, strong neural pathways are formed, allowing you to recall what you’ve learned later. This compels you to deliver the material in your own words. Making your own flashcards provides you with the opportunity to modify and improve them. 

  • Combine Words and Pictures: Adding pictures to your cards can help them stand out. The Picture Superiority Effect[3] is a notion in cognitive psychology that outlines how people remember visuals better than they remember words. However, this does not imply that you should use visuals instead of words on your cards. Our brains are remarkably adaptable, and it turns out that a combination of pictures and words is more effective than just pictures.

You can improve your brain’s ability to remember what you’re studying by including descriptive sentences — or even single terms – alongside photos.

  • Study -your cards— both sides: Both sides of your flashcards should be studied. Make sure you go through both sides of your flashcards when studying them. You’ll be able to construct powerful brain circuits that can be tracked in both directions if you do it this way. It’s similar to learning to play the piano in both traditional and unusual positions. 

Grasping both sides can ensure you recall the concept without any glitches. Failing the same, you may not recall the other side when you refer to them again later. 

Studying 101: How Flashcards Promote Better Learning & Memory 

While flashcards can have a wide range of benefits to different individuals, boosting learning and memory is of paramount advantage for aspiring leaders. These can ameliorate learning and memory in the following ways:

1. Easy Recall Of Information

Different people have divergent mindsets. They may need varying pedagogies to grasp notions better.  Consequently, some students may prefer rhymes, while some may like learning from quizzes. Fortunately, Flashcards can be prepared and retained for all these learning strategies, as they are focused on easy recall of information no matter what actions are implemented for the same. 

2. Effortless Repetition

Repetition for mastering a skill is an age-old practice. Even research[4] by Harvard University shows that students can recall information better with repetitive study techniques. Nevertheless, referring to books frequently can be taxing, since the student needs to traverse through a large amount of information. Flashcards can ease the learning exercise thus motivating better memory retention of  valuable information

3. Significance in Games and Activities

Games and activities can boost the memory of young learners[5], and the effect can be upshotted with game-based pedagogies. Flashcards can ameliorate the exhilaration since these can be prepared as per the taste of the learners effortlessly.  

4. Enhanced Metacognition

Flashcards may have questions on one side and answers on the other. When learner thinks of an answer and compares it with the actual answer, they are obligated to use their metacognition. This makes pupils comprehend the gap between the answers, thus facilitating smooth learning later. 


Flashcards can be customizable depending on the type of content you’re studying and where you are in the learning process. Flashcards are excellent for drilling connections between two bits of information. As a result, they’re great for learning definitions, vocabulary terms, and other things.

Not everyone will indeed find it simple, but it doesn’t mean you have to team them up. You may try different experiments with various approaches to these cards to see what works best for you.


  1. Miller, G. A. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 63(2), 81–97.
  2. Wen, A. Y., Sakamoto, K. M., & Miller, L. S. (2010). The Role of the Transcription Factor CREB in Immune Function. Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 185(11), 6413.
  3. Nelson, Douglas & Reed, Valerie & Walling, John. (1976). Pictorial superiority effect. Journal of experimental psychology. Human learning and memory. 2. 523-8. 10.1037/0278-7393.2.5.523.
  4. Postman, L., Jenkins, W. O., & Postman, D. L. (1948). An Experimental Comparison of Active Recall and Recognition. The American Journal of Psychology, 61(4), 511.
  5. Indonesia, V. I. P. D. E. E. U. N. J. J. (n.d.). The traditional games effect on improving students working memory capacity in primary schools | Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Learning Innovation and Quality Education. ACM Other Conferences.

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