How to create revision flashcards that boost your memory

How to make flashcards for revisionThis post was sponsored by Ryman the stationers.

Flashcards are a fantastic way to break your revision of content heavy subjects up into bite sized chunks and to test yourself on your knowledge.

In this video I’m going to show you:

  • How to make flashcards from index cards 
  • All the ways you can use flashcards
  • How to use colour on your flashcards to make them more visually appealing
  • How to use the Leitner box technique to prioritise revision

Watch the video: How to make flashcards

How to make flashcards

I used flashcards when I was studying for my GCSEs and A Levels. This is how I used them.

  1. Take an index card (the lovely people at Ryman the stationer provided the ones I've used in the video).
  2. On one side write a key term, on the other side write a definition. I have used Pilot pens, supplied by Ryman.
  3. Keep making flashcards until you've covered all your the key words and topics on your specification.

How to make flashcards for your revision

Flashcards aren't just for learning definitons. For example, you can also use flashcards to chunk up big topics. In the video I show how you can use flashcards for revising geography case studies to divide the economic, social, political and environmental effects of a natural hazard on different flashcards.

How to use flashcards in your revision

You can also, you can draw diagrams on your flashcards, as seen in the video.

How to use flashcards to learn diagrams

Notice how I’ve used these Pilot pens to add colour and highlight key things – this makes flashcards more memorable.

All the different ways you can use flashcards

There are loads more ways you can use flashcards. We have already covered:

  • Definitions
  • Breaking up larger topics into bite-sized chunks
  • Diagrams

Here are some more:

How to prioritise revision using the Leitner box technique

Once you’ve made your flashcards you need to memorise their content. The Leitner Box technique, from the book The A Level Mindset, by my friend Martin Griffin and his co-author Steve Oakes, is a great way to do this. This technique stops that tendency that most students have to stay in their comfort zones and just look at the flashcards they’re already confident about, whilst neglecting their weaknesses.

This how you use the Leitner box technique.

  1. You need an index card box, like the one that Ryman kindly provided for me.
  2. First, you need to create dividers for the four sections of the box. You can do this with washi tape, or using pre-made index card dividers, like these.

Section 1

In the first section, you put things for frequent practice. This is the stuff you’re not remembering well. About 40% of your time should be spent on this stuff.

How to use flashcards in your revision - Leitner box

Section 2

In the second section you put the cards you’ve just moved out of section 1. This is things you’re gaining confidence with but still occasionally trips you up or confuses you in some way. Spend about 30% of your time in this section.

How to use flashcards in your revision - Leitner box

Section 3

In the third section, keep the things that you nearly always recall correctly. Spend 20% of your time here. Just remember, if you get anything wrong here you need to move it back to section 2.

How to use flashcards in your revision - Leitner box

Section 4

Finally, in section 4 you have material that you think is easy and you always get right. Only spend 10% of your time on this stuff. The key thing is that nothing ever leaves this box because you know it so well. No matter how confident you are, check back on it every now and then to test your memory and build your confidence in what you know.

How to use flashcards in your revision - Leitner box

A note for parents

Please share this blog post and video with your child so that they can incorporate flashcards into their overall revision strategy. Remember, you can buy all the materials you can see in the video from Ryman's website or from one of their highstreet stores.

Where to get the stationery featured in this video

Flashcards – Silvine Record Cards Ruled 152x101mm Pack of 100

Flashcard box – Ryman Index Box 150x100mm

Washi tape – mt Washi Tape Pastels 15mm x 10m

Pilot pens

Pilot Frixion Mika Retractable Erasable Pen Pack of 3 Assorted

Pilot Frixion Mika Erasable Rollerball Pen Pack of 3 Assorted

Pilot Frixion Light Highlighters Pack of 3

Pilot Frixion Soft Highlighters Pack of 5 Pastels

Pilot Erasable Frixion Point Triple Pack

A note for parents

Please share this blog post and video with your child so that they can incorporate flashcards into their overall revision strategy. Remember, you can buy all the materials you can see in the video from Ryman's website or from one of their highstreet stores.

Want more revision advice?

See the other posters in this series:

And, check out my Exam Success resource page for advice on everything from improving your exam technique to how to spend your revision breaks. Good luck!

A big thank you to Ryman for providing the stationery for me to make this blog post and video – it wouldn't have been possible without their support.

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How to create revision flashcards that boost your memory | Flashcards are a fantastic way to revise. Click on the link to find out how to use them to boost your memory and include them in your revision strategy. #revision #studytips #flashcards

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