Can I use flashcards to revise?

Can I use flashcards to revise?

Do you have lots of GCSE subjects to get through? Does the list of topics within each subject feel never-ending? Do you find the keywords, terminologies, and concepts for each subject overwhelming? 

If you have answered YES to these questions - then flashcards are a good revision resource for you! 

To memorise the keywords and concepts, flashcards can be the perfect solution. You can get creative and make your own, you can buy pre-printed cards, or if you are someone who likes to learn through an app, there are plenty of free downloadable apps that you can use to create your own flashcards. You even have the option of using flashcards created by others on certain websites like Quizlet! 

Top tips when creating flashcards:

Write the textbook definition of the keyword, but include your own illustration/drawing or annotation like a mnemonic. 

RAG the flashcards to indicate your confidence in the keyword/concept on the card. You can just colour the top right corner, for example. 

Include 6-mark exam questions with the model answer or the marking points! 

Organise your flashcards into subjects/modules/topics. Buy a flashcard wallet or use a simple tag/band to keep them separate. 

How to use your flashcards?

LOOK-COVER-CHECK! This is the most simple, yet most logical way to start revising using your flashcards. 

Pass them to  your parents/siblings/friends and ask them to check your understanding. 

Keep track of your progress. Simply revisit your RAG and edit as you go along. Your aim is to get them all to GREEN! Once they are all in GREEN - eepeat the process! This is the only way you will remember these concepts and help your brain to consolidate the topics. 

Use the flashcards when you are making notes or practising exam questions. Make sure to edit the information on the flashcards, if needed, especially after looking at textbooks or mark schemes.

More importantly - DO NOT wait to start revision until you have created all flashcards for a topic. Start with what you have and make new flashcards along your revision journey! 

Share your flashcards - try swapping your flashcards with your friends, it's a good way to compare the information you have and revising the same concepts, written in a slightly different way, helps with consolidation. 

What if all these flashcards are not helping you? 

Simple - change your revision strategy! The important point to remember is not to wait too long to make the change. Once you realise that flashcards are not for you, try a different way to revise. There are plenty of revision techniques to choose from; mind maps, concept diagrams, cheat sheets, exam practice, videos, etc.


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