How to use €œflashcards€ to study with more effectiveness

I say it as I lived it: I read in English this expression and flax appeared to me the mythical pole of the childhood (the children are the only colouring creatures able to eat that mixture of and artificial aromas).
It is a pole?He is kriptonita?

It is a pole? He is kriptonita?

But it does not have anything to do. The flash cards is very popular in the United States and here in Spain them we can call €œcards€, without more didactic fiorituras, or €œcards€ (1). They contain summarized information to study and to review subjects. Typically, in a face you write the question or the statement to answer, and in env©s you write down the answer, generally with another color, so that when you choose a card you know why side to read it.
Another form to fill up them in CC of the Health would be with graphs of biochemistry, or anatomical or embryological drawings. Nevertheless, the format seems more useful to me ask-answer. When we devised a question, our brain already is making associations with the material and therefore it is advancing in his understanding and memorization.
If you are studying the cranial nerves in Neuroanatomy, you can put a question of this style: €œWhat fiber types transport the face nerve€.
Face question
In the other face, the answer would be something thus:
Face answer
In order to do this you can use cards of fine cardboard or normal paper as those that are sold in several sizes in any stationery store.
I have proven this technique reading a somewhat barren chapter on the cochlear homeostasis of a titled book €œAuditory trauma, protection, and to repair€. To be taking notes in the format €œflash card€ very just a short time took to me, and to review them when finishing the chapter took about 10 minutes to me, and remembered the data on the following day better than when simply I read. So that it works.
This is most important: That a recitation of read with some type of examination has been demonstrated scientifically to make review or it helps to remember better the information than simply to reread it (2). Traditionally one has thought that the examinations were a neutral event and that the learning took place before, during the study. Nevertheless, many studies agree in finding that the repeated people remember better in the long term when they pass tests who if simply they reread the material (3). He is peculiar that this already was known more ago of a century, but it has not studied systematically until does few years.
Sometimes you can count on examinations type test of the matter that you are studying, because the text book provides them to you or because you count on examinations of other years. But many other times you do not have any examination. Here it is where flashcards enter game, that works as examination questions. You can make them you yourself /a while you read each subject and you can keep them to recall the read thing immediately or in planned reviews.
It is happened to me that this can be very useful mainly with content more difficult to understand or to memorise. In the case of the sanitary studies, to perhaps review the immune system (by which interleukina they go already? When I only studied it were 10€¦), drawing up of electrocardiogram, muscular insertions, nervous branches, or the nightmare of the tests with tuning forks of my specialty, the otorrino (Weber, Rinne, they sound to you).
My experience with cards
Update: it reads the article on flashcards that I wrote for the blog of yourmedlife in this connection.
Several webpages exist that allow to elaborate flashcards online and to share them with other users. There are some pages with great number of flashcards of medical matters as in this connection ( But they have a disadvantage: they have done them others! It is learned better with cards written up by one same one. In addition, they are in English and not always they will be adapted at the level demanded in your faculty.
*Otras pages to elaborate flashcards:
Hopefully it would have continued using that technique more systematically. Perhaps if it had known the scientific evidence in that time, study repertoire would have incorporated that technique. But today I have the satisfaction to teach it to which they are in the heat of time of studies. It proves flashcards and tells us what so has gone to you.
*Hace some weeks, my friend Javier, author of the blog, wrote an entrance explaining how to use Power Point to make microreviews. It allows you to consult it in your smartphone and thus always you take it by hand. If you like to take notes and to study in the computer, you can associate a file of Power Point to each subject to review in any short while that arises to you. 
2. Roediger HL, Butler AC. Retrieval critical The role of practice in long-term retention. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2011; 15(1): 20-27.
3. Roediger, H.L., III and Karpicke, J.D. The to power of testing memory: BASIC research and implications for educational practice. Persp Psychol Sci 2006; 1:181-210.
Almudena Trinidad

I am otorrinolaring³loga doctor in a hospital of Madrid and Professor Asociada de Medicina in the UAM. I help Medicine students to develop more effective techniques of study to obtain better notes, to remember during more time and to feel like more happy insurances and with its studies.

12 Commentaries
  • Javier
    Published to 17:57 h, 14 December To respond

    Hello! Great post, Almudena.
    Flashcards is everything a classic one and if they are it is because they have worked during many years to many students.
    Nowadays you can continue making yours in typical cards or can adapt to the new technologies and go a step further on.
    I who I do not separate of my ipad have one app that is to me very useful: Brainscape.
    I have used it mainly to learn vocabulary in French and power to read you (tebeos) in French whom they do not publish here.
    Also memory during my time of opponent to have made presentations in powepoint of several subjects that put to me at a high speed to make microreviews in a pair of minutes.
    A greeting. Keep up the good work!

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 20:04 h, 14 December To respond

      Thank you very much by your commentary, Javier!
      The good thing of fine cardboard cards is that they weigh little and they fit in any pocket. In addition they say the neurocientificos that to write by hand allow to begin to associate the ideas before. But nowadays we did not separate of the mobile and there we can also take much information.
      The one of the microreviews with Power Point you must explain it in your blog. In smartphone they as a flashcard can be reproduced power point and be used.
      A greeting and until soon.

  • Marcos
    Published to 22:27 h, 30 December To respond

    Mmmm this subject touches the fiber to me€¦;) I am fanatical of flashcard or bits of intelligence as they call them in Spanish. I would add that flashcard must take drawings. And, as you say, if you have done them better, since you include personal elements that bind inner world with outside.

    They are more expensive in his accomplishment, which causes that people flee from them, but the retention to long means term multiplies, as I imagine that the reference will make emphasis nº2 that you indicate. In order to study my engineerings they contributed to major rapidity to me of learning, and the main thing is the retention. After one or two months, to only see them, it allowed me to almost remember the 100% with little work of review.

    Memory that had flashcards with equations of maxwell with drawings as tebeos with humorous connotations, sexual, outlandish that I remembered during long time€¦. 😉

    It cheers knowledge to me that we are a few using flashcards.

    Gracias Almudena.

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 11:35 h, 31 December To respond

      I have known recently that they were called flascards in English and I take them using just a short time. Hopefully he would have known them when he studied in the faculty.

      The one of the drawings is being put fashionable in the world of the Medicine and in Spain every time it is spoken more of it. I suppose that it will happen in all the scopes of the knowledge. There are professors who elaborate comic strip to facilitate the study of their students. In particular a Korean that has comic strip (often with sexual connotations). It is made call Dr. Anato-phil, in case to somebody it interests to him to throw a look.

      Someday you could teach to us some of your €œflashcards€ with equations of Maxwell, Marcos. Certainly we learned much€¦ 😉

      Thanks to comment!

      • Marcos
        Published to 15:32 h, 31 December To respond

        The equations of Maxwell no, because I do not have them, but that I would like to try if own drawings can serve to others, although each we work with different landlords and mental models.
        In fact now I am working and documenting and so the Americans call the line of vision thinking and graphical facilitation to me.

        Very interesting the one of the Dr.Anato-phil and seems to me magnificent that it begins to give value to the visual language for educational workings in formal texts. I believe that here we have much work to revert this situation. If you secure more references of this type, I hope that you speak to envelope they or me the passes 😉
        Thanks for info and greetings.

  • Andrea
    Published to 16:58 h, 31 July To respond

    I am not very safe that it is going to work, but in short, I will try it.

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 17:15 h, 01 August To respond

      Test, measures results and decides if you remain with the technique or you reject it. But, generally, who the test remains with her 😉

  • Claudio Andres
    Published to 02:43 h, 07 August To respond

    I am home my second race, this is medicine ..... listens to speak of them, until once I expounded on methods to do an effective study but and them name. But now I myself pondre in practices. I like much the article.

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 20:12 h, 07 August To respond

      Wonderful! Tell us what result gives you. I hope that good€¦

      A greeting!

  • claudia oil mill
    Published to 12:04 h, 12 February To respond

    hello I am mother of a girl of third party of secondary and not as helping him with all the studies that they must take to make his examination of prapa and this it is going to serve to him I am going search example so that it elaborates them thanks.

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