In college, the goal is to find an effective study method that works for you. An effective method will allow you to study better and more efficiently. One great way to accomplish studying better and efficiently is to find the best flashcard app and use it diligently.
It sounds a little too simple, right? Out of all the study methods out there, flashcards are at the top. Flashcard apps allow you to store and organize a lot of information and have it readily available which is very efficient. Before you think it’s too basic, there is a lot of science behind why flashcards work. Here is what one study found.
- Four hundred fifteen undergraduate students in an Introduction to Psychology course voluntarily reported their use of flashcards on three exams as well as answered other questions dealing with flashcard use (e.g., when did a student first use flashcards). Almost 70% of the class used flashcards to study for one or more exams. Students who used flashcards for all three exams had significantly higher exam scores overall than those students who did not use flashcards at all or only used flashcards on one or two exams. These results are discussed in terms of retrieval practice, a specific component of using flashcards. (source: American Psychology Association).
As you can see, flashcards are effective and an excellent way to study because they help with memorization through repetition. They are strategically designed to enhance and encourage active recall and spaced repetition. There are many different flashcard apps to choose from. But you don’t need anything too flashy. Keep it simple.
Top 3 Flashcard Apps
If you are looking for the best flashcard app, look no further. Here are my top 3 flashcard apps. All of the apps have free versions that are more than adequate for flashcard use. However, if you want to be able to add images, video, or audio you may have to pay for the upgrade. Test a few of these apps out to find the best one for you.
Quizlet is still my favorite flashcard app. It is what I used all through college and it met all my needs. I like that you can “share” your “sets” with fellow students. I used this feature a lot with my peers. Quizlet is pretty clever as it keeps track of your progress and will repeat the cards in a way that is best to help you learn and retain the information.
Quizlet makes it simple to create your own flashcards, study those of a classmate, or search their archive of millions of flashcard decks from other students. Use swipe mode to review flashcards quickly and make learning more engaging. Swipe right if you know it, swipe left if you don’t — and learn what you need to focus on.
Creating your own set of flashcards is simple with Quizlet’s free flashcard maker — just add a term and definition. You can even add an image from their library. Once your flashcard set is complete, you can study and share it with friends.
Find Online Flashcards
Need flashcards to memorize vocabulary, equations, or anatomy? With millions of flashcards already created by other students and teachers, you can find free flashcards for any subject on Quizlet.
Anki is a flashcard app that makes remembering things easy. A huge benefit of Anki (the Japanese word for memorization) is that it gives its users a lot of options to customize. The app supports images, audio, videos, and even scientific markup. If you like personalizing things then this is the app for you.
Due to its flexibility and versatility, medical students, and those who are learning a language love this app. Another great benefit is Anki’s learning algorithm. It takes the guesswork out of what to study as it “knows” what you need to study. This spaced repetition system (SRS) is what students love. It’s better for long-term studying, not cramming. The Anki synchronization service allows you to keep your cards in sync across multiple devices which is very convenient.
Brainscape allows you to organize your flashcards into subjects, classes, and decks. This keeps your cards tidy and manageable. Their algorithm, confidence-based repetition (CBR), is slightly different than other flashcard algorithms. The CBR uses the student’s judgment to decide how well they are learning. If you don’t think you have learned a specific concept you can downrank it. This allows for very personalized learning and will optimize your studying, by repeating harder concepts in intervals for maximum memory retention.
In their Knowledge Genome, Brainscape has over 1 million flashcard classes created by top students, professors, publishers, and experts, spanning the world’s body of “learnable” knowledge. The subjects cover everything from Entrance Exams, Medical & Nursing, to Technology & Engineering. If you want a Personal Certification, they have you covered. They have thousands of Foreign Language flashcards. This flashcard database is worth checking out.
Use Your Flashcards Efficiently
Flashcards are meant to be simplistic. When creating your flashcards don’t get too wordy and cram a lot of information onto one card. Less is more. Typically, the most effective flashcards will have one question and one answer. If a question has a long and complicated answer split it up into smaller, simpler concepts across multiple flashcards.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so use a picture if you’re a visual learner. A map, flowchart, or timeline might be all you need to remember a concept. If you are an auditory learner read and answer the questions out loud.