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Study Cards — A System for Mastery of Learning!

What are the advantages of using study cards?

  • Helps to avoid fixation to place
  • Helps to avoid fixation to order
  • Can provide for both chronological and topical review
  • Provides for separation of stimulus (S) and response (R)
  • Can provide for multiple stimulus response (S-R) patterns
  • Cannot fool yourself about the amount of information known
  • Study can take place anywhere; cards can be carried easily
  • Study can take place any time there is a five to ten minute break in your schedule

How to use study cards:

  • Attain a stack of note cards (size depends upon size of handwriting)
  • Review examples of card styles
  • Use the underlines in a section of your text or the notes taken during a lecture
  • Put a piece of information on the front of the card
  • Put the related information on the back of the card
  • Make one card for each fact that must be learned for the examination
  • Watch the stack of cards grow
  • When a stack of cards has been made, play with them
  • Read one side of the card and try to remember the information on the back (if the information cannot be recalled, flip the card over, read the information, return the card to the bottom of the stack)
  • Work from both sides of the cards
  • Sort cards according to topics, time periods, countries, philosophies, etc.
  • Shuffle cards frequently

Areas where study cards can be particularly useful:

  • When learning long lists of relatively unrelated facts
  • Studying for courses with a heavy emphasis on vocabulary
  • Studying for courses covering a variety of time periods or philosophies
  • Learning foreign language vocabulary

Examples of study cards that you can create:

  • Index Card Front — Term: A word or compound word used in a specific context.
    Index Card Back: Write the term’s definition, but keep the term out of the definition.
  • Index Card Front — Name: A person’s name
    Index Card Back: Write this person’s accomplishments, importance of accomplishments, and perhaps key dates, etc.
  • Index Card Front — Event: An important event
    Index Card Back: Write about "What happened?" and the importance of the event.
  • Index Card Front — Place: Name of a place
    Index Card Back: Write about its location, importance to topic, etc.
  • Index Card Front — Dates or a time period
    Index Card Back: Write about the importance of an event on a certain date or the importance of a certain time period.
  • Index Card — Author: Author’s name, major works, main ideas, period, country, topic style, dates, etc.
  • Index Card — Process: List the stages of a process, such as 1) then 2) then 3), etc.
  • Index Card — Effect: List the causes of the effect, such as cause 1), cause 2), cause 3), etc.
  • Index Card — Unit: List the functional parts of a unit, such as Functional Part 1), Functional Part 2), etc.
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