Students who are going to take the SAT tests know firsthand how stressful the preparation period can be. Trying to find any study material that could help get a high SAT score is exhausting. If you’re in this shoe, you’ve probably tried many study hacks, including flashcards. Everyone knows they’re great for learning new vocab words, right? But what other opportunities do they offer?
Actually, flashcards can be very effective, but only if you use them together with other study methods (more on that later). Since some ready-to-use flashcard sets can be a bit pricy and not suit all students’ needs, learners often decide to create their own collections. Besides the pleasure of having personalized study materials, the process of writing things down on the card is itself a great approach to learning. Everything that is written is memorized better.
So, if you’ve decided to spend time on DIY flashcards, why not try to go the extra mile and make them especially effective? In this post, we will share tips for crafting personalized sets, and we promise, you won’t get bored studying with them.
Benefits of Using Flashcards for SAT Prep
Why should anyone use flashcards when preparing for SAT tests? The thing is that they work, and they can be fun. Flashcards help you test how much you’ve actually learned. They may contain the key points from your study sessions, advanced math formulas (or any other questions related to SAT math), vocabulary words, etc.
No one wants to go through numerous pages to find the necessary information. And certainly, you might not have the time to look through the full notes if the test is only a few days away. But with flashcards, you can quickly review essential points anytime you want.
How To Make the Best SAT Prep Flashcards
Even though flashcards can be great study tools, not all are equally helpful. There are numerous options on the market, but of course, you know your needs better. Here are some ideas for making your own sets:
#1 Add Visual Details
Thinking of most flashcards, you imagine a bland white sheet of paper with black letters on it. Try the opposite. Whether you are designing your SAT flashcards by hand or using a mobile app, try to make them pleasing to the eye. Use different colors to categorize information or add images to create associations with the concept you are learning. Hey, if you don’t have the time to make cards from scratch, download printable ones from the internet and customize them to suit your taste and needs.
With some apps (as well as highlighters and stickers, if you prefer handwritten flashcards), you can change the colors, fonts, and other details. The best SAT prep flashcards usually have visual aids that reinforce your memory or serve as cues to help you quickly remember the information. Combining words with pictures is a great strategy.
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#2 More Doesn’t Mean Better: One Answer to a Card
Sometimes, students want to include as many details as possible on their flashcards, but this is one of those situations where less is more. Keep it simple. You might have seen math flashcards that contain more than one formula as an answer, which may be confusing. Instead, you should ensure that each flashcard has just one word, formula, or solution.
If you have too much information on a single card, you will make more mistakes and probably won’t remember much. Here’s a quick tip: use both sides of the card. You may include a word on one side and an example of its usage in a sentence on the reverse side. If it’s a formula, put its name and the formula itself. Then, flip cards when testing yourself.
#3 Use Add-ons Only if They Are Actually Helpful
This advice is for students who use apps like Quizlet, Anki, etc. Now, developers find creative ways to incorporate AI into their tools’ features, so, you can easily find tons of add-ons that can enhance your SAT study process. Some of them, like image occlusion, personalized study suggestions, and notes, can help. Still, make sure to use only those you need, as too many features can become distractions.
#4 Personalization and Organization Are the Keys
The best way to approach flashcards creation is to ensure the information on them is personalized. Here’s what I mean. You could write down the textbook or dictionary definition of the SAT vocabulary words and struggle to memorize them, but you would get better results if you write down the meanings in your own words. The same goes for definitions and terms in the SAT math section and any other terminology.
The best sets have an easy-to-sort structure: there could be color coding or a hole where you can insert a ring, thus grouping related items. Since you are preparing for more than one SAT exam subject, ensure that cards are well organized and you can easily find what you need. Remember to keep the set size small and compact since you’ll probably carry them around.
#5 Make Mnemonic Devices Your New Besties
You must know how a word or song can make you remember something. That’s exactly how mnemonic devices work – they connect two or more different things in your mind, so it’s easier to recall them. So, how do you use this phenomenon for your SAT flashcards? You can be as creative as you can. Think of an acronym to remember a long, complex formula, a wacky word, or a historical fact. Create rhymes; that’s even cooler. The more weird and funny your mnemonic device is, the more effective it will be.
How to Study With Flashcards: Check Some Tricks
Here’s the thing: even the best-designed flashcards can give you no advantage if you misuse them. Enjoy studying with the following advice:
- Pace yourself. Don’t try to learn all the cards at once.
- Be consistent. Spaced repetition works better than cramming everything in one day.
- Flashcards alone won’t help you get ready for the SAT exam. Use internet resources that give hints on how to build your SAT vocabulary or even incorporate other SAT study tactics like private tutoring.
- Test yourself from time to time.
- Reorder or shuffle your cards to avoid being stuck in a routine where you repeat the same things over and over.
- Say your answers out loud whenever possible, as it really works.
- Pay more attention to the vocab words or formulas that are hard to memorize and practice these piles more often.
- Make a game out of studying and find simple ways to reward yourself for correct answers.