Why Are Flashcards So Effective?

Flashcards have been around a long time. You’ve possibly used them in elementary school and maybe have not used them since! However, they are a tremendous tool for learning faster and more effectively, especially for nursing students. Nursing students are expected to know an incredible number of facts, and flashcards have been proven over and over again to be an ideal tool mastering large amounts of information.

  • question cards

    Forcing Active Recall

    Active recall is a simple idea: you need to try to remember something with no prompts in front of you. Active recall is far more effective than many other forms of studying!

  • brain

    Building Metacognition

    Metacognition sounds fancy, but it is simply what you know that you know. Are you confident that you remember the respiratory system but struggle with the nervous system? If so, metacognition is helping your brain build better memories.

  • flashcard stacks

    Perfect for spaced repetition

    Want to study more effectively? Spaced repetition is the key. Sort flashcards into groups of cards you know, cards you need work on, and cards you don't know at all. Then, spend more time on the cards you don't know! Flashcards make this study hack a breeze.

  • thumbs up

    The bottom line

    Flashcards are your secret weapon
    to mastering the material and Leveling Up!

The Learning Science Behind Flashcards

Flashcards are designed to force active recall: The simple act of quizzing yourself without seeing the answer, promotes active recall. Active recall is forcing yourself to try to remember an answer without having any prompts in front of you. Attempting to recall an answer from scratch stimulates your brain to make stronger memory connections and has been proven over and over again in scientific studies to promote learning better than simply reading textbooks or quizzing yourself with multiple-choice questions.

Flashcards help you build metacognition: Metacognition literally means KNOWING (cognition) what you know ABOUT (meta) a subject. The act of flipping a card over and reflecting on how well you know it and how your answer compared to the correct one is metacognition, because you can easily begin to sort facts into categories: things you know well, things you partially know, and things you have not yet learned at all. Research has proven that metacognition about a subject or group of facts actually ingrains the memory even deeper into your knowledge base. To know something better, you should understand how well you really know it!

Flashcards are perfect for spaced repetition: Spaced repetition is the act of sorting cards into piles and studying the cards that you don't know well (that's metacognition!), more frequently. Because flashcards can easily be sorted and organized into piles, you can tailor your study time to quickly master a subject by focusing on the facts that are harder for you to remember. This may seem obvious, but it is much harder to do with outlines or facts in a textbook. Flashcards are the perfect form factor to make you an efficient studying machine.

  • If the ideas on a card still feel new to you, then keep it with this tab. Once you're able to recall some of the information on the card, move it to the Learning tab
  • LEARNING: If the ideas on a card are familiar but you need prompting, then keep it with this tab. Have trouble remembering the information? Move it back to the New Tab. Know most of the material on the card? Move it to the Leveled Up Tab.
  • LEVELED UP: Review weekly. If you don’t need any prompting to remember the material on a card, then keep them with this tab. Need prompting to remember the information? Move it back to the Learning tab.

To reduce overall study time, the student gets started by sorting the cards into 3 stacks: NewLearning, and Leveled Up.

The cards in the New stack are the ones that the learner doesn’t know at all. The Learning stack have the cards that they know partially, but need prompting to help remember the information, while the Leveled Up stack has cards that the student is very familiar with. The student might choose to study the New cards once a day, Learning twice a week, and the Leveled Up cards weekly.

Once they become more familiar with the information on a card, they "promote" it to the next category. If they realize they need to review a card more often, it gets "demoted" to the previous category so the learner can study that card more frequently.

What Makes Level Up RN Flashcards So Perfect for Nursing Students?

Level Up RN Flashcards are specifically designed to help you focus in on the most important fundamental concepts you need to know for success, taking complicated concepts and distilling them down to a sentence or two, so you can focus on the fundamentals that all your nursing knowledge should be grounded in.