Stop highlighting, start using flash cards

Today’s action is to download your free bookkeeping flashcards and learn how to make your own using the template we’ve created just for you. This action will take you: 10 minutes

OK this may be a little controversial but hear us out. 

Many commonplace learning techniques such as highlighting, underlining and rereading have been demonstrated as ineffective ways to learn, in a 2013 study.

Reading something over and over or focusing on individual facts by highlighting does little to make a concept come to life. The goal of all learning should be understanding rather than memorisation. When you understand a concept you will find you are more able to recall itLearning that helps you to connect concepts and apply your knowledge practically will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of the material.

If you’re looking down at your highlighted text book right now, don’t despair. You’ve already been using study support resources to apply your knowledge in practical tests. Now we’re going to add flash cards to your study survival pack.

“Retrieval practice – recalling facts or concepts or events from memory – is a more effective learning strategy than review by rereading. Flashcards are a simple example. Retrieval strengthens the memory and interrupts forgetting. A single, simple quiz after reading a text or hearing a lecture produces better learning and remembering than rereading the text or reviewing lecture notes,” says Peter C. Brown, co-author of Make it Stick.

How to make your own flashcards

It’s incredibly simple to make your own flashcards. You can download our Flashcards Template, buy some index cards or try an app to make your own.

What makes a good flashcard?

  1. Simplicity – Write only one question per card. It’s better to make more flash cards than to fit a series of concepts on one card.
  2. Keep it short – A succinct question with a specific answer will be easier to learn.
  3. Don’t avoid the hard concepts – These are the sections you need to focus on the most. Even if you find them more difficult, by using this technique you’ll gain a better understanding of the material.

Today’s action

If you’re studying bookkeeping we’ve gone ahead and created some flashcards for you. Download your Bookkeeping Flashcards 1 and Bookkeeping Flashcards 2 and start testing yourself.

If you’re studying another unit make your own by downloading our Flashcards Template, buying some index cards or trying an app to make your own.

Dale Rolfe is AAT's Content Editor.


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