Writing Your Own Flashcards

Why would you write your own flashcards?

You study faster and better: it’s as simple as that

Writing versus typing

While you’re writing, your brain works harder than when you’re typing. You’re not just thinking about what you’re going to write, but also how you’re going to write it: you appeal to your motor skills.

While you’re writing you’re already retaining information. You’re also creating a visual image of the flashcard: this sticks to your memory faster than something you typed out.

Motor memory track

‘’The current generation of students can type so fast that they can almost literally copy what’s being said’’, according to Paul Kirschner, professor of educational psychology at the Open University of Amsterdam. ‘’That way the information enters and exits without being processed by the brain.’’

The theory behind it is simple: since writing takes more effort it makes you think more, which makes your brain work harder. This means you’ll remember what you’ve written.

When you’re writing you’re creating a motor memory track through which a more extensive pattern of brain activity can take place. Kirschner refers to several studies showing that students who take notes using a laptop score lower in exams than those who do it by hand. “The difference is up to one and a quarter point.”

Convinced? Check out our flashcards