How to Study Effectively Using Virtual Flash Cards

Herbert Lui

According to my professor, one of the students who aced one of my commerce courses had over 500 flash cards, all full of definitions, terms, and concepts. The sheer thought of having so many flash cards to study from made me shudder — all that clutter and potential for misplacing things! Nonetheless, flash cards have been a tried and tested studying tool for some students. When a fellow student first told me about studying on a computer with flash cards, I jumped at the opportunity.

Fauxflash

Fauxflash is a web application that allows you to create decks of virtual flash cards online. This is especially effective in the case you wanted to share them with friends, a study ring, or fellow classmates. Fauxflash has a very simple and clean user interface. You can view all the decks of flash cards you have created — I tend to make one for each subject I’m studying for.

Fauxflash Overview

You can create a deck using the big blue Create A Deck button above. Similarly, you can edit your Fauxflash deck by clicking the edit button, as highlighted in the screenshot above. From there, you will be able to modify your deck’s information, as well as Add Cards to your deck.

Fauxflash Edit

Adding cards to your Fauxflash deck is very simple. Simply type out the question and answer in their respective fields. You can also attach files (usually images, charts, diagrams, etc…) to your card.

Add Card in Fauxflash

Fauxflash gives you the ability to format and edit the style of your text using coding called markdown.

Fauxflash Markdown

When you’re done editing your cards and want to run through some questions, Fauxflash simply calls up the cards you had created in your deck.

Fauxflash Question

Not sure how I feel about center-aligned text, especially for longer passages that I tend to use for answers.

Fauxflash Answer

By default, Fauxflash shares your presentations with the rest of the community. I don’t necessarily think this is a terrible thing, I just think that there are some times when you might want to keep your own study information to yourself! If that’s the case, you might want to consider using Anki, a virtual flash card application for your PC or mobile device. This is installed on your local storage, which means you can have access to it even when you’re offline.

Anki

Anki is different from Fauxflash straight from the get-go. There are three main things you can do: download shared decks, create your own, or import decks from a previous installation of Anki.

Anki Overview

You can choose to download shared decks from the internet. The collection is definitely much greater in quantity when compared to the Fauxflash shared decks.

Anki Shared Decks

Creating a deck is very simple as well. Once you click the Create button on the main screen, you’ll progress to this window. Looks somewhat familiar to Fauxflash, eh?

Create a Deck with Anki

Adjusting your deck properties is a click away! This is where you can change the layout of your cards, as well as adjusting whether or not you want to share it on the web.

Anki Deck Properties

Here’s how Anki looks when it displays a question (or a front of a card).

Anki Question

When you think you’ve answered the question, click Show Answer.

Anki Answer

I particularly like the option at the bottom that decides how much to cycle through this question. It’s particularly interesting to me because I think it’s important to put more time into studying parts and concepts that I have a weaker understanding of.

The top of the dialog box shows you options to Create a New Card, Edit your Current Fact, Change the Card Layout, amongst many others.

You’re now equipped with two great ways to study using virtual flash cards. Download Anki or check out Fauxflash. Study hard, back your data up, and make yourself proud.

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