How to use Index Cards for Test Reviews

Index cards have a long history with students. Every student should know that using an index card to study for a test is one of the best ways to remember information and retain it. On the other hand, you may be bored with the way you are using index cards to review your test. Here are some fun, yet creative, ways to help you use index cards for your next test:

The “classic” way of using index cards for a test review is to write the main phrase on the front and then write the description on the back. So if you wanted to learn about the Battle of Tippecanoe, you probably write “Battle of Tippecanoe” on the front of the card and then you write the description on the back. Then, you would go through each index card, with the “phrase side” facing you, and then rehearse the description on the back to yourself. However, this can become monotonous and boring. Instead of using this classic way for your test review, you can instead make the index cards more interactive.

Playing Jeopardy! can help you make use of index cards in a fun yet educational manner. First, write down the information as you would for the classic use of index cards. Then, place them into categories. This is especially fun and useful if you needed to review for multiple tests all at once. If your classmates want to form a study group but you do not want that to be monotonous either, then you can play Jeopardy! together.

Once you have placed the cards in their respective categories, you can place them phrase-side up. Play Jeopardy! according to the television version.

Index cards can also be used in a game of Pictionary. Using a white board or blackboard, try to describe the phrase written on the index card using pictures. When a person guesses the right item or event or person, have them tell you who or what that person or thing is. Playing in groups is also encouraged.

You can also use index cards in a matching game. To start the game, give a topic or category to the players. For example, “World War II.” Then, using the index cards, have two teams compete against each other to race against a clock to categorize the index cards involved with the category. So, “Pearl Harbor” would be an index card under this category, but not the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Hopefully, these ideas will help you the next time you decide to use index cards for your test review.