Friday, December 11, 2009

Flashcard Advice

Here's my first real piece of GMAT advice I posted on a GMAT Club thread MGMAT Math Study Tips? (thread created by user "ant700gmat")

The query:
"Hey Guys,
I’m currently in the process of studying for the GMAT quant section using the MGMAT guides.
Do you have any tips on how to better remember the concepts/rules/formulas in the guides? Any advice would be helpful..

My reply:
In one word, FLASHCARDS.

While you're going through a chapter, write down notes on concepts, formulas, etc. that are new to you, or you feel you need to commit to memory cos you may forget it.
Make flashcards out of these notes at the end of the chapter, to make review easier, and also to have a handy set of notes to refer to on the move.

A tip on the content of flashcards:
Convert the concept into a question, and put the answer on the back side of the flashcard. For example, if you've just learnt that 1 is not a prime number...put down "List the first 10 prime numbers" as a question, and you'll automatically cover the concept you were actually trying to recall. The reason I feel this is a better way is because sometimes, you tend to remember exactly what was written behind your flashcard, and isn't really too helpful. By making a question out of it, you're APPLYING the formula/concept in a question format, which is a much better way to learn for the GMAT! Well, according to me.

The same goes for a formula. If you want to learn the area of a square, don't write "what is the formula for the area of a square?" Instead, make a question out of it. Eg. "If one side of a square is equal to 2 cms, what is the area of the square?" It's even better if you can make a question where you first have to figure out that the quadrilateral is actually a square (it's not given), and so once you figure out it's a square, you use the formula of a square's area. It will help you remember a lot of concepts, and you can have a lot of fun with it and come up with any number of questions on your own!

And yes, it is a time-consuming process (the last few flashcards I made have actually started to look like boring "what's the formula for simple interest?")...but I think it might be worth it. :-)

No comments: