Math Study Skills – Note Cards (Part 3 of 3)

September 7, 2010 at 5:35 am 2 comments

For the last 2 weeks I have been working on a series of note card related blogs, and today I finish the series. (Part 1, Part 2)

Learning New Procedures

For each new procedure you learn in a chapter, create a note card. Write the topic on the front of the card, and write the steps on the back of the card. For example, suppose you just learned how to solve linear equations.

  • Front
    Solving Linear Equations
  • Back
    Simplify both sides of the equation – distribute, combine like terms, clear fractions.
    Collect all variable terms on one side of the equation.
    Collect all constant terms on the other side of the equation.
    Divide both sides of the equation by the coefficient of the variable term.
    Check the solution.

You could also create a note card with a sample problem that illustrates these steps.

These note cards are handy to refer to while doing your homework.

At the end of the chapter you will have all of the procedures covered on your note cards. You can cycle through them to refresh your memory or to quiz yourself as you prepare for the test.

Note Cards for Quizzing Yourself

As you finish each section in your textbook, create note cards for each type of problem that was covered. On the front of the card write the problem, and on the back write the complete solution. In a couple of days come back to the cards to make sure you can still do the problems – look at the front of the card and solve the problem on a separate sheet of paper, then compare your solution to the back of the card.

As you reach the end of the chapter, these note cards can serve as a practice test. Shuffle the cards and cycle through them. If you get a problem wrong, that indicates that you need further study on that topic. Create a note card that explains what went wrong, and look those cards over as the exam approaches.


There are many uses for note cards in your math class. They are an efficient and portable way to review important material. Although they are helpful for memorization, they can be part of an overall study strategy to help you develop understanding. Some great uses include learning the first step for a problem, vocabulary, translating from English to math, help with difficult problems, warnings, new procedures, and for quizzing.

If you have any pointers on using note cards, or any questions related to using note cards in math, let me know. Please share by leaving a comment, or reaching me through the contact page at my web site –


I am a math instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. Each Tuesday I post an article related to Math Study Skills on my blog. If there’s a particular study skill you’d like me to address, or if you have a question or a comment, please let me know. You can reach me through the contact page on my website –


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New Arithmetic/Study Skills Course Mixture Problems – 1 Variable or 2?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. azizk  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I have been reading your blog for the last 3 days and find so much interesting topics here. I’ve bookmarked your site hoping that I can take much more benefits from you. Thank you.

  • […] facts, so I thought it would be a nice follow up to the note card series (part 1, part 2, part 3) to share how we used note cards in that […]


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