In all my years of being student (and there’s been more than a few), I’ve made many sets of flashcards that I’ve never ended up using. They just sit there. Staring, judging, reminding me that I’m not studying. Isn’t that the worst? I don’t want you to do that with your TEAS test flashcards!
Other times, I’ve used flashcards in ways that help me ace exams. That’s the kind of flashcard use I want for you! 💪
What’s the difference? And how can you tap into the power of flashcards? Let’s talk about a few ways now.
Tip #1: TEAS Test Flashcards are best focused on definitions, formulas, or sequences. ✍️
Flashcards work great for specific, quick facts. (You can’t flashcard your way through an persuasive essay in your lit class, unfortunately.)
Here are some specific, quick examples for how to use TEAS test flashcards for, you know, actual score improvement:
✔️ Definitions of literature terms, like passage types or source types
✔️ Matching organs and hormones
✔️ Math formulas for calculating the area of different shapes or the formulas for percent increase and decrease
✔️ Grammar and punctuation rules for compound, complex, and simple sentence types
Flashcards are great for when you need to memorize a particular definition, match terms and/or functions (like an organ and its functions or hormones), or memorize specific rules or formulas. You’ll need to be able to call upon these rules quickly on test day.
Many times, the TEAS won’t ask you directly about what you have on the flashcards, but the flashcards will form an important foundation: a step, a definition, a formula–that you need for the exam.
Be careful of creating flashcards for everrrryyyying. That’s how you end up with a giant stack you won’t use and that aren’t effective at anything but collecting dust. You can’t turn your lecture notes into flashcards. Well, you can, but they will be hard to use consistently. Sometimes, you need context to connect the dots and paint a fuller picture.
Flashcards aren’t for learning—they are for reviewing.
Tip #2: Keep TEAS test flashcards for ordering in a special stack. ✍️
Many concepts on the TEAS, particularly for the Science section, require you to have certain sequences memorized in order.
Some more specific examples for you on how to use TEAS test flashcards when it comes to sequences:
✔️ Following path of blood through the heart and body
✔️ The steps of digestion and absorption in the gastrointestinal system
✔️ The order of filtration through the kidneys
For example, when blood flows through the heart, it travels through 4 chambers, 4 valves, and some important arteries and veins. For the TEAS, you’ll need to be able to quickly recall their order so that you can answer whatever question comes your way.
A great way to learn this is to write out the order, with each step of blood flow getting its own card. Give them a shuffle. How quickly can you put them in the correct order?
To help you get started, here’s an ordering exercise from my premium online TEAS prep course…
In this drag and drop exercise, you can quiz yourself on blood’s path through both the body and the heart. You’ll also find a few general facts about the cardiovascular system on the TEAS.
You are welcome to try it for yourself. When you get the correct answers, you can write them out on a set of your own flashcards. See how quickly you can get them ordered.
As an extra flashcard strategy, you could do a similar practice for memorizing steps when it comes to solving math problems. In the courses, I teach specific approaches for tackling word problems, from how to read a problem, to the problem-solving methods to consider, to how to use the answer options to your advantage.
You could develop a math word problem strategy that works for you. Then, you can write each step of the strategy on flashcards and quiz yourself on the order.
If you have math anxiety or are worried about the time pressure, I recommend this approach. When your mind is racing on a math problem, it can be a big relief to run through a mental checklist of your possible tools from your TEAS toolbox.
This kind of focused and practiced recall work can really help cement the steps in your mind.
Whenever you have flashcards that focus on ordering or sequences, keep them grouped together. You can use a paperclip, rubber band, or plastic baggie. You want to keep these flashcards separate from your general stack.
Tip #3: TEAS test flashcards are great for super quick practice. ✍️
Flashcards are great for getting in 10 minutes of studying here and there. Fun fact: 10 minutes of studying Monday through Saturday adds up to a full hour. Yay! If you are tight on time, flashcards are your friend.
By the way, notice that you aren’t using flashcards for cramming. When you use flashcards for cramming, you might be increasing the frazzled state of your mind. Most flashcard sets will have you jumping around from topic to topic. That’s not an effective way to keep information in your head.
Ideally, you’ll be using flashcards in short bursts, 10 to 15 minutes here and there, for at least a week (if not months) before your exam.
When I was in college and really dialed in my use of flashcards, I worked on memorizing drills frequently. I’d pop into the library between classes or find a quiet spot on campus (like a campus greenhouse or garden 🌿🌷) for some focused review. Before leaving campus for the day, I’d find a quiet spot and review the material for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Once you’ve mastered definitions, order, and sequences, you can use flashcards for practice question drills.
You can create flashcards with a practice question on one side and the answer on the other. When you answer these types of TEAS test flashcards, make sure you mentally review the underlying concept for a minute before moving on. That makes this strategy extra powerful.
For example, let’s say you have a flashcard question about the two main functions of epithelial tissue.
You answer the question (secretion and protection) on the card. Then, you see what else you can recall about epithelial tissue. Maybe you remind yourself that two common uses in the body are in skin and glands. Maybe you note that it does not have its own direct blood supply. Or maybe you remember that epithelial tissue types vary in number of layers or shapes.
Boom! 💥 You’ve just done a bonus review! You’ve mentally strengthened your metal map about epithelial tissue so that you are better prepared for a variety of question types.
The only downside with these types of flashcards is that they can be very time-consuming to make….which is why I make them for you (score!)
Here’s how you can get my free TEAS test flashcards:
First, you can visit them on the site. Here are my free TEAS test study resources.
Second, you can visit my TEAS flashcard Quizlet page. Some of these are password protected for students in the online prep courses, but you’ll find several that are free. Please enjoy these quick question sets to test your application of TEAS knowledge.
These three tips will help you actually use the flashcards you have.
Plus, you’ll save yourself time by not making flashcards you won’t use.
When I was unsuccessful with flashcards, I tried to tackle too much material at once. Instead of learning the material, I tried to turn everything into a flashcard.
Often, I did this when I was overwhelmed by the material and didn’t know how to understand it first. I treated flashcards as a magic cure rather than looking at the hard truth that I didn’t understand the material.
I was most effective when I created focused flashcard sets and worked with them for short, regular bursts of time, like 10 minutes between a class or while in the car before I went into class.
But before using flashcards, I did the hard work of spending time with the material, talking it over with friends, doing the assigned problem sets, or asking for help. I also gave myself plenty of time to practice with the flashcards before test day.
OK, let’s quickly review the 3 steps to getting your flashcard game on point.
3 Steps to making TEAS test flashcards work for you:
⭐ Pick your topics with care. Don’t try to make a flashcard out of everything under the sun. Instead, focus on definitions, formulas, matching concepts, or ordering concepts.
⭐ If you are ordering concepts, keep these flashcards separate. You’ll want to shuffle and match. Make a game out of how quickly you can time yourself.
⭐ Give yourself 10 minutes at a time to do the flashcards. Focus on review and recall. Repetition over time is the key.
⭐ Flashcards work best when you are reviewing, not learning. It’s OK to first ask for help.
I hope this information was helpful! Happy studying!
Kate is a CRLA certified tutor and test prep expert. She founded Prenursing Smarter in 2017. Kate lives in sunny Southern California and is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (Mnikȟówožu Lakȟóta). Prenursing Smarter is an inclusive business and actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with and support diverse voices.