Many students, and even some teachers, rely on flashcards as a studying method. However, memory research tells us that such passive strategies are ineffective for long-term retention. Here we'll explain why we don't recommend learning Membean words with flaschards.

The Illusion of Knowledge

Many studies in memory research have proven that passive activities such as flashcards, re-reading, and highlighting are ineffective study methods. This is partly because they give us a false impression of understanding, and we stop studying them. Words you are learning must be rigorously maintained to become strong and stable in your memory. With flashcards, we typically remove material from further practice once we get it right. Flashcards give us a false sense of stability, since something like defining a word correctly doesn't mean it's truly been learned. The information may be strong in your memory at that time, but it is susceptible to quick fading. 

We call this the Illusion of Knowledge, and it's what we frequently see when students use flashcards to cram for a test. Check out the graph below:

As you can see, using flashcards or similar cramming-style methods results in the illusion that material has been mastered, even though it is quickly forgotten again. 

Learning with Membean

Unlike flashcards, studying with Membean keeps your memory strength high. We make sure that whenever you start to forget a word, we intervene with a question related to it. Recalling the word boosts its memory strength in your brain, and you remember it longer each time. 

See how learning with Membean keeps your memory strong as your words become more stable:

Learning with Membean ensures long-term retention as opposed to the short-term knowledge that results from passively reviewing material with flashcards. When it comes to studying on Membean, simply training as you normally would is all the preparation you need. Our memory engine has been heavily researched and designed to build long-term retention, so you can ditch the flashcards.