ASVAB AFQT For Dummies: Book + 8 Practice Tests Online, 3rd Edition
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Flashcards have been around for a long time. They're still in wide use in these days of electronics and computers because they work. For example, if you need to memorize definitions for the Word Knowledge Subtest of the ASVAB AFQT, flashcards are a great way to help you find, and fix, your vocabulary weaknesses.

You can make flashcards from any stiff paper material, like index cards, construction paper, or card stock. Write the words from your list on flashcards—words on the front and a short definition on the back. Use only one word per card.

As far back as 1885, a psychologist named Hermann Ebbinghaus, who specialized in memory research, published a study that detailed the effective use of flashcards. According to his rules, you should follow these steps:

  1. Review all the cards in the set, looking at each front and back.

    Go through the set several times.

  2. Test and sort.

    Read the front of the card. Try to say what's written on the back. If you're wrong, put the card in a "wrong" pile. Do the same for each card until the cards are sorted into "right" and "wrong" piles.

  3. Review the "wrong" pile.

    Read each card in the "wrong" pile, front and back. Go through the "wrong" pile several times.

  4. Test and sort with the "wrong" pile.

    Go through the cards of the "wrong" pile, testing yourself with them and sorting them into "right" and "wrong" piles just as you did with all the cards in Step 2. Keep working with the cards of the "wrong" pile until they're all in the "right" pile.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Angie Papple Johnston joined the U.S. Army in 2006 as a CBRN specialist. Currently, she's the CBRN noncommissioned officer-in-charge of an aviation battalion in Washington, D.C. Rod Powers served more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a first sergeant.

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