How to make flash cards work for you...
We all remember flash cards from going through school. You’d make them for history class, for social studies, and biology. What is the capital of Iowa? (Des Moines) What does H2O stand for? (chemical makeup of water) Who is the 14th president of the United States? (ummm….Franklin Pierce)
Flash cards are great for flipping through when you’ve got 5 minutes in line at the bank or when you’re waiting for a commercial to get over. Some of you received flash cards with the study materials you purchased from ACE. Some of you have made your own using the exam content outline or notes you’ve taken during your studies.
But wait! Put those flash cards down for a second while I talk about something important. Flash cards are best for memorization and regurgitation. However …if you talk to ACE you’ll hear us say ‘the exam is about application of knowledge, not about memorize and regurgitate” So what are you supposed to do with all these flashcards? (yeah, I know, the ones we sold you )
Granted, the anatomy chapter, usually Chapter 2, is a lot of memorize and regurgitate, there’s no way around that. So if you have a flash card that says ‘what are the four muscles that make up the quadriceps group?’ you’re on the right track. These are the kind of flashcards you want to make for this information.
But once you get into other chapters, you need to think more about the why and how. For example, a Chapter 5 (Personal Trainer) ACE flash card question reads
‘What is the most common type of injury sustained by persons participating in physical activity?’ (overuse injury).
You could take that question, memorize the answer, and consider yourself good. But the better thing to do is say, why does overuse injury occur so much in this group? Now you’re moving into the understanding phase of knowledge, the application phase. Another ACE flash card, this time from Chapter 13 (Personal Trainer) reads
‘How can you prepare a client for lapses’ (a client should be fully informed about pitfalls before they occur).
This is a better question to ‘flash’ at yourself. More of the how and less of the what. You could take it a step further and ask yourself ‘why should I prepare my client for lapses?”
Chapter 7 (ACE Group Fitness Instructor) flash card asks ‘What are the two factors that affect exercise intensity? (music tempo and the size of arm and leg movements)
But how does music tempo influence exercise intensity? Why does the size of arm/leg movements make such a difference? Go past the first question to the deeper, more application based questions.
I was talking to a candidate the other day about studying and remarked that when you can just talk about your subject, when you feel comfortable explaining why we do this or don’t do that as personal trainers, that’s often a sign that you understand the material. Flash cards are good for learning basic facts, but you can take them so much further and use them to help with your comprehension. Are you using them to their fullest?
Questions? Contact one of our Education Consultants at 1-888-825-3636 x782.