The Best Way to Use Flashcards While You Study For Your Firefighter Promotional Exam

Flashcards are a great way to study for your firefighter promotional exam, but just memorizing the flashcards isn’t going to cut it. As you work on your firefighter promotional exam prep, consider trying the Leitner System. Keep reading to learn  more about the Leitner System and why it is effective. 

What is the Leitner System?

The Leitner System was created by Sebastian Leitner, a German science journalist in 1972. The Leitner System uses spaced repetition to improve understanding of your firefighter promotional exam material. 

What You Need

  • Flashcards

  • 3 boxes

How it Works

You will start by putting all of the flashcards in Box 1 and reviewing them. Any of the flashcards that you get wrong you will put it back in Box 1, if you get the flashcard correct you will move the card into Box 2. The flashcards in Box 1 will be studied everyday, or every time you have a study session. The flashcards in Box 2 should be studied every other day, or every other study session. When you start on Box 2’s flashcards you will do the same method you did with Box 1. If you get the flashcard in Box 2 correct during your next study session you will place it in Box 3, if you get it incorrect you will move it back to Box 1, so you can spend more time on it. Now that Box 3 has been created, you will look at it once a week and follow a similar procedure. If you get Box 3’s flashcard right it stays in Box 3 to be studied once a week, if you get it wrong it moves back to Box 2 so you can work on it more frequently. The Leitner System may seem complicated, but once you start using this study method you will quickly get the hang of it. 

Why The Leitner System Works

The Leitner System for using flashcards to study works because of the use of spaced recall. Spaced recall is spacing your studies out over a greater period of time instead of cramming all of your studying into one or two giant study sessions. Shorter study sessions over a longer period of time allow you to absorb more information and store it for a longer period of time. It works because you are constantly reviewing the same information and giving yourself the opportunity to spend more time on the topics you are struggling with. Long term retention of the information you are studying for your promotional exam is critical for your new career. You do not just need this information to pass your firefighter promotional exam, you need to retain it for the rest of your career as a firefighter. In addition, spaced learning also reduces the pressure on yourself to learn everything in a short period of time, making your study sessions much less stressful and making passing your promotional exam that much easier. 

The Takeaway

Flashcards are a great study technique, but try taking it a step further by using the Leitner System to get the most out of your flashcards when you are studying for your firefighter promotional exam. The Leitner System may require a bit more prep work, but will yield better results and a better score come exam day.