Using Flashcards to Prepare for Your Licensing Exam


Flashcards have been around a while — they were “invented” in the early 19th century and are still effective learning tools 200 years later, in our digital age!

Our NRS Securities Exam Prep team encourages you to incorporate flashcards into your daily study habits. Each student studying for their securities exam should build their own set around their personal strengths and weaknesses. Below are tips for creating and reviewing your flashcards.

What to Flashcard

  • The Executive Summary at the beginning of each module highlights that lesson’s key points. These Executive Summaries are a good starting point for creating your flashcards
  • You should also create flashcards as you review your mistakes after each quiz and exam. This focuses you on your specific weaknesses
  • After completing each quiz and exam, you are provided an Assessment Summary that directs you back to each module section related to your missed questions. Make flashcards addressing these sections so you can eliminate these weaknesses
  • Do not use prepared or online “flashcards” such as Quizlet! You can’t trust their accuracy and are better off creating your own customized set
  • Create one flashcard for each formula, rule, or concept that you struggle with or must memorize. The act of writing in longhand requires you to slow down and focus, which leads to better memorization
  • Keep flashcards as brief as possible — use them for formulas, key concepts, rules and lists. Don’t write large blocks of text

Using Your Flashcards

  • ”Drill” yourself using your cards regularly. Do this immediately upon waking, just before sleeping, and several times throughout your day. Capture time during your commute, while waiting in line, or while slurping your ramen
  • Ask friends or family to drill your flashcards with you. This requires you to verbalize instead of just mentally recalling information (BONUS: this will give them a vested interest and may make them more supportive of your study time!)
  • You don’t need to review your entire card deck every time you drill. Sometimes you may only review three or four cards, and that’s fine

More Hints

  • Triage your flashcards. As you master a card, move it from your primary deck to a secondary deck, which you review every four days
  • Track your mastery of each card by check marking the corner when you answer it correctly, and placing an “X” if you miss it. Once you have three consecutive checkmarks, move that card to your secondary deck
  • Consider using different colored flashcards for different subjects. This enables you to sort by topic

Flashcards likely played an important role in learning your elementary school basics, like multiplication tables and vocabulary. Let them help you pass your securities licensing exam!