Leitner System for your Better Learning

For better or worse, Learning is part of College life. Becoming an effective and efficient student is not something that happens overnight.  It requires patience, practice, trial and error. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Read on to learn how you can use the Leitner system to memorise things quickly.

Why Leitner System?

Can you remember every single fact you’ve read in a textbook? Probably not! That’s because when we read through something passively, our brains are not forced to think. But, when we have to answer questions, our brains are triggered to take action. By using Leitner system, our brains are constantly stimulated to actively recall information so that it is stored in our memories more effectively and for a longer time.

What is Leitner System?

Leitner system was created by German Science Journalist Sebastin Leitner. It uses a number of boxes to track when you need to study each flashcard. FlashCards and the Leitner system are a fantastic tool for memorising and drilling facts.

Anything that can be studied in a “Question & Answer” format can be turned into flashcards and also things like short definition, scientific symbols, data, math formulae, and other facts.

What are Flash Cards?

A flashcard is a piece of card with a cue on the front and the answer on the back. The cue can be a question, a single word or a picture. Electronic flashcards can also have sound or video cues.

When you review your flashcards, you will take one card at a time, look at the cue and try to answer it as quickly as possible without checking the answer at the back and moving on to the next card. Flashcard helps you to practice the same information over and over again – Practice makes a man perfect!

Tips for making Flash Card

  • Use an index card or cut a large piece of cardboard into smaller pieces
  • Keep each card as simple as possible, 1 card for each piece of information
  • Use images where appropriate

Use the following  links to make flashcards




Spaced Repetition – Powerful Tool

There are only 24 hours in a day; naturally, you’d like to use it as much as possible. Amidst other commitments and duties assigned, you need to find a method that lets’s spend less time learning but in an effective way. Here is the solution “space out your studying”. By assigning regular time intervals between your study sessions, you can remember more even if you spend a few hours studying. This is called Spaced Repetition. Research shows that the best time to relearn something that is learned is just before you are about to forget it. Spaced Repetition tries to bring out a solution for the problem of forgetting. It is the most powerful technique in practice for improving one’s brain’s ability to recall what is studied.

In short, Spaced Repetition = Testing + Timing

A simple way to do spaced repetition is to use flashcards organised into a box. Set up schedules for each box. If you answer the card correctly you move the card to the next box, i.e., you put it into the section that you will revisit less frequently in the future. Otherwise, you move the card into the section scheduled for frequent visits.

  • Box 1 – Every Day
  • Box 2 – Every 2 Day
  • Box 3 – Every 4 Day
  • Box 4 – Every 9 Day
  • Box 5 – Every 14 Day

The system operates on 3 rules

Rule 1: Every card starts out in Box 1

Rule 2: If you get a card right, move the cards to the next box

Rule 3: If you get the card wrong, move it down a box – Box 1

Here is how you do it: [ A simple example using 3 Boxes]

Day 1

Put all your cards in Box 1 and review them. If you get a right answer, move the card to Box 1 and if wrong then it stays in Box 1

Day 2

Review Box 1 [ as on Day 1, move right cards to Box 2 and wrong in Box 1]

Day 3

Review Box 1

Review Box 2: If you can answer move the card to Box 3 and if you cannot collect the answer move the card to Box 1

Day 4

Review Box 1

Review Box 3: If you get a card right, it can leave the box. If you get it wrong move it back to Box 1

Day 5

Review Box 1 and Box 2

Day 6

Review Box 1

Day 7

Review Box1, Box2, and Box3

Day 8-13

Repeat Days 2-7

Once all your cards have left Box 1, your studying is done.

Study smart, not hard.

The way you study can make or break your success at School/College/Universities. By implementing this method of learning, you can study smart instead of wasting countless hours of your valuable time. This helps you to save a lot of time that would have been lost with unfocused attempts of studying hard. Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays younger.  Let’s remain young forever by learning.


By Ms.P.Tephilla Joice, Assistant Professor (Mathematics)

Follow her @KCGSH2