The 8.5”x11” Notecard


In college, I had a (now retired) professor who allowed us to use an 8.5”x11” notecard. First time I heard this, I was like “hey, that’s literally a letter sized page”, which wasn’t right since we got to use both sides of it. On top of that, we could scribble on any handout he gave us.

Being the lazy fuck I am, I was like “sweet, no need to study if I can just scribble an entire chapter of notes on the page”. Examining the textbook, I would take the time to ensure that what I put down made sense, ignoring all the elaborate explain actions that only seemed to waste space.

Test time would come and I would come in feeling really good about myself given how I didn’t bother to memorize anything since I had such a big notecard to use as a crutch. As I took the test, I wouldn’t actually use the notecard, instead flying through all the questions. Once the results were out, I did pretty well whenever I made use of the 8.5”x11” notecard.

Turns out he tricked me into studying.

In trying to condense the chapters notes into two-ish pages, I internalized what I learned, which I suspect is what the professor was going for when he let us use it.

So if you wanna effective way to prepare for a test or exam, make an 8.5”x11” notecard.