best method for memorization

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lovelaw27
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best method for memorization

Postby lovelaw27 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:49 pm

I was wondering what any 1L/2L/3L think is the best method of memorization. Should I just try to type out my outline from memory, or the professor’s slides? Or is the best way to remember everything to just review my outline and then do a whole bunch of hypotheticals? Also, when is too early to start memorizing. I was hoping some people would share what method worked best for them.

fortissimo
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Re: best method for memorization

Postby fortissimo » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:53 pm

The only class I've really memorized for was Civ Pro, because it was closed-book, in class multiple choice/short answer. I spent about 3 weeks studying for the test (knew nothing at all beforehand) and I just kept reviewing my notes, over and over again. I don't think you have to "memorize" for classes that have open book tests though. Just review the outline well enough to have a firm grasp on the material, but it's not at all like studying for a closed book test. Two of my classes this semester have closed-book, in class m/c test finals, and I'm probably going to do the same thing...keep reviewing (someone else's) outline and my notes until I know it down pat and then (hopefully) work on old practice tests. (It really sucks because a number of upper divs have pure m/c, closed book tests. I.e. international law and evidence. Studying for closed books tests is the worst.) You shouldn't get boggled down by just memorization though. It's important to do practice problems so you know how to apply the material you memorize.

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macattaq
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Re: best method for memorization

Postby macattaq » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:47 am

Errr...I would say the best advice I ever got was to prepare for an open book exam as though it is a closed book exam. This way, you can spend more time thinking through and outlining your answer, and less time flipping through your outline/prepared materials.

As far as memorization is concerned, I've found that writing out the black letter law ten times in a row by hand is ridiculously effective. Do this every time you get a new rule, and try not to do more than one per class per day. Otherwise, they start mixing together, and on an exam, the result could be disastrous.

engineer
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Re: best method for memorization

Postby engineer » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:13 am

lovelaw27 wrote:I was wondering what any 1L/2L/3L think is the best method of memorization. Should I just try to type out my outline from memory, or the professor’s slides? Or is the best way to remember everything to just review my outline and then do a whole bunch of hypotheticals? Also, when is too early to start memorizing. I was hoping some people would share what method worked best for them.


I like flash cards a lot. Also, I never try memorizing things word-for-word...I try to "see" it, instead. As long as I can "see" the basic idea, I can usually come up with something intelligible. I've never had a problem on exams saying stuff like "FRCP 56 says that paraphrased ..." But, exact phrasing & word choice doesn't matter as much in civil procedure as, say, crim law where the meaning of words in the MPC may give a different flavor. I don't know, I'm just not a huge fan of verbatim memorization; memorizing an idea and being able to adapt it to your needs seems better.

pandacot
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Re: best method for memorization

Postby pandacot » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:05 pm

macattaq wrote: I've found that writing out the black letter law ten times in a row..is ridiculously effective


Credited. Typing it out was just as effective for me.

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Aeroplane
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Re: best method for memorization

Postby Aeroplane » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:23 pm

fortissimo wrote:The only class I've really memorized for was Civ Pro, because it was closed-book, in class multiple choice/short answer. I spent about 3 weeks studying for the test (knew nothing at all beforehand) and I just kept reviewing my notes, over and over again. I don't think you have to "memorize" for classes that have open book tests though. Just review the outline well enough to have a firm grasp on the material, but it's not at all like studying for a closed book test. Two of my classes this semester have closed-book, in class m/c test finals, and I'm probably going to do the same thing...keep reviewing (someone else's) outline and my notes until I know it down pat and then (hopefully) work on old practice tests. (It really sucks because a number of upper divs have pure m/c, closed book tests. I.e. international law and evidence. Studying for closed books tests is the worst.) You shouldn't get boggled down by just memorization though. It's important to do practice problems so you know how to apply the material you memorize.

+100000 to the bold! If you are a super fast memorizer OR prepared to study a ton of hours, then go ahead and memorize everything, and then do practice problems on top of that. If you're like me and you suck at memorization AND hate studying and are unable to focus for very long, then just practice. You'll learn how to apply and you'll absorb >80% of the material anyway. Knowing 100% of the BLL is not necessary to a good grade. All things being equal, having everything memorized would probably be better, but I don't believe in investing a ton of time for what would be a teeny amount of added value (for me personally - YMMV).

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kings84_wr
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Re: best method for memorization

Postby kings84_wr » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:44 pm

For me I flow chart all of my outlines. It helps me break down everything into little details and Ive found that after I break it down, I know so much more about the little subtleties and ambiguities in the law, and surprisingly it helps memorization a lot.

lovelaw27
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Re: best method for memorization

Postby lovelaw27 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:10 pm

Thanks everyone for the good advice, and that the following:

macattaq wrote:As far as memorization is concerned, I've found that writing out the black letter law ten times in a row by hand is ridiculously effective. Do this every time you get a new rule.


is some of the best advice I have gotten on tls.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: best method for memorization

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:43 pm

macattaq wrote:
As far as memorization is concerned, I've found that writing out the black letter law ten times in a row by hand is ridiculously effective.


+1, with the caveat that I like to wait until the intense pressure of exams is bearing down on me and do them all at once.

Here is one method that made me #1 in my class.

Step 1: FIRST - outline completely. Write your entire outline yourself. Sure, consult other outlines, but the words in your outline should have been formulated in your head. You'll better remember what you wrote vs. what you just read.

Step 2: Write (I TYPED) black letter rules over and over over, but then write yourself a 2-3 page collection of all these black letter rules. Review this is the day before the exam, over and over until you can visualize where each rule is on your sheet.

Step 3: Make up a bunch of little mnemonic devices - and HERE is the key - use them to draw a single page hand-written outline that lists major concepts, major rules, and their elements. I'll have a bunch of these little dirty devices in my brain. Like "tom said to judy that frank licks balls." TSTJTFLB. Make them dirty - harder to forget. I might have 5-6 of these. One string might contain the elements for several different rules. You'll draw it out, and you'll remember.

FIRST THING you should do when the exam begins is immediately begin to draw your outline. It might take me 5-10 minutes. Lay out your major concepts using your mnemonic devices. Lay down the letters first, then go back and fill in the words. I list major concepts on the left, then draw lines to smaller concepts / rules on the right and bottom of the page. Since you have practiced hand-drawing this outline over and over (and over) again, it should pour out of you automatically, regardless of how nervous you might be. That one page outline will cover every major topic in the course, and since you outlined yourself, seeing the major concepts in your own handwriting will jog your memory of the finer details contained in your outline.

Edit: Oh, this is mainly for closed book exams. I'm amazed at how many people here say they only had one closed book exam. Schools are coddling their students...

lordbaby
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Re: best method for memorization

Postby lordbaby » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:35 am

by elements




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