Struggling with Outlines/Reading

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cron1834

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Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby cron1834 » Mon May 22, 2017 3:33 pm

I just finished day 7, and I'm roughly 2 days behind. I don't mind the lectures and I find the lecture handouts useful. However, the outline reading just takes me forever. It's dense and poorly written, and it feels like every sentence is a rule. I'm reading this stuff at about half the rate at which I read cases in a casebook. I'm using Themis, but my friends' Barbri stuff seems exactly the same.

Is this normal? I could do videos/handouts/practice questions for a long time, but the reading is excruciating and it's getting me off schedule. Any tips, or do I just have to grind it out?

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby Blackhawks_Fan » Mon May 22, 2017 3:53 pm

If it's any consolation re Themis, the Contract & Property outlines took the longest, I suspect you are on these if you have just started. The other subject areas are less weighty and you can read a lot quicker.

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby Barrred » Mon May 22, 2017 3:58 pm

I did Themis for the CA bar, and basically only skimmed the outlines. They sucked. I would listen to the lectures and fill-in the handouts, then I would take the info from the handouts and put it into my own words in my own outline, and only then i would skim the big Themis outline to see if there was anything I had missed/wanted to add. I think Themis uses their outlines as a place to include extra stuff that they don't think will be tested, but they want to include to cover their ass in case it is, and they are usually poorly written.

I wouldn't let the outlines bog you down (its important to stay on track, especially in the beginning, as lagging behind will compound itself). Using the 80/20 rule (ask yourself: what is the 20% of the material that is causing 80% of my frustration, and what is the 20% of the material that is giving me 80% of my results in terms of my understanding the subjects), I decided to spend very little time on the outlines, and instead focused on handouts/lectures/making my own outlines/practice questions.

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Lincoln

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby Lincoln » Mon May 22, 2017 4:05 pm

Staying on track (i.e., not falling behind) is more important than getting through 100% of the materials for each topic. Try to catch up by making an effort over the weekend, and spend your time where it makes a difference for you. Everyone learns differently.

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby Nebby » Mon May 22, 2017 4:51 pm

I never read the outlines. I would search them when I needed an answer to a question I didn't know, but I never once actually read them all the way through. That would be terrible. They're literally just a list of rules. I'll never retain all of them simply by reading them, but I will retain them when I have to use them. My suggestion is to think of them as a cheat sheet, not as something you should actually read.

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cron1834

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby cron1834 » Mon May 22, 2017 5:05 pm

Thanks for advice so far. I kinda suspected Ks and Property were going to be the worst anyway, so that makes me feel a little better. I'll try to plow through for now...

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby rcharter1978 » Mon May 22, 2017 6:18 pm

I'm an active learner and so the idea of retaining stuff by just reading was a no go. I had to write stuff down for it to get in my brain...some people flow charted...some people made flash cards. But if it's feeling like it's too much, it may mean you need to go a little slower, break up the material by testing yourself on it with some mbe questions, or outline every 5-10 pages or so. Something so you're actively engaged instead of forcing yourself through the motions.

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby Slytherpuff » Mon May 22, 2017 6:48 pm

I'm only on Day 1 but I can tell it's going to be a struggle for me too. I'm definitely more of an auditory/kinesthetic learner so reading isn't helping me much. I think my current strategy is to watch the lectures first and fill out the handouts, and then skim the outline afterwards to recap everything.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon May 22, 2017 8:44 pm

My experience is old (and Barbri), but: I gave up reading the long outlines pretty early. They take forever, and I've never learned legal stuff effectively from pre-made outlines. I stuck to the lecture handouts*, the mini review (don't know if Themis has something like this), and doing practice questions - I only consulted the long outlines only for stuff I was confused about. I passed easily. (I also completed maybe 60% of the Barbri program?) If the outlines don't work for you, focus on the other stuff (and then if you find you're doing really badly on the practice questions you could try going back to the outlines).

(*Re: lectures - I actually just took notes on them like I did in school and used those to make outlines I studied from, with some help from the handouts but not relying entirely on them. But people disagree a lot over whether that's helpful. It worked for me, but I could never study from outlines I didn't create.)

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cron1834

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby cron1834 » Mon May 22, 2017 10:24 pm

The lecture handouts for Themis are basically mini-outlines, and I like them a lot more than the full outlines. I'll try a little more with the long ones, but it sounds like some others have got by without them...

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby ernie » Mon May 22, 2017 11:22 pm

Yeah these Themis outlines before the lectures are the worst and take forever. I'm going to start skimming or skipping if I fall much further behind.

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cron1834

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby cron1834 » Tue May 23, 2017 12:42 am

ernie wrote:Yeah these Themis outlines before the lectures are the worst and take forever. I'm going to start skimming or skipping if I fall much further behind.

Glad to hear I'm not alone.

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby LockBox » Tue May 23, 2017 2:33 pm

People can feel free to disagree, but if I had to go back and talk with my younger self, I would say that the outlines should be reserved for reference. As in, just reviewing the outlines really didn't do much for me. Instead, here is what I would say to my young self in the first week or two of bar prep:

Instead of reading outlines, go to the cal bar released answers page and read 1-2 previous essay CBX questions each day of bar prep. Then, take 5 minutes to outline whatever I think the answer might be and then spend the next 20-30 minutes reading BOTH released answers and jotting down whatever rules I think are succinct and appealing to me in my "rule book."

Then, if I come across a rule that looks weird, i'll turn to the outline to solidify/reinforce my understanding. This type of low-stress, problem-based approach would help me see the rules in the context of a question/issue. Further, I wouldn't worry about 'seeing' the question and knowing it for future test administrations. If you can nail the issue/rule portion because you saw it before, then you'll be able to apply it in a new context as well.

Just my $0.02.

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SeewhathappensLarry

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby SeewhathappensLarry » Tue May 23, 2017 2:35 pm

cron1834 wrote:
ernie wrote:Yeah these Themis outlines before the lectures are the worst and take forever. I'm going to start skimming or skipping if I fall much further behind.

Glad to hear I'm not alone.


Just started today. The K's outline is hell

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cron1834

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby cron1834 » Tue May 23, 2017 3:25 pm

SeewhathappensLarry wrote:
cron1834 wrote:
ernie wrote:Yeah these Themis outlines before the lectures are the worst and take forever. I'm going to start skimming or skipping if I fall much further behind.

Glad to hear I'm not alone.


Just started today. The K's outline is hell

:lol: indeed

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Vincent Adultman

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby Vincent Adultman » Tue May 23, 2017 3:44 pm

I didn't read the full Themis outlines. I just studied the lecture handouts and did practice questions. I would only consult the full outlines for really dumb shit like mortgages.

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CAnow

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Re: Struggling with Outlines/Reading

Postby CAnow » Tue May 23, 2017 3:48 pm

The bar prep companies will tell you to read the outlines AND listen to the lectures. Personally I think it is sufficient to read the outlines OR listen to the lectures. It all depends on your learning style. I'm an audio learner so listening to lectures works better for me than reading outlines.



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