commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Discussions related to the bar exam are found in this forum
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about bar exam prep. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
kevinandre

New
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 11:22 pm

commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by kevinandre » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:59 pm

I am going through barbri conviser in preparation for the bar and making flash cards.
then I started thinking, why reinvent the wheel? surely someone must have already made flash cards for the bar.
I downloaded some free ones online and they seem so inadequate. evidence has like 100 flash cards. I find it hard to believe that there are only 100 things to know for evidence. I went through 4 pages of conviser and I already have 30 flash cards.

I also looked at some commercial ones that cost money, same problem.

I am not sure if I am wasting my time making all these flash cards or if I am being inefficient with my studying. I need flash cards for everything because I have a poor memory and if I just read something I won't remember it the next day. but making all these flash cards is also tiresome and taking forever. I dont know what to do.

User avatar
SilvermanBarPrep

Partner
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:19 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by SilvermanBarPrep » Mon Nov 02, 2020 12:55 pm

It's a tough question because I think for some they'll benefit more from making them on their own. But the easier question is in the title of your post: it's not true that commercial cards are a waste of money. If you're the type who will benefit just as much from commercial cards as you would from creating your own then that's a ton of time you can spend learning the material rather than creating the cards. So you just need to know what works for you, but without a doubt there is a benefit to these cards for some people.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

toast and bananas

Bronze
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:59 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by toast and bananas » Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:07 pm

For most people i'd say, yes. I bought them and ended up using them very little.

Since your primary method of studying is flash cards, then they might be worth it for you because they'll be comprehensive. If you make your own, you may not get through everything.

Anonymous User
Posts: 356500
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:33 am

I can safely say that these things saved my ass. I was a repeater, and for whatever reason couldn't master it. bought some cards (won't mention a brand name since I don't think that super matters and don't want to be one of those posters who here who is clearly open air spam) but it made a HUGE difference. I am talking double digit MBE score difference.

Most state specific essays are based on the same general stuff too (with mild changes for most states) so if you practice writing them out as an essay and then readying the reasons for why each answer is right/wrong, you can prep for the essays too.

Honestly, got more out of it than the multi grand lectures and hard cover books. just did.

- Plus if you are lucky enough to be smashing with another bar prepper, you can make a game out of it. And yes, I am admitting to letting mine get dirty. still worked. still recommend.

For me holding them in hands made a difference. I got the nice laminated ones (for whatever reason, that helped me, maybe the SMR for hands, I dunno, Psych Grads might, but it helped)

But if you are ok with digital, this one is free:
https://barprephero.com/
Has e-cards PLUS MBE prep (free)

Neve

Bronze
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:45 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by Neve » Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:31 pm

It’s a huge timesaver to just buy flashcards. The flashcards from Critical Pass have lines for notes. There’s not going to be time to make flashcards for multiple subjects. I tried it & threw the towel pretty quickly. Plus, once you’re done using the flashcards, you can sell them online.

Critical Pass referral link for money off : http://criticalpass.refr.cc/L2L68Z5

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


User avatar
Rolly

New
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 1:43 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by Rolly » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:25 am

Also in the critical-pass-saved-my-ass club. Without a doubt. There are a lot of ways to study, but the cards to me were an extremely efficient way of improving recall of the subjects. There are just too many topics to make your own. Period. I also found that they were a great way to avoid burnout, because I would go on long walks with the cards (look at a topic/prompt and then try to walk through the factors, tests, exceptions, whatever). I will agree that you'll also want to make a few of your own notes on the cards (and there is room), and I actually think this is an important part of the process. Making the cards "your own" in this way makes the review process much more active.

HamlinMcgill

New
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 7:04 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by HamlinMcgill » Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:48 pm

I bought the Critical Pass flashcards, but I ended up making my own. I found I wasn't memorizing the information by just looking at the cards -- I needed to write it down in my own handwriting and in my own words. The cards were still helpful though. I would look at how Critical Pass organized the information and how BarBri organized it, and then create my own cards based on that. Then I'd use my handwritten cards for memorization.

But everyone is different, so you need to do what works for you. $170 isn't cheap, but in the scheme of things (given the costs of failure), I figured it was worth it to just have all the resources that might be helpful.

Rogah

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:35 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by Rogah » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:25 pm

HamlinMcgill wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:48 pm
I bought the Critical Pass flashcards, but I ended up making my own. ... I would look at how Critical Pass organized the information and how BarBri organized it, and then create my own cards based on that.

Can you estimate how many you made and how long it took to make them?

HamlinMcgill

New
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 7:04 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by HamlinMcgill » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:16 pm

Rogah wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:25 pm
HamlinMcgill wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:48 pm
I bought the Critical Pass flashcards, but I ended up making my own. ... I would look at how Critical Pass organized the information and how BarBri organized it, and then create my own cards based on that.

Can you estimate how many you made and how long it took to make them?
Hard to remember exactly now, but I probably spent 2-3 days per core subject just making the cards. Maybe 50-60 cards per subject. I modeled my handwritten cards on the Critical Pass ones, and then I also compared that information to the BarBri outlines.

I just found that writing the cards out by hand in my own words was the only way the information would actually sink in, and I could be sure I had really studied the whole subject. So it's not like writing the cards out was just the work I did to prepare to study -- that was the main studying I did. Then I'd do practice questions, see the areas I was still forgetting, and use the cards to drill those areas. I liked that when I made cards, I at least felt like I was accomplishing something tangible that day. Sometimes I felt like I was spinning my wheels just passively looking through the Critical Pass cards.

Everyone is different. I fell behind the BarBri schedule, panicked, and that was the study routine I came up with. It worked for me, but YMMV!

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


Rogah

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:35 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by Rogah » Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:49 am

HamlinMcgill wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:16 pm
... I modeled my handwritten cards on the Critical Pass ones, and then I also compared that information to the BarBri outlines. ...

I'm convinced that active learning, of which your rewording is an instance, is much better than passive reading or watching or listening. Getting back to my interrogation as a means to formulating my own prep plan -- were the cards you made mostly in one-to-one correspondence with the Critical Pass ones? Or perhaps in some cases two+ of yours based on one of theirs?

One concern I have about the Critical Pass cards is that at least some of them are more like a chunk of outline on the back with a (sub-) topic label on the front. In other words, mostly outline material to be read passively. This impression is based on their promotional material. I think of flash cards for active use as questions on the front which you try to mentally answer before checking the answer on the back.

HamlinMcgill

New
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 7:04 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by HamlinMcgill » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:39 pm

Rogah wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:49 am
HamlinMcgill wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:16 pm
... I modeled my handwritten cards on the Critical Pass ones, and then I also compared that information to the BarBri outlines. ...

I'm convinced that active learning, of which your rewording is an instance, is much better than passive reading or watching or listening. Getting back to my interrogation as a means to formulating my own prep plan -- were the cards you made mostly in one-to-one correspondence with the Critical Pass ones? Or perhaps in some cases two+ of yours based on one of theirs?

One concern I have about the Critical Pass cards is that at least some of them are more like a chunk of outline on the back with a (sub-) topic label on the front. In other words, mostly outline material to be read passively. This impression is based on their promotional material. I think of flash cards for active use as questions on the front which you try to mentally answer before checking the answer on the back.
I totally agree on that active learning vs. passive learning point. I think that was really the purpose of making my own cards. Other people I know typed out full outlines, but I felt like handwriting flash cards was better for memorization. I only made the cards after I had watched the BarBri videos, but honestly, I didn't retain much from the videos (even though they have you fill in blank words on an outline as you go).

The Critical Pass cards are more like an outline than a Q&A. But I think that's ok. So for say, torts, I might have the name of the tort on the front, and then the elements of the tort on the back. When I was reviewing, I would quiz myself to see if I could remember all the elements. It really was just a way of breaking an outline down into small pieces. Studying for the bar requires you to memorize entire course outlines. So the flashcards were basically, here's a subheading from your outline, do you remember what comes next?

I used the Critical Pass cards as a model, but sometimes they would cram too much information onto one card. So I'd break some of their cards up into multiple ones for myself, or sometimes I'd leave some details off if I felt confident enough that I could remember.

The Critical Pass cards don't do a particularly good job of explaining concepts though. So that's why referring to the short and long BarBri (or Themis, etc.) outlines was still important. I'd start to make my own flashcard, and realize I didn't actually understand what the Critical Pass card meant. Then I'd read other materials, get a better grasp of the concept, and put it into my own words on the card.

Neve

Bronze
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:45 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by Neve » Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:30 pm

Critical Pass are great flashcards for the MBE! (http://criticalpass.refr.cc/MVL2ZG3 referral link contains a discount code for $$ off)
You can't apply the law to an MBE question, if you don't know the law. I used Critical Pass for my bar study along with the CMR from Barbri and their simulated questions (although the Barbri questions are very different than actual MBE questions). I also used Emanuel's S&T during my study period, but not as much as I should have since it's a great resource. I highly recommend Critical Pass - it’s very difficult to make your own flashcards for so many subjects and keep up with your bar prep assignments.

goingwest

New
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:19 pm

Re: commercial flash cards are a waste of money?

Post by goingwest » Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:31 pm

I agree with much of what has been said here. I didn't like critical pass because it seemed like someone just pasted their outlines on flashcards. Best Q&A flashcards I found are the ones by Premier Bar Prep (premierbarprep.com), but last I checked they're only for the California bar exam. I would have ended up making my own if I hadn't come across those ones. I highly recommend them.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Bar Exam Prep and Discussion Forum”