The questions that come in law exams are usually application-based; thus, being a combination of everything. Following are some ways in which you can remember things and not forget them easily:
- Write it in your own words and explain it to yourself.
It's important to consistently take notes in class and write it down in your own words. Explaining concepts to others or even repeating them to yourself leads to a better understanding of the various concepts. If you can explain what you've studied to others, you've adequately understood the concepts. This strategy should be followed daily for the best results.
It is also necessary to revise now and then to ensure that you remember all of it. Weekends can be spent revising. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even study advanced concepts that are yet to be taught in class. When you already know about a concept and then it's revisited in class, you end up understanding it more and better.
- When done the right way, flashcards also help.
There's a right way to do everything. For flashcards to be helpful, the Say-all-Fast-Minute-Each-Day-Shuffle (SAFMEDS) method must be followed. In this method, rather than staring at the flashcards till the content is memorized, there's a time limit; as many cards as possible should be looked at for a minute.
The cards that you weren't able to memorize should be then taken out and reviewed closely. This should be followed each day after shuffling, and the results would be astonishing! This method has been proven to be effective as it forces you to think quickly while under pressure. Just make sure that the flashcards don't have too many words; otherwise, this method might not work.
- Usage of mnemonics
Studies prove that mnemonics' technique increases the amount of data one can remember and their recall accuracy. Coupling something that you're familiar with, with new topics makes it easy to memorize the latter. You can maybe relate the case names with the names of your friends. Get creative while making your mnemonics for best results, and keep revising them to avoid confusion.
- Listen to voice recordings.
You can record your professors' lectures or your voice and listen to the same whenever you get time. Just like we tend to memorize the songs we listen to, one can memorize the notes by listening to the recordings over and over again. You can even listen to these recordings when you're traveling, working out, buying groceries, etc.
- Takedown notes in an organized manner
Take notes while reading, take notes in classes, take notes whenever possible because everything is essential when it comes to the law—the most important thing being revisiting and revising regularly. Notes are going to be the foundation of the type of lawyer you become.
Focus on the details, review your class notes before starting your next reading assignment, and analyze how the new cases you read affect those you already have reviewed in class. This can only be done when you develop a well-structured note-taking habit. This might be extremely tedious and difficult at first. But, by the end of your course, it will all be worth it.
Taking notes is a good habit, but it's also essential to organize your notes in the correct order. You must also ensure that your notes are placed importance-wise, chapter-wise, or case-wise, making it easy for you to locate what you need.
- Get to know more about your learning style.
Everyone has a different learning style, a way of learning where you grasp the maximum amount of knowledge. Being aware of your learning style would help you save up a lot of time. The different types of learners are visual learners, auditory learners, and kinaesthetic learners.
Visual learners are the ones who learn the best with the help of visual aids like pictures, diagrams, or videos. Auditory learners are the ones who learn the best by hearing; they comprise active listeners. Kinaesthetic learners are the ones who require hands-on experience to understand things.
Once you know your learning style, you can take full advantage of it. It might get a little difficult for the kinaesthetic learners, but platforms like moot courts and participation can help.
- Class participation
Students tend to understand better when they actively engage in the learning process. Participating in-class activities and debates also help in viewing an object or situation from different perspectives. And when you're a part of something, you tend to retain a particular topic longer. Hence, even though you'd have to spend some time preparing, classroom participation is a great way of memorizing things.
- Preparation of an outline after each class
A synopsis can be prepared after each class to retain the information and keep the memory of every lecture intact. Over time, this practice can also help sharpen the analyzing skills that help determine the rules of law. Because the teaching style of all the professors is different, the only way to get an outline tailored to your course is to make it yourself. Try completing the synopsis when that topic is taught in class because once you are late, you can never catch up.
- Write it out
Write out everything that is to be memorized over and over and over. Writing out facts in lists improves recall if you make yourself learn the lists actively instead of passively. In other words, do not just copy the list of points you are trying to learn but actively recall each item you wish to learn and then write it down again and again and again. In doing this, you are, in effect, teaching yourself what you are trying to learn—and as all teachers know, the best way to ensure you know something is to have to teach it.
Author: Shweta Singh