Wednesday, January 13, 2010
12 - Probably the Best Study Tool
PROBABLY THE BEST STUDY TOOL
As we begin to near the end of the Succeeding in Law School section, I want to again, point out the obvious. It may be difficult for some of you “youngsters” to buy into this, but as most of us “oldsters” have come to understand, successful study requires a disciplined and tedious regimen of review. In fact, we should call it “REVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW AND REVIEW SOME MORE.” My boss at my law school, who is the Dean of Faculty taught me early on how important it is to teach students to review. I want to repeat that for you here:
1. Begin with an immediate, comprehensive review within one hour after you’ve learned new material.
2. Review daily each day thereafter for 7 days.
3. Review weekly for several more weeks, until it really “sticks.”
4. Review monthly thereafter and you can keep it fresh forever.
Obviously that will take some planning on your part. When you learn something, try writing on one the top corners of your notes, the “First Learned” date. Then plot out on your calendar the seven day review time you will use, then the weekly review time and then the monthly review time. This will get your review times on your calendar. Then create a “Daily Review” file, whether that is a real file or a file on your computer. Also create a “Weekly Review” file and a “Thereafter Review” file. You may need to do this for each course, but sometimes you can merge courses. More than likely, the “Thereafter Review” file will be too large for more than one course. You can do this any way you want as you experiment, but the point is to get it organized and just do it. Then as you move from the “Daily Review” file to the “Weekly Review” file to the “Thereafter Review” file, you will not have to waste time trying to remember what it is that you are supposed to do.
Remember this is not undergraduate school where your goal was most likely to retain material only for so long as to get through the next exam. In law school, more than likely, you will have a comprehensive final. Eventually you will have a comprehensive bar exam. So it makes no sense to learn so you can forget. When you pass the bar exam, the rest of your life will be comprehensive.
Next: The Ten Minute Memorized Outline.
Professor Doug Holden
© Douglas S. Holden. All Rights Reserved.