Do you ever walk away from a massive study session feeling as though you didn’t actually accomplish anything or find that you’ve fallen asleep listening to lecture recordings? You may not be studying in a manner that bests suits your learning style. Let’s face it, no one has time to spend all day studying with work, sport, extra –curricular activities and our social lives all competing for priority. We need to study smarter, not harder and learn to use methods that best suit our learning style.
In a nutshell, there are three learning types, visual, auditory and kinesthetic. If you’re unsure which category you fall under, read on!
Us visual learners of the world acquire new information through reading, writing and taking notes. Mindmaps, diagrams and flow charts are your best friends. Physically writing out notes by hand may also be beneficial to help recall information. Also check out the method of loci technique whereby you assign topics to well known locations or routes (such as your bedroom or commute to university). This method is especially useful for the dreaded closed book exam or for speeches. Visual learners should also study in quiet locations to avoid distractions and may not find study groups particularly useful.
The auditory learners of the world best process new information through listening and speaking. Auditory learners will benefit greatly from attending lectures and even re – listening to lectures after class and taking detailed notes. Alternatively, reading out loud from the textbook may also be beneficial. Just make sure you are not reading ou tloud in the silent section of the library! You should also make use of acronyms, jingles and flash cards. Auditory learners may find they have a greater ability to concentrate while listening to music. Study groups will also be of benefit, as is teaching a friend or a pet about an area of law. You may want to buy a friend a coffee for their efforts in listening to you waffle on about the various forms of trusts. It may come as a shock but they may not find it as interesting as you do.
Last but not least, kinesthetic learners. Kinesthetic learners best acquire new information by taking a hands–on approach or engaging in practical activities. Try listening to lectures on the treadmill or while going for a walk. Regular breaks will also be important to avoid distractions. Try writing out notes by hand instead of typing them and create flashcards. Finally, attempt to relate concepts to real life situations.
Happy studying! Hopefully these tips will help increase productivity and leave greater time for life outside law school.
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