What’s Your Learning Style?: Improving Your Bar Exam Study

Have you ever discovered what your learning style was? If not, you may want to consider it and tailor your study to how you best learn. In order to maximize your study, as I always say, you want to do what’s best for you. What’s best for you includes learning in the way that you are most receptive to. Let’s briefly talk about the common learning styles.

  1. Visual Learners: These learners prefer learning and memorizing with visuals such as charts, graphs, pictures, flowcharts, or maps. They think about things visually, and seeing material is easier for them to understand and memorize than any other form of learning. What helps visual learners when studying for the bar exam? They benefit from creating outlines, creating flowcharts or graphics of the material, mindmaps, re-writing material by hand, and flashcards.
  2. Auditory Learners: For auditory learners, their brain process material the best by listening and speaking. They benefit the most from listening to information out loud, because the act of hearing it helps them the most. What helps auditory learners when studying for the bar exam? Listening to lectures, speaking outlines or rules out loud, mnemonics and word associations, or recording themselves reading an outline and listening to it.
  3. Kinesthetic Learners: These individuals learn best when they are on the go – incorporating movement into their study. If you’re a kinesthetic learner, your brain processes information the best while simultaneously engaging in physical activity. What helps kinesthetic learners when studying for the bar exam? Exercising or participating in physical activity while you study, acting out concepts, using hand gestures while talking about the law, and working through flashcards (the act of reading and flipping the card over).
  4. Read & Write Learners: If you’re this type of learner, you learn the best through looking at text. This is a classic law school learning style – reading material and then writing it in the form of an outline. What helps read and write learners when studying for the bar exam? Reading and re-reading outlines, writing your own outlines, and writing out mnemonics.
  5. Combination Learners: Odds are, you are a combination learner, and you find a variety of learning and study methods available. You can engage the material and bar exam study in a variety of ways that work for you, even if it means utilizing many of the different study methods above.

If you do not know which type of learner you are, or what makes material stick for you, the beginning of bar study is the time to find out. You can try different methods described above and see what works. You can also take a learning style test, and a great one can be found here: https://arden.ac.uk/what-type-learner-are-you.

Knowing how you learn and study best is a key to your bar success. I think there’s an old, famous saying that says “Knowing yourself is the key to all wisdom.” Although I can’t speak to whether something that intense is true, I do know that knowing your learning style and using it will help you pass this exam on the first try. Figure it out and follow it! 🙂

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