Whether they know it or not, most students rely on passive learning when studying for law school or the bar exam. That's not a good thing.
Passive learning is defined by absorbing and memorizing information without actively engaging with the material. Active learning, on the other hand, requires students to be more proactive and engage with study material more mindfully.
Though no one uses just one technique, active learning helps generate better results on law school finals and the bar exam.
Here are two key ways you can make yourself a more active learner:
You should be spending 25% of your time using passive learning techniques, which include things like reading outlines and listening to lectures. The other 75% should be spent using active learning.
This means taking practice tests, writing your own practice exam questions (and then answering them), creating your own outlines, etc. These active learning techniques are the most effective when preparing for the bar exam.
2) Convert to active learning
If you aren’t meeting the 25/75 ratio, then convert some of your learning techniques from passive to active. For example, if you’re watching a video lecture, pause the video when the lecturer has shared a black letter law rule, and think about how you could apply it in a hypothetical real world scenario.
Furthermore, quiz yourself on rules rather than just reviewing them. Flashcards are a great way to utilize active learning.
Active learning techniques are the most effective, but of course, they take more time and energy as well. So don’t forget to take breaks and rest your mind so you don’t burn out.