Thursday, September 12, 2013

Some Quick Tips for Studying

I have been collecting tips from my students and others to pass on to our readers.  Here are a few items you might find interesting:

  • Check out the Flash Card Machine app for Android and iPhone http://www.flashcardmachine.com: there are free and paid versions; the website allows you to create flashcards on your computer that you then can sync with your phone; the app can sort the flashcards by categories or randomly and can modify how often you see certain flashcards.
  • For international students who are trying to assimilate differences between United States law and the law in their own nations: draw a bracket to encompass the class notes that show the U.S. difference and then note in the margin what the law would be under your own country's legal system.
  • Add to your outline pages for a topic a checklist that helps you remember the steps of analysis: what questions do you need to always ask to complete the proper analysis?
  • If you are tired of highlighters that have dried out because the cap was not on tightly enough, try the new retractable highlighter that clicks open and close like an ink pen.
  • Students who have trouble staying on task because they waste time on the Internet may want to check out two technology helpers: Stay Focused is available for Google Chrome and Self-Control is available for Mac users.
  • The Blotter application allows Mac users to set up a routine weekly schedule that will then appear each day on the desktop with space for a "to do" list and a "right now" window.
  • If gentle movement helps you focus and learn, try studying in a rocking chair.
  • Ask your teenagers to quiz you on your flashcards: they become part of your law school success, and you provide a role model for serious studying and for persevering when you make mistakes.
  • For parents who study at home behind a closed office/den door and have younger children: put a construction paper traffic light on the hallway side of your door; hang out the red circle for do not disturb, the yellow circle for come in if important need, and the green circle for okay to interrupt for any purpose.
  • Take a walk around your neighborhood with another law student to get some exercise and discuss your classes while you walk: you get exercise and review at the same time.

Do you have some good tips to share with other law students?  Send your study tips to me for inclusion in a future posting.  My e-mail is listed under the "About" tab; put Blog Study Tips in the subject heading.  (Amy Jarmon)

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