How Do You Know You’re Practicing Correctly?

Remember our discussion a few weeks ago about the one non-negotiable study strategy?

Welp, everybody pack up and go home because that practice-and-feedback framework is probably the closest to a “secret” to studying there is (there isn’t one).

It’s a nicely boiled-down pearl of a learning approach, after draining and dusting off all the tips and tricks and various tactics that get stuck around it like barnacles. Of course bar takers get lost when there are so many different ways to go about preparing.

But I also love it because it identifies those who are perpetually looking to be “ready”—

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Memorizing for the Bar Exam: How to Remember and Recite the Rules

There’s this weird phenomenon where you meet someone new and then 1 second later it’s impossible to remember each other’s names.

To be honest, if I didn’t care about them 10 seconds ago, I’m not gonna care about them all of a sudden as if they were my newborn (whom I’d name Genghis (Hahn) so I don’t forget).

But what can I say? It’s impressive, for that exact reason, when someone actually uses your name in conversation without having to say, “Sorry what was your name again? I’m so terrible with names hahahahaha.”

Actually, I think I creeped out my neighbor when I greeted her by her name after having met once before. Well hey, some people won’t appreciate you no matter what you do.

I was able to remember Michelle’s name because of the same thing I did as a 1L: I used a notepad (now my phone) to write down new people’s names so I could keep referring back to them later. Kristina has no clue who I am now, but I remember meeting her on the metro bus on the way to the bonfire in 2010 thanks to that notepad.

Useless information I wish I could forget—I tend to remember the very things I want to forget about the most. But if it’s possible to remember names of people we don’t give a damn about, then it’s possible to remember the foundations (supposedly) for our profession.

One of the themes I advocate here regarding improving is to focus more on “big wins” and needle movers. Not spending an ungodly number of hours exhausting yourself with lectures, flashcard arts and crafts, or memorization.

However, memorizing (or more directly, remembering) is still an unavoidable base requirement for succeeding on your essays and the MBE.

And the fact is, your bar exam requires you to remember a LOT of shit. The typical brain is made for processing data but not so much for forcing discrete information to be inscribed into your memory forever.

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Good Essays Are the Easiest to Grade: How to Get the Big Points on Your Bar Exam Essays

Oh, it’s you again.

Last week, we discussed 5 counterintuitive truths about the MBE over email (not published on the blog—sign up for my emails to get the link).

At the end, I gave you a pop quiz with some essay excerpts and had you guess which one did better. I got back varying answers:

 

Before I reveal the winner, can I just say how this shows how subjective essay grading is?

Graders are people. They have biases like we do. They get tired. They’re not consistent. (Yeah, they’re actually not reptilian robots 😲)

The winner is…

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