How To Boost Up Your Memorization Skills For Law School

By Danielle Wirsansky on July 26, 2016

This article is brought to you by Kaplan, the leader in test prep for over 90 standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

It is common knowledge that going through law school requires intense studying, very little sleep, a limited social life, and lots and lots of memorization. There are laws and rules and regulations to keep track of, not to mention the landmark court cases.

Beyond passing and graduating from law school in order to be a lawyer, you will then also have to pass the bar exam. There is just so much to memorize and remember that it can be really overwhelming. But there are ways you can improve how you memorize. Read on to learn how to boost your memorization skills for law school!

Chunk up your material.

Sometimes, and especially, when you have so much to memorize at once it can make it hard to memorize anything at all. Rather than trying to tackle and memorize the whole mountain of information at once, break it down into chunks to make it more manageable.

There is actually an optimal number for memorization, and that is groups of four. Break your study material down into groups of four, however that might work, and it will be easier to memorize each grouping. Whether that is four sentences, four laws, or four court cases, four is the number you will want to aim for.

The effectiveness of grouping things in four is evident everywhere you look, from serial numbers, credit card numbers, and more. Splitting up your study material into groupings of four will help you to feel less overwhelmed and make you utilize your time spent memorizing more effectively.

Take breaks.

Feeling overwhelmed can be a really big factor in doing a poor job in your studying and memorization. Even if you chunk up the material, the amount of facts and figures you have to memorize can be daunting. Being daunted by the amount of what you have to study can be just as much as a deterrent and stop you from being able to memorize as the actual material itself. So when you feel like you just cannot memorize even one more thing, step back. Step away and take a break and let your faculties recover before you have to dive back in.

Try not to let yourself get to the breaking point in the first place by planning and implementing breaks throughout your study time. For every chunk you memorize, you get a timed five minute break to just veg and let your mind relax. For every half hour you spend studying, you get a five minute break to check Facebook and Twitter. However you need to time it where you still can study and get memorized what needs to be memorized without ripping all your hair out, do it.

Study before bed.

When it is of the utmost importance to have something memorized, the best time of day to do so is before you go to sleep. Whether you are taking a nap or going to bed for the night, the material that you study directly before going to sleep is what you will remember with the best clarity.

There are many studies that show that studying before bed helps to improve your retention of new information. It is when you are learning new material and making new connections though that is improved by sleep. Rehashing and reviewing old material may not be aided as much by sleep, but new ideas and materials are best learned and absorbed right before sleep.

You can either study directly before bed or, if you are really cramming, intersperse your studying with naps instead of sleeping throughout the night to make sure you remember what you need to.

Get a good night’s rest.

With that being said, you will always do your best and keep your information memorized more clearly if you get a good night’s rest. This may seem difficult to come by, especially in law school, but it is so, so important. Getting a good night’s sleep is beneficial to more than just your memorization and has much to recommend it.

But in regards to memorization, it helps you to stay alert and focused while you study as well as have a sharper mind. Sleeping well throughout the night will also keep your retention rates of the information you need to know much higher. It helps you to effectively avoid the memorization trick called “Memorize and Regurgitate,” where you memorize, spit it out in order to pass a test, and promptly forget it without actually learning the material.

In order to be a good lawyer, you need to know your stuff which means you need to effectively memorize while you are in law school rather than having to scramble to catch up in the moment with stuff you should already know.

Learn more about Kaplan’s test prep options and start building the confidence you need for Test Day.

Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre, a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History, and an MA in Modern European History with a minor in Public History. While a graduate student, she served as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President/Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), (associate editor), (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor). Danielle has been lucky to be writing for Uloop since 2015 and to have served as the FSU Campus Editor since 2015.

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