McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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To Flashcard or Not to Flashcard

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on May 29, 2017

1395046_p_060915During bar prep, THAT often is the question.

If flashcards worked for you in law school, they can be very effective for the bar exam; but you should not use them just because they’re popular with other people.  If that method of studying does work for you, however, the ideal way to use it is by creating your own.  Going through that process is far more effective than just reading someone else’s words, and many studies show that there is a big memory benefit to physically writing things down, as opposed to just reading them.  Furthermore, a common complaint about commercial flashcards is that they are more like outlines just printed on smaller pieces of paper.  We are well aware that your time is extremely limited this summer, and that you may not have time to create your own flashcards for every subject; so we recommend focusing on your most difficult subjects, and even then just on the most troublesome topic areas within those subjects.

We do not advertise bar vendors on this blog, because bar study plans and aids are one-size-fits-most, and making those choices depends on each individual’s needs.  That said, and although creating your own flashcards is the best choice if at all possible, of all the commercial bar flashcard options out there, Critical Pass is the most well-respected.  They are color-coded, and they have spaces on them for you to write your own notes, so you can have a little of that memory benefit (even though making your own cards is better).  Again, this is NOT an official endorsement; but we wanted to share that if you do your research, consider your needs carefully, and decide that you would like to purchase these flashcards, we just received a discount code for $20 off and free shipping:  20PACIFIC2017.  It is good only for McGeorge students, and only from May 30 through June 9.  (Please note that these flashcards just cover MBE subjects, not CA subjects or law, although you could write the CA distinctions on the cards yourself.)

Of course there are other options if flashcarding did not work for you in law school:  You can keep a blank notebook handy as you study and write down the rules that you find most confusing, or you can use whiteboards or tape blank pages of paper to a wall and chart out the relationships between the rules, etc.  Whatever worked for you in law school is your best choice in bar prep.  Now is not the time to change proverbial horses mid-stream, even if it feels like “everyone else” is using one particular method.  To thine own self be true!  Success comes when you honestly think about what works best for you, continue to assess yourself and your study habits throughout the summer, and adjust accordingly.


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