What Is My Bar Exam Learning Style?
You probably already know that there are different learning “styles.” And you may already know how you learn best. This is really important because for bar exam prep you will be expected to learn and understand a lot of material in a short period of time. So, knowing how you learn best or which bar exam learning style works best for you will maximize your study time.
What Is My Bar Exam Learning Style?
Most people will tell you that there are three different types of learning styles—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Much of the literature on learning styles also note that these three main groups can be broken down into different sub-groups. However, for the purposes of figuring out your bar exam learning style we will focus on the three main categories.
Before diving into each type, it is important to note that your bar exam learning style may change based upon the information that you are working with. In other words, you may be a visual learner for Constitutional law, but for Criminal law you are auditory. So, keep an open mind! If you are struggling learning a subject or topic, maybe switch up the way you are working with the material. If you were listening to a lecture, maybe switch to doing something visual. You may find that it helps.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that combining different learning styles while grappling with material is the best way to ensure that you remember it longer. That means, for example, even if you are visual, it does not hurt to use auditory and visual techniques to memorize the material. This is key for the bar exam, when you may not have a ton of time to go back and review material multiple times prior to the exam.
Below we break down the three major learning styles to help you determine what your bar exam learning style is. We also offer examples of things you can do when learning under each style.
1. Visual Learning Style
If you are a visual learner you likely enjoy watching someone show you how to do something, or by observing. This could be a demonstration, or it could be learning from charts, diagrams, pictures and even lists. Visual learners also like to rewrite outlines until they know them. Visual learners tend to find study groups or lecture less helpful than reviewing the material by themselves.
For bar exam purposes, if you are a visual learner, you could make your own charts or diagrams. Many visual learners enjoy making flashcards or working with material on a chalk board or dry erase board. Some instructors even recommend using different colors in your charts or writing to aid in learning. While reviewing your outlines for in preparation of the bar exam you can highlight your material with different colors to help or by re-writing your outlines. You may also find that you like to study alone for the bar exam if you are a visual learner.
2. Auditory Learning Style
If you are an auditory learner you prefer to learn by listening or with words. This means you may learn from lecture, or by talking out the material to someone else. Some auditory learners also learn through different noises and sounds. If you find listening to lectures more helpful than reviewing outlines, you may be an auditory learner.
For bar exam purposes, if your bar exam learning style is auditory, you can try to teach someone else the material. You may also benefit from lectures, possibly even live lectures where you can ask questions. Try having a study partner quiz you on the material by asking you questions. Some students also find it helpful to read their bar exam outlines aloud. We have had many students that record themselves reading the outlines aloud and listen to themselves in the car or later as review. Many auditory learners like to group study.
3. Kinesthetic Learning Style
If your learning style is kinesthetic, that means you learn best by doing—or the physical experience of “doing.” Many kinesthetic learners like to jump right in before reading or being told instructions. These types of learners learn by being “hands on” and learning as they move along.
For bar exam purposes, you have to get creative with this learning style! Many students find it helpful to trace diagrams, flow charts, or pictures of the material over and over again. Some students find it helpful to combine physical movement when studying the material. Some students walk around the house while reading or listening to their outlines.
Try to figure out which bar exam learning style best fits you. Remember you may benefit from mixing up different methods depending on the subject that you are learning. Remember to keep an open mind and have fun with it—you will likely find your review more effective!
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