How To Effectively Memorize For The MPRE
A common mistake that students taking the MPRE make is that they don’t memorize the information they need to know for the MPRE. In this post, we provide some tips for how (and why) you can memorize for the MPRE!
How To Effectively Memorize For The MPRE
Why You Should Memorize
Multiple-choice questions can be very tricky and students often find themselves stuck between two (or more) answer choices after reading the fact pattern. Incorrect answer choices often have incorrect statements of the law or do not include relevant statements of law. To recognize these incorrect answer choices, you must have the law memorized!
Lots of students think that they know what is right and wrong and, therefore, they will be able to figure out the right answer to a multiple-choice question on the MPRE. In a question that asks whether a lawyer’s conduct is proper, it is possible to narrow the answer choices down to either “yes” or “no” based on what you believe is (or is not) ethical. The trickier part comes in narrowing down which of the “yes” or “no” answers to select. This is where memorization comes in! Often, the correct answer choice includes a correct statement of the applicable law. Therefore, the better you have the law memorized, the easier it will be to select the correct answer choice!
Make Sure You Understand The Law Before You Memorize It
If you are memorizing the incorrect law, it really won’t do you any good! Therefore, it is crucial that you make sure that you understand what the law means before you memorize it. If you struggle with understanding the rules tested on the MPRE, be sure to review examples of the various rules, sign up for JD Advising’s FREE MPRE Course where you can watch lectures and hear an experienced instructor explain the various rules, or consider MPRE tutoring. Understanding and comprehension are essential first steps that must be undertaken before you can begin to memorize!
Starting with good materials will allow for easier comprehension, so make sure you have good MPRE materials. Good materials will be organized in a manner that is easy to break down and understand, will include good examples to make sure you understand the rules presented and will be updated with the most recent changes to the rules! (JD Advising offers a fantastic MPRE outline as part of its free MPRE Course!)
Methods of Memorization
Once you understand the material, you are ready to memorize it! First, break the material down into manageable chunks. You should not sit down with an entire MPRE outline with the goal of memorizing it in a single sitting. Instead, break the material into smaller chunks and take the outline one section at a time. The NCBE has conveniently listed twelve sub-topics that will be tested on the MPRE. Try taking the material one sub-topic at a time and mastering that sub-topic before moving on to the next one!
Next, review the substantive material regularly. Once you understand the material, keep reviewing it over and over. There are many methods of memorization that you can use to make sure it sticks in your head:
- Silently quiz yourself. After reading the material, cover it up (or close the book) and see how much of the material you can state out loud (or silently in your head) from memory. Continue to do this over and over.
- Make written quizzes. Make quizzes as you go through the material, and then take the quizzes. For instance, go through a chapter and write down the name of each rule that you come across. Review the elements of each rule and then, once you have finished reviewing that chapter, take the quiz and see if you can state the elements of each rule that you wrote down! Once you make the quiz, you can take it over and over to make sure you really have the material memorized!
- Re-write the rules over and over. Some people are kinesthetic learners and simply reading or stating the rules does not help with memorization of the rules. If this sounds like you, practice writing the rules over and over to make them stick!
- Make cheat-sheets. Check out our free MPRE One Sheet to help you get started. You can make cheat sheets for each chapter. Focus on the black-letter law and putting the rules in your own words. Once you make a cheat sheet, it may seem much more manageable to memorize the cheat sheet using the above methods as the cheat sheet should be smaller than the full chapter!
- Create (or recreate) charts and graphs. Visual learners may find that organizing the material into charts and graphs makes it easier to organize the material in their heads. You can re-draw charts and graphs that are provided within the MPRE materials that you are studying, or you can create your own!
Finally, keep working on memorization regularly! Don’t think that spending a few hours memorizing the material will be enough to make the material stick in your head all the way until the exam! Spend a few hours each day (or as you can) quizzing yourself, reviewing the material, and practicing to make sure that you actually have the material memorized!
Looking to Ace the MPRE?
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