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How to learn law (even if you do not study law)

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in  How to study private law , it is explained how important it is to take possession of the terminology and logic of legal reasoning

in 9 indispensable articles of the civil code (and how to learn them) , there are practical examples of how an article is memorized

Many law students wrote to me telling me how, thanks to them, they managed to speed up their study.

While someone has instead complained of not being able to absolutely apply the techniques (see for example my answer to a law student ).

But do you know who really has so much trouble studying right?

Who makes a university different from jurisprudence and suddenly is facing an exam that is full of legal things !

And I think there is at least one such exam in every course of Italian university studies.

The problem is not only the objective difficulty of remembering the number and content of an article. There is also fear that it is, apparently, something completely new.

I then asked Raffaele, a medical student who writes for GliAudaci, to prepare an example of the use of mnemonics for this type of exams.

I leave the word then!

How I used memory techniques for my Hygiene exam

by Raffaele Lisisco 

“Today I want to share with you an exercise to apply together the memory techniques to the legal topics of a medical exam.

Obviously the theme is quite specific, but I think the modus operandi can also be applied to many other exams.

Before starting, however, I would like to make a clarification: even if it seems paradoxical, I hate to learn the concepts by heart!

And this is precisely why I approached the world of mnemonics : to save time for something that just does not go down, and to make the process of memorization a little more varied and interesting than not “read and repeat”.

Let’s start!

Preliminary actions: what to do before storing

If you have been following Armando Elle’s blog for some time, you will know that memorization techniques are not the first step, but the last, of an effective method of study . (go to the article on the university study method )

If you use the classic study scheme, that is, open the book from page one and go on trying to memorize everything, you will not only encounter great difficulties, but you will really lose a lot of time.

You may find yourself in the middle of a book after several days, and remember almost nothing of what you have studied at the beginning.

If you want to study quickly and well , you have to build a “basic familiarity” with the topic to be studied as quickly as possible.

Which means you have to:

  • Read it quickly (preferably first by skimming , and then quick reading )
  • Conceptually elaborate the text
  • Identify the main topics
  • Maybe even mark the keywords that refer to those topics

Without worrying too much about remembering! (Which, however, already at this stage, a little ‘will happen naturally)

Only after, with these basic steps, you have identified the concepts to which you give priority and the details to remember by heart , you can really start to worry about memorizing.

And you can do it using mnemonics !

Such as? I show you with an example, taken from my study of the examination of Hygiene and Medicine of the Territory.

Material selection: what to remember

To start storing, you need to select the material to remember.

And, especially if it is about “pure data” (ie dates, numbers, definitions, particular names), it may be useful to write a list or to do some kind of schema or table.

This is not a fundamental operation, but I recommend it, because it always gives me good results.

In any case, the important thing is to remember only the necessary information , and these vary according to the exam, the faculty, and the particular case.

For example, a student of Medicine might not be interested if the words DPR or D.Lgs. Appear on the book, while for a law student, things change.

However, especially at the first memorization, do not be afraid to “skim”, and be as essential as possible !

Because there is always time to memorize new things once you have a good orderly knowledge core in your mind.

While if you try to load too many things all together, you will inevitably remember little and confusingly.

Coming to the laws to be learned for my examination, I have used this very simple scheme:

Abbreviation of the decree (eg 833/78), memorized through the phonetic conversion + keyword (eg birth of the SSN) that describes its content, and allows me to connect it to the studied concepts.

Believe me that it is more than enough for the first memorization phase, and allows you to build a steel “frame” on which you can store the rest.

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