How Cutting Edge #LegalTech Can Help Law Students Perform Better on Course Exams and the Bar
Users Don't Need to Understand the Science for SeRiouS to Work, But it Sure is Cool Once You Learn About it
SeRiouS begins by asking users to study an electronic version of the humble flashcard. But, behind that electronic flashcard, is an algorithm based on a century of research. We know that whenever a person learns new information, they immediately begin to forget it. The rate of “memory decay” varies from person to person, but predicting when a person will forget can be determined with the right information. Scientists call this predictable forgetfulness “the forgetting curve.”
For every flashcard SeRiouS users review, they are prompted to report how well they knew the answer after flipping it over. If they knew it well, they won’t see the card again for a longer time; if they struggled to remember, they’ll be shown it again sooner. Based on these answers, SeRiouS’s algorithm customizes itself to a user’s personal forgetting curve, and then uses that information to prompt studying at just the right time.
As users learn with SeRiouS, another well-studied scientific principle kicks in: the spacing effect. The spacing effect says that, as long as people review information at the right time, they forget more slowly (and, therefore, need to review less often). After a few viewings, review is needed much less frequently. For example, to memorize a new concept for the long-term, one might have to review it after a day, but then not again for 3 days, and after that, not for seven days, and after that, not for 30 days, and after that, not for 90 days, and so on. The result is that a little bit of work to review concepts after learning them in class will mean that there is very little studying that’s actually needed at exam time. It’s all been banked in memory.
How It Serves Law Students at Each Point of their Education
Users can choose to create their own content, with classmates, or use content created by law professors for them.
The “Boost Deck,” for example, can help users at all phases of legal education. For first-year law students studying for contracts or property, using SeRiouS will leave them with an advantage on their course-specific exams, and also when studying for the bar years later because the MBE has such a huge overlap with the first year material. That means when others are re-learning the bar-tested information, SeRiouS users will just be doing rare reviews of concepts they know by heart. Graduating students, of course, can focus on using SeRiouS for the MBE, and, with the Create-and-Share option, can also create cards (or draw cards from the crowdsourced library) to go along with their state specific essay topics.
Examples of Recent User Feedback
“SeRiouS was the most valuable tool in my bar preparation. I actually wrote a letter to my law school administration recommending that they purchase subscriptions to it for all law students.”
“Of all the study aids provided, none were as valuable as SRS.”
“Thank you for creating SeRiouS! The program was very effective and it helped me pass the July 2014 California Bar Exam on my first attempt.”
“I did very well on the bar exam as a result of SRS - I scored a 311 or 312, which will probably be in or close to the top ten percent of bar performers in my state…”
Sound expensive? Nope. $5/month for Create-and-Share; $99/yr for the Boost Deck.
Not sure if it's for you? No problem. Try it for FREE.