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Five Tips to help Law Students Jumpstart Preparation for Final Exams

It is never too early in the semester to think about final exams and start mapping out strategy.  Preparation for law school exams is not something that you should begin a few days before the exams.  Preparation is more akin to a marathon.  You should start early and pace yourself.  Do not attempt to cram.  When you finally reach exam day, not only will you be prepared, you will be well rested and ready for peak performance.  Here are 5 things you can do now to jumpstart your preparation for final exams.

  1. Form or join a study group. The cases and concepts studied in law school can be complex and sometimes not particularly exciting.  Study groups give students an informal environment to discuss difficult concepts and cases and to make sure that you fully grasp details reviewed in the classroom.
  2. Outline your classes. In preparation for the final, it is a good idea to regularly outline the notes taken in class.  Outlining will help you focus on and synthesize the most important concepts.  Outlining will also turn a massive amount of notes into a manageable amount of reference material that will be much easier to review at the end of the semester.
  3. Take Practice Tests. Now is the time to start to take practice exams.  Do not wait until a few days before the final.  Taking practice exams will help prepare you mentally and physically for the rigors of taking a timed law school exam.  Practice exams, particularly your professors’ old exams, will also give you clues as to the style and approach of the final exam, and thereby will inform you as to how to tackle preparation.
  4. Gather Study Material. In addition to your casebooks, class notes and other material distributed in class, determine if using additional commercial material will help you.   While it is not recommended that you rely solely on commercial materials such as commercial practice exams or outlines, some commercial material may prove useful as additional resources.
  5. Seek Help. Recognize that you may need help beyond your case books, practice exams and commercial study aids.  A tutor can help you establish a study schedule, provide substantive feedback on practice exams, help with writing skills, and give tips for exam-taking success.  Tutors are not only for students who are struggling, but can be a critical resource for any student seeking to maximize success on final exams.

 

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