« on: January 09, 2009, 07:52:41 AM »
I am just a 1L that did way better than he deserved on the first exam he got back, but here are my two cents.
It's very difficult to pick out one thing that I feel was the most tested by our exams. I felt they tested a balance of many of the things listed in this thread. I think there is some very good advice on this thread. As I was preparing for finals and going over practice exams, the process started to click a lot more. I started to understand more of what we were supposed to be doing, and even before we took our exams, I resolved to change my approach to law school in several ways in the spring.
The law school application process will generally select for classes that are relatively close in law school aptitude. There will of course be outliers. For the most part, though, competition seems increased due to the fact that most people have fairly similar abilities.
Luck may have something to do with one's grade in a particular class, but one's grades for several courses will be much, much less affected by luck. Over the long haul, you make your own luck by being prepared. Yes, sometimes things will go your way and sometimes they do not, but welcome to life. You need to be prepared for the worst going into an exam or anything in life. Understand that you will get on the test and see something you hadn't planned for or that the professor will have just had an argument with his wife before grading your paper. What you do control is your preparation. If you have prepared thoroughly, "luck" will just be a trifle.
I also think people stress out over exams way too much. Yes, they are important, but you should have known that from day one in law school. The time to start "worrying" is the day of the first class. Start preparing early, put in the best work you can, and let the chips fall where they may. I went into all of this understanding that there was a chance I would suck at it. If you aren't willing to risk that, I wouldn't go to law school. If you can accept the worst outcome as a possibility, you will approach many things in life with much more vigor and will not be controlled by fear.
Also...jack24 - are you the Jack Bauer that posts on Above the Law? Whether you are or you are not, those posts are great.