« on: June 21, 2008, 10:49:37 AM »
Wow that is really nice to write all of that out! A lot of good advice. I would second much of what the OP said, especially the stuff about doing lots of practice tests. I think first semester a lot of people are so stressed out about perfecting their outline that they don't save any time for taking enough practice tests... I really think that's the key to being as prepared as possible for the real exam. I agree with the OP that group study isn't really that great except for when you are going over old exams... but I know others who swear by study groups... I guess it's a personal preference.
The only thing I would say that might be a little different is don't stress if you don't have the time/money to invest in so many commercial outlines and outside material. Whether they are helpful or not largely depends on the course and the professor. I found them very helpful in some classes, but didn't use them at all for others, and I think they would have actually been a detriment in a couple of my first year classes because of the professor's expectations and teaching style. Also, I never understood spending so much time with these "how to do well on exams" books, but I guess other people find them helpful. I think a lot of this stuff is personal preference, but don't stress out if you aren't able to (or like me, don't want to) spend so much time with commercial stuff.
Also, IMO it's not a big deal if you don't make your own outline - I made my own outline for one class this entire year, and don't really see how it was that different than what I did for every other class - just used a good outline from someone who had the same prof the year before, and then thoroughly went through it and added and modified as needed. It saves a lot of time and for me personally it worked just as well.
I think one of the most overlooked things is to maintain some "you" time and keep doing the hobbies that you enjoyed doing before law school. Law school can be really stressful, but spending some time away from law school and doing the things you like - it doesn't take away from law school, it just provides you with more balance as well as lower stress during the time that you actually do spend on studying. During exam period I started scheduling more "me" time, not less, and it paid off immensely via lower stress and a clearer mind going into the exam.