This is based only on my experience.T14 exams aren't the "Here's 2 pages of facts! Spot all the issues! Write all the rules! Apply! Go!" The exams are predominately take-homes and more narrowly focused on fully developing arguments on just a few "issues." And at least 30-40% of all of my exams have been theory, critical analysis of normative principles, or public policy. If you don't like that, you may be in trouble. I don't know who came up with the "outline" imperative, but all the 1Ls "ooh" and "aah" over the mystical power of outlining. I was skeptical, but decided to "OUTLINE" BECAUSE EVERYONE DOES IT!!! What a terrible idea. All I know is that for my classes combined, I've spent hours and hours and hours typing up well over 200 pages of crap and used my outline on one exam. I didn't "outline" in undergrad and did just fine, and I'm not doing another damn outline for a class that I have a take-home exam in.If your exam is an in-class exam, just write something useful to you. If not, don't bother. And what are people doing in the library with flash cards? Simple memorization will not help you at all.
A bit of a warning on the "avoiding the group panic." Definitely avoid the group panic. But people seem to get really annoyed if you're NOT panicked. Maybe they just think you're a slacker who has bad grades? Or maybe they think you're bragging about how smart you are that you don't need to study? Or they think you're sandbagging? Exams make some people nutty. So next semester I'll still just go do fun stuff; I just won't tell them about it.
Hm. I guess the exam-giving culture at some schools just slants more towards theory and scholarly-lawyerly analysis. Or maybe it's just my professors. Something 0Ls should ask around about at the school, I guess.
Agreed on the grades. I don't know anyone's grades, and nobody knows mine. It's very nice.
my advice to you is to start drinking heavily