The proper approach for developing superior exam-taking skills differs depending on the substantive area of law in question and whether your exam is open-book or closed-book.
On most of your exams, we are given complex, hypothetical fact patterns. From the facts given, one identifies the particular legal issues that need to be addressed. This is a difficult skill to perfect and can only be developed through practice. It is helpful to practice any legal problems given during the semester. Issue-spotting is an important skill to develop.
The ability to recall the law with speed is also very important and frequently tested. On all of exams, one is given a series of legal problems, and for each problem you provide the relevant substantive law and apply it to the facts of the problem. Ability to recall the law with speed is critical, because in most classes, you are under time constraints to answer all of the problems -- the faster you recall the law, the more problems you will complete and the more time you will have to spend on demonstrating your analytical skills. For courses with closed-book exams, this means straight MEMORIZATION or the use of mnemonics (flash cards?). When you become exceedingly familiar with the flash cards, e.g., you rewrite them so as to test your memory in different words (particularly critical for courses such as Torts and Criminal Law where you must learn a series of definitions with multiple elements)
For courses with open-book exams, this means developing an index for the outline that enables you to locate the relevant law quickly.
One also needs to develop the ability to apply the law to the facts efficiently and skillfully. Once you have correctly identified the relevant issue and stated the relevant law, you engage in a discussion of how the law applies to the facts that have been given. You try to focus on the essential facts, and not engage in irrelevant discussions that will waste your energy.