Hi, I was wondering for those students who did well their first semester in law school, how did you prepare for exams?
Also, I was wondering from 2/3Ls who improved after their first semester what you changed to better prepare?
I am really looking to take my exam preparation to the next level. I did OK last semester but want to greatly improve.
1. Found a group to study with. My unofficial study group throughout the semester all went to separate study carrels as exams approached, so I picked a study group (I didn't even know the people very well) and asked if they'd let me in. Not only did it help me do well, but I made 5 friends. This is probably the single best thing I did. If there was something I didn't understand, people would explain it to me. If there was something other people didn't understand, I would explain it to them, which was great because it really solidified my understanding of it. And if there was something no one understood, it made us all work harder to try to figure it out. Plus it keeps you focused, and makes the process more enjoyable.
2. E&E for every subject
3. Finals for every subject, especially those with a multiple choice section on the exam (for me, this was very helpful for Torts).
4. Crunch Time for every subject (I don't know how helpful that really was).
5. CALI for every subject.
6. Thumbed through Getting to Maybe a little.
7. Outlined. I was pretty bad with keeping up my outlines through the semester, so I had a lot of work to do leading up to finals. But I went through every case in every class, forced myself to remember what it was about and what we were supposed to draw from it, and where it fit in in the scheme of things. Good stuff.
8. Positive thinking. I imagined myself getting my grades back after exams, and getting all As. I never really believed it would happen, but I lied to myself and told myself it would. And it did.
9. Stopped stressing when the exam starts. You have three hours. You don't have time to stress. You have a little time to read (enough to read very carefully), and a bunch of time to write. You might have time to go to the bathroom. You don't have time to stress, worry, fret, fear, ponder, wonder, regret, hope, wish, or pray. Shut it down and write.
10. Focused on quantity. This might be controversial, but here's my philosophy. If you have studied right, and really learned the stuff, your quality is going to be good. So don't worry too much about it - focus instead on saying as much as you can. Most profs don't take off points - they just start at zero and add them. The more you say, the more points you grab. Quality obviously counts, but hopefully you focused on quality before the exam so you can focus on quantity during it. One prof I had came out and said, before the final, that the way to do well is essentially to just make as many non-ridiculous arguments as you can. Before the exam, learn which arguments are non-ridiculous. During the exam, dump them onto the screen. (Also, know your prof - there are some for whom this is definitely not a good idea.)