Top 5 Tips To Prepare For Law School Exams
Law school exam grades can be make-or-break for your law school career. Law school exams are a lot of pressure to weighing on any student, irrespective of how well you handle stress. In this post, we cover our top five tips to prepare for law school exams!
Top 5 Tips To Prepare For Law School Exams
1. Make a study schedule for the semester.
How should you prepare for law school exams? The key is being prepared for class every day during the semester. Keeping up with readings, creating outlines, and reviewing key concepts should be done for every class and done frequently.
Depending on what you have going on in your life, this might be relatively easy for you or it might be very difficult. If you are a caregiver, you work, or you have other responsibilities outside of law school, you still need to make studying every day a priority. Sometimes the day-to-day of law school isn’t terribly stressful. And sometimes that’s because it can be easy to put off working hard until you prepare for law school exams. Avoid this at all costs!
The best way to avoid procrastination is to make a law school study schedule. If you want more details about what your study schedule should look like, check out this sample! Basically, a study schedule for the semester should be realistic and should allow time for things like exercise, relaxing, sleeping, and spending time with friends. Most importantly, it should allow you to maintain good study habits so you aren’t scrambling when it’s time to prepare for law school exams. After all, if you’ve kept up with your reading and outlines all semester, you’ll be in a much better place to start studying than someone who has to start from the beginning.
2. Make a schedule for finals week
If you’re used to sticking to a schedule during the school year, doing the same during finals week should be easy! Many schools have a “reading period” after classes end and before finals begin. This “time off” is meant for studying. The rest of your studying will be done throughout the week while you have other finals. Keep the same principles you implement in your normal law school schedule in mind as you prepare for law school exams. Being successful is about balance.
Know your final exam schedule in advance, and create a realistic schedule around it. Check out our detailed tips for making your own finals week schedule. Creating specific times when you study forces you to work hard during those allotted times, and allows you to relax when you aren’t studying. Nothing’s worse than working at 50% for 100% of the time.
Remember, creating a realistic study schedule is about being honest with yourself. If you have an exam that ends in the late afternoon or evening, you will be tired. You won’t be in the best place to study for your next exam after just completing another one. Take these types of things into account as you prepare for law school exams. It’ll keep stress at bay and ensure you aren’t cramming for your exams.
3. Don’t cram!
How many times have you heard this tip regarding studying for anything? This especially goes for when you’re getting ready to prepare for law school exams. The key to avoiding cramming is keeping up with your schoolwork throughout the semester. If you go into finals week with a completed outline and a good handle on the concepts of the class, you can spend time on practice questions and honing your memorization of topics.
Maybe you’re reading this and thinking that it’s a little too late for that. That’s okay, you just need to make sure you are sticking to a study schedule. If you have a lot to learn in a short period of time, avoid the urge to stay up all night. Cramming combined with no sleep is a recipe for disaster.
Set hours when you will be studying and eliminate any possible distractions. Turn your phone off, avoid talking with friends, and don’t stop to make a snack every time you get bored. Cramming to prepare for law school exams will always be an uphill battle, but sticking to a schedule can help keep you sane and healthy!
4. Stay healthy!
Staying healthy during the semester and during the stress of a final exam is easier said than done. However, keeping yourself as healthy as possible starts with good habits! If you don’t get any sleep, avoid exercise, never spend time with friends, and eat unhealthily during the school year, it will be hard to change those habits as you prepare for finals.
If you are sticking to your study schedule, you should have plenty of time to get good sleep. Rest makes your brain function more effectively, and you want your brain to work well during finals! It’s important to note that you probably won’t be able to sleep if you’re too stressed. That means, staying healthy means you need to keep stress levels at bay. Law school is competitive, and you obviously want to do your best on exams. This can be stressful! Check out a few more of these tips for staying stress-free as you prepare for law school exams.
You also shouldn’t overlook the importance of eating right and exercising. The final exam period isn’t the time to force yourself to do some type of exercise that you hate. Getting up and moving in whichever way you want is a great way to relieve stress and maintain a strong immune system. Try walking with a friend, doing yoga, going for a bike ride, or attending an exercise class at a studio. Whatever you choose, we promise it’ll make you feel better. The same goes for eating healthy. Make time every week, as you prepare for law school exams, to go to a market or grocery store to buy fresh foods. The small amount of time you may save ordering take out every day of finals isn’t going to make a difference in your grades.
Finally, keep in mind that sometimes people do get sick during finals! If this happens to you, don’t freak out. If you aren’t contagious, do your best to keep up your study habits, but add in extra time to rest. However, if you truly are very sick and could possibly get your classmates sick, talk to the appropriate faculty at your school as soon as possible. Schools are hesitant to delay a student’s exam, but with an appropriate doctor’s note, it may be possible.
5. Do something other than studying!
Like we said earlier, it’s a lot better to give it your all for a set period of time rather than kind of working for 100% of your time. Create a study schedule as you prepare for law school exams, and stick to it. When you are studying, you are studying. When you’re not studying, you’re not studying.
As long as you are dedicating adequate time to studying during finals week, there is nothing wrong with going to dinner with a friend or paying your parents a visit. Scheduling downtime might seem silly, but it helps keep you on track. Schedule time to go see a movie with a parent or friend in the evening. If you know you have plans in the evening, it’ll push you to get good study time during the day.
If you want to adequately prepare for law school exams, you’ll need to work at it long before the exam period begins. Like many things, the key to success in law school is balance. Take care of yourself, and good luck on your exams!
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