This post teaches how to study for law school exams.
It shares the most effective methods for studying for law school examinations and getting good grades.
Studying for law school exams necessitates detailed planning, effective time management, and putting in the necessary hours to guarantee that you are fully prepared for your exams.
It is critical to read the material, outline it, and take practice exams, but you must also begin preparing early enough to allow yourself adequate time to digest the material.
If you’re feeling a little lost or the pressure is getting to you, here are some techniques and strategies for studying for law school exams that have helped millions of law students succeed, including me, from the weeks before, to the few hours before exams.
Related: How to become a lawyer: From Undergrad to the Bar
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How to study for law school exams
The following is how to study for law exams
Create a solid study schedule
Planning is a vital part of studying for law exams.
If you really wish to study for law exams and pass, you must be willing to work really hard for a short period of time.
This implies canceling any needless demands on your time and allocating enough time to read and understand the required law subjects in the available amount of time.
It’s preferable to prepare ahead of time how you’ll use your time after classes to ensure that everything gets done.
Time for reviewing/memorizing your outlines, time for taking practice examinations, and time for using your practice results to determine and then concentrate on your weak areas are the most crucial items to include in your study planner.
Make a study schedule based on the number of exams and the amount of time you have left to study before the exam.
For example, the following is a four-exams-study-schedule
Also, the following is the study schedule based on 10 days before an exam
To create your personalized solid exam study schedule do the following;
- Draw out a schedule for the days remaining till the exam or a weekly schedule based on Monday–Friday of the semester.
- Schedule 3–4 hour blocks of study time with breaks in between for each of the days you have available, including enough food, rest, and sleep.
- You will need to study for at least 6 hours every day to gain sufficient knowledge to pass the exam.
- Schedule a break from studying, such as a gym session, a walk, an afternoon off, or some TV time.
- On your study blocks make a list of things to complete based on their importance. (based on the above example, you may replace the word study with the specific subject or task you plan to do.)
- Trace your progress and arvichvements
Don’t be a firefighter
A firer fighter is a law student who tends to do everything at the last minute.
Instead of being a firefighter make sure you do all the examination preparation early, at least six weeks before exams.
Starting your exam preparation early is essential.
Have a plan for how and when you will study, as well as what you will concentrate on.
Playing catch-up with your readings during the final two weeks of law school exams puts you at a huge disadvantage to everyone else who completed their readings on time.
A full course load of law school readings is extensive, deferring them until just before exams will have serious effects.
Don’t fool yourself, you can never master everything that you have been taught in your course, and of course, why should you master everything when the exams will not contain everything? just a small portion of it.
While studying for law school exams, priority will help you plan and prune everything that you feel is unnecessary and direct your focus on the things that you feel are more important.
The following is how you can do it
- List out what it will take to successfully study for exams- outline, study notes, practice exams, study group, etc.
- Consider the deadline (what time do you have to complete the tasks)
- Break down large tasks- start with vital tasks for example outline, do you know how to outline? how many course outlines do you have? how many course outlines do you need, where can you get them, etc?
- Establish your routine (see the point where I speak about study schedule/planner)
- start with the area in which you are not familiar and seek to improve them
- Focus on what did the teacher say he will ask on the exam.
- finish with the areas that you are fit.
Take summary notes
I know you’ve been taking study notes all semester but when you are staying for your law exams I advise you to summarize and condense them into shorter summary notes.
Summary notes will serve as the foundation for your exam outlines and memorization.
Writing summaries of your summary notes, on the other hand, is a wonderful approach to studying for the exam.
It helps you to consolidate your knowledge, put the legislation in context, and detect issues.
To effectively write the summary notes do the following
- Write a summary of all the causes of action within a law subject, including the elements to prove and legal principles to apply.
- write the case briefs, this time just includes the case name, a few words reminding you of the facts, and keywords of the area of law it concerns.
- you may learn how more about writing case briefs here
- Summarize how different aspects of the law subject interact, the law subject as a whole, or legal issues or elements that overlap.
The place you study matters
Finding a suitable location(s) to study is a crucial issue that many students ignore during their law school life.
You are supposed to utilize each second effectively while you prepare for your law school exams.
Many students believe that law school is the only finest location to study, but that may not be true.
In my school life, I have discovered that a law school is a place where you can easily get distracted by friends and other time stealers, thus I used my bedroom for studying for exams.
However, the best study place for me could not be the best study spot for you and someone else.
You may not enjoy studying in a secluded or even particularly quiet environment, but you must ensure that you study in an environment that is appropriate to your learning style, allows you to concentrate, and is free of distractions, those areas may include but not limited to
- Coffee shop
- Private study room
You may read this guide from educationcorder.com to learn more about how to find a good place to study.
Practice past exams
The greatest approach to preparing for a law school exam is to take practice exams.
Past exams are much more valuable if your professor provides model answers.
But do not take past exams just for the sake of it. Make sure you take past exams by following all examination rules depending on the course and professor.
For example, during law school, I preferred to take my practice exams with a clock, I was testing myself on how far I can handle the examination time and what to improve to master it.
I was also considering whether the professor of that course allows notes in exams or not. If yes I always practice with notes, if not, then I don’t do it with notes.
In addition, if I have model answers, I take the practice exam and then compare my answer to the model answer and see how it fits I’m.
Therefore, the following is how you can effectively practice with law school past exams
- Attempt the practice exams under full exam conditions
- Observe silence
- Set time
- Don’t look for help, even Google is not your friend.
- Pay close attention to the command words (discuss, describe, outline, elucidate, justify, etc) to make sure you understand the demand of the question.
- Mark your exam, either with your model answer or notes.
- Check the areas that you need improvement
See also: how to answer law exam questions (step by step with vivid examples)
Consider a study group
In my law school life, I have found that a study group is a very good exam preparation strategy.
Just as it is important to make time for personal studies, study groups can help me share my thoughts with others, learn from my colleague, and face questions together.
However, if you will not do it cautiously, you will not be able to get anything useful from your study group, especially if it is not well planned.
It is therefore critical to plan and have a good study group in order to get the most out of it. Here is what you can do
- Make sure the group isn’t too huge; three, four, or five students are enough.
- Prepare a group study schedule and stick to it.
- The group should focus on examination preparation, doing practice exams, discussing the possible questions, sharing is of concentration, discussing complex concepts, etc.
- It should not take longer than 3 hours
- Every member must come to the group prepared.
Study groups have been demonstrated to significantly boost student performance in studies. Studying with others adheres to the age-old adage that “two heads are better than one.”
Studies have shown that rest is essential for mental health, greater focus and memory, a stronger immune system, less stress, a better mood, and even a faster metabolism.
To effectively study for law school exams, make sure you take lots of breaks!
The burden of having to deal with so much information in such a short period of time can be overwhelming.
You may keep your mind fresh by studying at a relaxing but steady pace and taking rests.
This involves getting plenty of rest and eating well, especially the day before a big exam.
My strategy was this, the more I approach the examination time/day the more I take breaks, Why? to refill my energy, boost my memory, and soothe my mood.
Focus on the marker’s interests
To Satisfy the marker. That’s my secret weapon for getting good grades in law school.
Regardless of what you know or how much you have to write on your exams, if the marker is not satisfied, you are dead.
How do you satisfy the marker? learn and understand his/her interest.
Different people have different interests, some teachers prefer neatness, others like clarity and brevity others like outlines, examples, illustrations, etc.
To successfully study for law, exams make sure you do everything in line with the marker’s interests, gather everything that sparkes the marker’s interest, examples, best online structures, references, etc.
The best thing is, most teachers will express their interests when teaching you his/her subject. So pay attention to them and don’t dare to mess up.
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