It is important to evaluate your progress and prepare for final exams because your grades are likely dependent on one final exam. That is a lot of pressure! There is a lot riding on those final exams, especially if you are near a cut-off for being expelled from law school, keeping your scholarship, getting a scholarship, or being admitted onto a law journal like Law Review.
Be sure to ask these questions for law school success:
(1) What exam format will your law professor use on your exam? The format of the exam dictates how you should study and practice before the exam. If the exam is 30% multiple choice, you should practice multiple choice questions! If it is all in an essay format, you can focus your efforts on essay and possibly even run through some multiple choice questions that test on very direct answers and sub-rules.
(2) Is the law exam open or closed book? For an open-book exam, we recommend that law students bring additional reference material to take into the test, including tabs, their own checklist, their own table of contents, and an attack plan on how to lay out an answer. For a closed-book exam in law school, students need to pay more attention to memorizing everything they need to know for the exam. To differentiate yourself from other law students on an open-book exam, you must produce great analysis, since everyone has the law to reference. To differentiate yourself from other law students on a closed-book exam, you show what you know. This is done by going through practice exams with us at LST – Law School Tutor.
(3) Where can you get practice exams? LST – Law School Tutor has them! Some professors circulate old exams. However, students will often look at these exams and expect the professor to test them in exactly the same way. The students may get accustomed to being tested with short paragraphs and only one or two issues triggered in one paragraph. Some students will try to mistakenly predict what will be on the exam because they think the professor has consistently tested a certain topic in the past like felony murder. Often times, we see professors switch up their patterns. Be careful and do not let past exams be your crutch for confidence. The more different types of exams you get under your belt, the more prepared you are for the final exams your professors will give you. This is why going through our difficult exams consistently prepares our students well for their own law professors’ exams.
(4) Have you gone to office hours to speak with your professor about the exam before they administer the exam? Some law professors will be surprisingly candid about what they are looking for in an exam answer and, for those who are not, we at LST – Law School Tutor prepare our students to walk in with direct questions. Direct questions often make professors feel like they need to answer them. Our students at Law School Tutor then walk away with more knowledge than their classmates, colleagues, and counterparts. Most importantly, they are fully prepared to master their final exams.
(5) Did you keep your outlines up-to-date? Outlining is often helpful for students because they are funneling the information as they are creating it. This helps them learn and absorb the material. And outlines are often written according to how a student understands material. We suggest that students have a 10-25 page outline by the end of the semester. However, students should also condense this down to a bullet-point checklist and buzz-word outline that is only 1-3 pages by the time they get one to two weeks away from the exam. This one to three page outline is what they should be reviewing during reading week and is also the one they should be reviewing one hour before they walk into the exam. So feel free to sit in the hallway before the proctor lets you into the testing room and hold this 1-3 page outline under your nose – repetition and review at that point is everything.
(6) Are you practicing your writing? Students should practice writing every week – it is the only way to ensure you know the law and confirm your preparation strategies are working for you.
LST – Law School Tutor assists students in achieving high grades during law school, in order to ensure that they have better academic opportunities during law school and better job opportunities after law school.
For more information, please contact LST at firstname.lastname@example.org