4 Steps to Forming a “Finals Attack Plan.”

GUEST BLOG Stephanie Baldwin, 1L at the University of Arizona

Can you believe it my fellow 1Ls, finals are right around the corner! I am lucky and my finals are pretty late, as they do not start until December 10 and I have my last final on December 19. If you haven’t started now is the time to start forming your finals attack plan.

1) If you haven’t started, write your own outline!

If you haven’t started outlining yet, your first tendency might be to use one from a 2L or 3L who took the class from your professor but resist this urge. Instead, grab your syllabus and book and make the framework of your outline from there. This really helped me for midterms, and I wish I had started sooner. This will let you easily organize your notes in the way the professor intended you to.  Don’t worry about how long it is. You will likely end up with one master outline or a “study” outline, then a condensed version of the outline that features fundamental concepts, and then ideally you’ll be able to create an attack outline that will help you on the test.

If you’ve been like me and outlining throughout the semester, now is a great time to start condensing it and creating the attack outline.

2) Fill in the Gaps

Every time I look at my outline I see things missing, or concepts I feel “ify” on. Now is the perfect time to consult the BARBRI Outlines,  and an upperclassman’s to fill in those gaps. Pro Tip:  Be sure to highlight those areas and then make an office hours appointment with your professor to discuss. If you do this now, you won’t be rushing for a spot at the end of the month or discovering an issue during the reading period.

3) Find Practice Exams

Your professor will likely provide these, or they may be in your library. Be sure to find the ones for your professor that have model answers. You will likely not want to start studying with these too early, as you want to be able to answer the entire question being asked. But having these saved to your computer will help you when everyone else is trying to locate them

4) Study Where It Counts During Reading Period

If you have courses with finals that vary in their credit value, then you should spend the bulk of your time on the on the class that is most likely to impact your GPA. This was a great trip that I learned during my BARBRI Law Preview course. It seems that most people dedicate the same amount of time studying to all of their classes, but if you have a Torts class that is worth 6 credits and a Contracts class that is only worth 4 credits, getting a high grade in Torts will have a more significant impact on your GPA. At my school, every single one of my courses with a final is worth 4 credits so I will be spending an equal amount of time on them during our reading period.

How are you preparing for finals? Do you have your own finals attack plan? Any tips you think other 1Ls could benefit from? Let me know over at the @The1LLife on Twitter!