You have your outlines complete and you’re ready to start studying for law school final exams. You’re trying to memorize the rules of law and apply them, but what else should you be doing?
Here are a few extra finals prep tips:
Schedule and track your study hours
Hold yourself accountable by scheduling your study hours on a calendar. This will also help you avoid scheduling anything else during that time. Some students also find it helpful and gratifying to create a spreadsheet to log their study time and the material they studied. This practice can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment when finals are complete. It’s also great practice for the future when you will be billing clients.
Work exam practice questions
Make sure to work practice questions to learn and apply the rules of the law. Even if you don’t feel like you’re ready.
Check with your professors to see if they’re willing to share previous law school final exams. You may be able to spot tendencies and at least see the way in which questions have been typically worded.
I also recommend working practice questions that are provided in BARBRI 1L Mastery and BARBRI 2L/3L Mastery. When working practice questions, make sure that you’re not robbing yourself of a great learning opportunity to learn why you got an answer right or wrong.
The practice questions that are included in BARBRI 1L Mastery and BARBRI 2L/3L Mastery have full explanatory answers. For each one, you’ll want to carefully and thoroughly review the explanatory answer to:
- Determine whether you got the question right or wrong
- Determine whether your analysis of the question was on-point
- Determine whether you identified and understood the narrow rule being tested in the question
- Identify why the wrong answer choices are incorrect
- Review the other rules discussed in the explanation
This practice will allow you to maximize learning from each practice question you work.
Ask questions while studying
It’s important to ask questions while you are studying. You don’t want to misinterpret or memorize the incorrect rule. Take advantage of your professor’s or teaching assistant’s office hours to discuss any areas that are unclear.
Find your focus and study method
Determine the study method and location that works best for you early in law school. Create an environment that supports focus and productivity.
Some students prefer absolute silence and others like a little background noise. Some also find rituals, like diffusing lavender or sipping tea, helpful in getting their mind into a productive study state. Some find studying alone in the same spot to be the best for them. Others need to change locations so they don’t get distracted by all of the laundry that needs to be done.
When it comes to joining a study group, select your partners wisely. It can be helpful to ask questions and explain answers to gauge understanding; however, studying with others can be distracting if you don’t remain focused during your time together.
Experiment early to find your best method so you can rely on it to prepare for law school final exams and, in the future, for your bar exam.
Make sure to sleep
Even if you have to literally schedule it in. Pulling “all-nighters” has a bad rap for good reason. You will retain much more information if you have a decent night of sleep. It is important to give your brain a rest from rules and cases. Don’t overlook or underestimate the value of sleep in your law school finals prep.