Tips for Exam Season

by Ralaya Evans, Law Library GRA

Exam Season can bring anxiety for all law students. There is a lot of pressure and everyone wants to do well. There are a few upkeep actions one can partake in to help ease the nerves surrounding exams.

  1. Sleep is your friend. It can be tempting to wake up super early and stay up late studying and digesting as much information as possible every day. However, this is more harmful than helpful. This can overload your mind and make it hard to retain information. You may find that no matter the ample hours that you are putting into studying, you are not prepared for the exam. Getting the right amount of sleep will make studying more effective and allow you to perform to your best ability on the exams.
  • Take breaks. Studying all day without breaks will also impact your ability to retain information. Mental fatigue will often be the result. Your mind/body will often tell you when you need a break, but during finals we ignore the signs. However, kn­­ow the signs of mental exhaustion so that you can respond appropriately. Pushing yourself too hard will only cause burn out.
  • Set a study schedule and stick to it. Setting a schedule can also help you block out time to study, but to also take a break, eat, do something that you enjoy and more. Sticking to a schedule allows you to accomplish the amount of studying that you want, but also still have a life. A nice balance between the two will be extremely beneficial.

Although taking care of your mental health is key, we must also ensure that we are ready for finals substantively.  To prepare for such information-intensive exams, here are a few tips:

  1. Find your study group. There are many different studying techniques. Some of us share the same techniques for studying and use the same sources such as Quimbee, law library study aids and more. So, it is often a good idea to team up with others and form study groups. Aside from sharing resources and techniques, insight from your fellow classmates can help you see information from a different perspective.
  • Make an attack outline that works for you. It is a good idea to work with your classmates to create a detailed outline of your course to use during the exam. However, it is also extremely helpful to make a more concise “attack outline” that you are more familiar with and comfortable with using during a timed exam. This brevity and familiarity will work to your advantage since it will be so much easier for you to quickly reference during the exam.
  • Go to office hours. Once you reach the point in your studies where you have created your outline, take note on the areas you are still a little fuzzy on and go to that professor’s office hours to see if they can help clear things up for you. The professors are always so willing to help and want you to succeed. So, schedule time with them when needed. Do not choose to suffer in silence or settle for not understanding a topic fully.

Exams are often referred to as the most stressful part of each semester. So, it is important to have the tools to get through the season and feel good about your performance. All of these tips will help to build your confidence for taking the exams.

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