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As You Approach Your First Law School Exam


When you first begin law school, there is nothing more terrifying then your first exam period. For the most part, it is going to be a completely different experience from any other class or test that you have taken before. Your entire grade can rest on one exam; what you do in 2-4 hours will determine your entire semester in that class. It was a thought that practically caused me to have a mini-panic attack during one of my first exams. Fortunately, I was able to recover in time to turn in a comprehensive exam that earned me a respectable grade.

The best thing that a 1L can possibly do as they approach their first exams period is to figure out what works best for you. At this point in your education, the average student has taken dozens of tests and exams. You should know your most effective study methods and the most effective ways for you to learn. At this point in your education, do not feel as though you have to re-invent the wheel. It is best to do what you know works best for you. That being said, do not be afraid to open up to new ideas. As stated above, law school is a different animal altogether and you might find a method of studying that works even better.

If you do not have a preferred study method, have no fear, you will quickly discover what works best for you. The best way to do this is to simply try as many things as possible. Every school has multiple aids to help first year students. These can include published outlines, tutors, practice test questions, etc. Take advantage of as many of these options as possible. Each of these options can provide you with valuable insights.

Another option is to form a study group with some of your classmates and discuss the topic areas with an emphasis on those issues that are particularly troublesome to you and your classmates. In these study groups, try to take as many practice test questions as possible. This will most likely be one of the most effective study methods that you can use.

You can also find out if your professor has old exams on reserve that you can use for practice. For every student, after each final, take some time to evaluate how effective your study methods were and what you could do differently so that you go into each and every final as prepared as possible. It can also be helpful to talk to your classmates, at all levels in law school, and see if they can offer any advice about how to become a thriving law student.

Hopefully, the end result should be a grade that you can be proud of and a successful completion of your first semester in law school!

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