Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, February 12, 2018

Time for a Semester Progress Check

5 weeks down in the semester, which is about 1/3 of class time.  Now is a great time for a progress check in each course.  A progress check should analyze both whether the study schedule is working and whether you know the substance so far.  Here are some quick questions/activities to consider:

Study Schedule:

  1.  Do I have an updated outline for each of my courses?
  2.  Have I briefed every case?
  3.  Was I ready for class discussion each day?
  4.  Am I consistently under-prepared for a particular class?
  5.  What additional activities do I need to accomplish (ie - more practice with feedback)?
  6.  What do I need to change now to get more done?

Substantive Knowledge:  (complete these activities without looking at your outline, notes, etc.)

  1.  Try to write down the major topics or headings for each course on separate sheets of paper.
  2.  After writing down the major headings, try to write down the smaller issues within each heading.
  3.  Try to write down the rules and exceptions for each of the issues.
  4.  Ask yourself what is the most confusing part of the course. What is the hardest concept to understand?  Try to find an answer from your notes, classmates, professor, or supplement for confusing concepts.
  5.  Looking at the handwritten flowchart or outline, try to think of facts that are required to test each of the issues.
  6.  Try to orally recite your outline for each course.

Progress checks throughout the semester are critical.  Changing study habits later in the semester or trying to figure out doctrine from months before is difficult.  The goal is to self-assess now to remedy any problems long before exams.  This is a good time to start writing answers to short hypos and asking professors for feedback.  Keep analyzing progress to continually improve.

(Steven Foster)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/academic_support/2018/02/time-for-a-semester-progress-check.html

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