Sunday, April 18, 2021

Effective Finals Preparation

The semester is nearing the end.  Most students are in finals study mode, so I want to provide a few pieces of studying advice.

  1. Create a good study calendar.  The calendar focuses on what you will study on which days.  Start with putting your final exams on the appropriate days.  Then, work backwards to today adding in what classes you will study each day.
  2. Create a good daily/hourly schedule.  The next schedule to create is an hourly schedule for each day.  When will you wake up, work out, study, have lunch, etc.  The more you write down, the more efficient you will be with your time.
  3. Utilize ACTIVE studying techniques.  Re-reading an outline for the 5th time probably won't help you remember the material.  Test whether you understand and can recall the material by:
    1. Trying to recite the structure/skeletal outline out loud;
    2. Talking to a non-lawyer friend and explaining a concept in a way the non-lawyer would understand;
    3. Issue spotting practice essay questions;
    4. Creating hypos that would test each major sub-topic in the course;
    5. Taking practice multiple choice quizzes; and
    6. Writing out essay answers.
  4. Ignore external non-emergency distractions until after finals.
  5. Ignore rumors from classmates.  Only worry about what you can control, which is your preparation.

The semester flew by, and finals are right around the corner.  Make sure to study both efficiently and effectively to be as prepared as possible.  Good luck to everyone on finals.

(Steven Foster)

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