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The Lazy Way to Success On Exams

If you are in virtually any type of school, exams are lurking around the corner. For those of us in law school (and probably other graduate schools), the exam constitutes our entire grade for each class. How are you going to ensure a successful exam period?

What you haven’t done

If you’re like most people (including yours truly), your course outlines are far from complete. In fact, I haven’t even started mine. But that’s life as a 3L. For those of you who have an outline, I applaud your hard work!

Perhaps you haven’t read any of the assigned reading this semester. Maybe you focused on the twenty pages for the day when you were on call, but that’s it.

You might not have a commercial outline or hornbook on your shelf. Heck, you might not even own the course text book! Yes, even you can succeed on exams.

Kick it in gear

Sorry to say, but now is the time to actually work. At most schools, exams are about a month away. Thus, you have four weeks to put on the illusion that you actually know something. All is not lost, yet. That’s one glorious part of having a single exam constitute your entire grade. You can turn an entire lazy semester into a success.

Your goal right now should be to come up with decent outlines for all of your classes. Go through your lecture notes and start organizing them in a coherent fashion. If you missed a few days, ask your friends to help fill in the gaps. If you have no notes at all, ask a bunch of friends each for a day or two. (Just hope they don’t talk amongst themselves and figure it out.)

As you outline your courses, you can go to professors with specific questions for areas that are hazy. I’m sure you will have some; after all, this article is about the “lazy way,” right?

The goal is to have solid outlines for all your classes by the week before exams. You optimally need this done about 4-5 days before your first exam. Don’t fret; there’s still time.

Take a break!!!

Since you will be working (dare I say it?) hard for the next few weeks, you need some relaxation time before exams. This is why your outlines should be ready to go early.

About four days before your first exam, take at least a full day, and preferrably two days off. Don’t think about school, don’t look at school notes, don’t talk about your exams. Do something fun and relaxing. This will help detox your brain and let the information sink in subconsciously.

Go get ’em

Two days before your first exam, pull out those outlines and get studying. Personally, I study for one exam at a time, provided they are spaced at least one day apart. That way you can focus on one at a time and not get mixed up.

Your studying should pay off and you will do great on exams. Even though you didn’t work hard all semester, you should be able to get decent grades. What are you waiting for? Go get ’em!

[tags]legal andrew, law school, exam[/tags]

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