Are you looking for some tips on crammingfor a law school exam? Here are twelve steps you can follow to helpyou from failing a course.
Hi, this is Professor Beau Baez.
Ideally, you should not be waiting to thelast moment to prepare for your exams.
But that’s where you are right now, so let’sexamine some strategies to help you make it over the finish line.
Inward, outward, upward! Today we are going to look inward and makesome outward changes to propel you upward.
One, find a good supplement for the course.
Identify the sections of the supplement thatyour professor covered in class by comparing it with the professor’s syllabus.
Then read those sections in the supplement.
By the way, there is no magic supplement.
There are some that I prefer, but they mightnot work for you.
When I was a law student I would go to thebookstore and look at the different supplements, and then pick one that seemed to make themost sense for me.
Two, find one or two good outlines from otherswho did well in the course.
But don’t go crazy by getting more than two—you’lljust be wasting your time.
Then go read and review the outlines, andrefer to the supplement when something in the outline doesn’t make sense.
By the way, you may have heard some studentsay that they crammed for the exam and got a good grade in the class.
Okay, suppose that’s true.
You are not them and may not be so lucky.
Also, when they tell you that they got a Bin the course, you don’t know if that professor gave out lots of good grades.
Cramming should not become a habit for you.
Three, create a list of major topics thatmight appear on the exam.
In other words, focus on what is importantand avoid the trivial.
You will find these topics by looking at theheadings in the course syllabus, student outlines, and the supplement.
Then review these topics, making sure youunderstand how they work.
Four, create a mini-outline.
Take what you are learning from the otherstudent outlines, syllabus, and the supplement and create your own outline.
This will help you identify what is reallyimportant, and help you learn it at the same time.
That's because you learn every time you usea different sense in your body: reading engages sight while writing engages touch.
Five, revise the material you learned beforeyou go to sleep.
Our brains keep working while we are sleep, so use that to your benefit.
Two hours before going to bed, review and revise the material that you worked on that day so that your brain can make sense of it for you while you're sleeping.
Six, make a schedule.
Determine how much time you have before thefinal and make a plan as to how much time you're going to study.
Break your studying into 25 minute chunksand 5 minute breaks, which I explain in more detail in another video on the Pomodoro technique.
You need to take breaks, otherwise your mindwill wander and you won’t learn as well as you would otherwise.
Seven, mix up the order of the material.
Our brains need variety, so don’t studyconcepts sequentially.
Start at the beginning and then move towardsthe back.
And then jump around a bit to keep your brain engagedwith the material.
Eight, put your phone in another room.
And for that matter, anything else that mightdistract you.
You might find it easier to study away fromhome, maybe at the school’s library.
For me, if I need to get away from all distractionsI go to my public library, as that avoids me running into anyone I know.
Nine, take a practice exam.
Ideally you will use one that was createdby your law professor, but if that’s not possible find one from another section orone on the Internet.
Try to mimic timed conditions, and once youare done, compare your answer to your notes and the supplement.
Make sure to review the sections of the supplementwhere you got confused.
Ten, get some rest.
Your body needs sleep, so don’t pull anyall-nighters.
You may think you are learning, but you reallyaren’t—you are fooling yourself into thinking you are learning.
Eleven, eat and drink.
You need to eat healthy foods that will keepyour brain working at an optimal level.
Also, keep drinking water for the same reason.
Twelve, don’t read cases.
At this point in the semester, focus on the secondary materials that I discussed earlier.
You are in crisis mode, which means focusing on what is likely to help you not fail the exam.
Cases are primarily there to help you prepare forclass, not the final exam.
Now that we've discussed these differentstrategies, let’s talk about next semester.
Start planning for the final at the beginningof the semester.
Not only will you do better, but you’llbe less stressed out going into the new exam.
New videos every other Wednesday, and hitthe subscribe and bell buttons so you can become a better student and a better lawyer.