If you’re starting to feel the stress about upcoming law school finals, you’re not alone. Many students want to find ways to prepare early for these important exams but aren’t sure where to start.
We’ve rounded up five ways to help you prepare for finals now so you can take control and feel better equipped (and less stressed!) when finals roll around.
These tips will help you move forward with a plan to put you in tip-top finals shape.
1. Make a Calendar
Get a calendar (or update your calendar or task app) and create goals for what you hope to accomplish each week in preparation for finals. You can include due dates, professors' office hours, daily subjects to outline, practice tests, and more.
Be optimistic when you're adding these items to your calendar, but also give yourself some grace when those days arrive. Life happens, and you may not be able to check every item off your list. But that’s okay! The important thing is to keep moving forward with your goals (and don’t forget to schedule some down time to relax).
2. Update Outlines
Start working on your outlines. If you haven’t started them, it’s time to start. If you have, it’s time to update and revise. Try to cover everything up to the current point of material you've covered and don't hold off until right before finals to do it all (trust us, waiting until the last minute for outlining is just asking for unnecessary stress).
Updating your outlines each week or every other week will ensure that the information sinks in while giving you adequate time to complete your outlines.
3. Meet with your Professors
As you're updating your outlines, you'll find areas that need some clarification or where your notes are a little less detailed (read: messy). Be proactive and meet with your professors now to clear up any confusion.
You can also talk to your professors about their exams. This may seem weird, but it's totally normal. Ask them what they expect to see - do they want to know that you can cover a lot of topics or that you can really analyze one topic in-depth? Your professor will be more available now than the week or two before finals and you'll know that your final outline will be correct when it's time to study for finals.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Essay questions in law school are a whole different animal. Get comfortable with writing them out and having a plan of attack by practicing essay questions for each subject. Find old essay exams from your law school or online. It’s especially helpful to practice an essay on a given topic after you’ve reviewed the topic. Bottom line - practicing now will help you walk into your finals with expertise and confidence.
5. Fuel your body and mind
Do your best to relax and celebrate the great job you’re doing preparing for final exams so early. It's also important to keep your mental and physical health up. The better your physical condition, the sharper you are mentally. Take time to do things you enjoy and carve out time to spend with friends. Exercise, eat foods that make you feel good, get some fresh air, and give yourself time to rest and recharge. This will lower your stress and prevent getting sick during exams. You want to be your best possible self during finals.
Good luck as you head into finals. Remember, many of the habits and skills you hone in now will help you as you head into future bar prep.