Now that it's Fall, finals anxiety will hit faster than you think. Taking control now will leave you better prepared and less stressed, both now and -- more importantly -- when finals roll around
These five tips will help you move forward with a plan to put you in tip-top finals shape.
1) Make a Calendar.
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, Critical Pass flashcards to review, etc.
Be optimistic when you're adding these items to your calendar, but also give yourself some grace when those days arrive. Don't beat yourself up if you don't check off every item, but try to do at least one or two a day. And make sure to schedule some down time to relax.
2) Update Outlines.
Start working on your outlines. If you haven’t started them, you don't need to worry. But you should get started, largely because it helps you reinforce what you've learned on a day-to-day basis. Try to cover everything up to the current point of material you've covered. Don't hold off until right before finals to do it all -- this will make your outlines much less effective.
Updating your outlines each week or every other week will ensure that the information sinks in. Moreover, you’ll be less overwhelmed with all the information that’s piled up if you wait until later.
3) Meet with 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.
Moreover, 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) Keep Healthy.
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 and eat healthy! This will lower your stress and prevent getting sick during exams. You want to be your best possible self during finals.
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