Last laps of the race, What to do now?

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minnie7
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:23 am

Last laps of the race, What to do now?

Postby minnie7 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:04 pm

I'm still in the "read to look good in class" mode, and have yet to really prepare for the actual exam. It's tough to get out of this mentality because I obviously don't want to look dumb or unprepared in class, yet I know the real important part is the actual test. I have a couple questions.

1. There's about 5-6 weeks left. At what point should I start taking practice exams from professors? Should I start doing hypotheticals from other sources as well?(EnEs)?

2.Outlining- I did 2 out of 4 outlines from scratch during our weeklong break. If I find a good outline for a class, should I still make one from scratch, or should I just make that outline even better with my information?

3. Those of you that are social or like having hobby time, at what point and how much did you lower that? I personally play bball 3-4 times a week and like going out on the weekends. How much did you curtail this?

4.How do you change the way you read for class in these last few weeks? Did you stop caring to look unprepared, or did you read the same?

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thesealocust
Posts: 8445
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Last laps of the race, What to do now?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:37 pm

minnie7 wrote:I'm still in the "read to look good in class" mode, and have yet to really prepare for the actual exam. It's tough to get out of this mentality because I obviously don't want to look dumb or unprepared in class, yet I know the real important part is the actual test. I have a couple questions.

1. There's about 5-6 weeks left. At what point should I start taking practice exams from professors? Should I start doing hypotheticals from other sources as well?(EnEs)?

2.Outlining- I did 2 out of 4 outlines from scratch during our weeklong break. If I find a good outline for a class, should I still make one from scratch, or should I just make that outline even better with my information?

3. Those of you that are social or like having hobby time, at what point and how much did you lower that? I personally play bball 3-4 times a week and like going out on the weekends. How much did you curtail this?

4.How do you change the way you read for class in these last few weeks? Did you stop caring to look unprepared, or did you read the same?


1. As soon as possible. You've been in school for plenty of time to make the experience valuable. Stuff from your profs is much more useful than other material because it will force you to apply (roughly) the same set of material you've been synthesizing during the semester.

2. A hypothetical law student can definitely do as well on an exam using other outlines (or no outline at all) instead of making one on their own. I would hesitate to recommend this to a first semester 1L, however, because the act of both condensing and organizing the material from 1L year is extremely important. Maybe doing it a few times means you get the hang for what matters and what doesn't without doing the tedious process of outlining going forward, but it would probably be risky to make if the first strategy you try for an exam.

Lots of people do lots of different things for outlines, but the more work you put into their organization and brevity the more you will be mastering the material in a way that will help on the exam. If you just dump info into a document in the order it came in class you won't get nearly as much out of it.

3. There should never be a point where you have to work SO MUCH that you can't do other things. You'll get tired and burnt out and need down time even in the days before finals. Generally speaking big social events start to taper off from here to the end of the semester, but you really don't need to think a certain date on the calendar will pop up and then fun will be canceled.

4. Ideally you wouldn't care about looking prepared from day 1. It's a time sink and a trap for anxious 1Ls. You need to extract the legal rules from the cases you read that you can then use on the fact pattern you get on the exam, and you need to pay attention to the professor and flow of the course to see how everything relates to each other. Actual time spent in class (and even reading) is pretty inefficient at accomplishing both tasks.

minnie7
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:23 am

Re: Last laps of the race, What to do now?

Postby minnie7 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:22 pm

thesealocust wrote:
minnie7 wrote:I'm still in the "read to look good in class" mode, and have yet to really prepare for the actual exam. It's tough to get out of this mentality because I obviously don't want to look dumb or unprepared in class, yet I know the real important part is the actual test. I have a couple questions.

1. There's about 5-6 weeks left. At what point should I start taking practice exams from professors? Should I start doing hypotheticals from other sources as well?(EnEs)?

2.Outlining- I did 2 out of 4 outlines from scratch during our weeklong break. If I find a good outline for a class, should I still make one from scratch, or should I just make that outline even better with my information?

3. Those of you that are social or like having hobby time, at what point and how much did you lower that? I personally play bball 3-4 times a week and like going out on the weekends. How much did you curtail this?

4.How do you change the way you read for class in these last few weeks? Did you stop caring to look unprepared, or did you read the same?


1. As soon as possible. You've been in school for plenty of time to make the experience valuable. Stuff from your profs is much more useful than other material because it will force you to apply (roughly) the same set of material you've been synthesizing during the semester.

2. A hypothetical law student can definitely do as well on an exam using other outlines (or no outline at all) instead of making one on their own. I would hesitate to recommend this to a first semester 1L, however, because the act of both condensing and organizing the material from 1L year is extremely important. Maybe doing it a few times means you get the hang for what matters and what doesn't without doing the tedious process of outlining going forward, but it would probably be risky to make if the first strategy you try for an exam.

Lots of people do lots of different things for outlines, but the more work you put into their organization and brevity the more you will be mastering the material in a way that will help on the exam. If you just dump info into a document in the order it came in class you won't get nearly as much out of it.

3. There should never be a point where you have to work SO MUCH that you can't do other things. You'll get tired and burnt out and need down time even in the days before finals. Generally speaking big social events start to taper off from here to the end of the semester, but you really don't need to think a certain date on the calendar will pop up and then fun will be canceled.

4. Ideally you wouldn't care about looking prepared from day 1. It's a time sink and a trap for anxious 1Ls. You need to extract the legal rules from the cases you read that you can then use on the fact pattern you get on the exam, and you need to pay attention to the professor and flow of the course to see how everything relates to each other. Actual time spent in class (and even reading) is pretty inefficient at accomplishing both tasks.


Is there a fear with starting too early with exams/hypos? what if you use a lot too early and don't have some for later?

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thesealocust
Posts: 8445
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Last laps of the race, What to do now?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:42 pm

Don't exhaust your supply of useful practice exams, but it isn't too early to try. Many people have already had midterms and were already doing practice questions in anticipation of those midterms.

Learning how to take a law school exam is the most important and beneficial thing you can do 1L year, but few approach it with the exhaustive fervor that they approach class prep and rainbow highlighting.

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alicrimson
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Re: Last laps of the race, What to do now?

Postby alicrimson » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:45 pm

minnie7 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
minnie7 wrote:I'm still in the "read to look good in class" mode, and have yet to really prepare for the actual exam. It's tough to get out of this mentality because I obviously don't want to look dumb or unprepared in class, yet I know the real important part is the actual test. I have a couple questions.

1. There's about 5-6 weeks left. At what point should I start taking practice exams from professors? Should I start doing hypotheticals from other sources as well?(EnEs)?

2.Outlining- I did 2 out of 4 outlines from scratch during our weeklong break. If I find a good outline for a class, should I still make one from scratch, or should I just make that outline even better with my information?

3. Those of you that are social or like having hobby time, at what point and how much did you lower that? I personally play bball 3-4 times a week and like going out on the weekends. How much did you curtail this?

4.How do you change the way you read for class in these last few weeks? Did you stop caring to look unprepared, or did you read the same?


1. As soon as possible. You've been in school for plenty of time to make the experience valuable. Stuff from your profs is much more useful than other material because it will force you to apply (roughly) the same set of material you've been synthesizing during the semester.

2. A hypothetical law student can definitely do as well on an exam using other outlines (or no outline at all) instead of making one on their own. I would hesitate to recommend this to a first semester 1L, however, because the act of both condensing and organizing the material from 1L year is extremely important. Maybe doing it a few times means you get the hang for what matters and what doesn't without doing the tedious process of outlining going forward, but it would probably be risky to make if the first strategy you try for an exam.

Lots of people do lots of different things for outlines, but the more work you put into their organization and brevity the more you will be mastering the material in a way that will help on the exam. If you just dump info into a document in the order it came in class you won't get nearly as much out of it.

3. There should never be a point where you have to work SO MUCH that you can't do other things. You'll get tired and burnt out and need down time even in the days before finals. Generally speaking big social events start to taper off from here to the end of the semester, but you really don't need to think a certain date on the calendar will pop up and then fun will be canceled.

4. Ideally you wouldn't care about looking prepared from day 1. It's a time sink and a trap for anxious 1Ls. You need to extract the legal rules from the cases you read that you can then use on the fact pattern you get on the exam, and you need to pay attention to the professor and flow of the course to see how everything relates to each other. Actual time spent in class (and even reading) is pretty inefficient at accomplishing both tasks.


Is there a fear with starting too early with exams/hypos? what if you use a lot too early and don't have some for later?


Bingo. This is where knowing what is available comes into play. First year I had some classes where there were 3 exams available, 1 exam available, none, and 10. I crafted my strategy accordingly. For the 3 exam class, I waited until 2-3 weeks out. Through October and November I focused on supplementing and cementing my knowledge of the course. I wouldn't take an exam before you are comfortable with the material. I also think discussing professor's exam preferences in office hours is helpful. This way you can use them on your hypos from your supplements and get used to a good format.

Where you have classes with tons of exams, prep can start earlier and you can break tests down into parts and practice approach or up to where you are in that class. I also liked to ask teachers if they taught similar to another prof and used their exams. My goal was to always save atleast two full length tests to take the week-two weeks before the exam. I intend to use this approach again where feasible. Good luck!

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paulshortys10
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Re: Last laps of the race, What to do now?

Postby paulshortys10 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:13 pm

TTT




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