Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

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muscleboundlaw
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Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby muscleboundlaw » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:34 pm

Fellow students:

I am beginning the outline process now. We are about four weeks out from final examinations. I have gotten a bit stuck on estates in property, but will fully fall into it now that I am outlining in full.

It seems like everyone outlines differently. The main thing I have realized is that almost everyone does it.

Some I have spoken to have told me that they outline with two months left, while others told me that they started outlining LITERALLY before finals ( to anyone who has done this, please explain and also let me know if you found success doing this). I am obviously in between. I have spent much of the semester disconnecting myself from the stress and the panic of my classmates.

Still, I am feeling some angst with exams only a month out (plus my methods course has me sitting at a "B" right now, and it upsets me given that it's FREAKING METHODS).

Ease my upcoming stress by letting me know you succeeded in outlining this close to exams or even closer.

student4714
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby student4714 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:50 pm

When you outline means nothing as long as you understand the material and how to apply it.

If outlining two months before the test helps you fine. If doing it the night before works best do that.

You know what works best for you (or at least have a general idea), use that to make a plan for attacking the material, and then stick to your plan.

2L who was successful 1L started and I started outlining yesterday. Do what works for you and ignore everything else.

muscleboundlaw
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby muscleboundlaw » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:55 pm

student4714 wrote:When you outline means nothing as long as you understand the material and how to apply it.

If outlining two months before the test helps you fine. If doing it the night before works best do that.

You know what works best for you (or at least have a general idea), use that to make a plan for attacking the material, and then stick to your plan.

2L who was successful 1L started and I started outlining yesterday. Do what works for you and ignore everything else.


Good! This helps, trust me. I have enjoyed the semester so far, and have had a few blips in understanding certain topics. I obviously spent time on those to ensure full understanding. My only weakness is complete retention, but I figure that's why you study before the final for three days, because rarely does anyone remember everything from two months before.

I shouldn't say only weakness in L1. Just from understanding case work and the rule of law. I need to continue practicing hypo's, and MP's for torts.

toast and bananas
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby toast and bananas » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:29 pm

muscleboundlaw wrote:
Good! This helps, trust me. I have enjoyed the semester so far, and have had a few blips in understanding certain topics. I obviously spent time on those to ensure full understanding. My only weakness is complete retention, but I figure that's why you study before the final for three days, because rarely does anyone remember everything from two months before.

I shouldn't say only weakness in L1. Just from understanding case work and the rule of law. I need to continue practicing hypo's, and MP's for torts.


You will remember most of it by creating an outline + applying it to practice exams. After the 4th or 5th PT I barely needed my outline at all.

Kayre14
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby Kayre14 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:22 pm

I NEEDED THIS! I am using outlining as a HUGE review. I started exactly 4 weeks from my exam. I started to freak, because everything tells you to start early. I just did not see that being effective for me. We will see how it goes, but its good to see I am not the only one.

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pancakes3
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:40 pm

you can probably do all your outlining over thanksgiving holidays but if it calms your nerves to get started now, by all means.

arose928
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby arose928 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:29 am

I start outlining around the last week of classes so I have some semblance of an outline for whatever the last review class is and can ask any questions I have/pay attention to the spots where my outline has gaps.

I don't find for me it helps that much to outline in advance of the course being over because it's only once I've got the whole mess of material that I can start making sense of it.

If it's a closed book exam though, I basically do the outlining in the few days before, because it is the process of outlining that helps me learn and I need to retain it. If it's an open book exam I'll outline farther out because I don't need to retain as much and just need to focus on working with the material.

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sublime
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby sublime » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:34 am

No. you're fine. Relax.

I did well and can't remember outlining before thanksgiving for 1L or like December for upper level.

NoDayButToday
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby NoDayButToday » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:55 am

I think because of the timing of when my big fall semester 1L legal research and writing memo was due I didn't even get started studying for exams until around Thanksgiving. I told myself I would start earlier, and then I was definitely panicking. I agree with others that it's important to learn the material but more important to understand how to apply it. Practice tests are critical. I think this is about the time of year when I started rereading Getting to Maybe and it was helpful.

muscleboundlaw
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby muscleboundlaw » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:09 am

You guys succeeded even though you outlines during thanksgiving :O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Incredible. I had a gut feeling that it was possible, but I am trying to figure out how it's possible to cram so much information into separate outlines a week before exams end.

toast and bananas
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby toast and bananas » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:27 am

muscleboundlaw wrote:You guys succeeded even though you outlines during thanksgiving :O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Incredible. I had a gut feeling that it was possible, but I am trying to figure out how it's possible to cram so much information into separate outlines a week before exams end.


I can't stress this enough: your outline will be useless (for the purposes of strictly 1L exams) if you don't practice using them before the test. Practice tests practice tests practice tests. Try to use your professor's past exams and answers if at all possible.

muscleboundlaw
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby muscleboundlaw » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:30 am

toast and bananas wrote:
muscleboundlaw wrote:You guys succeeded even though you outlines during thanksgiving :O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Incredible. I had a gut feeling that it was possible, but I am trying to figure out how it's possible to cram so much information into separate outlines a week before exams end.


I can't stress this enough: your outline will be useless (for the purposes of strictly 1L exams) if you don't practice using them before the test. Practice tests practice tests practice tests. Try to use your professor's past exams and answers if at all possible.


My plan was to finish outlining by next week, and fill in the gaps for the remaining couple of weeks. I then plan on using the last week of class to review my outlines, and then use the days before exams to practice, practice, and practice? Is this good enough?

toast and bananas
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby toast and bananas » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:41 pm

muscleboundlaw wrote:
toast and bananas wrote:
muscleboundlaw wrote:You guys succeeded even though you outlines during thanksgiving :O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Incredible. I had a gut feeling that it was possible, but I am trying to figure out how it's possible to cram so much information into separate outlines a week before exams end.


I can't stress this enough: your outline will be useless (for the purposes of strictly 1L exams) if you don't practice using them before the test. Practice tests practice tests practice tests. Try to use your professor's past exams and answers if at all possible.


My plan was to finish outlining by next week, and fill in the gaps for the remaining couple of weeks. I then plan on using the last week of class to review my outlines, and then use the days before exams to practice, practice, and practice? Is this good enough?


My advice would be to start doing practice tests as early as you can.

muscleboundlaw
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby muscleboundlaw » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:20 pm

toast and bananas wrote:
muscleboundlaw wrote:
toast and bananas wrote:
muscleboundlaw wrote:You guys succeeded even though you outlines during thanksgiving :O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Incredible. I had a gut feeling that it was possible, but I am trying to figure out how it's possible to cram so much information into separate outlines a week before exams end.


I can't stress this enough: your outline will be useless (for the purposes of strictly 1L exams) if you don't practice using them before the test. Practice tests practice tests practice tests. Try to use your professor's past exams and answers if at all possible.


My plan was to finish outlining by next week, and fill in the gaps for the remaining couple of weeks. I then plan on using the last week of class to review my outlines, and then use the days before exams to practice, practice, and practice? Is this good enough?


My advice would be to start doing practice tests as early as you can.


Noted! Thank you.

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QuentonCassidy
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby QuentonCassidy » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:26 pm

Current 2L who finished 1L top of class, I still have never made an outline. This isn't to say that you shouldn't, but just to say that different people can succeed at law school doing wildly different things. That being said, if you worked fairly hard in undergrad to get good grades, you probably shouldn't blow off outlining just because of what a random internet stranger said. It is very much a "know thyself" situation.

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emkay625
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby emkay625 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:51 pm

Nope, you're fine.

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RSN
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby RSN » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:37 pm

When I was a 1L all the "you know what's best for you so do that" advice about outlining kind of freaked me out, since I had no idea if what I was doing was even remotely helpful. I decided to make up a sort of format and go with it, and then take a bunch of practice tests to see how it was working, and it turns out it was going pretty well. So my version of this advice is to say that you won't really know what's "best" for you or not, since you've never done this before, so just try to start organizing the rules and policy points from the cases you've read in a coherent way that makes sense, maybe taking a look at some old outlines to get a general idea of what they look like, and then get to practice exams.

Also, something that's mentioned often here but not enough is that if you haven't seen a law school exam before, it's really helpful to look at some model answers to figure out how you're supposed to write the thing, because no one actually teaches you that in school. It will freak you out a little because generally model answers by definition are people who did really well, but professors are by and large looking for a certain structure in exam answers, and just organizing your responses in the typical format will help you when they're grading even if you miss some issues.

One other point -- don't relax too much over Thanksgiving. Take the day itself for family and turkey and whatever, but you should be going hard every other day on your outlines, particularly if you haven't done much until then. Many people will slack off over the break, so those who keep working can get ahead of the curve, literally and figuratively.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby ManoftheHour » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:12 pm

Nope. I usually start outlining in November all the way up til December.

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pancakes3
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:17 pm

you can also ask your prof in office hours how best to prep for their class. my contracts prof told me flat out how to prep for her class and i copped an A-

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:17 pm

ur fine.

muscleboundlaw
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby muscleboundlaw » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:18 am

QuentonCassidy wrote:Current 2L who finished 1L top of class, I still have never made an outline. This isn't to say that you shouldn't, but just to say that different people can succeed at law school doing wildly different things. That being said, if you worked fairly hard in undergrad to get good grades, you probably shouldn't blow off outlining just because of what a random internet stranger said. It is very much a "know thyself" situation.


I am gathering, from the little discussion we have had, that your retention is great enough as it is. You're lucky. I definitely will need to outline. I get the material, but I have forgotten the majority of it since we started.

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RCinDNA
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby RCinDNA » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:16 am

No, don't worry - I agree with the above posters recommending that you concentrate on knowing and applying what you've learned through practice tests or active learning. That being said, if you are a 1L in your first semester, just remember how you learned best back in college and your learning style in general - trust in it. For some people, outlining was a way to review the material - for others, they reviewed the material consistently so they did not need an outline per se.

You won't really know if your approach worked until you get your grades back next semester so just make sure you understand the material, can apply it, do so under timed conditions, and are rested and healthy come finals.

marco1
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby marco1 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:25 am

I don't think you should necessarily worry. Outlining has two complimentary functions. First, the process helps you learn the material. Second (assuming an open-book exam), your outline will help you access information quickly and accurately under pressure. Some students don't need to make an outline to learn and organize materials, and many students who do make an outline fail to learn or mentally organize the course information.

Here's my recommendation: First, be patient and thorough with your studying. You aren't going to master everything your first year. But, the subjects aren't as tough as the seem in the moment. The key is understanding that it takes a long time to learn the skills thoroughly. Second, think carefully about what specific tools will help you perform well on the exam. Third, (and most importantly) don't waste anytime thinking about grades or exams. You can't control how other students perform, and you can't control how your exam will be assessed. You can control how you prepare. You have plenty of time to ace the exams. Just take the time to learn the material you're given each day, make progress each day, and ignore the noise.

Best of luck!

muscleboundlaw
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby muscleboundlaw » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:51 am

marco1 wrote:I don't think you should necessarily worry. Outlining has two complimentary functions. First, the process helps you learn the material. Second (assuming an open-book exam), your outline will help you access information quickly and accurately under pressure. Some students don't need to make an outline to learn and organize materials, and many students who do make an outline fail to learn or mentally organize the course information.

Here's my recommendation: First, be patient and thorough with your studying. You aren't going to master everything your first year. But, the subjects aren't as tough as the seem in the moment. The key is understanding that it takes a long time to learn the skills thoroughly. Second, think carefully about what specific tools will help you perform well on the exam. Third, (and most importantly) don't waste anytime thinking about grades or exams. You can't control how other students perform, and you can't control how your exam will be assessed. You can control how you prepare. You have plenty of time to ace the exams. Just take the time to learn the material you're given each day, make progress each day, and ignore the noise.

Best of luck!


Thank you!

The thing about most of this is my concern with my relative lack of concern. I feel like the material, once placed into memory, will be fairly simple to apply to a fact based scenario. Issue spotting isn't something I have had difficulty with, and I can structure an application to facts/ rule of law fairly well.

Then again, I only know my own experience. I may be completely wrong.

HaveMercy
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Re: Should I worry if I am beginning to outline four weeks out?

Postby HaveMercy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:49 am

toast and bananas wrote:
muscleboundlaw wrote:
toast and bananas wrote:
muscleboundlaw wrote:You guys succeeded even though you outlines during thanksgiving :O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Incredible. I had a gut feeling that it was possible, but I am trying to figure out how it's possible to cram so much information into separate outlines a week before exams end.


I can't stress this enough: your outline will be useless (for the purposes of strictly 1L exams) if you don't practice using them before the test. Practice tests practice tests practice tests. Try to use your professor's past exams and answers if at all possible.


My plan was to finish outlining by next week, and fill in the gaps for the remaining couple of weeks. I then plan on using the last week of class to review my outlines, and then use the days before exams to practice, practice, and practice? Is this good enough?


My advice would be to start doing practice tests as early as you can.

Should we start even though we don't really know BLL yet? That seems to be my problem...




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