Study tips

9 Dec

Well, I am halfway through my first semester of law school finals, and although I cannot say for sure how successful I will be as a student, I thought I’d share a few of the study tips/strategies that I’ve found most helpful.

1. You’ll get bit more burnt out about everything after each test. So before your first exam, do some serious studying/preparation for your last exam as well as your first.

2. Find the place(s) that are best for you to study and stick with them. For me, I have an oversized chair in my house, a coffee shop a few blocks away, and my local library. Now, I do live a good distance from my school (about 40 miles) but I hated studying in the library. Tried it, got overwhelmed just by the amount of stress, and said never again. I hit up school for review sessions, to go over practice exams, and to take my exams.

3. Realize there are only so many hours that you can study in a day. It’s different for everyone. Be realistic about it. If you’re one who can study 18 hours a day, then maybe you can just study for each exam in the few days before you take it. But if you’re a 6-hour person, you’re going to need a few more days.

4. Don’t push yourself beyond that limit- it increases burnout.

5. Fight burnout by doing things that other normal people do. I go to the gym just about every day and I eat dinner with Mr. Even if we’re only sitting down for 20 minutes and it’s a cereal night, it’s the mental break that matters.

6. Study groups are not for everyone. Don’t feel like you’re at a huge disadvantage if you aren’t a part of one.

7. Doing practice exams is a HUGE advantage. You’ll see how you work under the time constraints, get a feel for the types of questions that your professors ask, and you’ll be developing a skill that is completely separate from what you’re learning. Test-taking is a skill in itself and one that you can only get more skilled at with practice.

8. Give yourself breaks while you’re studying. When I’m doing a decent job of focusing, I’ll give myself 15 minutes for every hour spent studying. If the day isn’t going so well, then 10 minutes every half hour. While it may sound like a waste of time, it keeps me from walking away entirely.

9. I try to limit my coffee to a cup or two in the morning, and then drink tea during the day. Green tea especially keeps me caffinated, but not to the point of a stomach ache or jitters.

10. Get up every morning (including test days) and shower, get dressed. etc. Whatever your morning routine is- stick with it. Make like studying/testing is your ‘job’ and you’re likely to go about it with more diligence than if you’re wearing pajamas and a messy bun or baseball cap.

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