Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Final Exam Preparations... Law School Edition

Also known as how to survive these dreaded two weeks without going insane!

The first step is to breathe!

Remember... YOU GOT THIS!

In Law School exams are two weeks of pure madness if you do them right... two weeks of pure hell if you don't. I'm here to keep us firmly in madness and out of that other place :)

Here are my four steps to surviving exam week minimally scathed...

Step One: Start Prep Early

For me exam prep begins long before November, in reality my exam prep for this semester began last Spring when I was picking out my classes. Because of the massive amount of work that goes into exam preparations I start preparing by looking carefully at the exam schedule while choosing my classes. {if you don't go to an institution that gives you the exam schedule in your registration packets, well I guess  you don't have to start prepping a whole semester early} After carefully choosing my classes to minimize exam stress I begin my actual prep the moment school starts up for the semester. My notes are a huge part of how I prepare for exams, so I make sure to take good notes throughout the semester. I begin outlining/making flash cards/ actual review around Mid-October, and during the actual exam period try to do as much review and as little prep work as possible.

Step Two: Rest Well

The first instinct is to get as much studying in as possible, pull all nighters, cram until your brain hurts. But i've found that this actually results in lower scores {my personal experience only}. I don't study the morning of an exam. If my exam is at 9am I stop my studying at or before 10pm on the night before and don't pick it up again. I just don't. My night before an exam is better spent relaxing, decompressing, and breathing because if I study right up to zero hour I am often far to anxious to fully devote myself to the exam. I NEVER stay up past 10pm on the night before an exam... NEVER!

Step Three: Fight the Urge to... {insert problematic study technique here}

When it comes to studying do what works for you. If you're a group person, find a study group, if you're a lone wolf, well then you fly solo bro! Don't let other people pressure you into a study technique that doesn't work for you and how you learn. I personally am not a group person, I don't do study groups, and if I do I NEVER do them with my friends because I talk WAAAYYY too much for that to ever be effective for me. I have no problem with study groups in general, if they work for you do it, but they don't work for me. I'm a solo study type person. Knowing this about yourself is important. For your sanity, as well as for your GPA.

Step Four: Safely Decompress... and Begin Again

After each exam I take the rest of that day and just do nothing. I watch disney movies, drink wine, go get a pedi with a girlfriend etc... anything but pick up books and start studying for the next exam. I can do this for several reasons, but the number one reason is that unless I absolutely have to, i never take courses that have Exams on back to back days (see why step one is so important to me). I need time to simmer down after one exam before jumping right into another. If you don't have the luxuries of a full day between exams, at least take a few hours to decompress. 
I find that if I don't, by the end of the two weeks I'll find my self downing a large alcoholic slushie from Wet Willies, before going to a class party at which I was so drunk I told my professor I was drunk... but hey that's just me. I guess I should be glad I'm not a drink and dance on the table type girl... it could always be worse!

Happy Exam Week(s) Loves!
See you all on the other side... with cake, or maybe cookies!

Here's a cute little kitty, who just can't wait for me to graduate from law school, to get you through!