How To Prepare For Law School Midterms
While law school finals get most of the attention, midterms can play an important role in your law school career. Sure, final exams make up the majority of your grade and therefore deserve the majority of your focus and effort. No argument there. Midterms on the other hand serve several key purposes. First, midterms usually factor into your final grade calculation. Second, midterms can act as an important gauge for how well you understand the material. Lastly, midterms can provide insight into how your professor tests and insight into what you need to focus on. So, while at first blush midterms may not seem like an important aspect of law school, they really are. Check out these specially curated tips we’ve created to help you ace your midterms.
How To Prepare For Law School Midterms
Outline, Outline, Outline
By the end of law school, you will be a professional at outlining. You will be able to create sub-headings for sub-headings! Check out our detailed guide on how to write a law school outline to make sure you’re doing everything right!
In order to perform well on your midterms, it is important to start outlining as early as possible. Not only will this save you time later on, but you’ll get a head start on learning and retaining information. While getting the motivation to start outlining can be tough, the sooner you start the better. Many students often procrastinate on starting the outlining process and waste precious study time going through and making outlines. Don’t be this person! Start early, and in the process, you will have commenced studying without even knowing it.
Take Advantage of Office Hours
Office hours and law students go together like peanut butter and jelly. They are a match made in heaven. You need to take advantage of office hours. Learn how to make the most of office hours and get the information you need to rock the exam. Meeting with professors will allow you to perform well on your midterms and get a better understanding of certain material. Do not fall into the trap of telling yourself to remember an issue for discussion during office hours. Chances are you will forget. You want to avoid rolling into office hours days before a midterm with a laundry list of topics. Instead, simply make a habit of jotting down issues and continuously visiting office hours every one or two weeks.
Don’t Take Midterms Too Seriously
At the end of the day, midterms are just not as important as law school finals. They are worth a lower percentage of your grade, test fewer concepts, and are generally much lower stake. As a general rule, midterms are usually never worth more than twenty percent of your grade. Although you should take midterms seriously, there is no reason to pull an all-nighter or read textbooks back to front. You don’t need to completely neglect your other courses to study for a midterm. Again, this isn’t a final exam. Instead, treat midterms as an appetizer to the final exam. Use midterms as an opportunity to test study strategies and figure out what material to focus on for the final.
Utilize Practice Questions
The only way to truly see how well you are performing before a midterm is to work on practice questions. You might be thinking, “practice questions? For a midterm? Give me a break!” Hear us out. Professors almost always have practice questions available for students to use prior to either a midterm or a final. Many times, these practice questions are taken directly from previous exams. Even better, professors can be notorious for recycling old questions. Taking the time to analyze and review practice questions can be a huge leg up come test day. You learn how your professor likes to test and where you need to improve. It’s a win-win.
Join or Form a Study Group
This tip is applicable not only for law school midterms but for success in law school overall. As a part of a study group, you have the opportunity to brainstorm certain issues, ask questions, and gain perspective. The goal of a study group should be to help every member, including yourself, to do better on an exam. Learn more about how to create a successful study group here! Study groups are great outlets for venting frustration and understanding how other students interpret subject material.