Should I Study the Day of a Law School Exam?
Should I Study the Day of a Law School Exam? It can be very tempting to want to wake up early the morning of an exam to get a few last hours of studying in. Try to resist this temptation! It is not usually a good idea to study the day of a law school exam. There are better things you could be doing with your time in those last remaining hours. You are likely going to feel stressed and overwhelmed that day (perfectly normal!), but you don’t want to do anything that could add to that. If you’re feeling panicky and trying to frantically review the information you probably already know, you risk unnecessarily confusing yourself. You don’t want to risk altering what your brain has already stored correctly. Trust yourself and the studying that you have already done!
Should I Study the Day of a Law School Exam?
Don’t study the day of a law school exam. Instead, here are a few things that you should be doing:
1. Your morning routine.
Don’t get up earlier than you have to – make sure that you are still getting a good night’s sleep. You need to be as well-rested as possible as sleep deprivation will inhibit your brain from working the way you need it to. However, if you have a morning exam, get to your exam location early!! Don’t take any chances, especially if you’re a commuter as you can never guarantee traffic. My advice is to always set multiple alarms, just in case you sleep through the first one (it happens, trust me). Don’t do anything that could put you at risk for being late!
2. Get something good to eat.
Never take an exam on an empty stomach. Your brain will feel just as starved as your stomach does! I’m not typically a breakfast person, but on days of exams, you have to make sure you are eating. Keep your body in as good of condition as possible to keep you performing at the level you need to be.
3. Test your exam software (if necessary), and prepare in case of technical difficulties.
I’d advise you to do this earlier than the day of, but if you haven’t, make sure that your exam software is working properly on your computer. Companies that produce the software update to new versions frequently, so always check that you have the proper one. Technology is a fickle thing, you never know when something might go wrong during the exam. Once you get to school, make sure you grab some extra supplies just in case you have to switch to writing your exam. This happens, but shouldn’t be a big deal if you are prepared to handle it.
4. Make sure you have what you need.
Check out our law school final exam day checklist! You don’t want to forget anything. It is easier to overlook, misplace, or forget something when you are stressed out so we recommend you carefully review the checklist!
Is studying the day of the exam ever helpful?
One situation where studying on the day of a law school exam could offer some benefits? If your exam is closed book. Looking over some rules at the last minute does help some students. (However, you also risk making yourself overly anxious — so know yourself!) If you’re not allowed access to any of your materials, one thing you can do is make a condensed list of the rules you just can’t memorize. This list can then be reviewed just before the exam in the hopes that some of it sticks. Try not to disturb information you are already confident in. But if there is something you don’t understand, you probably won’t cause much damage by trying to read over these rules at the last minute.
When your exam is open-book (that is, when you are allowed to use your outlines)? trust in yourself that you put the necessary information in there. If there is a specific rule that you’ve just struggled to remember, trust that you know where to find it under pressure.
The most important thing when going into an exam is to trust yourself. Trust your preparation. Trust in what has gotten you to this point. You know the material. Now dominate your exam!
Laura Sigler, a JD Advising bar exam essay grader, who graduated cum laude from Wayne State University Law School wrote this post.
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