Law School 101: Tips on How to Prepare for your Finals Exam
Compiled by Archiebald Faller Capila
It is that time of the year again—the point wherein everything is now in a make-or-break situation. You have surpassed your class standings, creating a lot of room or space for improvement. You have surpassed your midterm exams, seeing that you still have a lot of adjustments to do for the next half of the semester. Now, you are faced with the only obstacle that stands in your way—the only hurdle between you and the end of the semester. It is indeed the Finals season.
Early in the semester, you have plotted everything. It feels like you have everything in place and according to plan. You have already initiated a well-balanced study schedule. Accordingly, with all your might and confidence, you believed that everything will work smoothly. However, throughout the course of your studies, you then fail to keep up to your assigned timetable and eventually revamp your plans for the same. You then slowly cram everything in the hopes of overcoming it all.
And at the end of the day, it all boils down to one crucial moment. At the end of the day, it is and will always be about the Finals examination.
Some students see the Finals as an additional time to prove that they deserve to continue their respective journeys in law school. Some students see the Finals as the last beacon of hope to elevate their status in school. Some students see the Finals as the only thing that can save their semester. Some students see the Finals as the only stretch that matters most in the school year.
Whatever the reason may be, we are certain that the Finals play a vital role in the life of a student. Done during the last stretch of the semester, the Finals is somewhat the last hurdle that needs to be surpassed in order to move on and eventually reach a higher year or a higher level for the said academic period.
Believing that it is one, if not the most important aspect of the semester, students try their very best in order to fully maximize their potential and eventually ace their exams for the said particular period. They do all kinds of things so as to prepare for the said Finals season. However, some students still fail to create a proper schedule in order to prepare for the said exams.
Some students still have a hard time managing their works for the said Finals stretch. It begs the question—how can you prepare for your Finals Exam?
In line with our advocacy in helping law students achieve their full potential in law school, Barrista Solutions lists down some tips in order to fully prepare for the Finals Examination. Below is a list of tips coming from law students and lawyers who had to endure a lot so as to surpass their respective Finals examinations.
1. Ready your notes per subject
For every class, it is impossible that you have not taken down notes. Whether the same be from your classmates, discussions of your professors, or lectures you picked up from online webinars from different legal barons, you must compile them and separate them according to topic. This will help you streamline the important topics needed to be understood deeply. These notes will help you sort out the important points of a particular topic you have a hard time understanding in full. Whether they be typewritten or printed, ready them in whatever manner you are comfortable with. It could either be printed or flashed on your laptops or tablets. Accordingly, do not forget to highlight the main topics they are under.
2. Stick to one reading material
Aside from your notes, you must have one particular reading material. If you will be using a lot of materials, you will have a hard time managing your time well and eventually lose a lot in the process. Stick to one reading material that encapsulates the lectures of your professors. Accordingly, use this as the main reading material and highlight certain topics that you remember were important during the lectures and recitations. This will help you give a glimpse of what your professor might ask for your Finals exam. Accordingly, before memorizing, try understanding the texts first. You cannot memorize something if you did not understand it beforehand. Granted that you are good at memorization, this will take a toll in the long run. So it is best for you to understand in detail the things in the book or reviewer you wish to use for your Final Exams.
3. Allot at least one day per subject
The key in studying for the Finals exam is time management. Accordingly, you could be overwhelmed with the fact that a lot is needed to be done along the way. This is where you should plot your review schedule very well. And to do that, you must be focused on one subject per day. You cannot cram several subjects in one reading. You will eventually breakdown and tell yourself that you cannot understand the things that you are reading.It is necessary that you allot your time and focus one topic at a time.
4. Reduce your time on social media
This has to be one of the hardest tasks out there for most law students. For a while, you’ll just be happily scrolling through your respective feeds on your social media platforms. You will then realize that you have been scrolling for hours now. The best thing to do this Finals week is to reduce your time on social media. For those who cannot control their online consumption, try to put up an alarm on whenever you reached a certain amount of time in surfing the internet. Accordingly, it is best to check your social media accounts only when you are on a break. And if and when you sue these applications, make sure that you only stay there for a couple of minutes. We all know that social media is addictive in the sense that you do not want to let go of your phones upon opening. Discipline is key during these times.
5. Take your needed breaks, but limit the same
As mentioned, you also deserve a break. The mind and the body can only do so much. You need to take a break from time to time because you cannot retain every piece of information without doing so. Rest is necessary in order to become successful. However, do not take such breaks for a long period of time. There are some instances that you feel like you no longer want to study. Take note, we are talking of breaks in between studies and not the full sleep you need. Try to discipline your body at this most crucial time of the semester.
6. Keep calm and understand a page at a time
Are you breaking down because it seems like you cannot understand a thing you are reading? Take a step back and breathe. You may have these random thoughts because you are so worried about how you will eventually perform for the Finals exam. Just remember, you are studying not only because you want to pass the subject but also to learn. If you will train your mind that you are doing this because you need to learn, everything else will follow. Understand one topic at a time. Do not rush yourself if you very well know that it will lead to nothing.
7. Don’t compare your pace with others
Do you feel like you are behind your friends’ schedules? Do you ask your classmates what they are studying and you see that you are already a chapter or two behind? Stop comparing and stick to your timetable. Your schedule is what matters most. You have planned everything accordingly. Do not feel pressured because some people are reading or studying faster than you are. Stick to your own pace. Never compare your achievements in reading to others.
8. Look for your peace of mind
Your well-being and inner peace matter in this time of your review. Try to relax and calm yourself down. Remember that you have already come this far. However, you must also remember that you did not come this far only to come this far. You must put into mind that in order to surpass the obstacle that is the Finals exam, you must be ready for anything. You must come prepared not only with equipped knowledge but with calm demeanour as well.
The Finals exam period is here and you may be thinking of ways on how to overcome it. May this list be of help to you during this time and in the near future. Good luck, future lawyers! May you all surpass this semester!