5 1/2 Weeks Left! What are you doing to prepare?

Some of you may be following the Three Tiered Study Method and as a result you have consistently reviewed your class material throughout the semester in addition to learning new material.  Keep doing this! 

If you have not been reviewing throughout the semester, now is the time to kick it into high gear. 

Create a study schedule for the next 5 ½ weeks that makes (1) time for intensive review of the material you have already covered; (2) time for condensing your outlines; (3) time for memorizing rules, and (4) time for PRACTICE.

Intensive Review:  Go through everything you have learned to date for each substantive course and make sure that you truly understand the material.  You may need to set aside several blocks of time for each subject.  You may need to review supplements or make an appointment with your Professor to discuss areas of confusion.  You need to focus on both the details and the big picture.  Ask yourself how each topic relates within the context of the entire course.

Condense your Outlines:  At this point in the semester many of your outlines may be getting pretty long.  So how long should they be?  While it depends to a degree on the class, generally you should be able to read over your outline a few times a day.  If that isn’t possible then it is probably too long.  And, since you still have 5 ½ weeks to go, your outlines will only get longer if you don’t start condensing them now. 

You may also want to consider creating “attack outlines” from your main outlines.   Attack outlines isolate and detail some of the more common issues you are likely to face on the exam and can give you a good jumping off point for creating a “generic answer” to that issue before you even set foot into the exam room.

Memorize Rules:  Now is also the time to start memorizing rules.  Use the method or methods that have worked for you in the past:  flashcards, repetition, mnemonics, etc.    

PRACTICE:  Finally, if you have not already started to practice, you need to start now.  There are many benefits to practice.  It gets you comfortable with the exam format and will ease your anxiety when the day of the final actually comes.  It also allows you to work on your writing and organization.  Most importantly, practice is the only way you can determine how well you really understand the material.  This in turn can help you to study smart during these last 5 weeks and focus in on your weak areas. 

Good Luck!  And remember, if you have any questions or need help developing your study plan for the weeks ahead, come by Academic Success and meet with a Counselor.

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