Study Tips for Final Exams - Part I

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Reposted from November 25, 2014. Part 2 of this series can be seen here.

It’s beginning to be that time again – finals. To assist you, the library is starting a two part series about the resources available to assist with final exams. Whether you’re a 1L, 2L, 3L or LL.M. there is always a new tip around the corner that can assist with ‘hacking’ the exam process.

Law School Links(the Nuts and Bolts):

The basic nuts and bolts information about exams is on the Law School’s exam page. It is where all schedules, details and information about Exam Software can be located.

screenshot of library archive list

Exam Study Tips

A simple Google search will provide troves of exam study tips provided by law school professors and experts. Advice runs the gamut of exam strategy, study aids, study strategies and leveraging student groups.

The library also has a number of books that can assist with exam taking and study.  A complete list is in the Library New Student Toolkit . Many of these books are quick reads and available on reserve.

A good method for preparing for law school exams is to practice answering questions from past exams. For that reason, we have an exam archive which goes all the way back into the mid-1960s. Not all professors place their exams in the Law School’s exam archive. Some will post them on their individual TWEN site.

If you were unable to attend the Academic Success Workshops, Mary Beattie has created a TWEN course which has information for preparing for exams, time management, case briefing and synthesis as well as writing.

Staying Whole

You’ve heard it before but it bears repeating, another very important component of finals is keeping well. You’re not going to do your best if you are not physically well. Developing strategies for keeping cool under pressure will aid in wherever your legal career takes you. 

Time management

infograph of "how to be productive"

At the library we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of student’s time management skills. Time is the one resource that always seems to elude all of us. Starting to practice good time management skills now will pay dividends later. Some helpful hints:

Books & E-Books at the Library:

You probably don’t have time now, but Jennifer Cerney and Student Services provide Time Management Counseling.

Self-Maintenance

It seems so easy, right? But its easy to forget the need to keep yourself whole during a stressful busy time.  

Helpful books at the library:

infograph of "change your breathing, change your life"

General Tips:

Exercise

It will make you feel better. The on-campus gym will be open during finals.

Breathing

Remember the importance of breathing

Eating Right

Eating healthy is hard during finals. But for your brain to be in its best shape, its worth trying. Adding some brain ‘super foods’ won’t hurt.

Sleep

It’s hard to do but try to get the proper amount of sleep for your body. According to the National Institute of Health lack of sleep can affect motivation, mood, decision making, cognition, analytical thinking, memory and learning. All skills that are needed during finals.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness might be ‘in’ but it is ‘in’ for a reason. Professor Deborah Calloway has written a book on the benefits of meditation and contemplative practices. Where better to start than law school? Check it out:

Becoming a Joyful Lawyer: Contemplative training in non-distraction, empathy and emotional wisdom by Deborah Calloway (K120 .C35 2012 3rd fl New book Shelf)

Have some extra time? Check out these extra links:

Last Thought

Since Thanksgiving is this week, the last thought is about gratitude. If you aren’t well-rested, whole and balanced the rest of your life (and exams) will not be positive and productive. Use the break to reflect on what you are thankful for as well as sleep and spend time with friends and family. It will help build up your spirit for the month ahead.

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Jessica Panella
Head of Access Services,UConn Law

As Head of Access Services, Jessica oversees the day-to-day operations of the Access Services Department which includes the main desk, reserve operations, building, stacks and continuations management as well as document delivery/interlibrary loan operations. Jessica holds a B.A. from UConn and a M.L.I.S from Drexel University.