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How much more exam studying are you doing compared to undergrad?

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In undergrad, I would study a few days before exams. In LS, I've already started and exams are 2 weeks away. 

Also, in undergrad, I could just cram an entire course right before exams. Whereas in law school, I have been keeping up with everything and making a summary every week. I'm just holding on to the idea of apparently being able to just look at a summary in 2L and write exams. 

Edited by JusticeLordDenning
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3L here. I would not focus so much on the quantity of studying so much as making sure you: grasp the material, have an outline you have designed with the specific intention of answering questions quickly, and trying your hand at some past exams. When doing the practice exams, I would focus on two things: 1) see if your outline needs tweaks to make it more navigable; and, 2) see if there are concepts you are having trouble understanding.

Feel free to send me a private message if you need to rant about the process! I remember how daunting 1L exams were. You guys got this!

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I second what Bart said. It's about a good map/outline + exam practice. Once I moved from "studying" like I did in UG to this method, my grades improved dramatically.

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In undergrad, I just studied a bit the night before the exam. So far in law school, I've been spending about 7 to 8 hours a day on schoolwork. Started outlining over a month ago. 

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Are you talking about Zoom School of Law or real Law School?

I have done 0 readings this semester. Most of my friends in 3L are in the same boat. 🤷‍♂️

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4 minutes ago, mazzystar said:

Are you talking about Zoom School of Law or real Law School?

I have done 0 readings this semester. Most of my friends in 3L are in the same boat. 🤷‍♂️

That's just normal 3L

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lol i dont think i ever prepped for a class in UG or stress about exams 2 months out 

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Much less than undergrad. Create your summary, get familiar with your TOC, perhaps do a practice exam, and then move on. You shouldn’t be “studying” your materials in the traditional sense.

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5 hours ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

Much less than undergrad. Create your summary, get familiar with your TOC, perhaps do a practice exam, and then move on. You shouldn’t be “studying” your materials in the traditional sense.

are you a 1L?  how do you create your summary - prior to learning, or after? curious about your approach in more detail. 

Edited by zxcvbnm

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I track nearly all of my "productive" time and have been doing so since before law school. When it comes to employment, class attendance, class readings, etc. I'm confident that my logged hours are accurate within +/- 5% actual time. 

Here were my 2L stats for November 1 - December 24:

  • 12:09 readings
  • 23:39 studying
  • 18:26 CANs creation, revision, trial running
  • 43:44 class attendance
  • 57:09 class assignments (including a major paper)

I was by no means giving exams the attention they probably deserved. 

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16 hours ago, zxcvbnm said:

are you a 1L?  how do you create your summary - prior to learning, or after? curious about your approach in more detail. 

I’m articling at the moment. Before class I read the cases and made high level notes (a practice of which faded severely in 2L and 3L depending on the profs slides).
 

If the prof uses slides that got posted before class i would type them out so I could actually listen to the lecture rather than frantically type each syllable that comes out of the prof’s mouth. I would then underline key info from my pre typed notes that seemed important.

Depending on how proactive I felt I would start preparing my summaries early December for mid December exams. I doubt I spent more than a week on each summary. Following which I would “study” by conjuring scenarios in my head, and then practice finding the information in my TOC and summary. If I thought I was struggling with the material I would read over the online posted UBC law exams to see how I would answer the questions and where the information relevant to the answer to was in my summary. Maybe only once or twice I wrote out a mock exam response. If my memory serves me correct I only did it for constitutional law in 1L.

I never tried to memorize substantive information or study the topics in any detail once my summaries were done. This is useless. As long as you can flip through your summary quickly and accurately, summarize the law neatly and succinctly, then apply the law accordingly, you should do fine.

Of course it goes without saying that exam studying is particularized to your own styles. 

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1 hour ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

I’m articling at the moment. Before class I read the cases and made high level notes (a practice of which faded severely in 2L and 3L depending on the profs slides).

If the prof uses slides that got posted before class i would type them out so I could actually listen to the lecture rather than frantically type each syllable that comes out of the prof’s mouth. I would then underline key info from my pre typed notes that seemed important.

Depending on how proactive I felt I would start preparing my summaries early December for mid December exams. I doubt I spent more than a week on each summary. Following which I would “study” by conjuring scenarios in my head, and then practice finding the information in my TOC and summary. If I thought I was struggling with the material I would read over the online posted UBC law exams to see how I would answer the questions and where the information relevant to the answer to was in my summary. Maybe only once or twice I wrote out a mock exam response. If my memory serves me correct I only did it for constitutional law in 1L.

I never tried to memorize substantive information or study the topics in any detail once my summaries were done. This is useless. As long as you can flip through your summary quickly and accurately, summarize the law neatly and succinctly, then apply the law accordingly, you should do fine.

Of course it goes without saying that exam studying is particularized to your own styles. 

I know this is silly semantics but it sounds like you studied a lot, then. It just wasn't in the form of pre-exam prep/cramming. 

Most law students never read the cases before class, let alone make "high level notes". 

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I was very much a crammer. My study time increased significantly in law school. 

For most undergrad courses I could do fine by with going to most classes + doing the course work + studying for 1 or 2 days before a final. Those cram days might have be 8-10 hours of studying per day.

In law school that 1 or 2 days of exam studying probably became 4 to 7 days of cramming for most exams. And longer days too - sometimes I would study from 8 am until late at night. It was probably a 3x to 5x effort increase immediately before exams, vs. undergrad, if I had been tracking time. 

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I am studying significantly more. Unfortunately, I must refrain from further expanding on my experience as I have some studying to do 👀

Edited by LabouriousCorvid
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53 minutes ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

For most undergrad courses I could do fine by with going to most classes + doing the course work + studying for 1 or 2 days before a final. Those cram days might have be 8-10 hours of studying per day.

In law school that 1 or 2 days of exam studying probably became 4 to 7 days of cramming for most exams. And longer days too - sometimes I would study from 8 am until late at night. It was probably a 3x to 5x effort increase immediately before exams, vs. undergrad, if I had been tracking time. 

Exactly this for me.

I did a lot more ECs in law school though. Which was fun and probably helped me get to where I am now, but I'd have liked some more free time to enjoy Montreal while I still could 😄

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I am doing so much more studying. So, so much more. Most of my undergrad classes had papers instread of exams, and the exceptions tended to be easy ones where I didn't study at all. 

The problem is that, due to inexperience with studying (especially in the last decade), it's hard to know if I'm studying "correctly". Especially when two exams are 3-hour ones, and the other 2 are multi-day "take-home" exams. (Of course, we are in fact at home for all of them).

17 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

I'd have liked some more free time to enjoy Montreal while I still could 😄

Ahh, Montreal is better in small doses. When you look too closely, it turns out to all be hills, slush, and dried vomit on the ground. ;)

-GM

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I did way more studying in 1L as I wanted to do all my outlines from scratch and I spent hours trying to perfect them. I definitely didn't memorize things which was my focus in undergrad, but I needed my outlines to be as perfect as possible. For December exams, I would begin my outlines in early November. I wanted to be done outlines once exam period actually started so that I could then use my outline for practice exams and to be as familiar with the material as possible.

I'm now in 2L, and although grades are still important because I'm participating in next semester's formal recruit, my study habits have definitely changed. Part of it is a general lack of motivation and frustration with online learning, but all of my outlines were ones I got from past classes that I'm just updating with recent notes and caselaw. The outlines are complete for the most part heading into exam season, but they're not as detailed and I'm not as familiar with the material on it as I was at this time last year. 

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