We recognize that multiple choice exams in law school are nothing like those you experienced at the undergraduate level. At this week’s workshop, one of our Academic Success Counselors will go over tips and strategies to approaching multiple choice questions in law school so that you can approach your midterm and final exams with confidence. Please feel free to bring your lunch to enjoy during the workshop since it is held during the lunch hour. You do NOT need to RSVP for this event.
What if I told you to choose questions from one of three categories?
The first category is the hardest and worth fifty points. The second category is easier and worth forty points. And the third category is the easiest and worth thirty points.
As a law student, you would probably go through some logically thought out process to choose a category. Perhaps you would play it safe and choose the easiest questions because they guarantee you a good grade.
What if I did this after the test?
Automatically (without checking for accuracy), I give the students who had chosen the hardest questions A’s, the students who chose the easier questions B’s, and the students who chose the easiest questions C’s.
The moral of the story is that the easy route is not always the fastest way to your destination.
If you have academic goals and do not know how to reach them, visit an Academic Success Counselor for help.
You’re in the midst of finals now, and we in the Academic Success Department wanted to wish you luck as you wrap up the fall semester. We sincerely hope that all of the hard work you’ve put in this semester reveals itself through some great exam results. Heading into the holidays, we hope that you’ll enjoy the break from studying and that you’ll return to campus recharged and refreshed - ready to tackle the spring semester!
If you need any assistance over the next couple weeks, please don’t hesitate to swing by our department on the 5th floor to chat with a member of our team. If you’re looking for some motivation, please see the video below. Good luck on your final exams!
If your study group is not working for you, you must break up with it! Law school is the start of your professional career and you should handle ALL matters with this in mind. The reputation that you earn in law school will follow you into your legal career. So, what do you do when a study group is not effective? We have three recommendations:
1) Take a leadership role: If your study group is ineffective, it could be because there is no structure for the group. Without structure, most groups will fail. Someone must take a leadership role (not a dictator role). Before you “break up” with your study group, try taking a leadership role by asking the group to complete something concrete during the next session. For example, suggest that the group finalize a portion of an outline, complete a sample answer to an essay question, or complete 10 multiple choice questions together in the next session. Having a concrete task to complete may help the group focus and become more effective. You also could create an “agenda” with time limits for certain discussions or activities and hand it out to the group as a suggestion for spending your time together. With some leadership, the group may turn around. Give the group another two or three sessions to adjust to your leadership.
2) Give the study group session a time limit and communicate that time limit to your group: Study group sessions should not be indefinite because the session usually will “suck up” more time than is needed to accomplish effective group learning. The group will end up wasting too much time. You should limit study group time, for the most part, to 2 hours per course and no more than 4 hours in one day. Let your group know that you only have 2 hours to give to the group and stick to the time limit. Eventually, the group will learn that if it does not get started and get “on-task” the session will end (because you will leave) before anything is accomplished.
3) Communicate a respectful and courteous need to study differently: If the two ideas above do not work, then you do need to “break up” with your study group. As difficult as it may be, as a professional, you should communicate your needs to the members of your group in person. When you have this conversation with the group, you should use the word “I” often and focus on your needs and your learning. Do not accuse the group of being a waste of time. Do not “call out” any one member of the group. Do not allege that members are unprepared or unproductive in the group. Simply tell them in a brief manner that you need to study in a different way. Be careful of stating that you “need to study alone” because you may want to join another person or group in the near future. Be honest and be kind, but be firm that you are no longer going to be a part of the study group.
For all three of these recommendations, remember to keep your professional demeanor and do not let the stress of law school cause you to react in a manner that will harm your relationships with your classmates. Good luck!
Practice questions, both multiple choice and essay questions, are essential to your success in law school because law school exams are different than other tests. Success on law school exams will require much more than memorizing the rules. In fact, writing the correct rules on your essay exams will not earn many points for your grade. Students who know HOW to apply the rules have the most success in law school. The only way to learn HOW to apply the rules is to practice.
Using different problems to test your knowledge is the only way to learn to apply the rules in a variety of ways. Your law school exams will require you to apply what you know to a variety of different problems, often in a in a number of different ways (multiple choice, short-answer, essays). Practicing application of legal rules can come in many forms: doing the problems at the end of the reading assignment, answering true/false questions, answering multiple choice questions, drafting short problems/hypos and the corresponding answers, or writing answers to essay fact patterns.
When Should You Do Practice Questions?
We recommend that you do practice questions on a regular basis throughout the semester. You should do practice questions when your professor is “finished” covering a particular topic. These “new topics” practice questions should occur every other week or so as you go through the semester. Make a set time in your study schedule to cover “new topics” practice questions. Next, set a scheduled time each week to do “review topics” practice questions.
The most effective way to do practice questions is to keep doing them throughout the semester so that you do not forget topics that you cover early on in the semester AND so that you do not leave all of the practice questions for the end of the semester. Waiting until the end of the semester to do practice questions is a fatal mistake. Often practice questions will show you what you do not truly understand. When those areas become clear to you through practice questions early in the semester, you can go through the material again, talk to your classmates, ask questions of the TA, or see your professor to make sure you learn the material. If you wait until the end of the semester – or if you wait until you have “memorized” the material – you may get “lost” as the semester continues or you may run out of time to get your questions answered on all the topics you are missing in your practice questions. So, start early and repeat often! Schedule times for weekly practice questions.
With midterms fast-approaching, you’ve probably started to think about the format of those tests and how best to prepare. The majority of your midterm exams will have a multiple choice component. Don’t be caught unawares though; multiple choice questions on a law school exam can be drastically different from the types of questions you are used to from undergrad. Therefore, we hope you’ll join us for one of our workshops next week.
The Academic Success Department will host the third in its series of ASP workshops geared toward first-semester students titled Multiple Choice Strategies. On Tuesday, September 25th, we will be in room 455 from noon to 1:00 p.m. Feel free to bring your lunch, or a snack, to enjoy during the presentation. On Friday, September 28th, there will be an encore presentation from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in room 250.
We look forward to seeing you at one of the workshops next week!
Are you stressed out about pending final exams? Are you at a loss on how even to begin studying? Keeping up with outlines? Eating? Staying healthy? Sleeping? Well, while we here in Academic Success cannot guarantee a complete cure for any or all of these problems, we can certainly offer some tips and suggestions to best prepare you for your finals.
We invite all students, specifically and especially first semester students, to attend the Finals Preparation Workshop. To ensure everyone has an opportunity to attend, we have scheduled two workshops: one on Tuesday, November 8 and one on Thursday, November 10. Both will be in room 455 and will last from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
We will be serving pizza. However, in order to attend (or at least guarantee you get some free food) you MUST register for the workshop by coming to the Academic Success Department located in suite 580. Again, registration is a must.
We know each of you can succeed on your finals and we in Academic Success promise to provide the tools you need to relieve and reduce the unwanted stress.