The calendar no longer supports the idea that exams are a distant event. There are only seven weeks remaining before the end of classes. In light of the seriousness of the time in the semester, this week's tips will focus on exam preparation.
- Stop fragmenting your efforts and refocus. If you have been coasting through class until now, stop. If you have been focusing on extracurricular activities to the exclusion of academics, stop. If you have been partying instead of studying, stop. You need to prioritize your efforts for studies now.
- Take responsibility for wherever you are in your studies. If you are in good shape, congratulate yourself and plan the next step before you are tempted to rest on your laurels. If your studying is in shambles, do not blame your present situation on your professors, study partners, family, or whomever comes to mind. Own it and move forward.
As a student of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, you may take advantage of the many services offered through the Belknap Campus Health Center. Campus Health provides confidential, affordable, effective and student-focused medical, mental and health education services to all students in the university community. For example, Campus Health Services provides confidential psychiatric services at no-charge to any student for a variety of mental health issues including:
- New or existing depression or other mood problems
- Panic attacks or other forms of anxiety
- Eating disorders
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling totally "stressed out" or overwhelmed
- Problems with alcohol or drugs
Other campus health services include counseling, primary care, personal nutrition counseling and self-management support, prescription assistance, and Yoga and Pilates classes. To learn more about the services you can take advantage of this semester and throughout the school year, visit the Campus Health website at https://louisville.edu/campushealth/. The Student Health Center is a 5-minute walk from the law school and is located between the Student Activities Center and the Houchens Building and behind the Floyd Street Parking Garage.
I’m stressed! What can I do? (Attend the Academic Success Workshop TODAY at 1:00 p.m.)
- Structure your time carefully so that you know what you are going to accomplish each day and each week. You are less likely to waste time or overwork on tasks if you stick to structured time blocks labeled by task.
- Focus on each small task instead of becoming distracted by a multitude of other tasks. When you study 2-207 for Contracts, do not think about your Torts class. When you study “piercing the corporate veil” for Business Organizations, do not distract yourself with thinking about depreciation for Basic Income Tax.
- Condense the volume of information to the important information you will use on the exam. Keep condensing your outlines to focus on the “big picture” if you tend to bog down in details.
- Use positive self-talk so that you do not get discouraged. You have the potential of being your own enemy if you make negative comments to yourself during the remaining 7 weeks. Congratulate yourself for completing tasks.
- Minimize your non-law school commitments. If you work, cut back your hours. Avoid taking on additional responsibilities with organizations, community activities, or volunteer services.
Do you enjoy using the Examples & Explanations series to supplement your learning for a particular course? If so, be sure to stop by the Academic Success Office (Room 212) to review the most recent editions for many core courses, including Federal Income Tax, Property, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Secured Transactions, Domestic Relations, Decedents' Estates, Business Organizations, Torts, Professional Responsibility, and Criminal Law. You can check these books out during the semester.
What if I am on top of my reading, but feel clueless about some of the material?
- Go through your class notes and try to determine what specific questions you have about the course.
- Write down your questions and where the reference is in your notes/casebook so that you can find the spot quickly if you need to refer back to it.
- Read a study aid to gain more understanding about the specific topic.
- Some learners clear up their confusion by outlining the material. By “pulling it together” for inclusion in an outline, the material is no longer abstract or confusing.
- If you still have questions, ask for help from your classmates or your professor.
- The more specific you can be about your questions, the easier it will be for someone to help you.
- Have your class notes/casebook with you when you ask for help so that you can show the person the material that is confusing you.
What if I am behind on my course outlines?
- For each course, calculate how many weeks behind you are in the outline.
- Start with the course that is most caught up and finish that outline first. Then work on the next outline that has the fewest weeks to catch up and so forth.
- If you are equally behind in several outlines, start with the course that you think you can do most quickly.
- If you have not started any outlines, decide which outline will be the easiest to do and complete it first. Next easiest and so forth.
- Block off time in your schedule to work on each outline over several days rather than expect to find 8 or 10 hours straight for outlining.
- Set goals for when each outline will be current. Try to have all outlines completed within 10 days – the earlier the better.
- You will need to sacrifice weekend “fun” time to get on top of your outlining so that you only have to add new material each week.
You are in your seventh week of classes now. This week's tips are based on student questions that have been asked recently.
What is the best way to catch up if I am behind in my reading for one or more courses?
- Make your priority staying on top of the current readings for class. You will then be able to follow the class discussions.
- Fit in back reading as you can in small chunks (1 case or 5 pages at a time).
- On the weekend, read first for your Monday and Tuesday classes for the upcoming week. Then use extra time for catch-up reading.