Rule Statements on Exams that Get Top Grades

Hand writing word rules, for rule statements

There are ways to write rule statements on exams that get top grades.  Many students don’t know how to do this, even though it’s not a difficult skill to master. Specifically, students fail to provide thorough rule statements. A thorough rule statement is one that accurately defines the primary issue, each relevant word in the issue, and any related issues. Fact Pattern Example Brad and Bella are in the same high school math class. One day before class, Brad thinks it would be funny to pull the chair from under Bella as she is sitting down.  He quietly goes to Bella’s chair,...

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The Rule Dump: #1 Law School Exam Mistake

Wrong way sign

The rule dump is the number one mistake students make on their law school exams. This is when the student throws out as much information from the course that they can remember, hoping that some of it will stick. Usually the rule dump, also called a brain dump, occurs all on the first page of the essay. Let me explain why professors hate it and why it is hurting your grade. College Exams In college, the best grades go to student answers that have lots of information.  This is because most college professors test students on knowledge retention. In other words, if...

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Do I Need Tutoring Services?

Woman providing tutoring services to law student

Are you considering tutoring services to help you next semester?  Maybe you got your grades back and you didn’t do as well as you wanted. Or perhaps you just want to do better with a little extra help. Whatever your situation, law school tutoring services can help you reach your goals. Law School Professors Law schools don’t provide the individualized attention you need to reach your full potential. At many law schools, professors are not available, will not discuss with you how to write law school exams, or will not review your practice exams. This is because most law schools reward professors...

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10 Exam Day Tips

Don't panic sign for exam day tips post

Looking for exam day tips? It’s the end of the semester and most of you are preparing for final exams. DON’T PANIC! By following these 10 exam day tips you can improve your grades. The principle behind these exam day tips is simple: calm students outperform nervous and tired students every single time. Let me tell you about John (name has been changed), one of my friends at the elite law school we attended. John is very intelligent but he had one problem: he got overly nervous before exams. On the first morning of the bar exam I noticed that he...

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Study Group How To

study group

Are you wondering whether you should join a study group, or if you're in one, how to make it work better? There is an ancient Japanese proverb that says: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” In general, that is true. But study groups that are not designed well can lead to pooled ignorance. Advantages One advantage of study groups is that it creates accountability. If you know you must complete a group project by a certain date, you're going to get it done. But if you're not convinced, here is a scientific article on the benefits of small...

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Learning Faster with the Feynman Technique

Confused student.

Have you ever left class wondering what your professor was even talking about? The Feynman Technique will help you learn material faster and at a level where you will remember the concept for years to come. Professor Richard Feynman was a Nobel prize winning physicist who had the nickname “the Great Explainer.” By following four steps, you will learn a topic well enough to remember it on the final exam and the bar exam. Step 1 Step one: write the name of the concept you want to learn at the top of a page (try to handwrite as much as possible; see...

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Answer an Essay Question Before You See it!

Word test on chalk board.

Would you like to answer an essay question before you see it!  Want to have more time on exam day to think through your answer? You can have 60% of your essay exam complete before exam day with this preparation method. Ideally, you should already have three sets of notes, as I mentioned in my episode called “Three Sets of Notes Method.”  In addition, you need to create a fourth set of notes, which I call your Exam Answer outline. This is an organizational tool that will allow you to move quickly during the final. Also, you will write a much...

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How to Make a Law School Outline

Coffee and notepad for making a law school outline

Do you need to learn how to make a law school outline? Your outline is, nothing more and nothing less, than your blueprint for doing well on the exam. This means understanding law school exam grading, which I cover in detail in the episode called Law School Exam Grading. First, let’s discuss what you should NOT do when creating a law school outline. A mistake that many law students make is to take their class notes, rearrange them a bit, and then place them into their outline. That is not an outline, but rather a rearranged set of notes. Also, do NOT...

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When to Use Law School Study Aids

Person at desk with a book covering their face

[vc_row triangle_shape="no"][vc_column][vc_column_text]Have you wondered when to use law school study aids? Perhaps you have heard some 2Ls or 3Ls talk about certain study aids that helped them get an A in a class. Maybe one of your friends bought one of those 3L’s study outlines. If you are considering using a commercial study aid, please read this first to learn how to effectively use these study aids. Commercial Law School Study Aids A commercial study aid is anything other than what you created. This can be outlines, hornbooks, treatises, notes from a prior year, case briefs, audio, video, anything that you did...

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