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Ninja Exam Prep

Professional Golf Association tour events are scheduled to play four rounds of golf, with one round per day running Thursday to Sunday. Word is that the players look at each of the days of the tournament differently. Thursday and Friday are the days where players find out who is on their A game that particular weekend; golf is punishingly fickle. Sunday—when the final round is played—is drama day, as everything is resolved on one or two shots, and every golf fan is watching on TV.

But Saturday? Saturday is affectionately referred to by the players as moving day. Saturday is where the A players who have their A game that weekend play the round with the deliberate purpose of charging to the front of the leaderboard. Saturday is when players get aggressive. If they falter, they fall. If they stay on their A game, they climb. The goal is to outplay the other A players in a short burst of expert play to separate their effort from the crowd.

In law school, exam prep is your Saturday, it’s your moving day. Ninja law students don’t work much harder than their cohorts; they work much, much smarter. Exam prep is when your aggression with the exam takes over. You are not going to be on your heels, backpedaling into your answer to the exam. No. You are going to be moving forward, attacking, all the way to and through, the exam. As I discuss below, the aggression starts with the outline you have put together and is finished with using past tests to make you the best prepared law student when you all sit down for the exam.

The separation between you—Law School Ninja that you are by now—and the “huge middle” law student begins with the outline. You are not going to simply read the outline several times before the exam. That is what most people do. Well, most people don’t even do that. Most people barely get done with their outline a day or so before the exam. It ends up being 50 or 60 pages long, and so all they can do is gloss over it quickly a few times before they take the test. And, believe it or not, that is enough to get many of them into the middle of the class.

But here is what you are going to do: You are going to have your outline for each class done five weeks before the exam. Yes. Five weeks before. Better yet: six. Why? Because you are going to need time to do a couple things with your outline that will dramatically separate you from the masses come time for the exam.

After all, it’s Saturday, moving day. The performance rubber hits the road right about now, and you are about to set yourself apart from the huge pack of conventional law students in your school. Frankly, if you do what I tell to do in my book you will be better prepared for the exam than about 90% of law students in every law school in the U.S..

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