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Another Exam Prep Tool

Remember what the difference between your exam answer and the answer of the masses is going to be? The masses are going to be struggling just to get the correct answer down on the page. Unlike them, you are going to be deliberately crafting an excellent form of that answer. In order to maximize your ability to do this, you need to do one more thing: sharpen up a few weapons to bring to the exam.

Stock Answer Format. You need to pre-load a stock answer format that you will use in all of your exam answers into your gray matter.  Right now this may sound like a difficult thing to do, or an unnecessary luxury.  But before you start finding reasons not to do it, ask yourself the key question: “As I peer around at my classmates: how many of them are going to be doing this to equip themselves for the exam?” Here’s the answer: none of them.

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The Beauty of Prior Exams

Working with old exams is the starting place for passing everyone else up on the curve. My guess is that only 20% of your competition will do anything with past exams, let alone what I am going to recommend.

Remember, I told you to stop reading your case books with four or six weeks left before exams. The reason is that you need plenty of time and focus to do the outlines, memorize them cold, and then you should engage step two of Ninja exam prep. In step two you use as many past tests as you can find on the particular exam you are taking to go on the offensive and master how your professor tests the topics of the law in his class.

For some wonderful but unknown reason, law schools typically put together exam questions from prior years for almost every law school class. These exams are probably bound and put on reserve in your library.  With apologies to the U.S. Supreme Court Reporter, these volumes of exams are the most important set of books in the library. Get up from your laptop and find them right now.

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The Look and Feel of the Great Law School Exam

How does the majority of One Ls end up in the big middle? Exam preparation. Most people do just enough exam prep to get an outline done, or to find an outline somewhere and read it. They may even read their outlines a few times. That is the balance of what they do to prepare for the exam.


When these poor souls walk into an exam, do you know what happens? The exam fact pattern arrives and the twists and turns in it start to swirl all the concepts that they remember around in every impossible direction in their head. Or, they remember that the professor mentioned the key exam words that really confusing day in class two months ago and they struggle to place the concepts. And then another word comes, another idea.

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The Law School Exam Miracle Drug

And now for the grand finale of exam prep. The tactic I am about to suggest is the most powerful exam preparation tool that I discovered as a law student, and it is the most powerful thing I have ever heard of for exam preparation.  I did this with every law exam I took, and it never failed me.

By now you know that you must read the material. You must outline your classes. Everyone in the class that is not a total slacker is going to be doing this. The way you have separated yourself from these masses, though, is a few-fold. First, your outlines are tight explanations of the material, and you have memorized them for total immediate recall. Very few of your classmates will do this. I would guess, in fact, that less than 20% do this.

Next, you have discovered the wonder of the old exams. You have studied them carefully, and interacted with your outline to get very familiar with how the professor designs questions for the law in each section of your outline. It is moving day, and you are on the move. Only 10% of your classmates will do what you have done with old exams.

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