Author: Academic Achievement Department

Ten Tips for Controlling Test Anxiety

You’ve spent hours – no, days – studying for the exam. You’ve reviewed and memorized and practiced as much as you could. You’ve checked and rechecked your laptop to make sure it’s ready to go. Then, just before the exam begins, the anxiety starts. You might feel your heart race, your body temperature go up, your stomach turn to knots, or your breathing quicken. As you open the test booklet, you may draw a blank or start to panic. As you begin answering questions, you might get easily discouraged and start to feel hopeless. If this situation sounds familiar to you, you may have experienced test anxiety. Although severe test anxiety is rare, even a small amount of added nervousness or pressure can hinder your ability to perform your best on an exam. In law school, where your entire grade is based on a single final exam, performing your best in that moment is crucial. To control your nerves and keep test anxiety at bay, consider using the following strategies. Try mindfulness. Incorporate short, guided meditations into your study sessions to improve your focus and reduce your stress. If you’re overly anxious during an exam, you can use the mindfulness techniques you’ve been practicing to ground you and help you concentrate. Take a break. If you really start to panic during an exam, take a bathroom break. The physical...

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Refresh Your Memory

We’re well into October and final exams are creeping closer and closer. There’s still a lot to learn, but it’s important that you periodically review what you have already covered. If you wait until the reading week to review all the material from a course, you’ll probably be left with an overwhelming amount of information to relearn. What’s more, you may not have time to get clarification of concepts that you don’t fully understand. To save yourself from the stress and hassle of cramming right before finals, be sure you’re doing some spaced review. Spaced review involves periodically reviewing...

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Time for a Mid-Semester Check-In

The start of October is a good time check in with yourself and evaluate your progress during the first half of the semester. Are you still feeling motivated and staying on top of your assignments? Great! Keep the momentum going. Are you feeling disengaged or even bored? Do you find yourself procrastinating? Are you feeling intimidated by the reading assignments or lost in class? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing a mid-semester slump. Fortunately, there is still plenty of time to get yourself back on track so that you can finish the...

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Advice From Our Fellows

In the learning process, it’s important to learn from those who know. So for this week’s post, we’re sharing some advice, insight, and suggestions from our academic fellows. Check out what these students think you should know as you tackle 1L year:   “I found it very helpful to get Monday and Tuesday classes read for over the weekend and also to actually read all the material. It is awesome how much you can already know for the final if you actually read the assigned material.” “Talk to your loved ones about the time commitment law school is going to...

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A Simple Exercise to Improve Your Focus

Mindfulness is a state of bringing your attention to the present moment. Practicing mindfulness often involves sitting still, focusing on your breath, and observing your thoughts and emotions without judgment. Incorporating mindfulness practice into your life doesn’t need to be difficult or take much time – even a short five minutes of mindfulness a day can have benefits. Of particular interest to law students is that practicing mindfulness can not only reduce your stress level but also enhance your cognitive learning. Numerous mindfulness studies have shown an association between mindfulness and improved academic performance. As we approach the midway...

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