The California First Year Law School Exam, aka FYLSE, happens twice a year; in June and in October. This means that the time you have to study for the exam after finals can vary from one month to up to six months. With this huge difference in time available the big question is: How much time do you really need to prepare?
If you are in the camp of students who are looking at six months until your FYLSE this can be a blessing and a curse all at the same time. This large amount of time will give you plenty of space to learn the substantive law and do more than enough practice essays and MCQ’s. But this large amount of time can also be a trick. Many students see this extended amount of time and think that all they need is three months and put off studying.
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Whatever you do, don’t put it off. Yeah you have six months, use the whole time to study, what’s the worst thing that will happen? You get a perfect FYLSE score? If you do that please let us know how you did and if you used the whole 6 months!
Take the time you have and sit down and make a realistic study schedule. I want to really make sure you saw the word “realistic” because this is super important. You can make a million study schedules but if you are not being realistic about how you use your time or if you are not capable of holding yourself to this schedule all you have done is wasted your time.
Before making your study schedule get your study materials sorted out. Pick one or two MCQ books and use those specifically. Divide the questions in the books into your schedule and make sure that are reaching 80% correct on those MCQ’s before you move on.
Chose one way to write an essay. Use your schools IRAC format, a specific issue spotting and element tracking format, or however you were taught in school; but pick one. The worst thing you can do to yourself is becoming overwhelmed with a new tactic or method. There are many different ways to issue spot, outline, and write an essay. Do not take this time to re-learn how to write an essay. Pick one way and stick with it.
Your schedule should be fluid and should have room for change. Schedule every day to do one thing. If you just cant find the time to do one thing that day then find another day to make it up but don’t fall into the age-old trap of “I will have enough time to make it up later”.
Check out our past post on how to make a study schedule and use that to help you create a schedule that will be right for you. Make sure that your support network knows that you are preparing for the FYLSE and ask them to be supportive of you; ask them to hold you accountable. Hey, if they live in your house they better get used to it; law school is an entire family affair!
The Queen Bee of 1L