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First-Year Student Research & Study Guide: Exams

A guide to help UC Hastings law students successfully manage their first year courses and legal research assignments.

Use Previous Exams as a Study Tool

"Do Practice Exams: If you really want to succeed, all it takes is practice."   (Alex Schimel - Law School Exams: A Guide To Better Grades)

Current Hastings students have access to the UC Hastings Exam Database.

Many students use the available previous exams from their professors to help them prepare outlines and study for the final exam.  This allows you to see how your professor writes exams, helps improve your writing skills, helps improve issue spotting, and helps improve your outline. 

Each semester, the Records Office deposits released Hastings Law exams with the Library - these exams are then collected by the Library on the UC Hastings Exam Database.  Faculty may also submit supplementary material to the Library (i.e., sample answers, model answers, explanatory memos, exams from classes that professors taught at other law schools), to be included with the exam questions.  All of these exams and supplementary material are available to current Hastings students on campus, or off-campus with a current Hastings ID.

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Additional Study Aids for Exams:

The Libary has a downloadable audio guide to taking law school exams:

  • Law School Exam Writing by Prof. Charles H. Whitebread [USC Law School]. Issued with the handout entitled Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance.

There are two chapters in Law School Materials for Success covering law school exams:

  • Chapter Five: Outlining and Exam Preparation
  • Chapter Six: Taking an Exam

Additional guides to law school exams are available in the "How To Succeed In Law School" section of this guide, including the following: