Chances are pretty good that you were surprised by your exams. I would suspect this surprise was manifested in at least some of the following ways:
1. The three-hour "blink of an eye": I'm betting that your feeling like this was the shortest three-hour time span of your life. You were probably shocked at how fast it went by and how much more time you would liked to have had, in order to create a winning exam answer.
2. Fact pattern chaos. You were probably surprised at how little guidance the exam writer provided. You were probably expecting something closer to undergraduate exams, which lay out what the grader expects to see in your answer. Instead, you may have gotten a jumbled fact pattern that required intense and swift sifting, simply to get a basic idea of what was going on.
3. Open book bait and switch. If the exam was "open book" you were probably fooled into thinking you would actually have any time to look things up.
4. Substantive bait and switch. You may have been tested on something that was never discussed in class. You're thinking that this was clearly unfair.
5. Organization chaos. You've always thought of yourself as analytical, logical and organized. And yet in all of the chaos of exams, you found yourself rambling where you intended to be succinct and jumping from point to point, in the vain hope that it would all somehow make sense.
Now for the advice. As soon as practicable after grades come out, schedule an appoint with your professor to discuss your exam. Ask for (and don't take an implied "no" for an answer) comprehensive feedback on you exam. Seek to understand how you did, in terms of writing style, organization, persuasiveness, analysis and demonstration of a general ability to write in a lawyerly fashion. Attempt to break down your exam into these components and evaluate where you need to improve. Be courteous but relentless until your professor has provided you with candid feedback.
Next, I'm guessing that some of the chaos you experienced may have been due to the fact that you didn't know the "black letter" law as well as you think you did. As a result, it was more difficult for you to spot legal issues than you realize. The way to prove my theory is to ask your professor specifically for issues that you missed. If you missed them, it was probably because you didn't have sufficient command of the various subsets of the law you learned, especially the nuanced areas like minority rules.
If after you have done a comprehensive and objective exam post-mortem, you find that my suspicions are correct, then take heart. All of these can be overcome. The Pyramid Outline method is a good start. Next semester, start outlining and boiling down the material as soon into the semester as possible. Then, start working with it as eary as you can by writing practice exams. The sooner you do both of these, the more quickly you will begin to master the material. It will also enable you to attack exam fact patterns as a real lawyer would- sifting through the nuances of the facts, identifying the legal issues they present, discussing both sides of the law and the issues.
The bottom line is that with the LSAT, you take it once and you're done. With law school exams, you're just getting started and will, in effect, be taking exams for the remainder of your legal career. Perfect your craft and become the best lawyer that you can be. Your future clients deserve it.
And while you're at it, pick up a copy of my book, Law School Labyrinth- A Guide to Making the Most of Your Legal Education (