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Your chances of surviving finals season with humor and sanity intact will increase if you follow some common sense advice. STUDY 1. Do not panic. 2. Try to finish your outlines at least 2 days before the exam so that you have adequate time to look them over and study. 3. Make your own flash cards based on your outlines and cases you think are important. Flash cards can be helpful in testing yourself on the concepts. 4. Take practice exams if they are available. If your professors don’t have any, take other professor’s exams. Try to take at least one of them one day before the exam. 5. Plan out when you will study for each subject. Try to stick by the plan. 6. If you have an open book/note exam, type out all the cases and concepts in two pages. You probably know all the material, but won’t remember certain words. Don’t waste time looking through pages of things during the exam: Have skeleton concept outline right in front of you in easy-to-read font. SLEEP, EAT 1. Do not panic. 2. Sleep well — 8 to 10 hours a night starting at least two days before the exam. This advice is from an old high school math teacher and has worked well in my lifetime. You want to sleep well two days before the exam because you probably won’t be able to sleep well the night before, as you’ll be filled with adrenaline. 3. Do not eat too much right before the exam. You want all your blood going toward your brain. Eating too much would make your body work on digestion. 4. Do not eat proteins before the exam. Proteins are harder to digest than carbohydrates. 5. Do not drink too much coffee before the exam. Besides not wanting to run to the restroom while taking an exam, you don’t want to be too wired for the exam. 6. Try to keep yourself healthy so you wouldn’t get sick. PREPARE 1. Do not panic. 2. Make sure you have enough pens, pencils, and whatever else you need. The last thing you want to do is get distracted by silly little things. 3. Warm up your brain! For everything we do in life, we need to warm up. Taking an exam is no exception. You don’t have to study right before the test. What I mean is to at least read something before going into the exam. If you have an early morning exam, read the cereal box, read the funnies, read something. Get your brain functioning adequately before the exam. 4. Get to your exam site early — at least 10 to 15 minutes before the exam. You don’t want to worry about missing an exam. If you have trouble getting out of bed early in the morning, ask an early-riser friend to give you a call an hour before the exam. 5. Pick a spot that is comfortable for you in the exam room. I prefer to sit way up front because I hate looking at other people writing. 6. Take a watch that doesn’t beep or make a lot of noise that you are comfortable looking at. Digital watches are probably the best. 7. Do not try to remember things right before the exam! Either you know it or you don’t at that point. You will only freak yourself out by trying to remember something specific two seconds before proctor says “Go.” AFTER THE EXAM 1. Do not panic. 2. Do not discuss how you did on the exam or ask others how they did. 3. Forget about the exam you just took and study for the next one. 4. Treat yourself, but don’t get completely wasted, unless you’ve just finished your last exam of the semester. Good luck! Reprinted with permission from Haeji Hong’s helpful Web site, which has her law school outlines, among other things. Hong survived law school and is now practicing in California.

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