Law School Final Exams: Last-Minute Prep and Things You Should Bring with You to the Exam

Happy December!!!

My first exam is in less than 48 hours (SOS). I am sure many of you have exams coming up very quickly as well (if you have not already had one or two). Now that I am in my third year, I have exam week to a pretty good science. Here are my best tips for last minute exam prep and things you should bring to the exam.

1. Download Exam Software
Most law schools offer online exam software so that you can type your essays. At my school, we use Exam4 and we have to download a new version every semester. I make sure to do this at least a day before my first exam just in case a disaster happens in the process.

2. Find Exam # and Write it Down
Many law schools utilize anonymous grading. This means you are assigned a random exam identifying number which you will use to identify your exam. Then when the professors are grading, they are not able to tell whose exam is whose. For my school, we have an online portal where we get our exam number for each semester.

I always write my exam number on a sticky note on my computer to avoid every writing it down on an exam incorrectly.

3. Pack an Exam Day Bag
I like to make up a little bag with all my exam day essentials. I have a few staples that I MUST have with me for my exams and this way I always have them ready to go. Here is what a pack:
  • Pencils 
    • For the scantron multiple choice questions. I always take several just in case!
  • Eraser
    • I don't trust mechanical pencil erasers.
  • Ear Plugs 
    • The sound of 30-100 people typing frantically can be very distracting and a cheap set of foam earplugs drown all that out. You can find them at any local drug store or supermarket or on Amazon. 
  • Tissues 
    • Just in case you get the sniffles or the exam makes you want to cry. 
  • Highlighter
    • For the long essay's, a highlighter helps me spot the big issues. 
  • 2 Pen Colors (Red & Blue)
    • Again, this helps me with issue spotting and organizing my essay answers. 
A few other things I sometimes bring:

  • Coffee for the morning exams 
  • A water bottle 
  • A snack for a late afternoon exam
  • Mints or Gum 
  • Cough drops if I have a cold 
The contents of my little exam day bag!

4. Lay Out a Comfy Outfit 
I like to wear a balance of comfy and cute to my exams. I don't want to look completely homeless but I also want to be super comfortable. My usual exam wardrobe is leggings, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a cardigan. I never want to be cold during exams so layers are a good idea. 

5. Have Quick Breakfast Ready 
For morning exams, I always like to have a quick and easy breakfast ready to go. I don't want to take an exam on an empty stomach but I also enjoy sleep too much to wake up super early for a gourmet breakfast. My go-to's are usually cereal, oatmeal, a bagel or I stop and grab a Tom Hortons muffin on my way to school. 

6. Set 1,000 Alarms 
I am TERRIFIED of sleeping through an exam so I set way too many alarms to ensure I wake up on time. You simply cannot be too careful when your entire grade relies on one exam. 

7. Sleep!!!
Seriously, get a good nights sleep. Taking an exam with an exhausted brain is just not a good idea. Your mind needs to be at it's best. I shoot for at least 7 hours the night before exams. (the rest of finals week I am lucky to get 4-5 hrs a night)



  1. Replies
    1. Tim Hortons is a coffee/donut shop chain. I love their Chocolate Chip muffins and I drive by a Tom Hortons on my way to school so I often stop and get one for breakfast.