How to deal with exam stress

Hello! This is it, the last exam of my law degree is coming up this Friday. I cannot wait to get it done and¬†finally get excited for graduation! In honor of this, I thought I would share with you some of my law school de-stressing techniques that I’ve developed in the last two years. Maybe some of these could be helpful for you.

The first thing I do is print out a basic calendar on which I plan a study schedule. On here I try to detail what subjects I will study in a day and what my goals are for that day. I will also mark down times that I will dedicate to a break such as a workout, a walk outside, or a movie. This allows me to visualize the time I have to study and will normally keep me on track to feel prepared for my exams. Marking down breaks also helps me to feel less guilty when I do take time away from my books. It is so important to get out of your study bubble once in a while and get some sunlight or have conversations that aren’t related to your subject. Take breaks!

Next, I try to stay healthy. By this I mean I try to maintain a good sleep schedule, I try to eat good whole meals, and I try to drink lots of water. I’ve found that my body and mind respond better to schedule and consistency which can be very helpful during exams.

When I do get hit with bouts of stress, and they do happen, I try to reach out to my profs or classmates for reassurance. Whether it be for specific questions or for general advice, it is always good to talk with people that are aware of your situation. This can help prevent from developing even more stress. I try to also not get too upset with myself if I do get stress, it is obviously very normal to at times feel overwhelmed, but it is important to know what helps you de-stress.

Most importantly, I try to be kind to myself. It has been a long journey discover what I need in order to perform at the level that I wish to achieve. What I’ve found to be the most important lesson is realizing that what I need to do to succeed is not what my classmates need to succeed, and how I study may not be how my classmates study, and that is ok. I also try to set myself achievable goals that allow me to live a healthy lifestyle while still working hard. It is all about balance and knowing what you want to get out of this experience. Compared to when I did my first degree at home, I discovered in law school as an international student that balance was so important if I was to enjoy this incredible adventure I am on while still performing well at school.

A final tip, of course, is to try and stay on top of your work during the semester. This just makes doing these things above so much easier when you’ve learned the material before, you have notes on the subject, and you’ve done readings in preparation. It isn’t necessary really, people are able to perform really well without it, but it is such a smoother process when you don’t have to teach yourself a semester’s worth of material in a week.

Though most of these are common sense or have been said before, I hope this can help some you when you law exams come around. Perhaps I wrote this more for myself as I slowly work towards my final exam.

Happy studying everyone!