Survival Tips for Taking the Exam

  • Expect a certain amount of tension. The feeling is normal and it can motivate you.
  • Cope with your tension through exercise and relaxation techniques.
  • Avoid last minute cramming. Avoid all-nighters that disrupt your regular sleep patterns: analytic ability is affected by fatigue.
  • Think of the coming exam as the final step of your study process instead of as a threatening new experience.
  • Know the times of your exams and plan your sleep schedule so you will be at your most alert.
  • Arrive early, but not too early.
  • Have a plan of attack. (See materials on Taking Essay Exams and Taking Multiple Choice Exams.)
  • Be aggressive. Approach studying, and the test itself, vigorously determined to do your best with the information you know. Think of yourself as a star athlete before a big event. Keep yourself in good heath through adequate rest and diet.
  • Eat something sensible before the exam; you can probably hold down a bowl of cereal even if you are very tense.
  • Avoid over-dependence on caffeine or other chemical aids to study or to sleep.
  • Relax during the test. If you notice you are not thinking well or you are very tense, take a pause by laying the test aside and taking several slow, deep breaths.
  • Ignore your classmates. If you tend to be distracted, buy and practice using ear plugs.
  • Beware of the post mortem. You will only succeed in raising your anxiety level.
  • If you become really ill, or if you have some other unforeseen crisis, do not take the exam! Call the Records Office to find out how to re-schedule.


Please visit Academic Success & Bar Programs in Warren Hall room 206, call (619) 260-4793 or email


Academic Success and Bar Programs
Warren Hall, Room 206
Phone: (619) 260-4793
Fax: (619) 260-7715


Mon. 8:30-6:30 p.m.
Tue. 8:30- 5 p.m.
Wed. 9:30-5 p.m.
Thur., Fri. 8:30-5 p.m.

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