When you’re smack in the middle of studying for finals, it can be easy to forget about the logistical details and practical arrangements you need to take to get ready for exam week. Fortunately, there’s several finals preparations that you can complete ahead of time. Reduce your stress during finals week by taking the following steps before the end of classes:

  1. Check your computer. It goes without saying that the middle of a final exam is not an ideal time to realize you have a problem with your computer. Make sure your laptop is operating well and if it’s not, get it fixed ASAP.
  2. Backup your outlines. You should back up your outlines and other study aids throughout the semester, but especially now, when you should have a near complete version of your course outline.
  3. Familiarize yourself with ExamSoft. If, like most students, you’ll be completing your exams on a laptop, make sure you know how the software operates so that you’ll have one less thing to worry about on the day of the exam.
  4. Check the exam schedule. It seems obvious that you should know the time and location of your exams, but every year people show up late (or not at all!) Get the most recent version of the exam schedule and double check the day, time, and room number of each exam.
  5. Gather your materials. Now is a great time to start gathering all of your study materials and getting them organized. At a minimum, you should have a (self-made) outline for each class. You should also gather any past final exams or practice questions that your professor made available. A reliable supplement or book of practice questions may also be a part of your study arsenal.
  6. Establish a good study routine. A consistent study routine that includes regular breaks, healthy meals, and a good night’s sleep will help sustain you through finals. Start establishing these habits now by getting up at the same time each day, studying in appropriate blocks of time, and going to bed at a reasonable hour.
  7. Take care of personal responsibilities. You can minimize distractions during finals week by taking care of as many non-law school related tasks as possible in advance. Let your family and friends know that you will not be available during the reading week or exam weeks. Make arrangements for child care or try to limit the hours at your job. Stock up on groceries. Pay your bills. Clean your house. Think about anything that might sidetrack you while you’re studying and take care of it ahead of time.
  8. Get clarification. Make time to review your notes and outlines and seek clarification of any concepts you don’t fully understand. Getting clarification now will save you from feeling confused and overwhelmed during the reading week.
  9. Make a study schedule. It’s important to have a well thought out plan of attack for the reading week and finals week, particularly if you have some exams back to back. Create a study schedule for these three weeks that details what you will study, how you will study, when you will study and where you will study.
  10. And last but not least, finish those outlines! Ideally, you should have your outline finished by the last day of regular classes so that you can use the reading week to review and practice. If you’ve fallen behind on outlining, get going!