Getting ready to sit down for your first law school exams? Understandably, you’re probably focusing on revising subject content and making your exam notes right now. But just as important as making sure you’re across the subject content is ensuring you don’t forget to bring anything important with you to the exam venue!

Use the two checklists below to help you prepare your bag or backpack with everything you’ll need for exam day.

Checklist #1: If you’re typing your exam 💻

  1. Your student card. You can’t sit your exam without it! You will need to place your student card on the desk beside you so an invigilator (one of the staff overseeing the exam) can check it. If you’ve lost your student card, make sure to get a new one before exam day.
  2. Your laptop. This might seem so obvious that it isn’t worth mentioning, but I once sat next to someone who had registered to type their exam but ended up forgetting to bring their laptop to the exam venue!
  3. Your charge cable. If you have a geriatric laptop that can’t hold more than 20 minutes’ charge, don’t forget to bring your laptop’s charge cable so the machine doesn’t die on you mid-exam. In fact, even if you have a snazzy whizbang laptop that can run for a week on one charge, why take the risk? Bring your charge cable anyway!
  4. Earplugs. If you’re likely to be distracted by the sound of forty other people typing away like their life depends on it, make sure to bring a pair of foam or rubber earplugs to help reduce the noise pollution.
  5. A watch. The remaining time will usually be projected on the screen or written on the whiteboard in the exam room, but not all seats will have the best view, and there’s always a chance the projector won’t work. It’s not a bad idea to bring your own timepiece just in case–just make sure it’s an analogue or digital watch (not a smartwatch!), as access to any internet-enabled devices is not permitted once you’re in your seat.
  6. Printed reference materials. This could include your printed (not electronic!) exam notes, your textbook, your folder of subject materials, etc.
  7. Scrap paper to write on. You can make notes on the exam itself (i.e. the booklet containing the hypothetical problem and/or list of essay prompts), but you can’t make notes on your laptop while it is running Examplify (the software you will be using to type your exam). So if you think you might need space to make notes and/or plan out your answers during reading time, then bring some scrap paper to write on.
  8. Pens. See above. Even though you’re typing your exam, you can’t make notes during reading time if you don’t have something to write with!
  9. Water. It’s a good idea to stay hydrated during the exam, so bring a water bottle (or two or three) with you.
  10. A piece of paper with your room number, Examplify login credentials etc, written on it. You can’t refer to your phone or use the internet before or during the exam, so it’s best if you handwrite important information on a piece of paper that you can refer to once you’re separated from your bag.
  11. Miscellany. This could include things like your glasses, hair ties, and lip balm. Remember that you’ll be stuck in your seat for 3.5 hours: what will you need during that time to make the experience more comfortable?

Checklist #2: If you’re handwriting your exam✏️

  1. Your student card. You can’t sit your exam without it! You will need to place your student card on the desk beside you so an invigilator (one of the staff overseeing the exam) can check it. If you’ve lost your student card, make sure to get a new one before exam day!
  2. A piece of paper with your seat number, exam question time breakdown etc, written on it. You can’t refer to your phone before or during the exam, so it’s best if you handwrite important information on a piece of paper that you can refer to once you’re separated from your bag and/or the internet.
  3. A watch. The current time will usually be visible at various points in the exam room, but not all seats will have the best view, and there’s always a chance that the technology won’t work. It’s not a bad idea to bring your own timepiece just in case–just make sure it’s an analogue or digital watch (not a smartwatch!), as access to any internet-enabled devices is not permitted once you’re in your seat.
  4. Printed reference materials. This could include your printed (not electronic!) exam notes, your textbook, your folder of subject materials, etc.
  5. Scrap paper to write on. You can make notes on the exam booklet (i.e. the hypothetical problem or list of essay prompts), but you can’t make notes on the script book (the lined booklet where you’ll write your exam answer). So if you think you might need the space to make notes and/or plan out your answers during reading time, then bring some scrap paper to write on.
  6. Pens. If you’re handwriting your exam, then you’ll need something to write with. Try to experiment with a variety of different pens (e.g. gel, ballpoint) to see what feels most comfortable. And don’t forget to bring a bunch of backup pens too: you’ll be writing so much that there’s a good chance your trusty pen will run out of ink mid-exam.
  7. Water. It’s a good idea to stay hydrated during the exam, so bring a water bottle (or two or three) with you.
  8. Miscellany. This could include things like your glasses, hair ties, and lip balm. Remember that you’ll be stuck in your seat for 3.5 hours: what will you need during this time to make the experience more comfortable?
  9. Adaptable clothing. The Royal Exhibition Building (REB) is the venue for most handwritten law exams. This is a cavernous space that can be chilly in the winter and stifling hot in the summer, so make sure you wear/bring clothes that you can easily put on and take off, depending on the season and where you’re actually sitting within the venue. For example, don’t attend a winter exam in a coat you can’t take off, just in case your seat happens to be right under one of the venue’s portable heaters.

 

 

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