Why You Shouldn’t Discuss Law School Final Exams
We have all been there. You just took a three-hour exam that was more intense and nerve-racking than any other test you have experienced. You have no measure of your success to hold on to until you receive grades. Then, a classmate comes up to you and wants to discuss every detail of the exam. What do you do? Here is why you shouldn’t discuss law school final exams.
Why You Shouldn’t Discuss Law School Final Exams
The name of the game is stress. Studying for exams is hard enough. Talking about your performance on those exams with the very peers you are competing against in the curve? Well, that is just unnecessary anxiety. Trust me, I learned this mistake the hard way!
I was a mess after finishing my first 1L exam. I canceled dinner plans and decided to head home for some solo couch time to calm my failure panic. As I began heading to my car, a classmate caught up with me and began to talk about exam material. He asked how I felt. I was honest and said I was not in a good place. He said that was a shame before continuing to talk about his answers and how confident he was in them. I sunk further and further into my mind, picturing my future as an out of work lawyer. Later I went home and cried to my mom that I had let her down, often citing what my fellow student had said about his exam performance. I began to wonder if you shouldn’t discuss law school final exams with other students.
It Has No Bearing On Your Actual Grade
Flash forward two months to when we received our grades. I had rocked it. I got an A- and was in a state of pleasant shock. This same classmate from before happened to sit behind me in our Property class. The day after grades were released, he told me how he did much better than he expected and was very proud of his grade. I responded, “that is awesome, congrats!”. Just then, he blurted out, “yeah. I got a B!”. I had to take a minute to process this information. The very same student whose overt confidence amplified my own feeling of personal failure had scored almost an entire letter grade lower than me.
Just Say “No”
I thought back to how our post-exam conversation brought me nothing but extreme anxiety. I realized that none of that was worth my time and energy in the end. In fact, I became so stressed and worried after our post-exam conversation, that from then on, whenever someone mentioned an exam, I just said no. Politely, of course. But I found that saying “Sorry, I would prefer not to speak about the exam” was perfectly fine.
Everyone respected my choice, and I felt so much better. Just one conversation about one exam gave me intense anxiety for two whole months. Had I not stopped it right then and there, I can’t imagine how racked my brain would have been. Reflecting on everything made me truly realize you shouldn’t discuss law school final exams ever. I also became aware of how important it is to lower your stress level during law school finals however you can.
It Will Only Make You Feel Worse
The overall moral of the story is talking about your exams, especially in great detail, will only make you feel worse. It may reveal answers you forgot, or like me, will have you doubting every ability you ever had as a law student. The only indicator of how well you did on your exam is your grade. Two months is a long time to wait for results, but speaking about it will not make that time easier or go faster. You can respectfully withdrawal from any exam talk, even if it is just about how you feel. Your fellow students will understand. In the end, you have to consider your mental health and general wellbeing first! In addition to abstaining from exam talk, try out these five tips to manage your stress in law school.
It Will Distract You From Other Upcoming Exams
Lastly, don’t forget that exams span over two weeks or so. Therefore, talking about exam number one with your peers could distract you from the work and focus you need on exams two through four. Studying is intense, outlines are long, and there is never enough coffee in this world to get you through everything. You can’t control what’s on the exam, but you can control what’s on your mind as you walk into the room. Try and keep all exam talk out of your scope and keep your eye on your work ahead. You shouldn’t discuss law school final exams if you want to keep a clear head. I know exams are tough and trying but do as I say, not as I did, and you will save yourself that much more aggravation!
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