8 badly handwritten essays in 6 stressful hours

May 26, 2009

Possibly the most tiring day of my life.

I had 2 exams today; Family Law at 10am, and Company Law at 2.30pm. Both exams lasted for 3 hours and 15 minutes reading time (where you can draft your answers because the mean lecturers know that they set really hard questions).

I don’t like to feel stressed. I feel that I work even better under stress, but inside I like to calm myself down and feel all zen inside. But I’ll be the first to admit that stress got to me this time. It was just too much to study in a day and you have to prepare waayyy in advance (which doesn’t work for me because I always forget what I read 2 days ago).

But I sucked it all up and powered through. Thanks to all of you who wished me luck and gave me motivation via texts, FB msgs and BBM! I felt like such a drama queen making a big fuss about this.

So, anyway, the story of today:


I woke up at 6 am, popped a ProPlus, studied for Family law.

Dressed up for exam to feel good (it’s a psychological thing I swear), put on the ring my dad gave me, wore a half-heart pendant that my sister has the other half of, slipped on my grandmother’s gold ring through the necklace, put on the earrings Dean gave me, and hung my mom’s LV bag (which I stole from her closet that she doesn’t know about) on my shoulder. Call me superstitious, but I brought my whole family with me into the exam hall.

Went for breakfast with Dean, and barely ate because I was busy giving him mini-presentations about domestic violence and property allocation upon divorce or dissolution of civil partnership. He made jokes to help me remember (e.g. Family Law Act 1996. “But 1996 is the year of World Cup, when did they have time to make the law?!“), but most of the time left his eyes on me but his mind far far away. I lost him at “The Law Commission said…” I felt confident for Family Law and went to the exam, spirits high.

Family Law exam

Went well. Everything I studied came out. My wrist hurt, and my fingers sore.

Lunch break for an hour

The exam finished at 1.15pm, so I only had an hour to study for Company Law, which is a really short time for such a hard subject. I skipped lunch and ignored my grumbling stomach, while trying to memorise my flashcards. There were too many cases and statutes, from so many different topics to remember that I jumbled them all up. For the first time in my life, I was really really not prepared for an exam, and I hated the feeling. I was tired, hungry and looking like death.

Company Law exam

I went in, unprepared, leaving everything in God’s hands. I prayed and prayed so many times over and over again, and opened the question paper. I stared at it, mind blank. I forgot everything. Not a single thing is coming to my mind, and I had 4 essays to answer.

I tried using photographic memory and recalled snapshots of my coloured flashcards. Some images came to mind, but it was all a big blur. I just sat there, and images of my family came to mind and it made me feel so sad. So I tried harder, and soon enough it all came flooding back. I was jotting down everything that came to mind as fast as I can, that I was worried that my fingers would fall off.

Soon, my fingers were moving themselves. But in the middle of the third essay, I got bored.

I looked at my draft and it was all there staring at me, waiting for me to write it again in my answer sheet. And the thought gave me such fatigue, that I felt like giving up for a moment. I was like, ok, it’s all there right in front of me…can I just take a nap and continue after this? Even the second hand on the clock ticking couldn’t motivate me. I was dead bored. I was tired of writing. I just wanted to give up. It’s been 6 hours of writing and one more to go and that last hour was such a bore.

I had to take a break, so I went to the toilet. Lingered around, looked in the mirror and omg I looked like a zombie. Eyeliner smeared until it made dark circles around the eye (adding to the original ones), hair everywhere, shirt crumpled. I fixed my hair, re-tied it, re-pinned my fringe, wiped off the smeared eyeliner. I would’ve even ironed my shirt if there was an iron in the toilet.

The invigilator knocked on the door to see if everything was ok, and I made a face at myself in the mirror. Ugh, here we go. Back to the dead room.

The last hour of exam, I had lost my spirit. I just re-wrote whatever I drafted without enthusiasm. My hand was aching so much, and I even took time to compare the size of my right and left hand. Yep, my right hand is definitely swollen.

After the invigilator said “Time’s Up”, I almost jumped with relief. I was so bored, my backside was itching to unglue itself from the uncomfortable chair.


I met Dean for a nice dinner. I was so tired, I couldn’t even lift up my bag (which had 2 heavy statute books btw). I could barely make it through dinner without taking 3 second naps where my brain just stopped functioning for a while. I was so hungry but I couldn’t finish my food. I just wanted to go home and lie down.

I am happy it’s all done now. The worst exams have passed. But I still disagree with having 2 essay-based exams (each comprising 4 essays) in a day with only an hour break in between. Company law is so hard that it should never be in conjunction with another exam.

I told my dad to sue LSE.

I’d probably show this bruise as evidence too. Gotten from too much rubbing against the table when I was vigorously writing.


I apologise if this post comes off as whines and complaints, but that really isn’t my intention. The point of this post is to show you that having 2 exams in a day is hard work, but definitely do-able. So if you have exams close to each other, you’ll get through it, cos if I can, you definitely can. Just remember to not break your spirit, like I did at the end. And maybe book a hand massage after and probably a good idea to wear arm pads.

Good luck to all of you who are still going through exams.

P/S: I have no idea where I’m getting the energy to write this post. My eyes are half open, my face hasn’t twitched, and my brain doesn’t seem to be awake…my fingers are the only ones moving. I guess my passion for writing (NOT law essays, please) can overpower any other feelings I have. I’d rather write (type, actually) than eat or sleep.