Basics for Exams

Usually, before I can’t of anything else besides a pen and paper for exams but now that I’m in school (again) but for a different level, here’s the things that I think I need for exams may it be midterms or finals.

Basics for Exams

As a law student, it is normal to always have sleepless nights, restless thoughts of how are you going to school and how much have you studied and are you prepared to recite. Yet some do not know that even though there’s the courage to be in class and take on whatever that may come your way, there will always be the supplies that we need in order to do so. All of the things that I will say or have said are based from observations and own experiences that I’d like to share.

This is basically a normal desk situation for me and it gets messier when exams are coming. Notes and handouts are basically everywhere, books get piled up on a side or on the table and the rest, is everywhere. May it be your pens or papers or scratch papers or cases or highlighters.

Desk situation

For highlighters, I use Stabilo. It’s my go-to highlighters because it offers more colors and different kinds with different nibs that possess different thickness. It is a need since it helps one remember the details and information you have to remember in studying (may it be for an exam or for a normal day in school).

Highlighters is a need!

It may be interpreted as a want but for me, it is a need! It is a need to have at least four (4) colors to differentiate and classify the things that I highlight. From legal maxims to definitions and to court decisions. Whatever it may be, it will always be represented by a color!

  • Currently, I have four (4) main highlighters from Stabilo (Pen 68 Neon). I have neon green / yellow / orange and blue. Those represent different data when it is being used.
  • Also, there are the fine liners with 0.4 nib. I have lots of colors since I use it sometimes for design and also for doodling or scribbling. But for the purpose of highlighting, I have 4-5 colors. I have red, yellow, orange, blue and green. Each of these will cost you Php 29.75 each which is not bad at all. It could last really well.
  • Just a tip in using these, remember to cover them whenever you are not using since it may be a cause why the ink dries up quickly.
The next thing I think is surely needed would be pens!
Soldiers that fight for us in battle against the paper

The pens are the instruments we use to write our delicate answers that would tell if we make it or break it. There are specifications to be met in having one. Others would require you to have a fountain pen. I received a fountain pen last year but I decided to buy a cheaper one since that was way precious to be used in a day to day basis. I was too afraid to ruin it. Others allow the use of gel pens but with a specific point to allow them to read whatever we wrote.

  • The cheaper fountain pen that I was referring to is a Pilot Ergonomic Fountain Pen. I bought it from Pens Galore which is an online shop that you may check here. It is less than Php 400 that comes with a cartridge already. The cartridge contains the ink which allows the user to refill quickly and with ease.
  • Other pens are My Gel from Dong-A with 0.5 tip and a G-tec from Pilot with a 0.4 tip. These are alternatives for the fountain pen that I was blabbing about.
  • Lastly, a Parker sign pen. I use this for rare occasions like I ran out of cartridge or in case I was not able to bring my other soldiers for battle.
It is a necessity since how will you able to answer if you do not have a sword to fight with?

Of course, an exam won’t be one without the reviewers or handouts or cases or digestsΒ given to us or the ones that we do. For almost every subject we encounter, there’s always a reviewer. These do not have to be strictly in the form of a book. Anyone can create their own based on how they review for exams. It could be from their notes and they just compiled them.


Reviewers, notes, cases, digests
Others borrow and have them photocopied (not the entire book but just portions that are integral part of the exam).
  • For the notes, I learned that it is more effective if you have handwritten notes since when you write it down, your brain remembers the things you write! (This is based from experience way back in college.)

Codals are also necessary since it is where you can locate the laws. If ever you got confused from an explanation, you could always go back to the codal and check it again. These may look like Bibles from another’s perspective but they aren’t. They are pocket size and could help you survive the day even if you don’t have your textbook with you.

Books will never be a want for a law student. It is always a need! You need it to study, make notes, review for exams and prepare for class. A certain book may be interpreted by different lawyers which may explain it differently from another. There are different publishing houses that would print out the books and sell it.
  • From experience: Having markers for every chapter helps also because it’s easier to go back to a certain topic without checking the table of contents. You just look at the post-it or marker then you’re good! Of course, you do the marking prior to the class or exam.
Caffeine & Time

Caffeine and Time and Food are the basic needs a student has to have. You need to allot time to study / create notes / review and caffeine to keep you alert and buzzed all the while you are doing those. Caffeine may be provided by any brand. It’s just that Great Taste is my fave!

  • For people like me who have peptic ulcer or just plain ulcer, caffeine is a big no! It can trigger the acids in the stomach which will make you cringe and be in pain for so long but I haven’t experienced any of those with Great Taste White! But of course, moderation is needed. I just drink one cup a day (before 3:30pm to avoid a legit sleepless night).
  • Whenever you feel hungry, you eat! It’s hard to work / study with an empty tummy. Everyone needs energy to be able to do things!
  • I admire the people who are working and still be in school. Mabuhay kayo!
Politricks (a card game)

Breaks / Sleep / Relaxation is also necessary to help the brain regenerate after a strenuous intellectual massage from school. You can always have fun with your chums after a tiresome day. Others would opt to have a chill drink after school and just unwind and talk about anything under the sun.

  • You can find details about this new card game called Politricks here.

Last but not the least, Divine Guidance.

Our Lord Jesus Christ

You pray to God / Allah or the other gods that are out there for guidance. Let them help you choose the right path to take on.

I guess that’s it. This has been one random post because I needed to let my mind calm down for a bit before going to battle again. I don’t know if these are what you also need but I hope this helps you in a way.


P.S. Photos are all mine, captured using my phone without any editing. Was too lazy to edit even the watermarks. Please give due credit if you’re going to use it. Thank you.


  • Reply
    pia Villamor
    August 31, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    You’re in law school! Congratulations!! I considered law very briefly after college- but that quickly waned when I saw my friends struggle through their first year. :/ Always left me with a what if though so I really admire people who push through with it. My husband is a lawyer though. And I was with him all through all law school – you’re right those pens, highlighters, books and reviewers become your lifeline. Hahaha. BUT don’t forget to have fun – his biggest regret is not taking the time to just enjoy hanging out with his law school buddies. He was always so stressed about the next exam or the next recitation… πŸ™‚ Holler if you need anything! πŸ™‚ Good luck!

    • Reply
      August 31, 2016 at 8:00 PM

      Wow!! Thank you so much! As much as possible, I try to make my journey fun. Haha! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 31, 2016 at 4:12 PM

    I like using highlighters, too. They make reviewing so much easier. I don’t need to read the entire text or page again. πŸ™‚ One of my grandfathers wanted me to be a lawyer like him. I had other interests. Good thing, one of my cousins followed in his footsteps. He must be happy now.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2016 at 7:42 PM

    Oh, exams! I was lucky enough to have studied Arts & Culture (At the University in the Netherlands). This study rarely had exams. We always had to write an essay and get a grade on that. It was still hard work (Long essays!), but not the exam stress :).

  • Reply
    Jen bave
    August 31, 2016 at 9:12 PM

    This brings me memories of when I was still studying. I had 6 years in college and those basics are definitely a must to most students. I had 12 different colors of highlighter before, not just helpful but also cute.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2016 at 5:50 AM

    Wow, it’s been a long time since I was enrolled in a school! I almost forgot how it feels to be cramping for an exam already, lol! Now, what I only attend are short online courses since at this time, it’s not possible for me to go back to schooling. Although I haven’t graduated and gotten a degree yet, I have 2 siblings I’m sending to school. So I hope they both graduate soon. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    September 1, 2016 at 6:51 AM

    I’m sure that it’s tough to take law (an old dream of mine) so I salute you for it. I barely remember the things that I did when I was still in school, but I certainly don’t miss the exams haha…

    Goodluck, you can do it!

  • Reply
    Stella the Travelerette
    September 1, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    You are so thorough and organized! I really admire that. I was so bad at studying because I hated it, but in law school you have to. And I agree that it’s so important to have enough snacks! No one can think when hungry!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2016 at 6:42 PM

    Youre taking up law and yet you have time to blog and be organized. Ihihi. I admire you! I admire you first because of your skills in calligraphy. And then I admire you more because of your perseverance. I hope you all the luck and God’s guidance. I admire you best because from your list, you never forgot about God.

    • Reply
      September 1, 2016 at 8:21 PM

      Yes, Momi Berlin! Thank you so much for the kind words. It really made my heart thump. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    September 1, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    DO IT! GET IT DONE! I believe you will pass. I truly believe so. Now on your table set up, it is good. No distraction, perhaps it could be better if you had captured the photo with Amazing Life Daily loaded on the browser (HEHEHE). Kidding aside, there is time. Put up a small vision board, and one with quotes to keep you focused on your goals, and the benefits of passing the board.

    • Reply
      September 1, 2016 at 8:23 PM

      Wow! Are you some of a psychic? Hahaha! Yes, I do have my cork board but currently, it doesn’t have quotes yet. I do have my calligraphy wall where I scribble quotes that inspire me. Thank you!! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    September 1, 2016 at 8:58 PM

    I loves this! study + coffee +praying to god = A+ Exam! When I study I have those and works perfectly! Suddenly miss school!

  • Reply
    Ginoel Orejo
    September 3, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Caffeine is definitely a must-have. I don’t know how I would’ve made it through college without coffee in my system. Caffeine got me through college.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2016 at 9:07 PM

    I really enjoy using different colors of highlighters and ballpen when studying haha. Ughh you’re so amazing and I envy you! Your talented + a hardworking student + blogger. You were able to manage your time well

  • Reply
    Swayam Tiwari
    March 13, 2017 at 1:39 AM

    Congrats , you are in the law school, Maria!
    I agree that the more you write, more you will remember. The brain picks things as you start writing. This has been my personal experience. Last but not the least, one must also remember God.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2017 at 9:29 PM

    Oh, are you a lwa student? I didn’t know that until reached this post. I believe that yoga and meditation work best before for every exam. But you post brings a quixotic twist to the whole concept of exam preparation. I am lover of stationery but alas, I don’t have to take anymore exams to buy fancy pens and highlighters.

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