How to handle emergencies during final exams


During final exams, you will need to remember two things: (1) ways to reduce your exam stress and (2) how to handle an emergency that prevents you from taking a final exam at the scheduled time.  Please keep this information handy. Exams begin on Sunday, December 6, and end on Monday, December 21. Please read this information and let me know if you have questions. Ruth Robarts, Assistant Dean for Student & Academic Affairs ( or 262-8557)

Ways to reduce stress

Plan for break time as well as study time.

Studies show that students retain information better when they study for short periods and take regular breaks, especially if they set goals for each study session.

2.       Sleep as needed.

Studies also show that the brain integrates new information while you sleep and that memory improves with regular sleep.

3.       Use campus recreational facilities

You have already paid for access to the Camp Randall Sports Center (, the Natatorium (,  Nielsen Tennis Stadium (, and the Southeast Recreational Facility (SERF) ( Use them to work off stress.

4.       Use campus health and counseling services as needed.

University Health Services (UHS) provides outpatient primary care ( Its Counseling & Consultation Services are available at the same location and phone number. For an after-hours crisis, call 265-6565.

In addition, law students can call the 24/7 confidential hot line operated by the State Bar of Wisconsin (WISLAP) for help with mental/emotional health issues, substance abuse issues or other crises. The phone number is 800-543-2625.

How to handle exam emergencies

Call my office before the exam (262-8557)

If you cannot take your final on schedule because of incapacitating illness, injury, family emergency or extreme weather problems, call my office before the start time for the exam (262-8557). I will get back to you as soon as I can. I may not be able to reach you before the exam starts, but your job is done when you have left a message about a valid emergency before the exam begins. I will reschedule for valid reasons. If you are very sick, call me and stay home. If you start an exam and must stop before finishing, you cannot complete the exam later. Under the rules of the law school, professors need to write a new exam for you.

Situations requiring verification

Food poisoning.

If you think that you have food poisoning, seek medical care and  be ready to give me evidence that you did so. 


Unfortunately, I will need to verify the death at an appropriate time.

Ruth Robarts

Assistant Dean for Student & Academic Affairs

University of Wisconsin Law School

Submitted by Ruth Robarts, Assistant Dean for Students and Academic Affairs on December 3, 2009

This article appears in the categories: Academic Support, Must-Know Info

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