This week begins my second semester as a J-termer at Columbia. Finals ended last Monday and I spent the time between semesters taking exemption exams for two of my remaining core classes.

I won’t know if I passed those exams for a few more days, but I felt like I had a good grasp of the material — even for the one course where I didn’t feel I was an expert, but was able to learn all the necessary content in about a day. I feel that if you can learn everything you need in a day or two of intense studying, then it’s not worth enrolling in a half-term class.

For anyone starting at b-school this year, I definitely recommend trying to exempt as many core classes as you can. A lot of people (myself included) initially thought that it would be good to take all the core classes, but to be honest, some of them can just skim the surface and not be worth your time. Especially if you can be taking electives that really interest you. So even if you aren’t an expert, you should study the sample exams and try to test out of classes that you aren’t passionate about.