It’s crunch time. You are entering Phase III of bar exam prep. Your nerves may be up, and now it’s time to keep cool and keep practicing. With three weeks to go, many people start to get a little antsy about how well they’re going to do. This bar exam, which has been in the distance for quite some time now, becomes visible just beyond the horizon. It’s normal to get antsy. Don’t worry, it will subside. Just keep preparing and practicing, and remember these 5 tips.
(1) Don’t forget where you have been.
You’ve put a lot of time in to this, and you’re more prepared than you may feel. Your last month of bar prep and years in law school have helped you get here. Don’t let a little feeling of nervousness derail you. You can do it. Know you can.
(2) Keep practicing
It’s really important to do practice exams right now. Think about it. When you are sitting there on bar exam day, will you be asked to write down all the rules of Con law? Will you be asked to outline an exam answer? No, you will be asked to analyze a fact pattern, and apply relevant law to the important facts in a lawyerly fashion. The best way to prepare for that moment is to practice it in real time at home. A famous person once said something like, “The victory goes to the person who spends the time alone in the dark recesses of his office, when no one else is watching or glorifying him.”
(3) Know where the exam location is and how you’ll get there
This is actually really important. You may have the address, but it’s a good idea to a) drive by the exam location around test time to get a feel for the traffic that will be there and b) know where you’re going to park. This is a bigger issue in some cities than it is in others. Try to do this once just to get it out of the way before bar exam day. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable knowing the environment. Put yourself in a position so your nerves don’t get rattled if something is slightly off on bar exam day.
(4) Go dark
This is a military term for units that disappear from communication with the outside world. I’m not suggesting you cut of all communication; however, be mindful of who you are talking to about the bar exam. Some people are nervous, and they intentionally or unintentionally send their nerves onto others in their company. Try not to be around something like this to distract you. Keep preparing and practicing. You got this.
(5) Know what you’re going to eat bar exam day
Having an idea of where and what you want to eat, at least on the first day, is a good plan. Will you be taking your own meals? Will you eat at a restaurant? Sitting in one spot for 6 hours a day, grinding out an exam can get tiring. Give your body a nutrition boost by eating the right foods. Stay away from carbs and meat combination for lunch. It could make you sleepy. Go for almonds, nuts, and other grains.
Best of luck in passing your bar exam!
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