As if you didn’t already know, the bar exam is coming! This week, to be exact. So here you are, just a few days before the test, what do you do? Do you re-watch that one video lecture? Review that last outline?
As the big day approaches, it is easy to become increasingly overwhelmed. When you start to feel this way, it becomes increasingly important to maintain a positive outlook.
You’ve already put in weeks and months of studying, what can you possibly learn in those last few days? Not much. At this point, it’s more important to get your mind right than to cram your head with more information.
To help keep your mind focused and calm, use the following acronym on test day: Someone Dominated the Bar.
S – Stay Focused.
Concentrate on what is in front of you, but take it one question of the time.
Furthermore, be sure to tune out the noise. There are sure to be other bar examinees around you who, due to anxiety or fear, will be negative. Make sure not to listen to those individuals. If you hear someone being negative about their performance or preparation, or about the exam in general, do not regress to the mean. Push those thoughts out of your mind and focus on yourself. You studied adequately, you took the time to master the material, you will crush the bar exam.
D- Don’t Worry.
“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.” – Glenn Turner.
Worrying cannot change a situation, only hard work and determination will. You’ve already done the best you can (hopefully) in your studies, there is no need to ruin it by worrying.
Keeping your mind from worry is important during the exam too. During the test, you may find yourself fretting about timing, the difficulty of a question or other external forces. Try your best to operate in the present and deal with the future only when necessary.
B – Breathe.
Breathing (really breathing) is especially important during the exam itself. Taking a deep breathe not only calms you down but also allows you to focus your mind.
According to a Harvard study, deep breathing “encourages full oxygen exchange – that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide.” Additionally, deep breathing “can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.”
Certainly, the positives outweigh the negatives. If you find yourself becoming increasingly uneasy or worked up, take a deep breath and re-set your mind.
On exam day, just remember: Someone Dominates the Bar. That someone is you! Just know that every other bar examinee is feeling the way you do. Trust in yourself and your ability and everything will work out.
Have any tips for keeping calm before and during the exam? Tweet to us @AdaptiBar share your thoughts.