When you sit for the bar exam next week, go in to pass. Let no doubts in. You are not going in to see how it goes or to “try” —you are going in to do your very best.
Some of you are just so ready for it to be over. That is normal. You are tired. So put the books down and sleep, or exercise, or go to a movie. Take your mind off it.
Take tomorrow off too, if you need to, if it will make you feel more ready. Better to go in clear-headed and enthusiastic than over prepared and drained.
Do what works for you, though. If it will help calm you to study or do a few more practice questions tomorrow, go for it.
But remember, and believe, that you are ready. Think about all you have done to get to this point. You sweated in high school and college, you took many high-stakes exams: SAT, LSAT, MPRE, midterms, finals, and more. You made through law school, and received your JD! And, you have been studying like crazy all summer long!
Think of these words of Booker T. Washington, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” Just close your eyes and for one minute be proud of how much you have overcome.
This is just the next step. And, you are ready. Don’t think now about what comes after the bar exam. Do not worry about jobs or your future, or anything else for that matter, other than doing your best next week. Be in the moment.
These are your main concerns:
- Sleep well,
- eat right,
- exercise, and
- on the exam, read carefully and think hard, using what you know to reason to logical conclusions.
Bottom line: Get READY to PASS. You earned that. Next week is your week to shine. This is your bar exam to pass. You have been training for years. You have learned what you need, and taken many practice tests. Think of this as another practice bar exam. (In Bobby Unser’s words, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”)
You have prepared, and prepared well. Now is the time for action. Act as if you will pass. Believe you will pass. And, on the actual bar exam, keep that confidence with you until the last “time” is called.
It’s not over until it’s over. Work as hard and as thoughtfully as you can until you must stop. (When the proctors say “Done,” you are done, but not until then.) And, after you leave the room on the last day of your exam, celebrate! You will have earned it.