The final bar exam countdown

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GUEST BLOG Katie R. Day,
Quinnipiac University School of Law Graduate

The bar exam is JUST A FEW DAYS AWAY! (Cue freakout!)

I can’t believe we’re finally at the end of this crazy bar prep journey. The last couple of months have been challenging to say the least and I’m beyond excited to put this exam behind me and start working as an attorney!

Since I know these next few days are going to be crazy, I made a to-do list for myself so I make sure I’m not forgetting anything important and I’m staying as stress-free as possible. I’m sharing it with the hopes that it helps you stay calm, cool, and collected leading into the exam.

Visit the site. If possible, check out the testing location. How do you get there and how long will it take? Where should you park? Is it warm or cold inside the building? You may not be able to get into the specific testing room, but having a general idea of where you’ll be taking the test is helpful. You don’t want to get lost the day of the exam or feel like you’re running late because you can’t find parking.

People lined up at New York City’s Javits Center July 25 for the first day of the New York Bar exam. (Photo credit: Suzanne Tullo)

Get your materials together. Make a list of everything you need to bring with you the day of the exam and set it all out. A couple of days before the exam, make sure you have pens and pencils, tissues, etc. and make a run to the store if you’re missing anything. Then, the night before the exam lay out your clothes, ID, car keys, water bottle, etc. You’ll be stressed enough the day of the exam, you don’t need to be hunting for your car keys or struggling to find pencils.

Do a final review. Run through everything one more time. Don’t quiz yourself, don’t beat yourself up if something is confusing, just absorb the information. I spoke with my professor today and he gave me some great advice, he said “If you don’t know it now, you won’t learn it in the next few days.” And he’s right, we’ve learned a lot and we’ve taken the time to commit a significant amount of information to memory. There’s no way you’ll know 100% of the information that will be on the exam, so don’t stress yourself out trying to cram it all in. Do one more cursory review to refresh your memory and then be confident in what you know.

Take care of yourself. It can be tempting to devote every last minute to studying and reviewing material. I’m not telling you to stop studying, but make sure you’re reserving time for self care. Get enough sleep. Eat healthy meals. Take time to go to the gym or take a bike ride. Don’t neglect yourself to get in a few more hours of bar prep videos or practice essays. Trust me, it won’t be worth it.

Have fun. You want to go into the exam confident and relaxed. Being stressed to the max will only hurt your performance on test day, so take some steps to de-stress and have some fun before the exam. The day before the exam go to dinner with your friends, spend the day with your family, or relax at the local beach. Just do something that will take your mind off the exam and help you get in a relaxed headspace. 

GOOD LUCK to all of you taking the bar exam! WE CAN DO THIS!

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