It’s almost over. Three years of law school and three months of bar prep will culminate in a two-day mental marathon . . . and then you’re done! And if you’re anything like me, you’re terrified.
I took (and passed!) the Oklahoma bar exam on February 28 and 29, 2012. Although I had completed both the Kaplan and BARBRI bar review courses, I went into the exam feeling less than confident. In fact, the last few weeks of bar prep had stunted my confidence and left me wondering if I had done enough.
Yes, I had done tons of practice questions, but I hadn’t come close to doing everything BARBRI suggested. I had done lots of practice essay questions, but my answers were woefully inferior to the model answers in the back of the essay book. Friends who had “been there” assured me I would be fine, but I just couldn’t accept it. In fact, their confidence in me somehow became added pressure. The bar exam can really mess with your psyche.
Honestly, today–almost five months after the exam–I still feel some anxiety about it. However, the best advice I can give to the July bar-takers it to try to relax a little. Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That’s also true of the bar exam: the worst thing about the bar exam is the fear of the exam. But what everyone says is true–if you’ve done the stuff, you’ll be prepared for the exam. In fact, if you’ve done a good chunk of the stuff, you’ll be prepared. You know much more than you think you know, and the bar prep courses really are expertly designed to get you ready. You can do this!
As you count down these last few days, take some time for yourself. Do something not law-related, and don’t feel guilty about it. And take care of logistical stuff that can be a major stressor on test day: make sure your computer doesn’t have any pending updates, make sure you know how to get to the testing site and where to park there, make sure you have enough gas to the get to the testing site, etc. (**My low fuel light came on as I was driving to the test! I cannot express how much this freaked me out! Don’t let that happen to you.**) You’re close now, and it’s going to feel so good to be done!
Congratulations in advance!!!