There are three kinds of people you want to avoid at the bar exam. There is nothing “wrong” with these people. People behave in unusual ways when they are under immense pressure. And we do not mean anything personally against people who act in the following ways – many times they cannot help it and do not even realize that their attitude and actions may be detrimental to others. Nonetheless, it is still worth it to avoid these people at the bar exam for your own mental sanity!
Note: We do have some very understanding students who recognize the below types of individuals and rather than avoid them, they try to help them, hang out with them, or be extra nice to them. This is truly taking the higher ground! These sympathetic students have, first and foremost, an understanding that everyone has the same goal (to pass the exam), everyone is anxious, and this anxiety manifests itself in unusual ways! So if you are not inclined to avoid these people, but rather remain in solidarity with them, please feel free! Otherwise, if you are feeling quite anxious yourself and need to focus on your own needs during the bar exam, it may just be best to avoid these types of people altogether (while not necessarily harboring any bad feelings toward them!).
Bar Exam Day Tips: Three People to Avoid at the Bar Exam
Person #1: The Super Anxious Person
There are some students who will fall into the “super anxious” category. This type of person may visibly shake. They may throw up. They may constantly talk about their anxiety, how hard the bar exam is, or something else. They often have trouble sleeping and cannot eat on exam day. The problem with anxiety is that it rubs off on others. This person could diminish your confidence, make you anxious, or even lead you to panic. We suggest being as kind as possible to this person. But we also suggest you consider avoiding extremely anxious examinees, particularly if you are prone to excessive amounts of anxiety yourself.
Person #2: The Know-it-All
This is one of the most annoying people at the bar exam because they seem to be the opposite of the super anxious person. They talk loudly about what they wrote for every essay question. They are “sure” they will pass and didn’t find the MBE difficult at all. They make others feel badly about what they wrote and often won’t stop talking about it even when social cues indicate discussion is unwanted.
Remember that the know-it-all is only acting confident because, just like everyone else, they are scared. If they truly felt great about their bar exam performance they wouldn’t feel the need to rub it in everyone’s face. They are looking for validation, just like everyone else. They just happen to be a little louder (and perhaps more annoying) about it. We recommend avoiding the know-it-all because they can make you feel worse about your own performance (e.g., maybe you didn’t discuss something in an essay question that they did, or maybe you didn’t find the MBE easy!). They make it hard to remain optimistic and calm.
Person #3: The Needy Person
You may also run into a person who is very needy. A needy person is similar to an anxious person but a needy person can sometimes seem much more intrusive. They want to borrow your outlines. They need to know what you think is coming up or what you wrote on the MPT or how you responded to an essay question. They need something from you and they are not hesitant at all to make their demands known. This is another form of anxiety that manifests itself most under moments of extreme stress. This person is looking for something – anything – to make them feel better or more prepared.
Understanding why people act the way they do at the bar exam may make you more sympathetic and it may make them easier to be around. Or, you may just want to avoid them altogether and use headphones or earplugs to block out the noise so you can be in your own positive mental space. Do what you need to do to get past the bar exam while remaining positive and professional!
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