Four Ways To Conquer Your Bar Exam Test Anxiety - JD Advising
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bar exam test anxiety

Four Ways To Conquer Your Bar Exam Test Anxiety

The bar exam is the hardest test you will ever take. For many applicants, it is one of the hardest tasks they ever undertake. It is no surprise that applicants find themselves trying to deal with bar exam test anxiety. Even if you do not have a history of test anxiety, you may find yourself increasingly stressed out and anxious about the bar exam. Luckily, there are many ways you can combat bar exam test anxiety and turn this daunting part of your life into the huge accomplishment you know it can be.

Four Ways To Conquer Your Bar Exam Test Anxiety

1. Think about why you are feeling so anxious.

One way to help manage bar exam test anxiety is to try to understand it. Ask yourself why you are feeling anxious. You may not like your answer. Do not be afraid to admit the truth. Maybe you are afraid of failing. Maybe you believe you are not studying hard enough. Or maybe, you just do not think you are retaining any information.

No matter what your fear, once you acknowledge it, you are one step closer to easing your bar exam test anxiety. Write down your fears and concerns for the bar. Then, write down ways you plan to alleviate them, such as studying more, practicing essay writing, or creating flashcards. While an important part of managing anxiety is understanding you cannot control everything, remember that you control your performance on the bar exam. Your performance is directly affected by the effort you put into studying. The more in control of your studying process and the more prepared you are, the less anxious you may feel.

You should also allow yourself to come to grips with the idea of failure. Many successful lawyers do not pass the bar on the first time. Your life will not be over if you fail the bar exam for the first time or even the second, third, or fourth times! The bar exam is scary, and so is the idea of failing. But if that fear paralyzes you, your performance will inevitably suffer! If you accept the fact that failure will not ruin your life, then you can let go of the fear and focus on studying.

2. Take care of yourself.

Of course, just knowing why you are anxious and that you know you should not be anxious does not necessarily alleviate the problem. Even if you know you should not be anxious and you are doing everything you can to prepare, you still may feel anxious about your upcoming performance. Taking care of yourself mentally and physically are key ways to managing bar exam test anxiety. It will also improve your studying overall.

Mental health

You can manage bar exam test anxiety by maintaining a positive outlook and knowing that some things you cannot control. Acknowledge that you can only do your best and that you are not after perfection. You just need to pass!

Pay attention to your emotional state while you study. You may need a mental health day. If taking a day off stresses you out more than it would help, then perhaps an afternoon off is a better idea. You will thank yourself for giving your brain a chance to reset and start the next day fresh. Sometimes even just a few hours will do you good. Even a half hour break can help you rest and reset in your studying. No one can work effectively sixteen hours straight. Take breaks. You need them and, ultimately, you will be thankful you took them!

Physical health

Taking care of your body can have a great positive impact on your mental health and can help reduce the bar exam test anxiety you are feeling. Be sure to eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise. Your brain needs rest and energy from sleep and food to do its best. It has been proven again and again the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep.

Working out not only provides you with amazing endorphins but also gives you an escape from  the bar exam for an hour or so. Whether you are weightlifting to your favorite playlist or pedaling in spin class with your favorite instructor, working out provides a great escape and reset from bar studying and is a great technique for managing anxiety.

Embrace your favorite ways to take care of yourself. It can be as simple as rewarding yourself with an episode of your favorite show after a hard day of studying or applying a face mask to rejuvenate your skin. However you like to take care of yourself, be sure to do it. You are working hard every day, so take time to care for yourself physically and mentally.

3. Lean on your support system.

You are not alone when studying of the bar exam. Lean on your support system to help you feel better about your bar exam test anxiety. Talk with someone you trust about your fears. Having someone there to listen to how you feel, even if they do not have the best advice, is helpful. Your friends and family may not know what it is like to have to study and take the bar exam, but they do know it is hard. Do not be afraid to ask for love or support. Your friend could bring you take out and a shoulder to cry on. Do not keep your bar exam test anxiety to yourself. Share your fears and you will be able to understand and conquer them.

4. Manage bar exam test anxiety on the day of the exam.

The closer the day of the exam gets the more anxious you may feel. Bar exam test anxiety may only hit you when the exam is right around the corner and the idea of performing may seem absolutely daunting.

Take care of yourself the day before the bar and the morning of the exam. If you find yourself getting nervous, do your best to remain calm and remind yourself you are prepared. Or if you cannot see yourself being calm for the bar exam, try to trick yourself into feeling excited. This is the climax of your summer where all of your hard work is going to pay off. All you have to do is crush the exam and you are free from bar studying.

If you find yourself freaking out in the middle of the exam, take a minute or two to regroup. Maybe you are answering questions slower than you would like or you feel like you are getting everything wrong. Stop. Do not dwell on what you cannot do. Instead, take a minute or two to breathe and remind yourself that you still have time to perform well. Then get back to work and crush the exam.

The bar is hard. But if you take care of yourself and remind yourself that pretty much every applicant is nervous, you will hopefully feel less anxious. It is normal to have bar exam test anxiety. Acknowledge your fears, work to conquer them, and before you know it, you will be conquering the bar exam!