How To Be A Bar Exam Prep Supporter
Today’s post is for all the partners, friends, and family members helping to support someone studying for the Bar Exam. Our blog posts are generally targeted to people in the legal community, but studying for the bar exam can feel like a group sport, and that includes everyone in a test-takers support system! Providing support to someone studying for the Bar Exam is a difficult but necessary role. Your motivational words of encouragement, acts of kindness, and unwavering empathy really do help. Even if your bar examinee is a stressed-out, seemingly hard-to-love monster who recites the attractive nuisance doctrine in their sleep. If you’re struggling to figure out how to provide support to a bar examinee, you’ve come to the right place. Read further to see how you can be a bar exam prep supporter.
How To Be A Bar Exam Prep Supporter
The first step to supporting a bar examinee (or really anyone) is to empathize with what they’re going through. You might think that the Bar Exam is just another test that can be taken as many times as needed. In one sense, you are correct. In another sense, you are very mistaken. The Bar Exam is the culmination of three years of intense studying throughout law school. People taking the Bar Exam have studied for months. It is the gatekeeper to someone’s legal career. Job offers, financial strain, embarrassment, failure…they all lie in someone’s result from the Bar Exam.
Do not downplay what someone who is studying for the Bar Exam is doing. While it may sound eccentric, people studying for the Bar Exam have a right to be stressed and (reasonably) anxious. So, try and understand what they are going through. The Bar Exam is one of the most difficult obstacles in any career path.
The Good Kind of Distraction
After hours of studying and preparation for the Bar Exam, try and be a positive distraction for your examinee. This might look like ordering dinner for them or maybe playing video games with them. Many times, someone studying for the Bar Exam simply wants to cuddle up on the couch and vent. Everyone is different! Remember, listen and empathize. Your goal should be to remove them from the stress and anxiety brought on by the exam.
Here are some tips on how test-takers can stay healthy during the bar exam. Try to lean into distractions that can also indirectly support their studying (e.g., going on a hike and getting enough sleep).
Taking Care of Business
As you might have guessed, studying and preparing for the Bar Exam is an incredibly time-consuming process. Bar examinees don’t have a lot of spare time to handle the little things that life throws at them. Taking the initiative and helping to clear a bar examinee’s plate can do wonders for them. Whether that’s ordering them lunch, putting the kids to bed early, or picking up the dry cleaning; it’s all appreciated. Many times, those who closely support bar examinees even go with them to the testing site to wish them luck!
Bad news, unless it’s really really bad or an emergency, can wait until after the Bar Exam. Be considerate of your bar examinee’s schedule and emotions. If the news you want to share with the test taker can wait until after the bar exam, hold off. The week before the Bar Exam is not the time to drop any bombs. Try to schedule major events for after the Bar Exam. Doing so during an examinee’s bar prep will only hurt their chances of passing and cause them to lose focus.
Support Them While They Wait for Results
As if studying, preparing, and taking the Bar Exam wasn’t bad enough! After someone has taken the Bar Exam it generally takes a couple of months to receive results. The waiting period before results are released can be agonizing, anxiety-inducing, and a real drag. During this time, examinees remember every mistake they made and every question that stumped them. Try and provide some level of support during the waiting period. Many times, examinees seek reassurance and want to be told that everything will be ok. From our experience, it generally is! Pass or fail, the world doesn’t end.
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