How to Use Visualization to Succeed on the Bar Exam
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How to Use Visualization to Succeed on the Bar Exam

The bar exam is rapidly approaching. In addition to reviewing multiple choice questions, essay questions, and topics that are not quite cemented in your brain, there is something else that you can do in the days preceding the bar exam: practice visualization.

Wondering what visualization is? Or how to use visualization to succeed on the bar exam? 

How to Use Visualization to Succeed on the Bar Exam

What is Visualization?

Visualization is the process of creating a mental image of what you want to happen in the future. Studies show that visualization helps train your brain to perform the task ahead of you. This primes your brain for success. Many top athletes practice visualization to give themselves a competitive boost during a game.  While athletes have daunting physical tasks ahead of them, you have a daunting mental task. Your task is to answer difficult questions on a vast array of laws in a limited amount of time. Nevertheless, you can use the same visualization techniques that athletes use to give yourself a competitive boost on the bar exam.

How do you practice visualization for the bar exam?

Imagine yourself in the test room (If possible, visit the test room the day before your exam and find where you will be sitting – this will make your visualization exercises easier!). Next, use all of your senses to create a detailed picture in your mind. Who are you with? What you are wearing? What do you hear? What is the environment like? Do you taste or smell anything? How does the energy in the room feel? Try to imagine the scene using all five senses. Then visualize yourself answering a series of test questions and succeeding. Imagine that you are calm and that you are answering each question accurately and in an appropriate amount of time. Picture yourself tackling question after question with mental clarity and confidence.  If it helps, add an affirmation to your visualization exercises. Repeat to yourself: “I am prepared” or “I am confident” or “I will succeed.”

When Should I Practice Visualization?

Practicing visualization exercises the days preceding the bar exam – especially the night before and the morning of the exam – can increase confidence, boost motivation, and mentally prepare you for the task ahead of you. You can use the tool of visualization to diminish the nervous energy and anxious thoughts that block your brain from thinking clearly and recalling the law.

If possible, practice visualization even earlier–perhaps the weeks leading up to the bar exam. Imagine not only the test going well, but also your preparation and study the preceding weeks going well.

Visualization is not going to miraculously change a test-taker’s score into a passing grade if that individual did not prepare enough for the bar exam in the first place. However, visualization has the power to give you a positive mental outset and a competitive edge. The bar exam is a mental marathon, and you have been preparing your brain for weeks. Why not prepare your mind and body as well?


    Last-Minute Bar Exam Tips! - Excellence in Law School and Beyond - JD Advising

    […] Visualization is a powerful tool. Many athletes use visualization prior to games. You can use the same tool to help you pass the bar exam. If you visualize yourself getting overwhelmed, forgetting the law you just reviewed, and running out of time – you probably will. Conversely, if you visualize the bar exam going well, having perfect recall of the law, and managing your time wisely – you have already put yourself at a huge advantage. In order to practice visualization, imagine the testing site in as much detail as possible. Imagine the test going well in as much detail as possible. Picture yourself having a clear head and perfect recall. And envision yourself not getting overwhelmed or anxious. For more visualization tips, see this post. […]

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