We get a lot of emails and calls from people who are afraid to check bar exam results! This frequently happens when the jurisdiction posts by seat number online. All of the sudden, examinees can find out instantly whether they passed or failed! This is convenient for examinees since they do not have to wait for a letter to arrive in the mail. However, it also has its drawbacks – for example, examinees wonder if they have the correct seat number, jurisdictions have inadvertently posted incorrect seat numbers which has caused obvious problems, and examinees do not know their scores. The fact that many examinees only know if they pass or fail (and cannot instantly see their score) often causes people who do not see their seat numbers on the list to think that they completely bombed the exam, when in reality they may have failed by just a few points.
“I am afraid to check bar exam results! What should I do?”
If you are afraid to check bar exam results, here are some ideas of what you can do:
Wait until you are in a safe space.
In other words, it may be a good idea to not check them at the office if you are working! And please don’t check them while you are driving. Or any other non-optimal time.
It may be a better idea to wait until you get home from work or wherever you are. If you get harassed by friends or coworkers for not checking right away, simply explain you want to wait, or say you want to confirm your seat number, or whatever! Don’t feel pressured to check instantly!
Come up with a Plan A and a Plan B.
Come up with a “Plan A” in case you pass – what will you do? Will you update your resume? Update your LinkedIn? Start looking for a job? Some students are just as nervous to pass as they are to fail. Passing means that they are all of the sudden real, grown-up attorneys, and need to start their careers.
Come up with a “Plan B” in case you fail – what will you do? Will you retake your course? Invest in private tutoring? Take time off work? Even if you don’t have a definite plan, having a few ideas will help you to feel more comfortable.
Coming up with a Plan A and a Plan B means that regardless of whether your number is on that pass list, you will not feel as lost if you do not, in fact, pass the bar exam.
Consider how you want to check results.
Do you want family members to be with you or do you prefer to be alone? Do you want to check them on a weekend or weekday? If your jurisdiction mails you a hard copy of your results, would you rather just wait for the results to see? is there a certain time that you want to avoid checking results? For example, if you have an early-morning presentation on Tuesday, you probably don’t want to check results on Monday evening! It may be hard to sleep regardless of what your results say. Plan out when you will check results and stick to it.
Sometimes even waiting a little while after results are “officially” out, can help you get in the right mindset to check! Good luck checking your results!
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