The good news is, if you spend a few minutes making a conscious effort to relax, you can conquer any panic attacks or sleepless nights well ahead of time.
We recommend that you try some of the below exercises. Some may help you a lot ; others may not help you at all. However, these are six strategies that have helped many of our students in the past. Choose the ones that work best for you. They will help you calm your nerves and feel better before the bar exam begins tomorrow!
Six Mental Health Exercises
for the Day Before the Bar Exam:
- Visualization: Visualize the bar exam going well. Try to visualize yourself being on time, having perfect recall of the law, and doing well. Visualize yourself staying calm and relaxed. Try to envision the testing site in as much detail as possible when you practice this exercise. Visualization is a great tool to mentally prepare yourself for the bar exam.
- Write your thoughts down. If you get really anxious, write down what you are worried about. Sometimes just naming and identifying a fear can help you face it head on. That way, your fear is not some ominous thing hovering around the back of your mind. Instead it is nailed down to paper, identified, and easier to tackle head-on. .
- Ask yourself “What is the worst that can happen?” So you fail. Then you take it again along with a lot of other students who do not pass the bar exam on their first try. It really is not the end of the world. We also recommend you read this Note to those who fail the bar exam right now just because it will help you see that it is not the worst thing in the world.
- Talk to someone who is not taking the bar exam. Call an understanding family member or friend who will let you vent, identify with how you’re feeling, and also keep you grounded. Choose who you call carefully! You do not want to call someone who won’t listen, who will stress you out (by telling you that you should be anxious!) or who will make your situation worse. Call a trusted friend or family member who will provide the support you need.
- Envision what you’ll do when the exam is over. Have a nice vacation planned? Or a nice dinner ahead of you? Taking a break from ruminating over the test and thinking about fun plans will help you keep the bar exam in perspective.
- If you must review, review intelligently! If you are the type to review the day before the bar exam, that is okay, but review intelligently. By that we mean – don’t do practice exams! Don’t do any “new” problems. Instead, just review what you have already looked at or questions you have already gone over. Better yet, don’t review at all and take the day off!! You have earned it!
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