What If I’m Sick On Bar Exam Day?
What if you wake up on the morning of the Bar exam and realize it’s not just nerves–you’re actually sick to your stomach? It’s not a scenario you even want to picture. Honestly, there’s not a set protocol for what to do if you suddenly can’t show up to take the bar exam. This post will give you a couple of things to consider if you find yourself sick on bar exam day.
What If I’m Sick On Bar Exam Day?
How Sick Are You?
This is the most important question. Be honest with yourself about whether you just have a cold, if you’re feeling a little nauseous from nerves, or if you’re truly too ill to even attempt the test. If you’re able to take the bar exam remotely or in a private space, that will at least alleviate any concerns about being contagious.
If you’re feeling a little under the weather, don’t go into a spiral of anxiety about how this will affect your score. Plenty of people have taken the bar exam while a bit sick and managed to pass. You’ve been studying for months, so even if your mind isn’t the clearest, the material is still in there. Do your best, and you might have a great story to tell about how you managed to pass the bar exam on one of your worst days.
As you evaluate your illness, be sure to take into account any applicable regulations/restrictions put in place by the law examiners and/or state or local public health authorities to prevent the spread of certain illnesses.
Are You Willing to Lose the Money?
If you don’t show up for the bar exam, there’s a good chance you will lose the fees you paid to sit for that administration. Most states have a deadline to withdraw from the exam and get a full refund, and it’s long before exam day. You should definitely contact the organization administering the bar exam in your jurisdiction once you’re able, explain that there was an emergency, and see if it’s possible to get a refund, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll see that money ever again.
If you’re too sick to sit for the exam, or if some other emergency has made it impossible, then be prepared to forfeit any fees paid.
There’s Always Next Time
If you really can’t sit for the bar exam, please know it’s not the end of the world or even the end of your career! The bar exam is administered twice a year, every year. You can always take it at another time when you’re feeling better. No one is going to hold it against you. Each administration, applicants have to sit out due to illness, injury, or another emergency. Explain the situation, and ask for help. Hopefully, the state bar and future employers will understand and make some adjustments. Just focus on getting better so you can do what you know you’re capable of doing: Passing the bar exam!
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