Archive for category Bar Exam

If You Feel Bad about the Bar Exam, You are Not Alone

I think the bar exam is over for everyone (my condolences if you still have another day to go)! Now we’re just left to wait.

At this point in our careers, we should have become expert “waiters.” We took the LSAT, and then waited for our scores. We sent out all of our law school applications, and then waited for acceptances. We went through the stress of 1L year, and then waited for our grades. We spent a week busting tail for the write-on competition, and then waited for journal acceptances. As aspiring lawyers, we have to do a lot of waiting. And once again, we will wait and hope that our hard work will pay off. And for some people it will and for some people it won’t, but either way we will all be okay. I promise; we will.

But if it makes you feel any better, you should know that if you feel nervous or bad about how the bar exam went, you are not alone! I have actual scientific proof. WordPress allows you to see what search terms have brought people to your site and I have included some of those searches below:

  • how to feel after the bar exam
  • anxiety bar exam
  • feeling bad after second day of bar exam
  • “stupid people” pass the bar
  • “bar exam” what if power outage
  • the bar exam will be okay
  • breakdown of friendship while studying for the bar exam
  • bar exam suicidal feeling (this one makes me sad, I hope the searcher is okay)
  • feel terrible after bar exam
  • bar exam study no shower sleep stress
  • people who don’t pass bar exam stupid
  • are you stupid if fail bar exam?
  • feel like shit after bar exam
  • things to say bar exam
  • mbe bar exam afternoon
  • today’s mbe exam
  • how should i feel after bar exam
  • how i felt after the bar exam
  • i feel sick after bar exam what does that mean
  • feel bad after bar exam
  • things to say when people finish the bar exam
  • do you feel like shit after the bar exam?
  • bad feeling after bar exam
  • feel after bar exam
  • july 2012 bar exam mbe was so hard

So see, you are not alone. A lot of people feel bad about the bar exam. But it will be okay!!

Congratulations on finishing the exam! I know it is easier said than done (says the girl who was crying yesterday!!), but try not to let the anxiety you are feeling now overshadow this accomplishment.

Now get back to googling pictures of cats!!

Fact:  Googling MBE questions will make you feel bad. Googling pictures of cute cats will make you feel happy.


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Day Three: Just Keep Swimming

I think most of the states finished with their bar exams yesterday. In one sense I’m Totally Jealous of those examinees for being done, but in another sense, I actually like the idea of having a few extra essays–it’s like a last clear chance doctrine. Maybe I was a little negligent in failing to learn commercial paper, but the bar exam is giving me one last chance to try to mitigate my damages (I don’t think that’s right; I’ve forgotten the LCD already!!).  But mini freakout aside, day three is nice because simply by process of elimination, everyone seems to have a decent idea what subjects will be tested today (which thankfully doesn’t include torts!!).

So if you are lucky enough to be finished, CONGRATULATIONS!! I hope you spend the day filling your brain with cotton candy like activities (I’ve already purchased a bunch of gossip magazines!!) For those of you who have just a few more hours, good luck with your final studying. Just keep swimming, we’re almost there!!!

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Bar Exam Day 1: A Quick Recap

When I woke up this morning, I felt pretty good. I was ready. This is how I felt:

When I approached the giant warehouse where I would be spending the next three days, my confidence disappeared. There was a huge line of cars waiting to turn into the parking lot and people everywhere. They all looked more prepared than me. It brought me back to reality. This is how I felt:

But I did not go home, instead I just had a quasi-public cry. On my way in, I ran into a classmate. He’s a nice guy, but I’m not particularly close to him. He was outside smoking so I said “hello.” He responded, “you look terrified.” I tried to laugh it off and said, “do I really look that bad,” but as the words came out of my mouth I could hear my voice cracking and tears were starting to form. “Do you need a hug?” he replied. I just shook my head yes, started crying, and hugged a classmate I don’t really even know all that well.


So then after my awkward hug/cry I dropped off my sandwich I had purchased at a gas station on the way to the test warehouse and then went inside the testing room. We went through the instructions, I opened the packet, and read the essay. I don’t know why I was surprised, but it was exactly the same as all the other essays I had practiced. I knew how to do this! I felt good again!!

Then we went to lunch and I made the mistake of talking about the essays to friends/eavesdropping on strangers’ conversations. This is how it made me feel:

Eight essays later, the first day of the exam was over. I stopped to get some Chipotle and the girl forgot my sour cream. I didn’t realize it until I was ten minutes away. This is how I felt:

When I finally got home, I tried to study, but I just couldn’t do it. Instead, I watched Bunheads and ate a burrito sans sour cream. Bunheads is this really silly show on ABC Family. I’m still not quite sure what it’s about, but it seems to focus a few ballerinas and a woman who speaks only in puns and talks far too much and far too quickly. It’s not really that good, but it was exactly what I needed!

Today was stressful, but the good news is that I am only two days away from sitting by a pool with an US Weekly and a frozen margarita!!

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Ways to Make Yourself Feel Bad After the Bar Exam

1. Talk about the bar exam to other people who just took the same bar exam.

2. Look up the correct answers to the essay questions.

3. Remember there is more bar exam tomorrow.

4. Eat too much junk food.

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How to Cause 6,000+ Nervous Breakdowns in Two Simple Steps:

1.Start an online bar prep program.

2. Stop working one week away from the bar exam (few minutes = all day):

3. Success.

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5 Things to Say to Your Friends Who Are Studying for the Bar

Since my last post mentioned things you should not say to your friends who are studying for the bar, I thought I would follow-up with five things that would be very nice to say to a  friend the next time he or she mentions being stressed about the upcoming bar exam:

1. You are the smartest person I know. If you don’t pass, it will because the bar examiner is jealous of you.

2. You look really thin.* Are you eating enough?

3. I am going to bring you some ice-cream. I will be over in 15 minutes and I will give it to you on the porch/front door so you don’t have to worry about cleaning your place.

4. Stress acne? What are you talking about? That little thing on your face. I didn’t even notice it.

5. I know this is hard and if you don’t pass the first time, I know you will be disappointed and maybe even embarrassed, but it will be okay.  I will be there for you either way and I will never judge you. If this were easy, everybody would do it. Keep pushing. It will be worth it. And go eat a cupcake, you look so thin!

*If you are talking to a friend who does not want to be considered “thin,” replace it with the adjective that they would like to be. This isn’t a time for truthfulness, it’s a time for puffery and motherly-like confidence boosting. You can make them go running/work out with you when it’s over if you feel bad. 

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Studying for the Bar is NOT like Running a Marathon

I just read a great post over at Belly up to the Bar that lists ten things you should never say to someone who is studying for the bar exam. You can read the whole post here, but some of my favorites included:

  • “So and so is so stupid and he passed the bar.”
  • It’s just multiple choice, right?  When in doubt, just pick ‘D.’ All of the above. You’ll be fine.”
  •  “I just rolled into the SAT cold and got a 1020. Don’t sweat it.”

I hate those comments because they completely trivialize how awful this is and add an entire new level of stress by making you feel like your friends are going to think you are even more stupid than just stupid if you can’t pass the bar when even “stupid” people can do it. That was a whole lot of stupid in one sentence!

I wanted to add one more comment that has been driving me nuts. I’ve been really stressed about the fact that I am having a hard time learning all of this material at the pace the bar prep program suggests. I feel really behind not because I am wasting too much time (although perhaps I should not be procrastinating with a blog), but because I simply cannot learn the entire subject of criminal procedure (which I never even took in law school) in one day. I’m just not that smart, okay. So I guess I take back what I said above and if I do pass the bar on the first time, you can tell your friends that “Smiling Sparkler is stupid and she passed the bar.”

Whenever I express this stress, one of the most frequent responses I get is “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” I am a little biased here, but that is absolutely untrue. I have run six marathons now, so I have have scientific evidence to dispute this statement, which I have listed below.

Running marathons makes people happy. Studying for the bar does not.

1. I never cried when training for a marathon. Not once. I’ve cried at least three times while studying for the bar, two of which were entire sob sessions spent in a lavender bubble bath listening to Adele.

2. When you train for a marathon, you gradually increase your distance, but you always run at a comfortable pace. It is a complete lie to say the “bar exam is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” It’s the opposite. IT’S A MARATHON THAT YOU HAVE TO SPRINT!

3. Marathons are healthy. Studying for the bar has probably taken six months off of my life.

4. Marathons are very social (Don’t believe me? Google marathon running groups). Studying for the bar is one of the most anti-social things I’ve ever done. Sometimes I can’t remember the last time that I showered because all I do is wake up, go to my office, and watch these stupid videos. I can’t even be around my law school friends right now because their stress is contagious and sends me right back to number 1 on the list.

5. Marathons are fun. They are full of positive energy that is contagious to even the people standing on the sidelines. You feel good about yourself once you’ve finished regardless of whether you were first or last. You can’t fail a marathon. The bar exam is none of those things.

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