With confidence, you have won even before you have started. – Marcus Garvey
As the bar exam steadily approaches, it’s likely that more than just your mental countdown to the bar exam has begun. Nerves now flutter in your stomach, your body feels tense, and second-guessing your study habits has almost become routine. Your mind floods with unexpected questions. You ask yourself, ‘Have I been studying enough?’ ‘Do I really know the material?’ ‘How do I know my bar prep program is working for me?’
Prepping for the bar exam, it’s easy to tell yourself to be confident. But when there’s still so much left to study, actually feeling confident can be its own bar exam battle. Of course, feeling overwhelmed is normal. But it’s still important to overcome your confidence barriers now so that they don’t keep you from performing your best on exam day.
That’s why AdaptiBar put together a list of 5 surefire ways to boost your confidence before you take the bar exam.
- Silence “The Voice” – Most people know “the little voice in their head” well enough to recognize that it is the most common source of doubt. “The Voice” provokes anxious thoughts that make you question everything you’ve ever studied for the bar exam and asks you, ‘Do you really know what you’re learning? How do you know your efforts will be enough to pass?’ Though it may be difficult not to second-guess yourself, a little positivity goes a long way. Eliminate “The Voice” by continuously tracking and reminding yourself of your study progress. Time reaps results. If you practice replacing uncertainty with positivity while studying, you will increase confidence in both your study efforts and the knowledge you have of the law.
- Do Your Research – Know exactly what to expect the day of the bar exam. This means looking up information for your jurisdiction prior to the exam and taking note of any guidelines or exam-day procedures that are new to you. Make a list of which items are prohibited in the exam room and which items you plan on bringing with you. Be sure to locate your venue online and thoroughly plan out your transportation. By taking these initiatives, you’ll leave no room for surprises and eliminate excess stressors so you can feel more comfortable and confident in the days leading up to the bar exam and exam day.
- Know Where You Stand – Utilize your bar prep program to evaluate your knowledge of the subjects that will be covered on the exam prior to exam day. Look at your stats on your AdaptiBar dashboard. Look back at the material from your comprehensive review course and see what you remember from each subject. If you have a good idea of where you stand leading up to the bar exam, you won’t have reason to doubt how much you know on exam day.
- Look Like a Lawyer –If you look your best, you will feel and perform your best. That’s what recent studies have indicated, revealing that it is scientifically possible to ‘dress for success’. Dressing nicely, especially on exam day, will make you feel like the lawyer you are testing to become. Sitting up straight has also been proven to elicit feelings of confidence and positivity during test-taking. By putting a little extra effort into your daily routine and posture, you can attain the extra confidence needed to study more efficiently and test more effectively on exam day.
- Be the Student, Not the Judge – The pressure to perform increases as time draws nearer to the bar exam, but stopping to remind yourself every once in a while that you’re human can give you a more peaceful mindset in the days leading up to the exam. Working hard and studying to the best of your ability is commendable, but judging your progress by standards of perfection and setting unrealistic expectations for yourself will only set your confidence back. Thousands of law students and lawyers are in the same position as you and not one of them, including you, needs a perfect score to pass. Eliminate the pressure to know everything, and the exam will seem less daunting and more feasible.
Gaining bar exam confidence is never an easy task, especially when you are already overwhelmed. It may seem like a difficult step, but taking the initiative to boost your bar exam confidence will ensure that you will be more self-assured not only in the days leading up to the bar exam, but also on exam day.