Playing the Waiting Game

WaitingWaiting for your bar results is, unfortunately, the nature of the beast. While some of you may only be waiting four weeks (North Carolina), some of you are going to be in it for the long haul of 13 or 14 weeks (Georgia and Texas respectively). So how do you keep your sanity intact while you’re waiting?

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”(1) Don’t stare at the examiner’s website”]

You know when your results will be released. They are going to let you know whether you passed or not. So fretting and obsessing over your score is not going to improve your anxiety. Of course you’re going to be acutely aware of the date, but try to relax if possible. Your answers have been submitted at this point, and no amount of stressing is going to change them.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”(2) Allow yourself to take a break”]

You’ve been running the marathon that is bar preparation and exam taking for the last eight weeks, so give yourself a moment to relax. If you’re able, take a mini-vacation. Go hang out with your friends. They’ve probably forgotten what you look like at this point. And, please, go visit your grandmother. She’s worried about you.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”(3) If you don’t have a job already lined up, start looking”]

You’ve been too preoccupied with the bar exam for the last two or so months to be diligent on the job search. A good place to start looking is your law school’s Symplicity page, but don’t discount looking on Indeed or your state’s job posting board. If you have real-world connections, contact them for job opportunities. This goes without saying, but make sure you make an appointment and dress nicely before you pop into someone’s office.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”(4) Resume normal life”]

I can see you now. You’re walking out of a dimly lit cave while shielding your eyes. “What? What is this? THE SUN?” Yes, it’s out there. In fact, it’s been out there the last two months of your life, but you probably forgot about it while you were holed up in a study room. Resume life as normal.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”(5) Try not to let the constant inquiry about your results freak you out”]

Trust us when we tell you that EVERYONE is going to ask you how you feel about the exam. Unless you’re superhuman, you probably don’t feel great about it. The beauty is that very few people think they did well on the exam. You don’t have to tell people how badly you feel when they ask you about the exam. Just acknowledge that they asked you and tell them you spent a lot of time studying then move on. Talking about the exam and rehashing every blunder in your mind is not going to be helpful. Which brings me to my next point…

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”(6) Don’t try looking up answers to questions from the exam”]

Seriously, don’t do it. So what if you got a question wrong? If it’s an essay question, your final answer isn’t as important as how you reached your conclusion anyway. And if it’s a multiple-choice question, forget about it. Really. There’s absolutely no way that you remember the entire fact pattern and answer choices verbatim. You’re just going to work yourself into a tizzy. Keep the books closed while you’re waiting.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”(7) Don’t post-mortem the exam with your classmates”]

One of you probably doesn’t remember the fact pattern or your precise conclusion. Besides, the answers are being graded at this very moment, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it now. So take (some?) solace in that fact.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”(8) Assume you passed”]

You probably did. What if you didn’t? Good news. There’s another exam coming up in July. Really, don’t stress about it. You probably did great. If you weren’t successful, it isn’t the end of days. AmeriBar has programs that can help you pass and tutors who have helped many repeat takers successfully pass the exam.

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