A former bar student (and now good friend of mine) and I were talking the other day and she mentioned that she had recently rediscovered a book that really helped her be mentally ready for the bar exam. What was that book (you might ask)?
Daily Reflections for Bar Exam Study: An Inspirational Companion for Law Students and Experienced Attorneys Taking the Bar Exam by M.G. Groepler. (There is also a YouTube video where you can take a sneak peak at some of the content for free.) I wondered how I had not heard about this book. So I immediately ordered a copy and sat down and read it. It is short (only about 55 pages) but it includes 43 different reflections relating to staying calm and focused while studying for the bar exam.
Here are a couple of my favorite quotes (which were also favorites of my friend, who at the time was studying for the bar exam).
“Panic and clarity cannot coexist.
Panic breeds panicked thinking.
Calm and steadiness breed clarity of thought.
I choose calmness and clarity over panic.”
“I am a smart person, and I already have a law degree.
I am completely capable of this task.
For me, passing the bar is not a question of if, but of when.
I will work hard and take care of myself until then.”
So how are these actually going to help you pass?
Well, you know how passionate I am about the need to be mentally ready to pass the bar exam (you can check out a compilation of our posts on the topic here). I often share with students that the language they use to talk to themselves about the bar exam can be helpful (or hurtful) to their preparation.
This book gives you the tools to change the dialogue you are having with yourself. If you can’t come up with positive language to stay motivated on this journey, this book can help. Some students read it in one sitting. Some spread it out over days. If I was using the book while studying for the exam, I might mark my favorite reflections and read them either to start or end my study day (or, hey, why not both?). When you are tired and stressed, sometimes help is needed to manage the dialogue going on inside your head. This book gives you some suggestions for positive and empowering dialogue to share with yourself.
As the time ticks down to the next bar exam, I know that stress and anxiety are running high with those of you who are studying. Taking some time to say kind words to yourself and to speak from a place of calm and confidence could actually help you get ready for exam day.
One more quote for the road—“Today I will think about success. That is my word for the day. Success is about mastering the material and revealing that mastery in a clear and acceptable manner to the grader. There are brilliant students and attorneys who also have to master the test and the content — that fact does not make them any less fabulous. I may not feel fabulous at the moment, but I am. I will do what needs to be done and put this exam successfully behind me. ONWARD.”
Has anyone used this book or something similar to help prepare for the bar exam? If so, please share your experiences in the comments.
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- Bar Exam Lessons Learned and Free California Outlines
- Our Thoughts on Different Bar Review Tools
- Review of Lean Sheets Bar Exam Outlines
- Can Yoga or Walking Help You Pass the Bar Exam?
Image from Amazon.