We welcome back to the blog Dustin Saiidi. Dustin specializes in helping students take the bar exam with success and less stress. He is also the author of The 7 Steps to Bar Exam Success. This is Dustin’s final post in a series of about the advantages and disadvantages of studying early for the bar exam. Welcome, Dustin!
Now that I have convinced you to avoid starting too early, what should you spend your early downtime doing?
Get Your Life in Order
The bar exam should be your main focus once prep begins. That means everything else in your life should have some pre-set structure so you are not hampered down during bar prep. Here are a few considerations:
- Finances – Do you have enough money to survive during bar prep? Can you pay for your rent/mortgage, food, etc. Some schools offer a bar loan. Make sure you plan out approximately how much you’ll need. The last thing you want is to be doing is skipping meals during bar week!
- Relationships – Do you have a significant other or family members who you see frequently? Let them know ahead of time that you’ll be ‘going dark’ for a couple months. If your significant other is still with you after first year of law school, then I’m sure he or she will understand!
- Housing – Know where you’ll be living. I advise students to stay where they were during their last semester. The less variables that change before bar prep, the better.
- Exercise plan – Exercise is a must. Do you know where you’ll be working out and when? Create some structure around it, so you are not scrambling last second before an emotional breakdown to find a place to vent out your frustrations.
Get Your Mindset Ready
Bar prep is just as much mindset as it is anything else. Controlling your emotions and believing in your success are absolutely key. If you don’t control this area, then no matter how much time you spend learning the law, your success will be in jeopardy.
Spend time visualizing your bar exam success. The mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imaginary. If you spend a few minutes every day, with your eyes closed, visualizing or imagining yourself having a successful bar prep, feeling successful, and seeing your name on the pass list, it will become so in reality.
Many Olympic athletes, performers, and tv personalities like Oprah use this technique and swear by it. The key to this exercise is getting started early and visualizing consistently. It was huge for me and I know I wouldn’t have passed the bar exam if I didn’t utilize this skill. Thousands have used it on exams and to deal with stress and performance anxiety.
And when bar studying, always remember Your Name Appears on the Pass List!
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- Should I Start Studying Early for the Bar Exam?
- Four Reasons to Study Early for the Bar Exam
- Getting an Early Start on Bar Preparation
- When Should You Start Studying for the Bar Exam?