We’ve officially entered the ‘waiting’ season for the next Bar Exam. Depending on your jurisdiction, you’ll receive your bar exam results anytime between mid April and late May. Read on to find 5 things to do while you wait for your bar exam results!
For some people, the results come so quickly that they are almost caught off guard but for most bar takers, this time of waiting can be excruciating.
Some people just take the bar exam, move on with their lives and don’t think about the results until they arrive. They’re probably not the ones reading this blog today, though, are they? Nope, if you’re reading this, it’s likely because your head is filled with a bunch of what-ifs and should-haves and periodic flashbacks.
If that describes your situation, rest assured that I’m not making fun of you. This condition could easily be categorized as similar to (if not full-blown) “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” and it can be debilitating. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are coping mechanisms you can use now. Here are a few of my favorites, culled over 25 years of bar exam experience:
1. Move On
Find other interests to replace your previous bar study time while you wait for your bar exam results. If you don’t have full time legal work, consider some volunteer/intern opportunities. It’s a great way to network, gain some practical experience and do some good for the community. It may also remind you why you started this journey in the first place. If you’re not sure where to get started, check with your local bar association, legal aid offices, churches and non-profits in the community. Trust me, they’ll be glad you offered.
2. Hug it Out
If you’ve got a family, friends or a job (maybe all 3?) this is a great time to reconnect. You remember all those missed date nights, hangout times and work assignments you blew off to study? No? Well, believe me, everyone else around you does remember. And you’re going to want to make up for some of that now by being extra-attentive. I know you’re tired from the bar exam but to the rest of the world, the test is over and your presence here on planet earth is now required. No excuses. Just be there and engage. Bar exam results will come soon enough.
3. Talk It Out
Many bar takers just can’t get the test out of their systems, but as noted in Items 1 and 2 above, the rest of the world is so over you and the bar exam and (wait for it) they. don’t. want. to. hear. about. it. any. more.
Harsh, isn’t it? Still, if you’ve got to talk about it, be sure to do so. Create a journal, write a blog, go digital. Tweet-storm and Snapchat to your heart’s content.
Still, if you want the experience of saying it out loud, find a sympathetic, patient friend (or better yet a small animal?) and recount the experience in detail. But- when you’re done – you’re done. Don’t keep rehashing the event.
If you’re in a Celebration Bar Review course, stop by our private Facebook Group, “The Extra Mile for Bar Exam Takers” to share your post-exam stories and thoughts. It’s free and part of your course offering but you do need to request membership. If you’re not in our course, find a way to vent the experience. It will help avoid the emotional “volcano” from erupting at a later date.
Along those lines, if you’d like to discuss your bar exam with me, just click the Button Below to schedule a private conference. I’ll be glad to listen and post-mortem the exam as well as explain how we can assist you if you need to retake the exam.
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4. Assume the Best
Bar Takers (and lawyers in general) are terrific at finding the “Parade of Horribles” and running to the front of the line to lead. While it’s entirely possible that you failed the exam, it’s also possible that you passed. Your gut reaction about the bar exam result is probably not incredibly accurate (unless of course you didn’t write anything on several essays or only completed 75 out of 100 MBE questions in each session) but outside those extremes, the exam is tough and the line between passing and failing is too narrow for most people to discern with accuracy.
So what should you do? Begin restudying now? I don’t suggest that. If you think there’s a strong possibility that you failed, however, follow the suggestions above, clear the decks now in case you have to start studying after results are released, and use the time to recharge your brain and physical resources.
5. Do Your Research Now
If it turns out that you failed the exam, the hours following the release of bar exam results will be painful and for some people, emotionally destabilizing. That will not be the best time to consider what bar review you should choose, whether you should take the next exam or sit out an administration, change jurisdictions or a myriad of other decisions that have to be made. Instead, think about those things now. Check out bar review courses now. Talk to the mentors and owners.
Ask questions and consider the alternatives to doing the same old thing the same old way (I’m particularly talking to those of you in the ‘BigBox’ Bar Review courses – you know who you are!). Be prepared. If your results are good news – terrific! You’re done and can throw all the research away. But if not, you’ve got a plan prepared in advance and you can get right to your studies with a minimum of disruption.
Want to know more about how to study for the bar exam? Join us for a FREE Master Class: “How to Make the NEXT Bar Exam Your LAST Bar Exam!” Just click on the button below to claim your Free Seat and learn the 4 Steps to a Passing Bar Exam Result.